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A pointing Technique with Visual Feedback for Sound Source Localization Experiments

A new laser-pointing technique providing visual feedback is presented and compared to a more traditional method, making a mark on a line; broadband noise, speech and a musical instrument served as sound stimuli. In localizing frontal sources (±30 degrees), both 'real', and amplitude-panned, in a standard listening room, the new method is shown to be more intuitive, and precise, allowing for a higher consistency of responses both within and across subjects. Furthermore, the lateral displacement of the sources is overestimated in both response techniques, this inaccuracy being significantly smaller when the laser pointer is used. In a second experiment, the influence of head orientation on pointing performance towards sounds varying in frequency content is investigated. In result, responses are not affected by moving the head towards a physical sound source, but are highly sensitive to head movements when sources are panned.

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