Effectiveness of uni-sensory and multisensory training in the identification of weapon function sounds


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Towson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies


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As modern warfare has changed the profile and strategies of enemy forces, military and law enforcement personnel have become increasingly interested in weapon identification. While multisensory learning approaches have proven effective in enhancing identification of environmental sounds, little research exists to delineate the effects of uni-sensory and multisensory learning, specifically on weapon identification. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of uni-sensory and multisensory training and background noise condition on weapon identification performance. Results of this study showed a significant effect for background condition and weapon type. Participants had significantly different performance in each background noise condition, with the poorest performance in the impulse condition. Participants demonstrated the poorest accuracy when identifying the M4 infantry rifle and the Mossberg shotgun. Although the uni-sensory group had slightly better performance than the multisensory group, there was no significant difference as a result of training modality. This research has direct applications to the training of military personnel and can also be applied to a broader scope of environmental sound identification for any field that requires a rapid response to an auditory cue.