Janina Fels

Janina Fels
RWTH Aachen University · Institute for Hearing Technology and Acoustics

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing.

About

199
Publications
37,311
Reads
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1,086
Citations
Introduction
I work with acoustical topics that are connected to human perception. Special subfields of my research group are auditory scene analysis, binaural technology, noise research, psychoacoustics, spatial perception in imaging methods and development of technical systems for ENT and audiology. I develop methods that allow conducting hearing experiments in artificially created complex acoustical scenes as lifelike as possible using individual/individualized binaural technology.
Additional affiliations
November 2020 - present
RWTH Aachen University
Position
  • Managing Director
July 2016 - November 2020
RWTH Aachen University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
December 2012 - October 2015
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (199)
Article
Several detailed investigations into the head-related transfer functions (HRTF) of adults have been performed in the past. However, little information is available about the effects of growth-dependent geometrical data of the head and torso of children and on the corresponding HRTFs. At first a database containing anthropometric data of children ag...
Conference Paper
Nowadays immersive three-dimensional virtual scenes have become very popular. This paper presents and provides a database of 48 head-related transfer function (HRTF) datasets and the corresponding three-dimensional ear mesh models of individual subjects, in order to select or model an HRTF dataset for binaural synthesis and auditory reproduction. F...
Article
Using a well-established binaural-listening paradigm the ability to intentionally switch auditory selective attention was examined under anechoic, low reverberation (0.8 s) and high reverberation (1.75 s) conditions. Twenty-three young, normal-hearing subjects were tested in a within-subject design to analyze influences of the reverberation times....
Article
Full-text available
Theory and implementation of acoustic virtual reality have matured and become a powerful tool for the simulation of entirely controllable virtual acoustic environments. Such virtual acoustic environments are relevant for various types of auditory experiments on subjects with normal hearing, facilitating flexible virtual scene generation and manipul...
Article
Major criteria for a successful binaural reproduction are not only a suitable localization performance, but also the authenticity and plausibility of the presented scene. It is therefore interesting to examine whether the binaural reproduction can be perceptually distinguished from a real source. The aim of the presented investigation is to compare...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial sound perception in aided listeners partly relies on hearing-aid-related transfer functions (HARTFs), describing the directional acoustic paths between a sound source and the hearing-aid (HA) microphones. Compared to head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), the HARTFs of behind-the-ear HAs exhibit substantial differences in spectro-temporal...
Poster
Full-text available
Listening to and remembering the content of conversations is a highly demanding task from a cognitive-psychological perspective. Particularly, in adverse listening conditions cognitive resources available for higher-level processing of speech are reduced since increased listening effort consumes more of the overall available cognitive resources. Ap...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A database of individual hearing-aid-related transfer functions (HARTFs) with high spatial resolution is presented as supplementary material to [1]. The database contains the acoustic measurements from 30 adults who were fitted with two dual-microphone behind-the-ear hearing aids (HAs). Conventional head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) were meas...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Multisensory integration has mostly been studied with focus on perceptual effects. Only few examples exist that demonstrate multisensory enhancement, e.g., for object recognition, based on semantic integration, i.e., the combination of stimulus features to form a coherent perceptual representation of the object. However, it is unclear how these per...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An audio-only paradigm for investigating auditory selective attention has previously been transferred into a classroom-type audio-visual virtual reality (VR) environment. However, directly translating such a paradigm into VR does not promise a close-to-real life scenario, as possible benefits of the virtual environment are not utilized. In the audi...
Conference Paper
People in industrialised countries spend most of their days indoors. Since ventilation systems are not only used in industry but also increasingly in residential buildings more and more people are exposed to this noise. For a valid statement on the annoyance and the acceptance of ventilation systems when assessing noise, the A-weighted sound serves...
Conference Paper
In order to analyze, understand, and remember spoken language, multiple complex cognitive processes are involved. The field of cognitive psychology aims to quantify performance in such settings regarding, e.g., comprehension, listening effort, or verbal short-term memory. A well-established paradigm to examine short-term memory performance is the s...
Article
Full-text available
Children spend a considerable amount of time in educational institutions, where they are constantly exposed to noisy sound environments, which has detrimental effects on children's health and cognitive development. Extensive room acoustics measurements and long-term in-situ measurements in such institutions are scarce and are generally conducted us...
Article
Children's development and education take place in educational buildings with highly complex acoustic scenes, including spatially distributed target speakers, many surrounding distracting sounds, and general background noises. Auditory selective attention, therefore, is a valuable tool to orient oneself, to focus on specific sound sources, and to e...
Article
Full-text available
Head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) play a significant role in modern acoustic experiment designs in the auralization of 3-dimensional virtual acoustic environments. This technique enables us to create close to real-life situations including room-acoustic effects, background noise and multiple sources in a controlled laboratory environment. Whi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is increasing evidence that a complex interplay of factors within environments in which children grows up, contributes to children's suboptimal mental health and cognitive development. The concept of the life-course exposome helps to study the impact of the physical and social environment, including social inequities, on cognitiv...
Article
Understanding speech in noisy environments, such as classrooms, is a challenge for children. When a spatial separation is introduced between the target and masker, as compared to when both are co-located, children demonstrate intelligibility improvement of the target speech. Such intelligibility improvement is known as spatial release from masking...
Conference Paper
Transfer path analysis (TPA) and binaural transfer path synthesis (BTPS) are suitable methods to analyze and auralize combustion engine sounds at the driver's seat. In the context of vehicle sound design, the synthesized interior sounds can be assessed by metrics that are based on psychoacoustic parameters such as roughness, sharpness or loudness....
Article
For conversational agents’ speech, either all possible sentences have to be prerecorded by voice actors or the required utterances can be synthesized. While synthesizing speech is more flexible and economic in production, it also potentially reduces the perceived naturalness of the agents among others due to mistakes at various linguistic levels. I...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Noise disturbance in open-plan offices (OPOs) has been a systemic issue throughout their history. This paper presents preliminary results from a study where an occupant survey (N = 366) was conducted in 30 office spaces within 9 buildings, along with measurements using the ISO 3382-3 method, and measurements of the sound environment during occupanc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the project ECoClass-VR, which is part of the AUDIC-TIVE priority programme, we investigate the suitability of audiovisual Immersive Virtual Environments (IVEs) for a "real-world" assessment of cognitive performance of adults and children in classroom-type environments under different visuospatial and acoustic conditions. Existing knowledge in t...
Conference Paper
Over the last ten years, several researchers investigated the emotional aspect of soundscape perception responses. Some essential findings helped to highlight relevant dimensions of the emotional content of soundscape perceptual responses. Initially, Axelsson et al. (2010) verified the emotional dimensions with the Circumplex model of affect develo...
Article
Full-text available
This work reviews the literature of 46 peer-reviewed papers and presents the current status on the use of psychoacoustic indicators in soundscape studies. The selection of papers for a systematic review followed the PRISMA method. Afterwards, descriptive analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) were realised. For the PCA, the following param...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As part of the AUDICTIVE priority program, the overall objective of the ECoClass-VR project is to investigate the cognitive behavior of children in virtual, but close to real-life settings. In the first stage of this project, three validated paradigms focusing on different aspects of auditory cognition are examined and extended towards using virtua...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The ventriloquism effect is a well-studied example demonstrating how vision can affect sound perception. Although this effect can be demonstrated by simple means in laboratory environments real world implementations of more complex scenarios may suffer from trial-to-trial variability and a lack of reproducibility. Using virtual reality technology t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research over the last decade has explored the relevance of psychoacoustic indicators such as loudness (N), sharpness (S), roughness (R) and fluctuation strength (FS) for the description of the perceptual construct of soundscapes. Furthermore, the recent ISO 12913-2 standard, published in 2018, recommends their use for the quantitative assessment o...
Article
Research over the last decade has explored the relevance of psychoacoustic indicators such as Loudness (N), Sharpness (S), Roughness (R) and Fluctuation Strength (FS) for the description of the perceptual construct of soundscapes. Furthermore, the recent ISO 12913-2 standard, published in 2018, recommends their use for the quantitative assessment o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The question of accuracy of Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs) arises both in the context of individual measurements as well as approximations thereof. Not only is it interesting to quantify inter-individual differences, but also to note the influence of different HRTF acquisition methods. Numerous distance metrics have been introduced for the...
Conference Paper
Binaural hearing is a complex process that is significantly influenced by physical attributes of the listener. These dependencies on the shape of the torso, head, and pinna can be summarized in digital filters, so-called head-related transfer functions (HRTFs). Highly individual HRTFs are crucial for a realistic listening experience. However, in ma...
Conference Paper
In the AUDICTIVE project about listening to, and remembering the content of conversations between two talkers we aim to investigate the combined effects of potentially performance-relevant but scarcely addressed audiovisual cues on memory and comprehension for running speech. Our overarching methodological approach is to develop an audiovisual Virt...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To investigate the role of the spatial position of conversing talkers, that is, spatially separated or co-located, in the listener’s short-term memory of running speech and listening effort. Design In two experiments (between-subject), participants underwent a dual-task paradigm, including a listening (primary) task wherein male and fema...
Article
Open-plan offices (OPOs) have been around for more than half a century now, chronicling the vicissitudes of workplace topography amongst other factors. This paper addresses one such factor – the sound environment in occupied OPOs in relation to several objective workplace parameters, using measurements in contemporary OPOs and comparisons with stud...
Article
Full-text available
The integration of virtual acoustic environments (VAEs) with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) offers novel avenues to investigate behavioral and neural processes of speech-in-noise (SIN) comprehension in complex auditory scenes. Particularly in children with hearing aids (HAs), the combined application might offer new insights into the...
Chapter
This chapter examines the cognitive control mechanisms underlying auditory selective attention by considering the influence of variables that increase the complexity of the auditory scene concerning technical aspects such as dynamic binaural hearing, room acoustics, head movements, and interfering noise sources as well as those that influence the e...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Surrounding spherical loudspeaker arrays facilitate the application of various spatial audio reproduction methods and can be used for a broad range of acoustic measurements and perceptual evaluations. Methods: Installed in an anechoic chamber, the design and implementation of such an array of 68 coaxial loudspeakers, sampling a spheri...
Article
Full-text available
Children fitted with hearing aids (HAs) and children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have marked difficulties concentrating in noisy environments. However, little is known about the underlying neural mechanism of auditory and visual attention deficits in a direct comparison of both groups. The current functional near-infr...
Conference Paper
Assessing noise effects in children`s development has gained more and more importance in the last years. Noise not only affects cognitive processes of children, e.g. attention control [3], but can also lead to stress-related bodily reactions, such as increased heart rate [5]. Recent research has therefore brought correlating factors between physiol...
Preprint
Full-text available
Binaural reproduction can be used in listening experiments under real-life conditions to achieve a high realism and good reproducibility. In recent years a clear trend to more individual reproduction can be observed as the ability to measure individual head-related-transfer-functions (HRTFs) is becoming more widespread. The question of the accuracy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Today’s wave-based acoustic simulation tools allow to simulate the lower frequency range of complex acoustic scenes, e.g. in small rooms such as car cabins. During their design process, it is of great interest to auralize these rooms. In order to get a spatial impression, binaural receivers can be included in the simulations. A straightforward app...
Article
This study aim is to understand the socio-cultural aspects of urban soundscapes through the users’ profile. A systemic overview of the urban environment realised with questions related to location, soundscape, noise control perception and soundscape wish from three study areas in Aachen, Germany. To achieve this aim, subjective responses collected...
Article
Full-text available
Auralization systems for auditory research should ideally be validated by perceptual experiments, as well as objective measures. This study employed perceptual tests to evaluate a recently proposed binaural real-time auralization system for hearing aid (HA) users. The dynamic localization of real sound sources was compared with that of virtualized...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most significant effects of neural plasticity manifests in the case of sensory deprivation when cortical areas that were originally specialized for the functions of the deprived sense take over the processing of another modality. Vision and audition represent two important senses needed to navigate through space and time. Therefore, the...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Working memory capacity and language ability modulate speech reception; however, the respective roles of peripheral and cognitive processing are unclear. The contribution of individual differences in these abilities to utilization of spatial cues when separating speech from informational and energetic masking backgrounds in children has not...
Article
Purpose Normal-hearing and hard-of-hearing listeners suffer from reduced speech intelligibility in noisy and reverberant environments. Although daily listening environments are in constant motion, most researchers have only studied speech-in-noise perception for stationary masker locations. The aim of this study was to investigate the spatial relea...
Presentation
The acoustic condition in open-plan offices can significantly affect the work performance and job satisfaction.The main problem in this case is mostly the noise caused by co-workers and intensified by suboptimal roomacoustics. To fully assess this complex acoustic scene and to relate it to subjective perception, it is importantto use aurally-accura...
Conference Paper
A remarkable part of children's development and education happens in educational institutions. Acoustic environments in these institutions are usually highly complex and noisy, hence it is demanding to identify relevant target speakers and to ignore irrelevant sounds. Previous research has analyzed auditory selective attention in adults, both in di...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Soundscape studies are showing the importance and the benefits regarding the sonic the environment in our daily lives. Through the soundscape paradigm shift, not just negative aspects, common on environmental noise studies, are highlighted, but also how the sonic environment can be recovering to the welfare of communities. Thinking of the valuation...
Article
Virtual acoustic environments have demonstrated their versatility for conducting studies in various research areas as they allow easy manipulations of experimental test conditions or simulated acoustic scenes, while providing expansion possibilities to related interdisciplinary and multimodal fields. Although the evolution of auditory and cognitive...
Conference Paper
Over the last 30 years, the World Health Organization has been investigating and promoting initiatives to improve urban health. Therefore, some approaches were developed to seek a better life quality and ensure environmental and sustainable health, like the Healthy Urban Planning approach. This approach is based on the following indicators: healthy...
Conference Paper
Human hearing benefits from several binaural and monaural cues. Therefore, it is possible to hear and understand speech in complex acoustic scenes. Children spend a considerable amount of time in educational buildings, where mostly a highly complex acoustic scene is existing. Previous studies have already shown, that children have to expend more ef...
Presentation
A considerable part of children’s development and education takes place in educational buildings like preschools and primary schools. There, children are confronted with highly complex acoustic scenes, including target speakers with many surrounding distracting sounds. Auditory selective attention enables to identify the relevant target speaker and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research in the last decades has pointed out negative effects of noise on cognitive processing and general health. Depending on the frequency and level of exposure as well as individual shielding potential, risk groups like children or elderly people may be particularly vulnerable to commonly known consequences including a reduced attention span, i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Architectural design process contains a crucial stage called “insight”, in which the vital creative phase of the design process begins. Additionally, “design fixation”, or simply designing from external stimuli, has been one of the most common methods to approach this phase. Sound as external stimuli for designing, has been used in many historical...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Für die subjektive Evaluierung von Außenohrübertragungsfunktionen (HRTFs) wurde am Institut für Hörtechnik und Akustik ein Demonstrationstool entworfen, das drei Methoden der HRTF-Individualisierung integriert. Darin können verschiedene Parameter in den Algorithmen verändert und die daraus resultierenden auditiven Unterschiede in virtuellen akustis...
Article
Full-text available
The acoustic qualities of a room can have a deleterious effect on the quality of speech signals. The acoustic measurement of reverberation time (RT) has shown to impact second language (L2) speech comprehension positively when lower due to release from spectral and temporal masking effects as well as top-down processing factors. This auralization e...
Article
In a two-component switching paradigm, in which participants switched between two auditory attention selection criteria (attention component: left vs. right ear) and two judgements (judgement component: number vs. letter judgement), we found high judgement switch costs in attention criterion repetitions, but low costs in attention criterion switche...
Article
In recent years, the required time for high resolution individual head-related transfer function (HRTF) measurements has been reduced by the use of microphone or loudspeaker arrays and with parallelization of measurement signals. While a short measurement time is beneficial during HRTF measurement of any resolution, it is essential for the acquisit...
Conference Paper
Significant advances in the field of Virtual Acoustics facilitate the simulation of controlled acoustic scenarios to be subsequently used for the reproduction of plausible or even authentic sound fields. Such controlled scenarios introduce interesting possibilities for the design and conduction of auditory experiments as they aim at representing re...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review This article reviews the literature and presents the current status of the use of socio-acoustic surveys in soundscape studies, through the indication of appropriate question formats, types, and topics for each data collection method(soundwalks, interviews, listening tests, and focus group) for the involved public and acoustic sti...