Volume 119, Issue 1, January 2006
Index of content:
- BIOACOUSTICS 
Rainforests as concert halls for birds: Are reverberations improving sound transmission of long song elements?119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2139072View Description Hide Description
In forests reverberations have probably detrimental and beneficial effects on avian communication. They constrain signal discrimination by masking fast repetitive sounds and they improve signal detection by elongating sounds. This ambivalence of reflections for animal signals in forests is similar to the influence of reverberations on speech or music in indoor sound transmission. Since comparisons of sound fields of forests and concert halls have demonstrated that reflections can contribute in both environments a considerable part to the energy of a received sound, it is here assumed that reverberations enforce also birdsong in forests. Song elements have to be long enough to be superimposed by reflections and therefore longer signals should be louder than shorter ones. An analysis of the influence of signal length on pure tones and on song elements of two sympatric rainforest thrush species demonstrates that longer sounds are less attenuated. The results indicate that higher sound pressure level is caused by superimposing reflections. It is suggested that this beneficial effect of reverberations explains interspecific birdsong differences in element length. Transmission paths with stronger reverberations in relation to direct sound should favor the use of longer signals for better propagation.
Vocal behavior of resident killer whale matrilines with newborn calves: The role of family signatures119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2130934View Description Hide Description
Studies of the vocal behavior of resident killer whales or orcas, Orcinus orca, in British Columbia have shown that matrilines have unique call repertoires consisting of up to 17 different call types. These call types cannot be attributed exclusively to specific behaviors, and their function in social contexts is poorly understood. This study investigated the change in call patterns of three resident matrilines in a changed social environment, before and up to one year after the birth of a calf. Acoustic data were collected with a network of hydrophones and were supplemented by visual observations. Call use changed distinctly after the birth of a calf in all three observed matrilines. All call types that were recorded in control situations were also recorded in postbirth situations; however, aberrant versions of discrete calls and excitement calls made up a higher proportion of calls after birth. Most conspicuously, family-specific call types occurred significantly more frequently in the days following a birth in two of the three matrilines and gradually returned to prebirth values within . Their increased use after a calf’s birth may facilitate the learning process of this “acoustic family badge” and thereby help to recognize and maintain cohesion with family members.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2141093View Description Hide Description
Hearing thresholds as a function of sound-source azimuth were measured in bottlenose dolphins using an auditory evoked potential (AEP) technique. AEP recording from a region next to the ear allowed recording monaural responses. Thus, a monaural directivity diagram (a threshold-vs-azimuth function) was obtained. For comparison, binaural AEP components were recorded from the vertex to get standard binaural directivity diagrams. Both monaural and binaural diagrams were obtained at frequencies ranging from in quarter-octave steps. At all frequencies, the monaural diagram demonstrated asymmetry manifesting itself as: (1) lower thresholds at the ipsilateral azimuth as compared to the symmetrical contralateral azimuth and (2) ipsilateral shift of the lowest-threshold point. The directivity index increased with frequency: at the ipsilateral side it rose from from , and from at the contralateral side. The lowest-threshold azimuth shifted from 0° at to 22.5° at . The frequency-dependent variation of the lowest-threshold azimuth indicates the presence of two sound-receiving apertures at each head side: a high-frequency aperture with the axis directed frontally, and a low-frequency aperture with the axis directed laterally.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2139067View Description Hide Description
Dividing the acoustic repertoires of animals into biologically relevant categories presents a widespread problem in the study of animal sound communication, essential to any comparison of repertoires between contexts, individuals, populations, or species. Automated procedures allow rapid, repeatable, and objective categorization, but often perform poorly at detecting biologically meaningful sound classes. Arguably this is because many automated methods fail to address the nonlinearities of animal sound perception. We present a new method of categorization that incorporates dynamic time-warping and an adaptive resonance theory (ART) neural network. This method was tested on 104 randomly chosen whistle contours from four captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), as well as 50 frequency contours extracted from calls of transient killer whales (Orcinus orca). The dolphin data included known biologically meaningful categories in the form of 42 stereotyped whistles produced when each individual was isolated from its group. The automated procedure correctly grouped all but two stereotyped whistles into separate categories, thus performing as well as human observers. The categorization of killer whale calls largely corresponded to visual and aural categorizations by other researchers. These results suggest that this methodology provides a repeatable and objective means of dividing bioacoustic signals into biologically meaningful categories.
In vitro ultrasonic characterization of human cancellous femoral bone using transmission and backscatter measurements: Relationships to bone mineral density119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2126936View Description Hide Description
Thirty-eight slices of pure trabecular bone 1-cm thickness were extracted from human proximal femurs. A pair of 1-MHz central frequency transducers was used to measure quantitative ultrasound (QUS) parameters in transmission [normalized broadband ultrasound attenuation (nBUA), speed of sound(SOS)] and in backscatter [broadband ultrasoundbackscatter (BUB)]. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured using clinical x-ray quantitative computed tomography. Site-matched identical region of interest (ROIs) of were positioned on QUS and QCT images. This procedure resulted in 605 ROIs for all the specimens data pooled together. The short-term precision of the technique expressed in terms of CV was found to be 2.3% for nBUA, 0.3% for SOS and 4.5% for BUB. Significant linear correlation between QUS and BMD were found for all the 605 ROIs pooled, with values of 0.73, 0.77, and 0.58 for nBUA, SOS, and BUB, respectively (all ). For the BUB, the best regression was obtained with a polynomial fit of second order . An analysis of measurements errors was developed. It showed that the residual variability of SOS is almost completely predicted by measurements errors, which is not the case for BUA and BUB, suggesting a role for micro-architecture in the determination of BUA and BUB.