Maria Rådsten Ekman


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Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 46 02
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 9A
Room 206
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2015. Maria Rådsten-Ekman, Peter Lundén, Mats E. Nilsson. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 138 (5), 3043-3052

    Water fountains are potential tools for soundscape improvement, but little is known about their perceptual properties. To explore this, sounds were recorded from 32 fountains installed in urban parks. The sounds were recorded with a sound-fieldmicrophone and were reproduced using an ambisonic loudspeaker setup. Fifty-seven listeners assessed the sounds with regard to similarity and pleasantness. Multidimensional scaling of similarity data revealed distinct groups of soft variable and loud steady-state sounds. Acoustically, the soft variable sounds were characterized by low overall levels and high temporal variability, whereas the opposite pattern characterized the loud steady-state sounds. The perceived pleasantness of the sounds was negatively related to their overall level and positively related to their temporal variability, whereas spectral centroid was weakly correlated to pleasantness. However, the results of an additional experiment, using the same sounds set equal in overall level, found a negative relationship between pleasantness and spectral centroid, suggesting that spectral factors may influence pleasantness scores in experiments where overall level does not dominate pleasantness assessments. The equal-level experiment also showed that several loud steady-state sounds remained unpleasant, suggesting an inherently unpleasant sound character. From a soundscape design perspective, it may be advisable to avoid fountains generating such sounds.

  • 2014. Mats E. Nilsson (et al.). Environmental Methods for Transport Noise Reduction, 195-219

    Noise mitigation reduces the audibility of a noise source at the location of the receiver, making the source less annoying and less likely to interfere with activities, such as sleep, rest, and speech. Many mitigation methods change temporal and spectral properties of noise, which may influence perceived annoyance, over and above the effect related to the overall reduction in A-weighted sound pressure level. Noise reduction also may increase the noticeability of other sources, which may influence the perception of the overall acoustic environment. Finally, well-designed noise mitigation solutions may improve the visual environment, e.g., a vegetated noise barrier or earth berm can visually shield the traffic and increase the amount of visible greenery. This chapter provides examples of such perceptual effects of noise mitigation, from effects on perception of the noise itself, via effects on the soundscape, to potential effects on the overall audio-visual environment.

  • 2013. Maria Rådsten-Ekman, Östen Axelsson, Mats E. Nilsson. Acta Acoustica united with Acustica 99 (2), 218-225

    As a complement to conventional noise mitigation, addition of wanted sounds, in particular sounds from water structures, has been suggested as a method for improving noise-polluted acoustic environments. The effect of adding water sounds to road-traffic noise was explored in a listening experiment with 31 listeners. Recordings of road-traffic noise were combined with recordings of waters sounds of varying pleasantness, and the listeners assessed the sounds on eight adjective scales, representing the perceptual dimensions Pleasantness and Eventfulness. The results showed that overall pleasantness increased when a highly pleasant water sound was added to the road-traffic noise. For less pleasant water sounds, no effect, or a decrease in pleasantness, was found. In addition, pleasant water sounds increased perceived eventfulness.

  • 2012. Mats E. Nilsson (et al.). Acoustics 2012, Hong Kong

    In a field study we explored the relationship between the soundscape and the overall quality (good - bad) of outdoor open places. Thirty three residents in down town Stockholm participated in soundwalks near their homes. Along the soundwalk route the participants assessed six places with respect to the soundscape the visual environment and the overall quality of the place using a questionnaire. The six locations were preselected to vary in acoustic and visual quality. A regression model with pleasantness of the auditory and visual environment as predictors explained a substantial part of the variance in assessments of the six place's overall quality. To disentangle the specific effects of auditory and visual aspects the present study will be complemented with laboratory experiments in which visual and auditory aspects are independently manipulated.

Show all publications by Maria Rådsten Ekman at Stockholm University

Last updated: February 22, 2018

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