A significant portion of center funding is dedicated to providing, developing, and maintaining resources to support and enable a high level of auditory research. Examples of center resources are given below.
Facilities and Equipment
Sound Field Laboratory
The Sound Field Laboratory, directed by Professor Gerald Kidd, is a center resource for conducting auditory experiments involving sound presented over multiple loudspeakers. The listening environment is an IAC booth having interior dimensions of 12’4″ × 13′ × 7’6″. Levels of reverberation ranging from moderately reverberant to nearly anechoic are achieved by covering all surfaces with materials that are either highly reflective (Plexiglas® panels) or highly absorbent of sound (Silent Source® foam wedges).
Two KEMAR mannequins are available for research requiring easily reproducible measurements that closely approximate the sound pressure received at the human eardrum from the free field outside, or from headphones, insert phones, or hearing aids. The KEMAR is also used to measure head-related transfer functions for generating virtual audio displays, which can then be objectively compared with the sound received from real sources.
Software and Databases
The Earlab auditory databases and simulation environment for auditory research are resources developed at the center. The freely available software provides tools for simulations of the auditory periphery and the activity of neurons in the auditory brainstem. The desktop version of the software is now used in active research within the center to produce results presented in invited papers at international conferences on auditory research, and recently in the first related publication in a peer-reviewed journal.