Representing Inner Voices in Virtual Reality Environments

Kuura Parkkola*, Thomas McKenzie, Jukka Häkkinen, Ville Pulkki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


The inner auditory experience comprises various sounds which, rather than originating from sources in their environment, form as a result of internal processes within the brain of an observer. Examples of such sounds are, for instance, verbal thoughts and auditory hallucinations. Traditional audiovisual media representations of inner voices have tended to focus on impact and storytelling, rather than aiming to reflect a true-to-life experience. In virtual reality (VR) environments, where plausibility is favoured over this hyper-real sound design, a question remains on the best ways to recreate realistic, and on the other hand, entertaining inner and imagined voices via head-tracked headphones and spatial audio tools. This paper first presents a questionnaire which has been completed by 70 participants on their own experience of inner voices. Next, the results of the questionnaire are used to inform a VR experiment, whereby different methods to render inner voices are compared. This is conducted using a short film created for this project. Results show that people mostly expect realism from the rendering of inner voices and auditory hallucinations when the focus is on believability. People’s expectations for inner voice did not change considerably in an entertainment context, whereas for hallucinations, exaggerated reverberation was preferred.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAES Europe 2023
Subtitle of host publication154th Audio Engineering Society Convention
PublisherAudio Engineering Society
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7138-7778-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventAudio Engineering Society Convention - Espoo, Finland
Duration: 13 May 202315 May 2023
Conference number: 154

Publication series

NameAES Europe 2023: 154th Audio Engineering Society Convention


ConferenceAudio Engineering Society Convention
Abbreviated titleAES


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