Index of content:
Volume 115, Issue 1, January 2004
- BIOACOUSTICS 
115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1631941View Description Hide Description
A commercial rheometer (Bohlin CVO120) was used to mechanically test materials that approximate vocal-fold tissues. Application is to frequencies in the low audio range (20–150 Hz). Because commercial rheometers are not specifically designed for this frequency range, a primary problem is maintaining accuracy up to (and beyond) the mechanical resonance frequency of the rotating shaft assembly. A standard viscoelastic material (NIST SRM 2490) has been used to calibrate the rheometric system for an expanded frequency range. Mathematically predicted response curves are compared to measured response curves, and an error analysis is conducted to determine the accuracy to which the elastic modulus and the shear modulus can be determined in the 20–150-Hz region. Results indicate that the inertia of the rotating assembly and the gap between the plates need to be known (or determined empirically) to a high precision when the measurement frequency exceeds the resonant frequency. In addition, a phase correction is needed to account for the magnetic inertia (inductance) of the drag cup motor. Uncorrected, the measured phase can go below the theoretical limit of −π. This can produce large errors in the viscous modulus near and above the resonance frequency. With appropriate inertia and phase corrections, ±10% accuracy can be obtained up to twice the resonance frequency.
Reverberation and frequency attenuation in forests—implications for acoustic communication in animals115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1629304View Description Hide Description
Rates of reverberative decay and frequency attenuation are measured within two Australian forests. In particular, their dependence on the distance between a source and receiver, and the relative heights of both, is examined. Distance is always the most influential of these factors. The structurally denser of the forests exhibits much slower reverberative decay, although the frequency dependence of reverberation is qualitatively similar in the two forests. There exists a central range of frequencies between 1 and 3 kHz within which reverberation varies relatively little with distance. Attenuation is much greater within the structurally denser forest, and in both forests it generally increases with increasing frequency and distance, although patterns of variation differ between the two forests. Increasing the source height generally reduces reverberation, while increasing the receiver height generally reduces attenuation. These findings have considerable implications for acoustic communication between inhabitants of these forests, particularly for the perching behaviors of birds. Furthermore, this work indicates the ease with which the general acoustic properties of forests can be measured and compared.
Sex differences in the acoustic structure of vowel-like grunt vocalizations in baboons and their perceptual discrimination by baboon listeners115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1635838View Description Hide Description
This study quantifies sex differences in the acoustic structure of vowel-like grunt vocalizations in baboons (Papio spp.) and tests the basic perceptual discriminability of these differences to baboon listeners. Acoustic analyses were performed on 1028 grunts recorded from 27 adult baboons (11 males and 16 females) in southern Africa, focusing specifically on the fundamental frequency and formant frequencies. The mean and the mean frequencies of the first three formants were all significantly lower in males than they were in females, more dramatically so for Experiments using standard psychophysical procedures subsequently tested the discriminability of adult male and adult female grunts. After learning to discriminate the grunt of one male from that of one female, five baboon subjects subsequently generalized this discrimination both to new call tokens from the same individuals and to grunts from novel males and females. These results are discussed in the context of both the possible vocal anatomical basis for sex differences in call structure and the potential perceptual mechanisms involved in their processing by listeners, particularly as these relate to analogous issues in human speech production and perception.
115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1635839View Description Hide Description
The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, based upon the vocalizations of manatees, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. The feasibility of this warning system would depend mainly upon two factors: the rate at which manatees vocalize and the distance in which the manatees can be detected. The research presented in this paper verifies that the average vocalization rate of the West Indian manatee is approximately one to two times per 5-min period. Several different manatee vocalization recordings were broadcast to the manatees and their response was observed. It was found that during the broadcast periods, the vocalization rates for the manatees increased substantially when compared with the average vocalization rates during nonbroadcast periods. An array of four hydrophones was used while recording the manatees. This allowed for position estimation techniques to be used to determine the location of the vocalizing manatee. Knowing the position of the manatee, the source level was determined and it was found that the mean source level of the manatee vocalizations is approximately 112 dB (re 1 μPa) @ 1 m.