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Poster D83

The effects of naturallistic sonification of space on reaching tasks

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Bruno de Avo Mesquita1,2 (, Mehrdad Kashefi1,2, Ingrid Johnsrude1,3; 1University of Western Ontario, 2Brain and Mind at Western

The use of concurrent auditory feedback in coaching and rehabilitative settings shows promise due to their ability to provide rapid responses to an individual's movements. However, few studies have systematically addressed this topic in traditional motor tasks in a laboratory setting, such as reaching tasks. Furthermore, despite clear trends in the literature on how to encode spatial information in sounds, no study has directly examined the behavioral effects of designing auditory cues that intuitively map to naturalistic sound-space relationships. To this end, participants with arms mounted on a robot exoskeleton will perform reaching movements towards visual cues presented in a horizontally placed monitor above their arm. Auditory cues will precede the visual onset of the target, and sound dynamics will be systematically manipulated to either informatively encode spatial information of target position, or to be wholly uninformative. We expect that participants will demonstrate faster and more precise reaching movements towards visual targets preceded by informative auditory cues. We will further compare performance when the sonification of target position matches pre-existing priors in pitch-verticality relationships (up = increasing pitch, down = decreasing pitch) versus when these relationships are inverted. We expect that the effect of informative cues will be stronger when the auditory mapping of target position conforms to priors in pitch-verticality relationships. These results would demonstrate both the potential of auditory cues to efficiently convey movement information, as well as the importance of carefully designed sonification approaches that conform to an individual's lived experiences and prior expectations.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Motor control


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April 13–16  |  2024