Continuous evaluative and pupil dilation response to soundscapes

Simone Graetzer, A. Landowska, Lara Harris, Trevor J. Cox, W.J. Davies

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


We investigated human response to soundscapes using a continuous second-by-second rating of soundscapes and a more conventional overall rating of each sample at the end of each audition. In this work, our primary aim was to explore what continuous ratings tell us about soundscape perception. Our secondary aim was to understand how pupil dilation response (i.e., changes in pupil size) relates to such perception. We used ambisonic soundscapes simulated in a laboratory environment. During playback, listeners were asked to perform a continuous evaluation on pleasantness and eventfulness dimensions. A comparison of the results of the two rating methods (continuous and overall) indicates that the first can be used reliably for soundscape evaluation. We found a strong effect of soundscape category – human, nature or manmade industrial or domestic – on the pleasantness and eventfulness ratings and on the first two principal components derived from the overall ratings. These components related to pleasantness-eventfulness dimensions. In addition, we observed some effects of category on pupil size, which were broadly consistent with perceptual ratings. The perceived differences between soundscape categories were consistent with findings in the literature of greater pleasantness ratings for natural sounds than mechanical or industrial sounds.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes
Evente-Forum Acusticum 2020 - Virtual
Duration: 7 Dec 202011 Dec 2020


Conferencee-Forum Acusticum 2020
Internet address


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