One small step: Sound sources and events as the basis for auditory graphs.
Neuhoff, John G
Heller, Laurie M
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An overwhelming majority of auditory graphs employ a representational design that maps changes in a variable to changes in a ``low-level'' acoustic dimension such as frequency, intensity, or spectrum. However, there are several potential drawbacks to this type of auditory graph design. First, the perceptual correlates of these dimensions (pitch, loudness, and timbre) have been shown to interact perceptually such that changes in one dimension can influence judgments about changes in the others. Second, abstract changes in acoustic dimensions typically fail to invoke any kind of mental model that might help the listener represent cognitively the changes that occur in the data. Finally, listeners often are much better at attending to acoustic sources (the objects producing the sound) and acoustic events (the actions of these sounding objects) than to the low-level acoustic dimensions themselves. In this paper we endorse an approach to mapping data to sound that ties acoustic parameters unambiguously to changes in sound source or event characteristics. This type of design might be achieved by changing complex acoustic features along one axis in a manner that corresponds with a basic physical feature of a sound source or event.