Östen Axelsson


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Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 46 02
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 14
Room 206
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. Östen Axelsson. Proceedings of the Inter-Noise 2016, 5203-5211

    This study investigated the effects of a mock-up version of a low-height sound absorbent street furniture and a fountain on the local soundscape in a pocket park in Stockholm. Binaural recordings were conducted at two distances from the main road (on the sidewalk and in the park). The recordings were conducted with or without the mock-up, and with the local fountain either turned on or off. Thirty-two students (16 women, Mage = 26.6 yrs., SDage = 5.7) participated in a listening experiment, and assessed eight experimental sounds, in context of 12 fill sounds, on how pleasant or eventful they were. ANOVA showed that the mock-up had a stronger effect on pleasantness on the sidewalk than in the park, and the fountain contributed to pleasantness only in the absence of the mock-up. Moreover, the fountain reduced the eventfulness in the park but not on the sidewalk. The results are in line with previous case studies. Taken together, they suggest that it is better to build low-height sound absorbent street furniture  han fountains, to improve the urban soundscape.

  • 2016. Peter Lundén, Östen Axelsson, Malin Hurtig. Proceedings of the Inter-Noise 2016, 4725-4732

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not a computer may predict the outcome of soundscape assessments, based on acoustic data only. It may be argued that this is impossible, because a computer lack life experience. Moreover, if the computer was able to make an accurate prediction, we also wanted to know what information it needed to make this prediction. We recruited 33 students (18 female; Mage = 25.4 yrs., SDage = 3.6) out of which 30 assessed how pleasant and eventful 102 unique soundscape excerpts (30 s) from Stockholm were. Based on the Bag of Frames approach, a Support Vector Regression learning algorithm was used to identify relationships between various acoustic features of the acoustics signals and perceived affective quality. We found that the Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients provided strong predictions for both Pleasantness (R2 = 0.74) and Eventfulness (R2 = 0.83). This model performed better than the average individual in the experiment in terms of internal consistency of individual assessments. Taken together, the results show that a computer can predict the outcome of soundscape assessments, which is promising for future soundscape mapping.

  • 2016. Francesco Aletta, Jian Kang, Östen Axelsson. Landscape and Urban Planning 149, 65-74

    Soundscape exists through human perception of the acoustic environment. This paper investigates how soundscape currently is assessed and measured. It reviews and analyzes the main soundscape descriptors in the soundscape literature, and provides a conceptual framework for developing predictive models in soundscape studies. A predictive soundscape model provides a means of predicting the value of a soundscape descriptor, and the blueprint for how to design soundscape. It is the key for implementing the soundscape approach in urban planning and design. The challenge is to select the appropriate soundscape descriptor and to identify its predictors. The majority of available soundscape descriptors are converging towards a 2-dimensional soundscape model of perceived affective quality (e.g., Pleasantness–Eventfulness, or Calmness–Vibrancy). A third potential dimension is the appropriateness of a soundscape to a place. This dimensions provides complementary information beyond the perceived affective quality. However, it depends largely on context, and because a soundscape may be appropriate to a place although it is poor, this descriptor must probably not be used on its own. With regards to predictors, or soundscape indicators, perceived properties of the acoustic environment (e.g., perceived sound sources) are winning over established acoustic and psychoacoustic metrics. To move this area forward it is necessary that the international soundscape community comes together and agrees on relevant soundscape descriptors. This includes to agree on numerical scales and assessment procedures, as well as to standardize them.

  • 2016. Johanna Nilsson, Östen Axelsson. Perceptual and Motor Skills 122 (3), 777-798

    Three conservation methods were executed on bonnets in plain monochrome silk, to investigate which method is perceived as the most visually aesthetic; 11 bonnets were produced, 10 given identical damages, and 9 were conserved, 3 with each method. The damage was secured onto a support fabric with laid couching, a long stitch fastened with short perpendicular stitches, or brick couching, short stitches placed like brick-work, or covered with crepeline (a semi-transparent silk). The participants were 30 Swedish textile conservators (29 women; ages 29-78 years, M = 51.9, SD = 12.9), and 30 museum visitors (20 women; ages 15-74 years, M = 41.1, SD = 18.3). The participants' task was to rate the bonnets on a 100-point continuous preference scale, based on how visually attractive they found each bonnet. Preferences were compared between the two groups of participants and the conservation methods. The bonnets with crepeline were the most preferred, and those with laid couching were the least preferred, among both groups of participants.

Show all publications by Östen Axelsson at Stockholm University

Last updated: August 3, 2018

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