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On the Impact of the Semantic Content of Sound Events in Emotion Elicitation

Konstantinos Drossos, Maximos Kaliakatsos-Papakostas, Andreas Floros, and Tuomas Virtanen, “On the Impact of the Semantic Content of Sound Events in Emotion Elicitation,” Journal of Audio Engineering Society, Vol. 64, No. 7/8, pp. 525–532, 2016

Sound events are proven to have an impact on the emotions of the listener. Recent works on the field of emotion recognition from sound events show, on one hand, the possibility of automatic emotional information retrieval from sound events and, on the other hand, the need for deeper understanding of the significance of the sound events’ semantic content on listener’s affective state. In this work we present a first, to the best of authors’ knowledge, investigation of the relation between the semantic similarity of the sound events and the elicited emotion. For that cause we use two emotionally annotated sound datasets and the Wu-Palmer semantic similarity measure according to WordNet. Results indicate that the semantic content seems to have a limited role in the conformation of the listener’s affective states. On the contrary, when the semantic content is matched to specific areas in the Arousal-Valence space or also the source’s spatial position is taken into account, it is exhibited that the importance of the semantic content effect is higher, especially for the cases with medium to low valence and medium to high arousal or when the sound source is at the lateral positions of the listener’s head, respectively.

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