October 23, 2008 -- Are green schools acoustically sound? How do dolphins and whales hear underwater? How can we protect manatees from getting hit by ships? What secrets will comparing English, German, Hindi, and Arabic languages reveal? Can we detect hidden cars in forests and buried mines underwater? What is the effect of noise in the home? How does the brain deal with sound?
These are a few of the many questions that will be addressed at the 156th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) next month in Miami, FL. Convening at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, acoustical scientists and engineers will present some 660 talks and posters related to acoustics, a cross-section of diverse disciplines devoted to architecture, underwater research, psychology, physics, animal bioacoustics, medicine, music, noise control, and speech.
Journalists are invited to cover the upcoming meeting either onsite in Miami or online through the meeting's World Wide Press Room. Registration information can be found at the end of this release. In the coming weeks, additional news releases highlighting interesting meeting presentations in more detail will be distributed.
1) PRELIMINARY MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
Some preliminary meeting highlights include:
THE SPEECH-TO-SONG ILLUSION
"This paper reports the first formal investigation of a surprising illusion: A particular spoken phrase is made to be heard convincingly as sung rather than spoken, simply by repeating it several times over..."
HOW HARBOR PORPOISES CATCH PREY
A Danish study of how these animals locate food with short acoustic bursts whose frequency goes up as the predator approaches prey.
BRAIN CIRCUITS FOR SOUND PROCESSING
"Rhythmic brain activities, or neural oscillations, are thought to play an important role in such long-range communication. How are related networks established and dynamically reconfigured in order to adapt to the ever changing auditory environment?"
LOW-FREQUENCY NARROWBAND SOUNDS MADE BY WILD BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS
"The occurrence of low-frequency phonations in wild dolphins indicates that low-frequency detection may play an important role in the animals' everyday activities..."
SOUND AND FURY IN A SINGLE FAMILY HOME
"Apart from road and air traffic noise, and some noise from neighbors, the most important noise in single family residences usually is the noise generated within the residence itself... A case is presented where family relations started to deteriorate due to the low isolation capabilities of the inner walls."
CONVERTING ORDINARY BUILDINGS INTO PERFORMANCE SPACES
"...a metal seafood restaurant into a church sanctuary, a cotton gin into an amplified music venue, a 1928 power house into a black box and gallery, and an office complex and restaurant into a 1,200-person capacity amplified venue and movie theater..."
OVERALL HEARING ABILITIES OF MANATEES AND ECOLOGICAL ACOUSTICAL CHALLENGES
"A comprehensive series of underwater psychoacoustic tests was conducted to measure the hearing abilities of West Indian manatees... A specially designed alarm to alert manatees [of approaching vessels] is being tested..."
THE SOUND OF LAMINATE FLOORING
"The market describes the inability of laminate flooring to reproduce the natural sound of wood as a drawback to their market appeal. Therefore, if a laminate flooring composite can be offered to the market, which recreates the natural wood floor acoustic experience, the floor will offer additional value to the consumer..."
AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL LANGUAGES
"The consonant systems of Australian Aboriginal languages are very similar to one another but very different from those of most other languages of the world..."
WHALE "GUNSHOT" SOUND DISPLAYS
"Current hypotheses for the function of this signal include an agonistic threat signal between males, a male reproductive advertisement signal to female right whales, or a combination of both..."
ACOUSTICS IN GREEN SCHOOLS
"...green buildings have become synonymous with poor room acoustics because many of these green goals often result in compromising acoustics and noise control with green building implementing natural ventilation, radiant cooling, and green materials, to name a few..."
ASSESSING NOISE IMPACTS ON WILDLIFE UNDER THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT
"Examples include assessing construction noise impacts on the California coastal gnatcatcher in southern California, aircraft noise impacts on sage grouse in central California, and helicopter disturbance on caribou in Alaska..."
PITCH PERCEPTION, HARMONY, AND THE BRAIN
"For perception, the brain handles and reacts to an enormous amount of information from the senses in real time. The question of how all this information is represented and processed within the nervous system is addressed by the nonlinear and complex system researches through the proposal that dynamical attractors may form the basis of neural information processing..."
THE EFFECT OF NOISE ON NESTING BIRDS IN PINYON-JUNIPER WOODLANDS
"Anthropogenic noise appears not only to influence avian nesting patterns, thereby altering the avian community, but also to influence nest success through changes to predation patterns..."
EXPRESSION OF EMOTIONS IN ENGLISH, GERMAN, HINDI, AND ARABIC
"Overall, the acoustic measures demonstrated many similarities among languages consistent with the notion of universal patterns of vocal emotion expression..."
GENERALIZED ACOUSTIC CLOAKING THEORY
"An acoustic cloak is a region enclosing an object such that acoustic waves from all directions pass through and around the cloak as though the object was not present in the fluid. The object has zero scattering strength and is therefore acoustically invisible..."
SOUND QUALITY IN HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIA
"High school music instructors, high school music students, and acoustical consultants certainly care if their auditoria sound good for music, but not all high school districts or architects appear to be all that interested..."
REMOTE DETECTION OF VEHICLE OBSCURED BY FOREST CANOPY
"The results show that the vibration response of a leaf to the sound from an idling vehicle is high enough to be reliably sensed..."
DETECTING PROUD AND BURIED ELASTIC SHELLS IN SHALLOW WATER
"For underwater sonar, time-frequency analysis has been shown to be a relevant tool for the detection and classification of man-made targets..."
HOT TOPICS IN ENGINEERING ACOUSTICS
"Examples of broadband underwater communications transducers, tonpiltz sonar projectors, pressure and pressure-gradient hydrophones, mechanical actuators, and medical devices are presented..."
ACOUSTIC CHARACTERIZATION OF HARBORS AND PORTS
"The use of acoustics has become increasingly important in shallow waterways including ports and harbors. Applications span a range of military, commercial, and recreational interests including mine detection, port protection, and diver interaction..."
2) WEBSITES OF INTEREST/MORE INFORMATION
3) ADDITIONAL MEETING NEWS RELEASES
Look for general news release describing other presentations in more detail in late October and early November. All news releases will be posted to ASA's World Wide Press Room.
4) WORLD-WIDE PRESS ROOM
ASA's World Wide Press Room will contain tips on dozens of stories as well as lay-language papers detailing some of the most newsworthy results at the meeting. Lay-language papers are roughly 500 word summaries written for a general audience by the authors of individual presentations with accompanying graphics and multimedia files. They serve as starting points for journalists who are interested in covering the meeting but cannot attend in person.
In early November, the World Wide Press Room (http://www.acoustics.org/press) will be updated with the new content for the 156th ASA meeting in Miami (currently it has content from the previous meeting, Acoustics '08 Paris).
5) PRESS REGISTRATION
Journalists are welcome to attend the conference free of charge. We will grant free registration to any credentialed full-time journalist or professional freelance journalist working on assignment for a major publication or outlet. If you are a reporter and would like to attend, please contact Jason Bardi (firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-209-3091).
Meeting staff will be available to help you set up interviews with presenters, obtain background information on a story, and provide any other resources you may need.
|Contact: Jason Bardi|
American Institute of Physics