Kyla McMullen’s research interests are in the perception, applications, and development of 3D audio technologies. In this line of research, sounds are digitally filtered such that when they are played over headphones, the listener perceives the sound as being emitted from a specific location in their own physical space. She is using this research to create realistic virtual environments, enhance data sonification, augment assistive technologies for persons with visual impairments, and decrease the cognitive load in multimodal systems.
Areas of Expertise (9)
Virtual Reality (VR)
Audio Signal Processing
Media Appearances (1)
2019 NCWIT Summit: Dr. Kyla McMullen and Dr. Jeremy A. Magruder Waisome
Modern Figures Podcast online
2019 NCWIT Summit: Dr. Kyla McMullen and Dr. Jeremy A. Magruder Waisome - Modern Figures Podcast
A machine learning tutorial for spatial auditory display using head-related transfer functionsThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Kyla McMullen, Yunhao Wan
The high-fidelity three-dimensional (3D) auditory rendering uses digital filters to model the path of sound to reach the ears. In the last few decades, the research in the spatial auditory field has advanced dramatically. It is widely agreed that virtual auditory displays that use individualized head-related transfer functions (HRTFs, described later) produce the best and most accurate binaural audio reproduction.
DiVRsify: Break the Cycle and Develop VR for EveryoneIEEE Computer Graphics and Applications
Tabitha C. Peck, et. al
Virtual reality technology is biased. It excludes approximately 95% of the world’s population by being primarily designed for male, western, educated, industrial, rich, and democratic populations. This bias may be due to the lack of diversity in virtual reality researchers, research participants, developers, and end users, fueling a noninclusive research, development, and usability cycle. The objective of this article is to highlight the minimal virtual reality research involving understudied populations with respect to dimensions of diversity, such as gender, race, culture, ethnicity, age, disability, and neurodivergence. Specifically, we highlight numerous differences in virtual reality usability between underrepresented groups compared to commonly studied populations. These differences illustrate the lack of generalizability of prior virtual reality research. Lastly, we present a call to action with the aim that, over time, will break the cycle and enable virtual reality for everyone.
The Corsi Block-Tapping Test: Evaluating methodological practices with an eye towards modern digital frameworksComputers in Human Behavior Reports
Spatial memory is the part of memory that allows us to remember where things are in the environment. It is critical to everyday function and interaction. A number of tests have been developed for measuring spatial memory. One of the most commonly used tests is the Corsi Block-Tapping Test (CBT). The CBT offers researchers a simple way to measure spatial spans. Unfortunately, the CBT has suffered from a lack of methodological consistency over the years.