Psychophysical scaling of sonification mappings: A comparison of visually impaired and sighted listeners
Walker, Bruce N.
Lane, David M
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Magnitude estimation was used to determine preferred datato- display mappings, polarities, and psychophysical scaling functions relating data values (like temperature) to underlying acoustic parameters (like pitch, tempo, or spectral brightness) for blind and visually impaired listeners. The resulting polarities and scaling functions were compared to findings with sighted participants. There was general agreement between the polarities obtained with the two listener populations, with some notable exceptions. There was also evidence for strong similarities with regard to the magnitudes of the slopes of the scaling functions. The results indicate that sonification designers will need to consider whether their intended listeners are visually impaired or not. However, conclusions from this study are limited by the small sample of visually impaired participants. Further research is necessary to arrive at more definitive recommendations.