Episode 33 – Dan Johnston (SoundFields)
03 Apr 2020

Episode 33 – Dan Johnston (SoundFields)

03 Apr 2020

Summary In this episode of the Immersive Audio Podcast, Oliver Kadel is joined by Dan Johnston via Skype from his home in York, UK. Dan Johnston is a third-year PhD researcher in the Audio Lab at the University of York.  His research is focused on using spatial audio and virtual reality to help children with autism spectrum disorder cope with common everyday sounds that can often cause them stress and anxiety.  He has developed a VR application that combines computer game mechanics, exposure therapy techniques and spatial audio rendering of problematic sounds to create a fun and engaging accessible therapy environment. In this episode, they discuss Dan’s research project SoundFields covering audio, game design, and the importance of virtual reality therapy as an essential part of intervention and aid for mental disorders and learning difficulties in the clinical setting.

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Show Notes

SoundFields is an interactive immersive experience developed to address auditory hypersensitivities in autistic children.  It creates realistic and dynamic representations of problematic auditory stimuli using virtual 3D audio and incorporates them into a computer game platform. Therefore, creating a fun and engaging environment for exposure therapy.  By using this technology therapy could become more accessible, improving the quality of life for the child and their family.

Dan Johnston Twitter – @DansResearch

Dan Johnston  LinkedIn –  https://www.linkedin.com/in/danieljohnston84/

Johnston, D., Egermann, H., & Kearney, G. (2018, October). SoundFields: A Mixed Reality Spatial Audio Game for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In Audio Engineering Society Convention 145. Audio Engineering Society.


Daniel Johnston, Hauke Egermann, Gavin Kearney & Teppo Särkämö (2018) Innovative computer technology in music-based interventions for individuals with autism moving beyond traditional interactive music therapy techniques, Cogent Psychology, 5:1,1-18, DOI: 10.1080/23311908.2018.1554773


Measuring the Behavioral Response to Spatial Audio within a Multi-Modal Virtual Reality Environment in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  By Daniel Johnston 1, Hauke Egermann 2 and Gavin Kearney 1.


SoundFields Website – https://soundfieldsuk.tumblr.com/

AudioLab – https://audiolab.york.ac.uk/

Damian Murphy – https://www.1618digital.com/immersive-audio-podcast-episode-8-damian-murphy/

Gavin Kearney – https://www.1618digital.com/immersive-audio-podcast-episode-15-gavin-kearney/

Autism – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism

COMIC – https://www.comic.org.uk/


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This episode was produced by Oliver Kadel and Michelle Chan with the help of Emma Rees and included music by Knobs Bergamo..