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W. Owen Brimijoin

Senior Investigator Scientist, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Research Summary

Our acoustic world is in constant motion because the ears are attached to the head and the head is never perfectly still. I am currently investigating how this moving world is nonetheless perceived… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

Our acoustic world is in constant motion because the ears are attached to the head and the head is never perfectly still. I am currently investigating how this moving world is nonetheless perceived as being relatively static. This phenomenon is of particular relevance to listeners with hearing impairments and users of hearing devices because auditory spatial and motion processing in such listeners is often severely compromised.

In our lab at the MRC Institute of Hearing Research we combine a high-speed Vicon motion-tracking system and real-time audio processing to move sounds in a ring of loudspeakers as a function of head movements. This method opens up an array of experiments on how head movements contribute to our spatial percept of the world. In the free field, motion tracking can be used to create sounds with illusory positions, or create sounds that "slip" relative to head movements. Over headphones, motion tracking and dynamic audio synthesis can be used to create sounds that appear to originate from stable locations out in the world, rather than inside the head.

All of these techniques are designed to investigate the role of head movements in auditory spatial processing. It is hoped that a better understanding of auditory self-motion will lead to improvements in hearing devices, making them more capable of faithfully recreating a spatial, 3-dimensional auditory world.

  • TOWN, STEPHEN M, BRIMIJOIN, W OWEN and BIZLEY, JENNIFER K, 2017. Egocentric and allocentric representations in auditory cortex. PLoS biology. 15(6), e2001878
  • FREEMAN, TOM C. A., CULLING, JOHN F., AKEROYD, MICHAEL A. and BRIMIJOIN, W. OWEN, 2017. Auditory Compensation for Head Rotation Is Incomplete JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE. 43(2), 371-380
  • BRIMIJOIN WO and AKEROYD MA, 2016. The Effects of Hearing Impairment, Age, and Hearing Aids on the Use of Self-Motion for Determining Front/Back Location. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 27(7), 588-600
  • ASPESLAGH, S., CLARK, F., AKEROYD, M. A. and BRIMIJOIN, W. O., 2015. Measuring rapid adaptation to complex acoustic environments in normal and hearing-impaired listeners 137, 2229
  • BRIMIJOIN, W. O. and AKEROYD, M. A., 2015. Changes in the integration of self motion and auditory spatial cues with age, hearing impairment, and use of hearing devices 137, 2204
  • FREEMAN, T. C., CULLING, J. C., AKEROYD, M. A. and BRIMIJOIN, W. O., 2015. Perceived auditory motion is inaccurate during smooth head rotation 137, 2203
  • ARCHER-BOYD AW, WHITMER WM, BRIMIJOIN WO and SORAGHAN JJ, 2015. Biomimetic direction of arrival estimation for resolving front-back confusions in hearing aids. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 137(5), EL360-6
  • ASPESLAGH, S., CLARK, D. F., AKEROYD, M. A. and BRIMIJOIN, W. O., 2014. Speech intelligibility can improve rapidly during exposure to a novel acoustic environment 135, 2227
  • BRIMIJOIN WO, WHITMER WM, MCSHEFFERTY D and AKEROYD MA, 2014. The effect of hearing aid microphone mode on performance in an auditory orienting task. Ear and hearing. 35(5), e204-12
  • BRIMIJOIN WO and AKEROYD MA, 2014. The moving minimum audible angle is smaller during self motion than during source motion. Frontiers in neuroscience. 8, 273
  • BOYD, A. W., WHITMER, W. M., BRIMIJOIN, W. O. and AKEROYD, M. A., 2013. Improved estimation of direction of arrival of sound sources for hearing aids using gyroscopic information In: Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (Journal of the Acoustical Society of America). 030046
  • BRIMIJOIN, W. O., AKEROYD, M. A., TILBURY, E. and PORR, B., 2013. The internal representation of vowel spectra investigated using behavioral response-triggered averaging. 133(2), EL118-22
  • BRIMIJOIN, W. O., BOYD, A. W. and AKEROYD, M. A., 2013. The contribution of head movement to the externalization and internalization of sounds. 8(12), e83068
  • BRIMIJOIN, W. O. and AKEROYD, M. A., 2012. The role of head movements and signal spectrum in an auditory front/back illusion. 3(3), 179-82
  • BRIMIJOIN, W. O. and O'NEILL, W. E., 2010. Patterned tone sequences reveal non-linear interactions in auditory spectrotemporal receptive fields in the inferior colliculus. 267(1-2), 96-110
  • BRIMIJOIN, W. O. and O'NEILL, W. E., 2005. On the prediction of sweep rate and directional selectivity for FM sounds from two-tone interactions in the inferior colliculus. 210(1-2), 63-79
  • O'NEILL, W. E. and BRIMIJOIN, W. O., 2002. Directional selectivity for FM sweeps in the suprageniculate nucleus of the mustached bat medial geniculate body. 88(1), 172-87

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University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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