Perception and Sound Design

The team’s research focuses on the perception and cognition of sounds, bringing together knowledge from psychoacoustics, sound signal processing/synthesis, psychology, and cognitive neurosciences.

More generally, the team’s research revolves around creation and educational activities in the field of sound design. Research focuses primarily on environmental sounds. This rarely studied subject provides access to different levels of cognitive representation in connection with the surface characteristics of sounds and the sources that produce them. The team’s work therefore concerns the perceptive characterization of these sounds and of the cognitive mechanisms used to identify them.

Environmental sounds are often produced in a context of interaction combined with movement when manipulating an object. One of the major themes in the team is to continue to study environmental sounds in a process that combines perception and action. This is a vital and unique gateway for research in auditory cognition and for interactive sound design applications.

The team’s research topics have been extended to vocal imitations as well as musical sounds and to the voice in connection with environmental sounds. This creates new perspectives for better understanding the cognitive processes involved by the identification of a sound source and by the emotional processing of sounds.

Applications for the team’s work are found primarily in sound design: we create the rules, the tools, and the methods—derived from our fundamental work—with the aim of facilitating the creation of functional and pleasant sounds for our everyday lives. The societal impact of our work was awarded in 2014 with the Décibel d’Or Recherche prize granted by the French Comité National du Bruit, and two awards from the Société Française d’Acoustique in 2016.

Creation in sound design is carried out combining the “knowledge” with “know-how” of the team’s researchers and associated composers (A. Cera, S. Gaxie, A. Sigman, R. Rivas) in different projects. There are three types of creative projects carried out by the team: industrial projects in automotive with Renault, and the luxury industry with Krug, for example; research projects for the creation of sound signaling; and educational projects for a variety of workshops on subjects that range from sports equipment to mass transit.

Finally, the team has associated disparate educational actions:

  • Organization of applicative workshops in partnership with industrial companies and collectivities on subjects ranging from sound signaling for tramways for the city of Le Mans to reinforcing the well-being of patients in the Sainte Anne hospital in Paris
  • Organization of professional training courses that combine a project with classwork in connection with IRCAM’s department of Education and Cultural Outreach

Major Themes

  • Sonie (loudness) of non-stationary and multi-source sounds
  • Perception of multisource sound scenes
  • Analysis and perceptive characterization of complex sound scenes and environments
  • Sound, imitation, and identification
  • Sound and interactions
  • Sound and emotions
  • Sound signaling and HNI
  • Tools and methods

Specialist Areas

Psychoacoustics, experimental psychology, cognitive neurosciences, acoustics, sound design, data analysis.

  • Dans la laboratoire de l'équipe  © Philippe Barbosa
    Dans la laboratoire de l'équipe © Philippe Barbosa
  • Projet CREAM  © Hervé Véronèse
    Projet CREAM © Hervé Véronèse
  • Projet CREAM  © Hervé Véronèse
    Projet CREAM © Hervé Véronèse
  • Dans la laboratoire de l'équipe  © Philippe Barbosa
    Dans la laboratoire de l'équipe © Philippe Barbosa

Research topics and related projects


Renault Symbioz Sound Design

European and national projects




Sketching Audio Technologies using Vocalizations and Gestures


Augmenting the value of conversations with voice technologies


Cracking the Emotional Code of Music


Hierarchical Object based Unsupervised Learning


Sensori-motor learning in gesture-based interactive sound systems


Musical Improvisation and Collective Action


Mobility and Quality of Life in Urban Areas


Rétroaction Émotionnelle Faciale et Linguistique et États de Stress Traumatique


Sketching Audio Technologies using Vocalizations and Gestures


Head Researcher : Nicolas Misdariis
Researchers & Engineers : Mondher Ayari, Jean-Julien Aucouturier, Olivier Houix, Patrick Susini, Nadia Guerouaou
Doctoral Student : Victor Rosi
Doctoral Student : Claire Richards


TU-Berlin (Germany), J. Gutenberg Universität (Germany), McGill University (Canada), University of Canberra (Australia), université IUAVde Venise (Italia), Politecnico di Torino (Italia), Carnegie Mellon University (United-States), KTH (Sweden), Lund Universitet (Sweden), ZHdK (Switzerland), LVA-INSA (France), LMA (France), CR-ICM (France), LAM France), LAPPS (France), Esba TALM (France), ENSCI (France), Université de Strasbourg (France), Centre d'Etudes Techniques de l'Equipement (France), IFSTTAR (France), Renault, PSA, SNCF, EDF, Klaxon, LAPS-Design, Genesis, Aximum, Univers Sons, Région Île-de-France.


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