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The Effect of Pinna Protrusion Angle in the Localization of Virtual Sound in the Horizontal Plane

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Abstract:
 
"The Effect of Pinna Protrusion Angle in the Localization of Virtual Sound in the Horizontal Plane", (2001)
Navarun Gupta, Carlos Ordonez and Armando Barreto

ABSTRACT: The transformation of a sound from its origin to each of the eardrums of a listener, due to the head, torso, and outer ear of the listener, are modeled by the so-called Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs) for each individual and each location around the listener. These HRTFs can be used to transform a monoaural sound into left and right sounds that will give the subject the illusion of a virtual sound placement, at the location associated with the HRTFs used. However, subjects tend to confuse virtually placed in the front hemisphere with sounds placed symmetrically in the back hemisphere, i.e., points that lay in a cone of confusion. This paper reports on a study that involved the measurement of the HRTFs of 20 subjects, and the analysis of their performance in locating virtual sources in a horizontal plane. The subjects were tested using their own individual HRTFs and also using the HRTFs of a prototype subject who has particularly protruding pinnae. Results indicate that the additional shadowing of sounds from the back hemisphere encoded in the HRTFs of the prototype subject aided some of the test subjects in resolving the front-back confusion observed when tested with their own HRTFs.