Title: A sensor-based approach to study sound perception in children

Authors: Fabrizio Taffoni; Leonardo Di Perna; Domenico Formica; Valentina Focaroli; Flavio Keller; Nicola Di Stefano

Addresses: Unit of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy ' Unit of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy ' Unit of Neurophysiology and Neuroengineering of Human-Technology Interaction, School of Medicine, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy ' Unit of Developmental Neuroscience, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy ' Unit of Developmental Neuroscience, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy ' Institute of Philosophy of Scientific and Technological Practice, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Rome, Italy

Abstract: In the present paper we describe an instrumented toy to study auditory preferences in young children. After brief considerations on the theoretical framework, the design of the mechanical, electronic and software components of the system is presented. The system allows for: (a) producing audio stimuli according to how children play with the toy; (b) assessing children's motor behaviour during the interaction. The device is provided with a sensor core enabling the assessment of manipulation in terms of angular displacement with errors lower than 1°. The laboratory validation is presented and discussed in details. Moreover, a pilot trial on two children aged 34 and 35 months is described and discussed. Results show the appropriateness of the technology to the experimental aims, and encourage research on methods based on the interaction between perception and action to investigate music preferences in young listeners.

Keywords: mechatronic tools; music perception; movement assessment; perception-action loop.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2017.084771

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2017 Vol.55 No.3, pp.173 - 182

Received: 29 Feb 2016
Accepted: 08 Jul 2016

Published online: 26 Jun 2017 *

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