Georgia Tech Sonification Lab
School of Psychology - Georgia Institute of Technology

Individual Differences and Training

Overview

Sonifications and auditory graphs need to be designed so that the intended listener understands the message, or gleans patterns from the data. Our research has shown that the mapping of the data to sound matters, as does the actual type of data being displayed. In addition, and very importantly, there are differences between individuals in terms of how people perceive what they hear. There are transient (or state) attributes of an individual, such as their state of alertness, level of training, motivation, and so on. And there are longer term (trait) variables, such as their experience with sound, or their education in a particular domain. Another important factor is their experience with visual graphs, and a key variable seems to be whether a listener has vision loss or not, and if so, when they lost their vision.

Our research in this topic uses a variety of methods, ranging from psychophysics like magnitude estimation, to auditory graphs interpretationstudies, to training studies.

People

Mike Nees
Lisa Mauney

Publications Relating to the Research

(See the Publications page for all Sonification Lab publications.)

in press

(Note: Please do not quote or cite preprints without permission.)

Walker, B. N. & Mauney, L. (in press). Universal Design of Auditory Graphs: A Comparison of Sonification Mappings for Visually Impaired and Sighted Listeners. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing. <Preprint PDF>

2009

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N., (2009). Auditory Interfaces and Sonification. In Constantine Stephanidis (Ed.), The Universal Access Handbook (pp. 507-521). New York: CRC Press Taylor & Francis. <PDF>

2008

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2008). Data Density and Trend Reversals in Auditory Graphs: Effects on Point Estimation and Trend Identification Tasks. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 5(3) pp 13:1-24. DOI: 10.1145/1402236.1402237 <PDF>

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2008). Encoding and representation of information in auditory graphs: Descriptive reports of listener strategies for understanding data. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2008), Paris, France (24-27 June). <PDF>

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2008). Encoding of information in auditory displays: Initial research on flexibility and processing codes in dual-task scenarios. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES2008), New York, NY (22-26 September). pp. 1820-1824. <PDF>

2007

Walker, B. N. (2007). Consistency of Magnitude Estimations With Conceptual Data Dimensions Used for Sonification. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, 579-599. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1291. <PDF>

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2007). Listener, task, and auditory graph: Toward a conceptual model of auditory graph comprehension. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2007), Montreal, Canada (26-29 June). pp. 266-273. <PDF>

Mauney, L. M., & Walker, B. N. (2007). Individual differences and the field of auditory display: Past research,a present study, and an agenda for the future. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2007), Montreal, Canada (26-29 June). pp. 386-390. <PDF>

Mauney, L. M., & Walker, B. N. (2007). Individual Differences in Cognitive, Musical, and Perceptual Abilities. Proceedings of the American Psychological Association Annual Conference, August, 2007. <PDF>

2006

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (2006). Sonification. In W. Karwowski (Ed.),International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors (2nd ed.) (pp. 1254-1256). New York: CRC Press. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Lindsay, J. (2006). Navigation performance with a virtual auditory display: Effects of beacon sound, capture radius, and practice. Human Factors, 48(2), 265-278. DOI: 10.1518/001872006777724507 <PDF>

Nees, M. A., & Walker, B. N. (2006). Relative intensity of auditory context for auditory graph design. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2006), London, England (20-24 June). pp. 95-98. <PDF>

2005

Smith, D. R., & Walker, B. N. (2005). Effects of auditory context cues and training on performance of a point estimation sonification task. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19(8), 1065-1087. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1146<PDF>

Walker, B. N. & Kramer, G. (2005). Sonification design and metaphors: Comments on Walker and Kramer, ICAD 1996. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 2(4), 413-417. DOI: 10.1145/1101530.1101535 <PDF>

Walker, B. N. & Kramer, G. (2005). Mappings and metaphors in auditory displays: An experimental assessment. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 2(4), 407-412. DOI: 10.1145/1101530.1101534 <PDF>

Kramer, G. & Walker, B. N. (2005). Sound science: Marking ten International Conferences on Auditory Display. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 2(4), 383-388. DOI: 10.1145/1101530.1101531 <PDF>

Wingrave, C. A., Tintner, R., Walker, B. N., Bowman, D. A., & Hodges, L. (2005). Exploring individual differences in raybased selection: Strategies and traits. Proceedings of IEEE VR2005, Bonn, Germany (12 - 16 Mar). <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Nees, M. A. (2005). Brief training for performance of a point estimation sonification task. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD2005), Limerick, Ireland (6-10 July). <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Nees, M. A. (2005). An agenda for research and development of multimodal graphs. Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Auditory Graphs, in the Proceedings of International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD2005), Limerick, Ireland (6-10 July) pp 428-432. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Nees, M.A. (2005). Conceptual versus perceptual training for auditory graphs. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES2005), Orlando, FL (26-30 September). pp. 1598-1601. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., Stanley, R. M., & Lindsay, J. (2005). Task, user characteristics, and environment interact to affect mobile audio design. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Auditory Displays for Mobile Context-Aware Systems at Pervasive2005, Munich, Germany (11 May). <PDF>

2004

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (2004). Ecological psychoacoustics and auditory displays: Hearing, grouping, and meaning making. In J. Neuhoff (Ed.), Ecological psychoacoustics (pp.150-175). New York: Academic Press.  <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Mauney, L. (2004). Individual differences, cognitive abilities, and the interpretation of auditory graphs. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2004, Sydney (6-10 July). <PDF>

Smith, D. R., & Walker, B. N. (2004). Effects of training and auditory context on performance of a point estimation sonification task. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES2004). New Orleans, LA (20-24 September) pp 1828-1831. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Siebenaler, L. M. (2004). Individual Differences and the Interpretation of Auditory Graphs: Cognitive Abilities and Demographics. Proceedings of the American Psychological Society 16th Annual Convention, Chicago, IL (27-30 May). <Abstract PDF> <Poster PDF>

Wingrave, C. A., Tintner, R., Walker, B. N., Bowman, D. A., & Hodges, L. (2004). Exploring individual differences in raybased selection: Strategies and traits. Presented at the Human Computer Interaction Consortium annual meeting (HCIC 2004). Fraser, Colorado, 4-9 February. <PDF>

2002

D'Orazio, J. & Walker, B. N. (2002). Designing better Traveler Information Systems: Cognitive and task-related factors. Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Baltimore, USA (30 September-04 October). <PDF>

Smith, D. R. & Walker, B. N. (2002). Tick-marks, axes, and labels: The effects of adding context to auditory graphs. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2002, Kyoto, Japan (02-05 July) pp 362-367. <PDF>

Walker, B. N. (2002). Magnitude estimation of conceptual data dimensions for use in sonification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 8, 211-221. DOI: 10.1037/1076-898X.8.4.211 <PDF>

2001

Walker, B. N., & Lane, D. M. (2001). Psychophysical scaling of sonification mappings: A comparison of visually impaired and sighted listeners. Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2001, Espoo, Finland (28 July-01 August) pp 90-94. <PDF of Abstract> <PDF>

2000

Walker, B. N. (2000). Magnitude estimation of conceptual data dimensions for use in sonification. Doctoral Dissertation. Rice University, Houston, TX. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., Kramer, G., & Lane, D. M. (2000). Psychophysical scaling of sonification mappings. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD2000, Atlanta, GA (April). <PDF> <PDF of Presentation>

1998

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (1998). Congruity and compatibility effects with dynamic auditory stimuli. Paper presented at the annual conference for research psychologists in Texas, ARMADILLO '98, Houston, TX, May.

1997

Ehrenstein, A., Walker, B. N., Czerwinski, M., & Feldman, E. M. (1997). Some fundamentals of training and transfer: Practice benefits are not automatic. In Quiñones, M. & Ehrenstein, A. (Eds.). Training for a rapidly changing workplace: Applications of psychological research. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Walker, B. N. (1997). Congruency effects with dynamic auditory stimuli. Masters Thesis. Rice University, Houston, TX. <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (1997). Congruency effects with dynamic auditory stimuli: Design implications. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD97, Palo Alto, CA (2-5 November). <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (1997). Congruity effects with dynamic auditory stimuli: Pitch and pitch change interact in speeded classification. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomics Society, Philadelphia, PA, October.

1996

Walker, B. N., & Ehrenstein, A. (1996). Cross-dimensional compatibility effects with dynamic auditory stimuli. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association, Houston, TX, April.

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (1996). Human factors and the acoustic ecology: Considerations for multimedia audio design. Proceedings of the Audio Engineering Society 101st Convention, Los Angeles, CA (8-11 November). <PDF>

Walker, B. N., & Kramer, G. (1996). Mappings and metaphors in auditory displays: An experimental assessment. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Auditory Display ICAD96, Palo Alto, CA (4-6 November). <PDF>

Acknowledgments

This research has been supported, in part, by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies or sponsors.
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Georgia Tech Sonification Lab
Bruce Walker
Mike Nees