Relative intensity of auditory context for auditory graph design
Nees, Michael A.
Walker, Bruce N.
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A study examined the role of relative intensity levels for auditory context in auditory graph design. Auditory graphs were designed with auditory context equally as loud as sonified data, context 9 dB more intense than data, or context 9 dB less intense than data. For a point estimation task, participants who experienced auditory graphs with more intense context performed significantly better than participants who experienced graphs with data and context equally loud. Mean differences suggest that making the context either more intense or less intense than the data improved performance as compared to the equally loud condition. We suggest that differences in the intensity of context relative to data facilitate perceptual separation of the auditory streams and thus promote ease of use with auditory graphs. Sound examples are included, and implications for auditory graph design are discussed.