Our research in psychophysics concentrates mainly on psychoacoustics but addresses also the cross-modal interactions in audiovisual context. The main interests in our psychoacoustical research consist of auditory scene analysis, binaural auditory modeling, phase perception, and assessment of reproduced sound.

An additional interest is to support the work of the spatial audio technique team. In practice, the psychoacoustical research comprises conducting different subjective listening experiments whose results are thereafter applied to different auditory models. The ultimate aim is to use the developed models for instrumental evaluation of auditory scenes and audio signals. We are also collaborating with neurophysiological researchers in order to accurately emulate the processing at the higher stages of the auditory pathway.

The audiovisual research in our team investigates the effects of audiovisual interactions on the visual and auditory perception. Previous research has demonstrated that such interactions have an effect on what subjects hear and/or see, and our aim is to investigate the aspect further. Moreover, we are especially interested in what constitutes the sensation of spatial presence, i.e., what makes an audiovisual environment immersive.

Our special facilities at Aalto University enable us to investigate the aforementioned aspects in various conditions. For instance, the audiovisual research can be done in an immersive environment containing a HD-video screen with a 226 degree field of view, and a 3D surrounding loudspeaker system. On the other hand, the dedicated listening booths or anechoic chamber equipped with a 3D loudspeaker reproduction system enable us to simulate various auditory scenarios in listening tests.

Selected publications

Laitinen M.-V., Disch S., Pulkki V., "Sensitivity of Human Hearing to Changes in Phase Spectrum", in Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 61, 2013.

Takanen M., Santala O., Pulkki V., "Binaural Assessment of Parametrically Coded Spatial Audio Signals", in The Technology of Binaural Listening, J. Blauert (Ed.), Springer Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.

Rummukainen O., Gómez Bolaños J., Pulkki V., "Horizontal Localization of Auditory and Visual Events with Directional Audio Coding and 2D Video", 5th International Workshop on Quality of Multimedia Experience (QoMEX), Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria, July 2013.

Takanen M., Santala O., Pulkki V., "Combining the outputs of functional models of organs responsible for binaural cue decoding", in 21st International Congress on Acoustics, Montreal, Canada, June 2013.

Santala O., Takanen M., Pulkki V., "Effect of target signal envelope on direction discrimination in spatially complex sound scenarios", in AES 134th International Convention, Rome, Italy, May 2013.

Rummukainen O. and Pulkki V., "Audiovisual Reproduction in Surrounding Display: Effect of Spatial Width of Audio and Video", 4th International Workshop on Quality of Multimedia Experience (QoMEX), Melbourne, Australia, July 2012.

Santala O. and Pulkki V., "Directional perception of distributed sound sources", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129, 1522 – 1530, 2011.

Pulkki V. and Hirvonen T., "Functional count-comparison model for binaural decoding", Acta Acustica united with Acustica, 95, 883 – 900, 2009.

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