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Towards the neurophysiological characterization of immersive attributes in auditory events

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Three-dimensional audio technology has been expanded to cognitive and sensory approaches in entertainment and health since it augments the perception of space. Still, rigorous methodologies for the evaluation of immersive experience are needed. This work aimed to study the relationship between neurophysiological and behavioral responses to concert hall and urban park soundscapes in 3D audio and stereo downmix formats, and to highlight considerations for the measurement of the immersive experience. Brain, cardiac, and immersive-related responses from two samples of 24 subjects were analyzed. Results showed that the theta/beta neural band ratio from prefrontal-frontal and temporal-central regions showed a consistent tendency to spatial presence median scores, while the parietal-occipital region showed an inverse trend. Still, theta/beta ratio could not model the behavior of spatial presence scores in any condition, contrary to previous findings. Only the mean heart rate variability could model the behavior of involvement scores while listening to the concert hall performance in stereo downmix, but not for arousal or other soundscapes and formats. Lastly, considerations on the neurophysiological and behavioral assessment of immersive experience are given for future work.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society