Auditory acuity for aircraft in real-world ambient environments

Evelyn Hoglund*, Douglas Brungart, Nandini Iyer, James Hamil, Frank Mobley, John Hall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although many psychoacoustic studies have been conducted to examine the detection of masked target sounds, the vast majority of these studies have been conducted in carefully controlled laboratory listening environments, and their results may not apply to the detection of real-world sounds in the presence of naturalistic ambient sound fields. Those studies that have examined the detection of realistic naturally-occurring sounds have been conducted in uncontrolled listening environments (i.e., outdoor listening tests) where the experimenters were unable to precisely control, or even measure, the specific characteristics of the target and masker at the time of the detection judgment. This study represents an attempt to bridge the gap between unrealistic laboratory listening studies and uncontrolled outdoor listening studies through the use of pseudorandomly-presented real world recordings of target and masking sounds. Subjects were asked to detect helicopter signals in the context of an ongoing ambient recording in a two interval detection task. The results show that the signal-to-noise ratio required to detect an aircraft sound varies across different types of ambient environments (i.e., rural, suburban, or urban).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


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