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Loudness is a basic dimension of sound perception related to sound intensity. Models exist to predict this feeling based on measurements carried out on the sound signal, but they are limited to specific cases of sounds that are unrelated to natural environmental sounds.

These restrictions consequently limit the use of these models to measure the loudness of environmental sounds that vary in time such as a passing car.

The general impression of loudness for a listener therefore depends on the type of variation of the sound’s characteristics that must be taken into account in a predictive model. Moreover, the localization of a sound source as well as the obstacle created by the listener’s very body in an everyday situation lead to modifications of a sound and inter-aural differences which affect how loudness is judged by a listener. These modifications must also be taken into account in a predictive model adapted for environmental sounds.

This project’s goal is to expand the validity of loudness models to environmental sounds; the study consists of psychoacoustic experiments that will test several hypotheses concerning perceptive and cognitive mechanisms that must be taken into account to modify and adapt existing loudness models.

Project reference: ANR‐11‐BS09‐016‐03.

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