Can Audio Enhance Visual Perception and Performance in a Virtual Environment?
Davis, Elizabeth Thorpe
Hodges, Larry F.
MetadataShow full item record
Does the addition of audio enhance visual perception and performance within a virtual environment? To address this issue we used both a questionnaire and an experimental test of the effect of audio on recall and recognition of visual objects within different rooms of a virtual environment. We tested 60 college-aged students who had normal visual acuity, color vision, and hearing. The between-participants factor was audio condition (none, low fidelity, and high fidelity). The questionnaire results showed that ambient sounds enhanced the sense of presence (or "being there") and the subjective 3D quality of the visual display, but not the subjective dynamic interaction with the display. We also showed that audio can enhance recall and recognition of visual objects and their spatial locations within the virtual environment. These results have implications for the design and use of virtual environments, where audio sometimes can be used to compensate for the quality of the visual display.