Voice Quality and its Effects on University Students' Listening Effort in a Virtual Seminar Room

Isabel Sarah Schiller, Lukas Aspöck, Carolin Breuer, Jonathan Ehret, Andrea Bönsch, Janina Fels, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen, Sabine Janina Schlittmeier
Acoustics 2023, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

A teacher’s poor voice quality may increase listening effort in pupils, but it is unclear whether this effect persists in adult listeners. Thus, the goal of this study is to examine the impact of vocal hoarseness on university students' listening effort in a virtual seminar room. An audio-visual immersive virtual reality environment is utilized to simulate a typical seminar room with common background sounds and fellow students represented as wooden mannequins. Participants wear a head-mounted display and are equipped with two controllers to engage in a dual-task paradigm. The primary task is to listen to a virtual professor reading short texts and retain relevant content information to be recalled later. The texts are presented either in a normal or an imitated hoarse voice. In parallel, participants perform a secondary task which is responding to tactile vibration patterns via the controllers. It is hypothesized that listening to the hoarse voice induces listening effort, resulting in more cognitive resources needed for primary task performance while secondary task performance is hindered. Results are presented and discussed in light of students’ cognitive performance and listening challenges in higher education learning environments.

» Show BibTeX

author = {Schiller, Isabel Sarah and Aspöck, Lukas and Breuer,
Carolin and Ehret, Jonathan and Bönsch, Andrea and Fels,
Janina and Kuhlen, Torsten and Schlittmeier, Sabine Janina},
title = {{V}oice Quality and its Effects on University
Students' Listening Effort in a Virtual Seminar Room},
year = {2023},
month = {Dec},
date = {2023-12-04},
organization = {Acoustics 2023, Sydney (Australia), 4
Dec 2023 - 8 Dec 2023},
doi = {10.1121/10.0022982}

Disclaimer Home Visual Computing institute RWTH Aachen University