Auditory Feedback for Navigation with Echoes in Virtual Environments: Training Procedure and Orientation Strategies

Anastassia Andreasen, Michele Geronazzo, Niels Christian Nilsson, Jelizaveta Zovnercuka, Kristians Konovalovs, Stefania Serafin

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
169 Downloads (Pure)


Being able to hear objects in an environment, for example using echolocation, is a challenging task. The main goal of the current work is to use virtual environments (VEs) to train novice users to navigate using echolocation. Previous studies have shown that musicians are able to differentiate sound pulses from reflections. This paper presents design patterns for VE simulators for both training and testing procedures, while classifying users' navigation strategies in the VE. Moreover, the paper presents features that increase users' performance in VEs. We report the findings of two user studies: a pilot test that helped improve the sonic interaction design, and a primary study exposing participants to a spatial orientation task during four conditions which were early reflections (RF), late reverberation (RV), early reflections-reverberation (RR) and visual stimuli (V). The latter study allowed us to identify navigation strategies among the users. Some users (10/26) reported an ability to create spatial cognitive maps during the test with auditory echoes, which may explain why this group performed better than the remaining participants in the RR condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8643846
JournalI E E E Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1876-1886
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Human echolocation
  • binaural synthesis
  • navigation
  • sonic interactions
  • spatial audio
  • spatial cognition
  • virtual reality

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