Volume 107, Issue 4, April 2000
Index of content:
- BIOACOUSTICS 
107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428506View Description Hide Description
Odontocete cetaceans have evolved a highly advanced system of active biosonar. It has been hypothesized that other groups of marine animals, such as the pinnipeds, possess analogous sound production, reception, and processing mechanisms that allow for underwater orientation using active echolocation. Despite sporadic investigation over the past 30 years, the accumulated evidence in favor of the pinniped echolocation hypothesis is unconvincing. We argue that an advanced echolocation system is unlikely to have evolved in pinnipeds primarily because of constraints imposed by the obligate amphibious functioning of the pinniped auditory system. As a result of these constraints, pinnipeds have not developed highly acute, aquatic, high frequency sound production or reception systems required for underwater echolocation. Instead, it appears that pinnipeds have evolved enhanced visual, tactile, and passive listening skills. The evolutionary refinement of alternative sensory systems allows pinnipeds to effectively forage, navigate, and avoid predators under water despite the lack of active biosonar capabilities.
Vocal control of acoustic information for sonar discriminations by the echolocating bat, Eptesicus fuscus107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428507View Description Hide Description
This study aimed to determine whether bats using frequency modulated (FM) echolocation signals adapt the features of their vocalizations to the perceptual demands of a particular sonar task. Quantitative measures were obtained from the vocal signals produced by echolocating bats (Eptesicus fuscus) that were trained to perform in two distinct perceptual tasks, echo delay and Doppler-shift discriminations. In both perceptual tasks, the bats learned to discriminate electronically manipulated playback signals of their own echolocation sounds, which simulated echoes from sonar targets. Both tasks utilized a single-channel electronic target simulator and tested the bat’s in a two-alternative forced choice procedure. The results of this study demonstrate changes in the features of the FM bats’ sonarsounds with echolocation task demands, lending support to the notion that this animal actively controls the echoinformation that guides its behavior.
107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428557View Description Hide Description
A model for the oscillation of gas bubbles encapsulated in a thin shell has been developed. The model depends on viscous and elastic properties of the shell, described by thickness, shear modulus, and shear viscosity. This theory was used to describe an experimental ultrasound contrast agent from Nycomed, composed of air bubbles encapsulated in a polymer shell. Theoretical calculations were compared with measurements of acoustic attenuation at amplitudes where bubble oscillations are linear. A good fit between measured and calculated results was obtained. The results were used to estimate the viscoelastic properties of the shell material. The shell shear modulus was estimated to between 10.6 and 12.9 MPa, the shell viscosity was estimated to between 0.39 and 0.49 Pas. The shell thickness was 5% of the particle radius. These results imply that the particles are around 20 times more rigid than free air bubbles, and that the oscillations are heavily damped, corresponding to Q-values around 1. We conclude that the shell strongly alters the acoustic behavior of the bubbles: The stiffness and viscosity of the particles are mainly determined by the encapsulating shell, not by the air inside.
107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428508View Description Hide Description
The application of ultrasound contrast agents aims to detect low velocityblood flow in the microcirculation. To enhance discrimination between tissue and blood containing the contrast agent, harmonic imaging is used. Harmonic imaging requires the application of narrow-band signals and is obscured by high levels of native harmonics generated in an intervening medium. To improve discrimination between contrast agent and native harmonics, a pulse inversion technique has been proposed. Pulse inversion allows wide-band signals, thus preserving the axial resolution. The present study examines the interference of native harmonics and discusses the practical difficulties of wide-band pulse inversion measurements of harmonics by a single transducer. Native harmonics are not eliminated by pulse inversion. Furthermore, only even harmonics remain and are amplified by 6 dB, alleviating the requirement for selective filtering. Finally, it is shown that the contaminating third harmonic contained in the square wave activation signal leaks through in the emitted signal. The spectral location of the contaminating third harmonic is governed by the transducer spectral characteristics while the location of the native and contrast agent second harmonics is not. Thus the contarninating third harmonic and the native and contrast agent second harmonics may overlap and interfere. Optimal discrimination requires a balance between maximal sensitivity for the second harmonic at reception and minimal interference from the contaminating third harmonic.