Spatial Hearing – Development of a multimodal clinical diagnostics and training system for analysis of sound localization ability in controlled realistic sound environments

We introduced a novel system for testing spatial hearing abilities under controllable realistic spatially resolved soundscape context. This system uses a 16-channel audio ring setup to project sound from different azimuth angles. Our system is used for different research questions: (1) to investigate linguistic concepts of verbal deictic reference, in cooperation with colleagues from CITEC’s Neurocognition&Action/Biomechanics group, (2) to improve the diagnostics of spatial listening capabilities for patients with hearing impairments and the effects obtained by different hearing aids such as Cochlear implants, in a cooperation with the Klinikum Bielefeld-Mitte and Bochum hospital. For empirical studies we cooperate with the Clinical Linguistics department headed by Martina Hielscher Fastabend. In contrast to the usually employed tests in silence or sterile broadband noise masking signals, our approach is to simulate a spatially distributed and realistic environmental soundscape, e.g. crowded restaurant, or a traffic situation, and assess spatial listening performance under ‘real-world’ conditions. Our system is currently developed into a flexible training device for post-surgery rehabilitation.


People Involved

  • Marcella Velten
  • Bettina Bläsing
  • Martin Lehmann
  • Dr. med. Jörg Ebmeyer
  • Julia Görtz
  • Martina Hielscher-Fastabend
  • Thomas Hermann