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Research Topics

The team’s research focuses on the perception and cognition of sounds, bringing together knowledge from psychoacoustics, sound signal processing/synthesis, psychology, and cognitive neurosciences. More generally, the team’s research revolves around creation and educational activities in the field of sound design. Research focuses primarily on environmental sounds.

More generally, the team’s research revolves around creation and educational activities in the field of sound design. Research focuses primarily on environmental sounds. This rarely studied subject provides access to different levels of cognitive representation in connection with the surface characteristics of sounds and the sources that produce them. The team’s work therefore concerns the perceptive characterization of these sounds and of the cognitive mechanisms used to identify them.

Environmental sounds are often produced in a context of interaction combined with movement when manipulating an object. One of the major themes in the team is to continue to study environmental sounds in a process that combines perception and action. This is a vital and unique gateway for research in auditory cognition and for interactive sound design applications.

The team’s research topics have been extended to vocal imitations as well as musical sounds and to the voice in connection with environmental sounds. This creates new perspectives for better understanding the cognitive processes involved by the identification of a sound source and by the emotional processing of sounds.

Applications for the team’s work are found primarily in sound design: we create the rules, the tools, and the methods—derived from our fundamental work—with the aim of facilitating the creation of functional and pleasant sounds for our everyday lives. The societal impact of our work was awarded in 2014 with the Décibel d’Or Recherche prize granted by the French Comité National du Bruit, and two awards from the Société Française d’Acoustique in 2016.

Creation in sound design is carried out combining the “knowledge” with “know-how” of the team’s researchers and associated composers (A. Cera, S. Gaxie, A. Sigman, R. Rivas) in different projects. There are three types of creative projects carried out by the team: industrial projects in automotive with Renault, and the luxury industry with Krug, for example; research projects for the creation of sound signaling; and educational projects for a variety of workshops on subjects that range from sports equipment to mass transit.

Finally, the team has associated disparate educational actions:

  • Organization of applicative workshops in partnership with industrial companies and collectivities on subjects ranging from sound signaling for tramways for the city of Le Mans to reinforcing the well-being of patients in the Sainte Anne hospital in Paris
  • Organization of professional training courses that combine a project with classwork in connection with IRCAM’s department of Education and Cultural Outreach

Major Themes

  • Sonie (loudness) of non-stationary and multi-source sounds
  • Perception of multisource sound scenes
  • Analysis and perceptive characterization of complex sound scenes and environments
  • Sound, imitation, and identification
  • Sound and interactions
  • Sound and emotions
  • Sound signaling and HNI
  • Tools and methods

Specialist Areas

Psychoacoustics, experimental psychology, cognitive neurosciences, acoustics, sound design, data analysis.

Dans le laboratoire de l'équipe
© Ircam, photo : Philippe Barbosa
Projet CREAM
© Centre Pompidou, photo Hervé Véronèse
Nicolas Misdariis, responsable de l'équipe
© Centre Pompidou, photo Hervé Véronèse
© Centre Pompidou, photo Hervé Véronèse

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