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The 156th Acoustical Society of America Meeting, Nov. 10-14, Miami, Fla.
Date:11/10/2008

November 7, 2008 -- The 156th Acoustical Society of America (ASA) meeting convenes next week in Florida at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami. Reporters are invited to visit the ASA World Wide Press Room: (http://www.acoustics.org/press).

On this site are posted news releases and dozens of lay language papers selected from among the 660 talks and posters. They relate to a cross-section of diverse disciplines, including architecture, underwater research, psychology, physics, animal bioacoustics, medicine, music, noise control, and speech.

Lay-language papers detail some of the most newsworthy results at the meeting. They 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. An index of all the lay language papers on the ASA World Wide Press Room is at: http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/lay_lang.html.

SOME SPECIFIC HIGHLIGHTS:

THE SPEECH-TO-SONG ILLUSION
"This paper reports the first formal investigation of a striking illusion: A spoken phrase is made to be heard convincingly as sung rather than spoken, and this perceptual transformation occurs without altering the signal in any way, or adding any musical context, but simply by repeating the phrase several times over." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/deutsch.html (Includes Sound Clips)

HOW WHALES FIND THE SALMON THEY PREFER TO EAT
"Killer whales use their biosonar when hunting for prey, often detecting the prey at distances greater than about 50 yards... We theorized that the echoes from these biosonar pulses are different when reflecting off different salmon species." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/au.html (Includes Sound Clips)

WHERE IS THE BEAT IN THE BRAIN?
"The ability to move rhythmically to a musical beat is a central part of human behavior, found in all human cultures. Such movements can be as simple as foot-tapping or as elaborate as dance. When the ability to move is impaired, as with Parkinson's disease, the effects are catastrophic.... But it may be that the deep connection between music and movement can be used to help those with movement disorders." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/iversen.html.

WHAT DO BIRDS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY HEAR SONG?
"Songbirds provide a useful model for vocal learning and animal communication. Most research has focused on how birds learn and produce song. Less is known about how birds perceive their own songs and the songs of others." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/vernaleo.html. (Includes Sound and Video Clips)

AURAL ARCHITECTURE: THE MISSING LINK
"While concepts such as architecture, acoustics, sound, perception, and anthropology have been part of our culture for centuries, they are usually considered in isolation from a narrow perspective. In contrast, aural architecture combines and reconciles them into a single interdisciplinary perspective, providing a new way of looking at the human experience of sound and space." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/bader.html.

PREY CAPTURE BY HARBOR PORPOISES
"Two harbor porpoises were trained to capture live (and dead) fish at our facility, Fjord&Blt, in Kerteminde, Denmark. One actually did this when blindfolded." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/miller.html. (Includes Sound and Video Clips)

POCKET ULTRASOUND
"George Lewis, an NSF graduate research fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University, has developed the first pocket-size ultrasound system for commercial, military and research applications." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/lewis.html

ACOUSTICAL CLOAKING
"This talk defines and describes the entire class of materials, called acoustic metafluids, that can cause acoustic cloaking." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/norris.html.

WHALE GUNSHOT' SOUND DISPLAYS
"The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a highly endangered species of baleen whale with fewer than 400 individuals left in the North Atlantic (Figure 1). These whales produce a variety of sounds for communication, and the behavioral function of these sound types is an area of active research" http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/parks.html. (Includes Sound Clips)

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS' SOUND RADIATION PATTERNS
"From these [results] it will also be possible to perform a virtual radiation of the musical instrument back into the room and so one could listen to the same recording while 'sitting' in another place in the concert hall." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/bader.html

THE ARCHEOLOGY OF RELIC SOUND WAVES
"In this paper I review the role that sound played in the early universe and what information it can provide us today." http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/gladden.html (Includes Animations)

ACOUSTICAL OPTIMIZATION OF MODERN ARCHITECTURAL SPACES
An enduring characteristic of classic architecture is the beautiful statuary, relief ornamentation, columns and coffered ceilings. These beautiful features, coincidentally also provided useful sound scattering and excellent acoustics. This is evident in three of the most renowned concert halls, namely the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikvereinsaal in Vienna and the Boston Symphony. http://www.acoustics.org/press/156th/dantonio.html.


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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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