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Listener Fatigue – Some speculations. James D. ( jj ) Johnston Chief Scientist Neural Audio, Kirkland, Wa. A Reminder – Loudness vs. Intensity. Intensity: Sound pressure level Measured excitation in the atmosphere Loudness PERCIEVED “sound level”

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listener fatigue some speculations

Listener Fatigue – Some speculations

James D. (jj) Johnston

Chief Scientist

Neural Audio, Kirkland, Wa

a reminder loudness vs intensity
A Reminder – Loudness vs. Intensity
  • Intensity:
    • Sound pressure level
    • Measured excitation in the atmosphere
  • Loudness
    • PERCIEVED “sound level”
    • Proportional to inner hair cell firing on the basilar membrane
  • How do they relate to fatigue???
is there one kind of fatigue
Is there one kind of fatigue?
  • Mechanical cochlear fatigue
  • Neural/physiological cochlear fatigue
  • CNS fatigue
  • Reflexive fatigue????

Mechanical fatigue due to high intensity

    • Outer hair cell damage, at least, seems to correlate to intensity, but outer hair cells also depolarize due to high loudness
    • This raises the issue of both biochemical and mechanical fatigue, perhaps due to differing

Neural fatigue due to high loudness

    • Inner hair cell firing rate is pretty much proportional to loudness (not intensity), and there must be some biochemical fatigue there.

CNS fatigue due to missing, false, or contradictory cues

    • Does having to extract “what was that” from missing information create some kind of CNS Fatigue
  • What about balance/hearing interaction?
    • Do balance and hearing interact?
    • What do conflicts in the two cause?
      • Especially at “rock and roll” levels
how does one measure listener fatigue
How does one measure Listener Fatigue?
  • There are no units
  • There is no external manifestation that can be singled out as listener fatigue
    • Annoyance
      • Fatigue? Material? Genre? Lyrics?
    • “upset” sensations
      • Motion sickness
      • Normal fatigue
  • Time spent listening willingly, under controlled circumstances
    • How in the world will we avoid other factors like
      • Boredom
      • Lack of time
      • Dislike of test setup
some very speculative ideas
Some very speculative ideas
  • But first level:
    • Too loud (either intensity or loudness) is bad in many ways.
  • Conflicting cues
    • Hearing very close to balance organs. At least anecdotal examples of induced motion sickness have been reported.
    • Unnatural effects (cognative effort?).