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Perceptual Weighting of Binaural Information: Toward an Auditory Perceptual "Spatial Codec" for Auditory Augmented Reality

Auditory augmented reality (AR) requires accurate estimation of spatial information conveyed in the natural scene, coupled with accurate spatial synthesis of virtual sounds to be integrated within it. Solutions to both problems should consider the capabilities and limitations of the human binaural system, in order to maximize relevant over distracting acoustic information and enhance perceptual integration across AR layers. Recent studies have measured how human listeners integrate spatial information across multiple conflicting cues, revealing patterns of “perceptual weighting” that sample the auditory scene in a robust but spectrotemporally sparse manner. Such patterns can be exploited for binaural analysis and synthesis, much as time-frequency masking patterns are exploited by perceptual audio codecs, to improve efficiency and enhance perceptual integration.

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