Western University unveils audio dome to research sound

The dome will help researchers learn how brains process sounds

Western University has unveiled an audio dome that will allow scientists to study how people’s brains process noise.

The device is called the Virtual Acoustic Space and has speakers in it that researchers will use it to get a better understanding of how brains process sounds.

“This is a device that simulates the world out there for your ears,” said Ingrid Johnsrude, director of the Mind and Brain Institute, to the CBC. “When you sit in the middle of it, you can hear sounds coming from all around you just as you do in the real world.”

Prior to this device, researchers at the university have been studying hearing by placing people in a soundproof room while wearing headphones.

The dome will also let scientists study noisy backgrounds and speech. For instance, they will be able to examine how older people have trouble understanding speech in loud areas, and possibly find solutions to help those in this situation.

Funding for the dome cost nearly $1 million CAD and came from the Ontario Research Fund and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

Image credit: Western University

Source: CBC News