PhD defence, Axel Ahrens

PhD student Axel Ahrens will defend his PhD thesis “Characterizing auditory and audio-visual perception in virtual environments”


Date and time: Tuesday 25 June at 9:30

Place: building 341, auditorium 23


Principal supervisor: Professor Torsten Dau

Co supervisor: Dr. Marton Marschall


Evaluation board:

Associate Professor Ewen N. MacDonald, Health Tech, DTU

Associate Professor Pavel Zahorik, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Doz. Dr. Piotr Majdak, Acoustics Research Institute


Chairperson at defence: Efren Fernandez Grande



One of the challenges in hearing research is to explain the human ability to understand speech in complex, noisy environments, commonly referred to as a cocktail party scenario. To gain a better understanding of how the auditory system performs in complex acoustic environments, one approach is to reproduce such listening situations in the laboratory.

Virtual reality glasses and loudspeaker-based virtual sound environments are promising tools to bring the cocktail party into the laboratory. In this thesis, both of the tools were used to investigate auditory and audio-visual perception. It was found that the perception of speech in virtual sound environments is similar to real scenes, however, small differences in terms of speech intelligibility were found in some conditions. Virtual reality glasses were shown to lead to perturbations of the sound field around the head which affects the sound source localization accuracy when no visual information is available. When adding visual information, the accuracy increases.

Concluding, throughout this thesis it has been shown that virtual reality glasses and loudspeaker-based virtual sound environments are promising tools for the reproduction of realistic audio-visual scenarios. These realistic environments can be used for hearing research and to investigate new technologies such as hearing aids and other audio wearables.


Tue 25 Jun 19
9:30 - 12:30


DTU Sundhedsteknologi


Bygn. 341, aud. 23