07:44am Tuesday 10 December 2019

Poor telephone sound can affect learning

The research question is whether defects in digital audio transmission for telephony and distance-bridging technologies such as distance learning, may impair the ability to remember what was said.

– How to ensure that you have enough quality on the transfers, for example at home language teaching at a distance, so that the children will have a chance to learn as much as possible and that there will be more difficult for children to learn because you have to low technological transfer level, says Arne Nykänen researcher at Luleå University of Technology.

He became aware of the problem after experiencing the transition to work from analog voice to digital mobile telephony.

– We hear so extremely much worse than what is being said with analogue telephony, it is very wrong and weird noises that make it difficult to hear, he says.


Cooperation of acoustic environment


Luleå University of Technology has a long history of collaboration with psychologists at the University of Gävle where you looked at the acoustic environment in the classroom and how it affects learning.

– The previous studies show that you have a poor acoustic environment, either because it is a lot of background noise, noise, noise or that it has a long reverberation time so you remember less what you’ve heard, even if noise is not worse than one perceives everything, he says.

It was against this background that Arne Nykänen got the idea of studying the consequences of digitally transmitted sound at such as distance learning. He spoke with Robert Ljung, researchers in Gävle, and concluded that it should be the same with telephony with poor transmission, making it harder to remember what has been said.


Telecom company Ericsson


After having initiated the collaboration with Ericsson on joint research and solved the issue of funding, the project can start.

– We will continue to explore how memory is affected by the numbers of common errors in digital telephony. This will provide the knowledge that is important both in order to develop and optimize the phone system, and to make the right demands when solutions for distance-spanning technology, such as distance learning, must be chosen, says David Lindegren working at Ericsson in Luleå

He has his degree from Luleå University of Technology and has worked at the company for seven years. The funding will he be able to work half-time research project that starts in October. Questions that you would like to get an answer to the project is what is reasonable to achieve technically and economically, and from that choose acceptable solutions based on psychoacoustic studies.



Nykänen, ArneSenior Lecturer


Title: Senior Lecturer Research Area: Engineering Acoustics Division: Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics Department: Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering Email: Arne.Nykanen@ltu.se Phone: +46 (0)920 492139 Room: F713a City: Luleå

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