Volume 107, Issue 1, January 2000
Index of content:
- BIOACOUSTICS 
107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428327View Description Hide Description
Ultrasoundtissue characterization with measurement of backscatter has been employed in numerous experimental and clinical studies of cardiac pathology, yet the cellular components responsible for scattering from cardiac tissues have not been unequivocally identified. This laboratory has proposed a mathematical model for myocardial backscatter that postulates the fibrous extracellular matrix (ECM) as a significant determinant of backscatter. To demonstrate the importance of ECM, this group sought to determine whether measurements of backscatter from the isolated ECM could reproduce the known directional dependence, or anisotropy of backscatter, from intact cardiac tissues in vitro. Segments of left ventricular free wall from ten formalin fixed porcine hearts were insonified at 50 MHz, traversing the heart wall from endo- to epicardium to measure the anisotropy of myocardial backscatter, defined as the difference between peak (perpendicular to fibers) and trough (parallel to fibers) backscatter amplitude. The tissue segments were then treated with 10% NaOH to dissolve all of the cellular components, leaving only the intact ECM. Scanning electron micrographs (SEM) were obtained of tissue sections to reveal complete digestion of the cellular elements. The dimensions of the residual voids resulting from cell digestion were approximately the diameter of the intact myocytes (10–30 μm). These samples were reinsonified after seven days of treatment to compare the anisotropy of integrated backscatter. The magnitude of anisotropy of backscatter changed from to for intact as compared with digested specimens. Because digestion of the myocardium leaves only extracellular sources of ultrasonic scattering, and because the isolated ECM exhibits similar ultrasonicanisotropy as does the intact myocardium, it is concluded that there is a direct association between the ECM and the anisotropy of backscatter within intact tissue. Thus, it is suggested that ultrasonictissue characterization represents a potentially clinically applicable method for delineating the structure and function of the ECM.
Difference thresholds for intensity perception of whole-body vertical vibration: Effect of frequency and magnitude107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428331View Description Hide Description
Difference thresholds for seated subjects exposed to whole-body vertical sinusoidal vibration have been determined at two vibration magnitudes [0.1 and 0.5 ms−2 root mean square (r.m.s.)] and at two frequencies (5 and 20 Hz). For 12 subjects, difference thresholds were determined using the up-and-down transformed response method based on two-interval forced-choice tracking. At both frequencies, the difference thresholds increased by a factor of five when the magnitude of the vibration increased from 0.1 to 0.5 ms−2 r.m.s. The median relative difference thresholds, Weber fractions expressed as percentages, were about 10% and did not differ significantly between the two vibration magnitudes or the two frequencies. It is concluded that for the conditions investigated the difference thresholds for whole-body vibration are approximately consistent with Weber’s Law. A vibration magnitude will need to be reduced by more than about 10% for the change to be detectable by human subjects; vibration measurements will be required to detect reductions of less than 10%.
Range discrimination by big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) using altered model echoes: Implications for signal processing107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428328View Description Hide Description
The sonar emissions of two big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) were modeled to create a “normal” echolocation signal for each bat which was then used as an artificial echo to synthesize a phantom target. The bat’s task was to indicate which of two phantom targets (presented singly) was the “near” target and which the “far” target. Threshold range discrimination at a nominal target distance of 80 cm was about 0.6 cm for both bats. The normal signal was then modified to change the relative energy in each harmonic, the signal duration, the curvature of the frequency sweep, the absolute frequency, the phase of the second and third harmonics relative to the first, or the Doppler shift of the signal. To determine which modifications affected ranging performance, the altered models were used in tests of range discrimination that were interleaved on a day-to-day basis with tests using the normal model. Of the 12 modifications tested, only those changing the curvature of the frequency sweep affected performance. This result appears not to be predicted by current models of echo processing in FM bats. Eptesicus may be able to compensate for certain types of distortions of a returning echo, an ability possibly related to Doppler tolerance or to the characteristics of the natural variation in a bat’s emissions.
107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428329View Description Hide Description
In sperm whales (Physeter catodon L. 1758) the nose is vastly hypertrophied, accounting for about one-third of the length or weight of an adult male. Norris and Harvey [in Animal Orientation and Navigation, NASA SP-262 (1972), pp. 397–417] ascribed a sound-generating function to this organ complex. A sound generator weighing upward of 10 tons and with a cross-section of 1 m is expected to generate high-intensity, directional sounds. This prediction from the Norris and Harvey theory is not supported by published data for sperm whale clicks (source levels of 180 dB re 1 μPa and little, if any, directionality). Either the theory is not borne out or the data is not representative for the capabilities of the sound-generating mechanism. To increase the amount of relevant data, a five-hydrophone array, suspended from three platforms separated by 1 km and linked by radio, was deployed at the slope of the continental shelf off Andenes, Norway, in the summers of 1997 and 1998. With this system, source levels up to 223 dB re 1 μPa peRMS were recorded. Also, source level differences of 35 dB for the same click at different directions were seen, which are interpreted as evidence for high directionality. This implicates sonar as a possible function of the clicks. Thus, previously published properties of sperm whale clicks underestimate the capabilities of the sound generator and therefore cannot falsify the Norris and Harvey theory.
Source levels and estimated yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) detection ranges for dolphin jaw pops, breaches, and tail slaps107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428330View Description Hide Description
Tuna fishers in the eastern Pacific Ocean often exploit an association between a few genus of dolphin (Stenella and Delphinus) and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) to locate and capture the tuna. Identification of a mechanism which facilitates the tuna/dolphin bond may provide a means of exploiting the bond and capturing tuna without catching dolphin. To investigate if tuna may be attracted to low-frequency sounds produced by dolphins, source levels of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) jaw pops, breaches, and tail slaps were experimentally measured and used to estimate the maximum range at which yellowfin could detect similar sounds produced by pelagic species. The effective acoustic stimulus to the tuna was defined as the maximum one-third-octave level between 200 and 800 Hz, the frequency range where T. albacares is most sensitive. Spherical spreading was assumed to predict transmission loss with range. Breaches and jaw pops produced maximum one-third-octave source levels between 200 and 800 Hz of 153 (±4) and 163 (±2) dB re: 1 μPa-m, respectively, which resulted in estimated detection ranges of 340–840 and 660–1040 m, respectively. Tail slaps had lower source levels [max. 141 (±3) dB re: 1 μPa-m] and a maximum detection range of approximately 90–180 m.