While working on several projects in the last few months I also had to finish my master thesis where I have been working on since December 2011. I dealt with the general question of what does the audience hear, examined the history of hearing and perception and did some case studies on actual interactive and linear media. If you are interested in that topic you may want to read the following abstract:
“This master thesis, titled ‚The Audience Is Listening – Of Hearing And Perception‘, starts off with an examination of the term ‚audience‘, explaining its importance in this paper. After taking a closer look at the anatomy of the human ear and the brain‘s processing ability of sounds, research about the historical development of the sonical perception and human hearing habits will be presented. Furthermore the transition to the age of the industrial- and electrical revolution will be explained as both caused a drastic change to the sound of the world. This leads to the everyday soundscape which is today surrounding all human beings. After that there will be a critical view on whether or not an auditive turn will bring an end to the long lasting visual dominance. The second section turns special attention to silence, to its presence in the daily surroundings of human beings and its usage in contemporary media. The third section discusses interactive and linear media. After focusing on specific theories and techniques there will be a more practical view using case studies in the third chapter.The final part presents the conclusion and will answer the original research question ,what does the audience hear?‘ This section reveals the author‘s own opinion and provides a summary of the theoretical positions discussed in the course of this paper.” (Philipp 2012)
It was indeed a very interesting topic to work on, especially in my point of view as a sound designer I could gain some really useful scientific insights of the human perception and hearing habits.