Defense Date

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Peter Pidcoe

Second Advisor

Dianne Pawluk

Abstract

This research was designed to investigate the fundamental nature in which blind people utilize audible cues to attend to their surroundings. Knowledge on how blind people respond to external spatial stimuli is expected to assist in development of better tools for helping people with visual disabilities navigate their environment. There was also interest in determining how blind people compare to sighted people in auditory localization tasks. The ability of sighted individuals, blindfolded individuals, and blind individuals in localizing spatial auditory targets was assessed. An acoustic display board allowed the researcher to provide multiple sound presentations to the subjects. The subjects’ responses in localization tasks were measured using a combination of kinematic head tracking and eye tracking hardware. Data was collected and analyzed to determine the ability of the groups in localizing spatial auditory targets. Significant differences were found among the three groups in spatial localization error and temporal patterns.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013

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