Auditory Localization Performance with Asymmetric Integrated Eye and Ear Protection

Report No. ARL-TR-8315
Authors: Angelique A Scharine; Morgan Domanico; Ashley N Foots; Kim Fluitt; Timothy J Mermagen;
Date/Pages: March 2018; 78 pages
Abstract: The effect of the Asymmetric Integrated Eye and Ear Protection (AIEEP) prototype on auditory localization ability was measured for 6 participants wearing 1 of 2 sample prototypes. The AIEEP is a tactical communications and protection system(TCAPS) that also provides eye protection. Participants used a laser pointer to indicate the perceived location of sounds presented from 1 of 36 loudspeakers. This task was completed both with ears unoccluded (no AIEEP) and with the AIEEP. Pink noise bursts were used for the sound stimuli (either 250 or 7000 ms). Localization accuracy was computed as the horizontal angular difference between the target loudspeaker location and the participant's estimate. Responses were classified as to whether they constituted correct answers, minor errors due to blur, or front-back reversals. Because there were significant differences in performance as a function of the prototype used, the data are reported separately. Although decreased acuity and increased reversals were observed relative to performance with the bare head, performance with Prototype B was similar to that of the earlier prototype, the Gamma-IEEP, and better than that measured for another in-the-ear TCAPS. Performance with Prototype A was significantly worse, suggesting that issues with the sample were affecting localization.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2018