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Re: Implicit human echolocation

We did an experiment on this some years back,
McGrath, R., T. Waldmann, M. Fernström (1999). Listening to Rooms and Objects. Audio Engineering Society, 16th International conference on spatial sound reproduction, Rovaniemi, Finland.


On 31 May 2007, at 17:26, Ewan A. Macpherson wrote:

On 31 May 2007 at 9:33, Bob Masta wrote:

On 30 May 2007 at 9:31, Bruno L. Giordano wrote:

An improbable single-trial experiment could address this question:
blindfolded participants are asked to walk along a path, as long as
wish. They wouldn't be informed that a wall is obstructing the path.

Harry Erwin has mentioned Griffin's "Listening in the Dark".
As I recall, this book discusses an experiement almost
identical to the one you propose.  I believe Griffin used a
moveable barrier in a straight hallway, set to a random 
distance down the hall without the knowledge of the
blindfolded subject.  The subject knew he would encounter
the barrier, but not where/when.

I think the experiment was repeated with a microphone
on a trolley in place of the subject, and the subject would
then listen through headphones as the trolley was moved
down the hall.

That experiment is indeed described by Griffin (at least in "Echoes of 
Bats and Men"), but was done by Supa, Cotzin & Dallenbach (1944): 
"Facial vision", the perception of obstacles by the blind. Am.J.Psych. 

Blind subjects were able to detect the barrier equally well by means of 
the recordings or when their faces were covered with a felt veil, thus 
disproving the "facial" part.

Ewan Macpherson, Ph.D.  <emacpher@xxxxxxxxx>
Research Investigator, Central Systems Laboratory
Kresge Hearing Research Institute, U. Mich.