Wind turbines causing cluckus interruptus in prairie chickens, tranquility at a conservation center, better blood pressure monitors with wearables, and a vibrational analysis of graphite tennis rackets are just some of the highlights from the lay-language versions of papers to be presented at the 169th ASA meeting, held May 18-22 in Pittsburgh. Summaries are posted online in the ASA's Pressroom; many contain sounds, images, and videos.
Studies have shown that individuals with hearing loss or who are listening to degraded speech -- think of a loud room -- have greater difficulty remembering and processing the spoken information than individuals who heard more clearly. Now researchers are investigating whether listening to accented speech similarly affects the brain's ability to process and store information. Their preliminary results suggest that foreign-accented speech, even when intelligible, may be slightly more difficult to recall than native speech.
When the charity International Cat Care asked veterinary neurologists at Davies Veterinary Specialists, UK, for help with several enquiries it had received regarding cats having seizures, seemingly in response to certain high-pitched sounds, the answer was that the problem was not documented and little, if anything, was known about it.
'Medic!', 'Hold fire!' and grid references are amongst the highest priorities for soldiers to be able to hear while on duty, according to new research from the University of Southampton.
Noisy and cramped conditions in trains, planes and airports are discouraging many commuters and business people from working while travelling, new research shows.
Consumers are tuning out TV commercials, making advertisers run louder, higher-energy ads to force their attention. This may be backfiring critically when consumers are watching sad or relaxing shows, according to a new study in the Journal of Marketing.
The literary great Marcel Proust wore ear-stoppers because he was unable to filter out irrelevant noise -- and lined his bedroom with cork to attenuate sound. Now new Northwestern University research suggests why the inability to shut out competing sensory information while focusing on the creative project at hand might have been so acute for geniuses such as Proust, Franz Kafka, Charles Darwin, Anton Chekhov and many others.
Music training has well-known benefits for the developing brain, especially for at-risk children. But youngsters who sit passively in a music class may be missing out, according to new Northwestern University research. In a study designed to test whether the level of engagement matters, researchers found that children who regularly attended music classes and actively participated showed larger improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers after two years.
The soundtrack to a wild rhinoceros's life is wind passing through the savannah grass, birds chirping and distant animals moving across the plains. But a rhinoceros in a zoo listens to children screaming, cars passing and the persistent hum of urban life. A group of researchers from Texas believes that this discrepancy in soundscape may be contributing to rhinos' difficulties thriving and reproducing in captivity.
When listening to the Earth, what clues can seismic data reveal about the impact of urban life? Although naturally occurring vibrations have proven useful to seismologists, until now the vibrations caused by humans haven't been explored in any real depth. Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers Nima Riahi and Peter Gerstoft will describe their efforts to tap into an urban seismic network to monitor the traffic of trains, planes, automobiles and other modes of human transport.