Mixed speech and non-speech auditory displays: impacts of design, learning, and individual differences in musical engagement
Walker, Bruce N.
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Information presented in auditory displays is often spread across multiple streams to make it easier for listeners to distinguish between different sounds and changes in multiple cues. Due to the limited resources of the auditory sense and the fact that they are often untrained compared to the visual senses, studies have tried to determine the limit to which listeners are able to monitor different auditory streams while not compromising performance in using the displays. This study investigates the difference between non-speech auditory displays, speech auditory displays, and mixed displays; and the effects of the different display designs and individual differences on performance and learnability. Results showed that practice with feedback significantly improves performance regardless of the display design and that individual differences such as active engagement in music and motivation can predict how well a listener is able to learn to use these displays. Findings of this study contribute to understanding how musical experience can be linked to usability of auditory displays, as well as the capability of humans to learn to use their auditory senses to overcome visual workload and receive important information.