Proceedings of the 10th Convention of the
European Acoustics Association
Forum Acusticum 2023
Politecnico di Torino
September 11 - 15, 2023
The Sonapticon is an audio-visual art installation by Tim Otto Roth bridging between acoustics and neuroscience: acoustic neurons communicate with each other through open space using tones. Specific tone frequencies are excitatory while other frequencies inhibit the neuron’s response. Upon excitation by external sound, some neurons will respond with a tone, which other neurons will respond to, yielding a neural-tonal response pattern across the spatial arrangement of the Sonapticons neurons. We have created a simulation of the Sonapticon’s spatio-temporal audiovisual response to external sound. Using the real-time Simulated Field Environment room acoustic simulation software, the transfer paths between all neurons are simulated, taking into account the position and directionality of each neuron. The sound at the two microphones of each neuron is computed and from it the neuron’s response. The simulation yields the sound at a listener position, the activation function for each neuron and for the whole Sonapticon. The software simulation allows experiencing the Sonapticon and optimizing its parameters prior to an art installation.