Size Matters: The Role of Auditory and Visual Scale in the Identification of Unfamiliar Voices

Kilgore, R.M.

Human Factors & Ergonomics Society 50th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (October, 2006)

Augmenting spatialized audio environments with visual depictions of voice locations has been shown to increase voice-identification performance. How the relative scale of mixed audio/visual interfaces affects this benefit, however, is not well understood. In this experiment, we compared the accuracy, response time, and confidence of 36 participants in a spatialized voice-identification task using three visual scale conditions viewed from a common distance: a 2-inch display, a 10-inch display, and 25.5-inch display. Each display was investigated using eight spatialized voices presented in two audio scale conditions: voices distributed across the entire interaural axis or across only the central half. Results showed significantly greater voice-identification accuracy for the larger audio scale and the two largest visual scales, and increased response time for the smallest visual scale. Confidence in task performance remained unchanged across conditions. These results indicate large-scale audio/visual interfaces may best capitalize upon the perceptual benefits of visually representing spatialized voice locations.

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