Volume 115, Issue 3, March 2004
Index of content:
- BIOACOUSTICS 
Dynamics of frequency and amplitude modulations in vocalizations produced by eastern towhees, Pipilo erythrophthalmus115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1648976View Description Hide Description
Eastern towhees, Pipilo erythrophthalmus (Emberizidae, Passeriformes), appear to estimate source-SPL using spectral or temporal variables. Nevertheless, vocalizations are dynamic by nature and it remains unclear whether subjects pay attention to correlations between discrete variables or pay attention to the dynamics that these variables summarize. Sine functions are used to describe coarse (slow, <10 Hz) frequency and amplitude modulations in towhee calls and correlations between variables are identified. Towhee calls are also finely (rapidly, >400 Hz) modulated in both amplitude and frequency. Fine amplitude and frequency modulations correlate well (occur in phase) over relatively low fundamental frequencies (<∼3.5 kHz) and tend to have greater amplitudes and frequencies over these same frequencies. Modulations and correlations between modulations might exist due to stable dynamic interactions that occur within and between the physical forces that function to produce modulations in vocalizations. Results support the hypothesis that towhees communicate within separate sound frequency channels defined to each side of ∼3.5 kHz.
115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1643366View Description Hide Description
Male bullfrogs emit multicroak, quasiharmonic advertisement calls that function in mate attraction and neighbor recognition. The degree of variability of acoustic features in these calls can influence perceptual decisions by conspecific receivers. Analysis of duration of individual croaks in spontaneous advertisement calls of a sample of males shows considerable intraindividual variability in this feature, even within short chorusing bouts. The influence of this intraindividual variability on behavior was examined in a series of evoked calling experiments. When presented with synthetic calls whose croak durations varied over the range of the natural variability in this feature, males responded similarly to intermediate and long duration croaks, but significantly less to short duration croaks. When presented with playbacks of calls with croak durations outside the natural range of variability, males again responded significantly less to shorter durations. The response gradient for duration is thus asymmetrical, with stimuli at the shorter end of the continuum evoking fewer responses than stimuli at the longer end. This asymmetry may be related to the biological demands of rejecting perception of heterospecific advertisement calls, and of mediating appropriate responses to conspecific aggressive calls. The shape of the response gradient for duration may reflect a process of stimulus generalization.
115(2004); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1645610View Description Hide Description
A new transskull propagation technique, which deliberately induces a shear mode in the skull bone, is investigated. Incident waves beyond Snell’s critical angle experience a mode conversion from an incident longitudinal wave into a shear wave in the bone layers and then back to a longitudinal wave in the brain. The skull’s shear speed provides a better impedance match, less refraction, and less phase alteration than its longitudinal counterpart. Therefore, the idea of utilizing a shear wave for focusing ultrasound in the brain is examined. Demonstrations of the phenomena, and numerical predictions are first studied with plastic phantoms and then using an ex vivo human skull. It is shown that at a frequency of 0.74 MHz the transskull shear method produces an amplitude on the order of—and sometimes higher than—longitudinal propagation. Furthermore, since the shear wave experiences a reduced overall phase shift, this indicates that it is plausible for an existing noninvasive transskull focusing method [Clement, Phys. Med. Biol. 47(8), 1219–1236 (2002)] to be simplified and extended to a larger region in the brain.