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Sound Quality Evaluation of Car Interior Noise Using Brain Magnetic Field

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The production concept of car engine sound has been changing from finding a solution to noise to designing sound. Although many studies have been conducted on creating comfortable car-engine sound, the psychoacoustic effects of time-varying rate for accelerating-engine sounds are still unclear. Thus, we investigated the effects of increasing the frequency rate of car interior noise on auditory impressions using psychological and neurophysiological methods. Harmonic complex tones that simulate acceleration noise were used as stimuli. First, relationship between 'sporty' feeling from dynamic charastics from the engine sound and brain meganetic fields was invertigated. In this investigation, subjective evaluations were examined using the semantic differential (SD) method. And neuronal activities of the auditory cortex evoked by these stimuli were measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG). The results indicated that has a significant effect on subjective impressions and on neuronal activities of the auditory cortex. Second, we investigated the relationships between subjective preference and brain magnetic fields for accelerating car interior noise. Subjective evaluations were examined using the paired-comparison method. At the same time, the MEG alpha-waves range (8-13 Hz) measurements were made and analyzed using the autocorrelation function (ACF). The results indicate that the effective duration of the ACF of the MEGs of between 8 and 13 Hz lengthens after the presentation of a preferred sound.

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