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Monday, May 20, 2013

New Echolocation Research Published at the University of Southampton

From a new study published by the University of Southampton:
The results showed that both sighted and blind people with good hearing, even if completely inexperienced with echolocation, showed the potential to use echoes to tell where objects are.
It is great to see this type of research being done to help aid the visually impaired community. When this type of thing has been studied in the past it is often to the benefit of science in general or discreet facets of the biology industry. Here we have a team of researchers dedicated to providing this information to help the blind mobility community and add more scientific framework to a mobility tool in need of this type of verification.
Researchers from the University of Southampton's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) and University of Cyprus conducted a series of experiments with sighted and blind human listeners, using a 'virtual auditory space' technique, to investigate the effects of the distance and orientation of a reflective object on ability to identify the right-versus-left position of the object. They used sounds with different bandwidths and durations (from 10-400 milliseconds) as well as various audio manipulations to investigate which aspects of the sounds were important. The virtual auditory space, which was created in ISVR's anechoic chamber, allowed researchers to remove positional clues unrelated to echoes, such as footsteps and the placement of an object, and to manipulate the sounds in ways that wouldn't be possible otherwise (e.g. get rid of the emission and present the echo only).
Read the rest of the article here:
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/news/2013/05/20_echolocation.page

Access the full report here:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378595513000737

Free 10-Minute Audio Lesson: Learn the Echolocation Click

Learn echolocation clicks with a free audio lesson
Learning how to click is one of the first steps to becoming an effective echoloator. This lesson provides clicking samples of a variety of different clicks and descriptions of when they might be most useful. This lesson has been used by O&M instructors all over the world.

Despite popular belief, it's easy to make your clicking quite subtle or unnoticeable even in quiet settings. There are many different clicks for different situations. I explain all of these in great detail and give examples of where, why and when they can and should be used.

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