Sound wellbeing in later life

Exploring wellbeing through contextual understanding of sound and sonic reminiscence.


Daily life is full of sounds which play an important role in creating awareness of the events happening around us, relaxation, entertainment and communication. They also become associated with people, events and daily routines, triggering memories when we hear them again in other contexts. Much of this sonic world and experience is masked by the dominance of vision in human behaviour and photography in remembering it. In this study we aim to reveal the hidden role of sound in promoting wellbeing in later life, and to identify opportunities for AI machine listening technologies to improve it. This might be through practical functionalities for assistive living and enhanced hearing, or through more creative ways of capturing, mixing and sharing sounds for memory and reminiscing. The project will use a combination of survey, focus group and experience sampling methods administered by the EU Vitalise Living Lab in Turnhout, Belgium. This is a ‘Living and care lab’ called LiCalab working with a panel drawn from 800 older adults living in the local area. The work is a new People-Centred AI Institute project, led by the Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing in partnership with Digital World Research Centre. 

The project is funded by the EU VITALISE project and runs from October 2023 to a cost of £19,972. The project will run through November and December 2023 with subsequent design follow-up. 

Research project team

Thomas Deacon profile image

Dr Thomas Deacon

Principal Investigator

Gabriel Bibbo profile image

Gabriel Bibbo

Research Associate

Arshdeep Singh profile image

Dr Arshdeep Singh

Research Associate