From the first paper:
"When the brain cannot localize reflections it ignores them..."
And "There are two reasons for sitting close to the rear wall. First, at the room boundaries (walls) the sound pressure is high and the velocity is low. Sitting in the maximum pressure area gives the best perception of deep bass. Secondly, the reflections are shorter than the circumference of the head, so the brain cannot measure the time delay between the ears, and therefore cannot localize the source of sound. When the brain cannot localize reflections it ignores them.
Here is a simple example of the brain ignoring unwanted or unessential information. Imagine being in a noisy public place and conversing with the person next to you. Even though a recording made where you are standing would sound like random noise, you can isolate the conversation. If you hear your name spoken several feet away, you can change your focus, and listen in on the other conversation. Our brains do this automatically all the time, for example, to filter out a distracting natural resonance of a
room to facilitate speech, or to identify potential dangers. So, in this listening position your brain will listen in to the primary source and ignore the reflections."
That is incorrect.
What he incorrectly characterizes as being "ignored" is part of what is called the Henry Precedence Effect.
The fact is that when early signals arrive within what is the called the Haas (time) interval, the ear-brain cannot resolve the two or more arriving signals into distinct separate arriving signals. They are not ignored. Instead, they are merged into one less distinct signal, with the cues from the first arriving signal being used to localize the signal.
The result is a reduction in intelligibility... What Dick Heyser referred to as "time smear distortion".
The same phenomena results in what is characteristically experienced in reflective environments like high school gymnasiums or Airports, where the PA has plenty of gain, but it remains totally unintelligible due to the arrival of high gain indirect signals (reflections) within the Haas interval - that period whee the ear-mind cannot resolve the various signal arrivals into separate signals, and instead fuses them into a single fuzzy signal. The other signals are not "ignored" at all, despite the first arrival being used to localize the group of signals.
The paper is full of inaccuracies regarding psycho-acoustics - how the ear-brain interprets acoustical signals. It has been evaluated before on other forums, and I would suggest finding another source of information.
Oh, and please don't sit immediately adjacent to a boundary!
Oh, and you might enjoy observing the fact that the second paper contradicts the first with:"With regards to soundstaging, you'll find that depth is dramatically influenced by rear wall proximity. Increasing the distance from the speaker to the wall behind will increase soundstage depth. However, pulling the speaker too far out may degrade focus. In most cases, room layout dictates the maximum distance the speakers will be allowed to intrude into the space, but experiment to as a great degree as possible.
Most speakers need to be a minimum of a foot or two away from the side and back walls to reduce early reflections (early reflections reach the listener out of step with the direct sounds, causing image degradation)."