TitleSonification of NRL Dual-task Data
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsMcClimens, B, Brock, DP
Conference NameThe 16th International Conference on Auditory Display
Date Published06/2010
PublisherInternational Community for Auditory Display
Conference LocationWashington, DC

The addition of a head-tracker to the dual-task experiment
reported in Brock et al., 2010 led to two distinct sonifications of
the collected data [1]. Initial analysis of the head-tracking data
was attempted in Microsoft Excel, and the size of the data sets
made the visual comparison of multiple log files intractable.
The head-tracker logged data approximately every 70 ms, and
each condition was thirteen minutes long, so a graph of a single
condition contained over eleven thousand points. This proved
too large to be managed from within Excel. In exploring
possible programs to view the data in we realized that our log
files could easily be modified to conform to the .wav file
Initially, the realization that the head-tracking data was
essentially a digitally sampled analogue signal was used only as
a means transform the data into a form that could be visually
examined from within sound editing software. Sound ForgeTM
allowed us to simultaneously view the data from multiple
subjects. Although the data had been changed to a .wav format,
it was not specifically intended as a sonification in the sense
that no thought had been put into how the data would sound.
Nevertheless, the format used happened to produce meaningful
sound and with very little practice, several colleagues could
easily differentiate between sonifications of conditions which
had been shown to have statistically significant differences in
the head movements of subjects.
This spurred the construction of a more detailed
sonification of our data which included not only the data about
the motion of subjects' heads, but also data collected about their
tracking performance and a detailed event log from the radar
task. The goal was to sonify as much of the collected data as
possible, and then to see whether or not people could
differentiate between data from each of the different conditions
used in the experiment.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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