Chapter 7. The Mechanics of Hearing

Hearing is arguably one of the human body’s most important primary senses. Hearing allows us to communicate with others, is often the first source of information about threats to safety, and reveals extraordinary levels of detail about our surroundings. The addition of an audio component to virtual and augmented reality systems can also enhance usability and the overall sense of “presence” within an artificial space. In this chapter we explore the mechanics of hearing, how our brain localizes and separates sound sources, and how sound cues contribute to overall scene analysis.

Defining Sound

In physics, sounds are defined as variations in pressure. Sounds are produced when an object vibrates, causing a disturbance ...

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