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Directional Hearing and Strategies for Sound Communication

Axel Michelsen and Ole Næsbye Larsen (2012). Directional Hearing and Strategies for Sound Communication. Bioacoustics, Volume 21 (1): 17 -19



Successful sound communication between animals located in vegetation requires that the sound signals penetrating the vegetation retain sufficient amplitude and structure to allow the receiving animals to extract the message. In many cases, the sounds should also provide information about the sender's position in space. One often finds that the messages have survived the sound degradation in the vegetation, whereas the information about position has been lost. However, the ability of animals to obtain directional information by listening to degraded sounds depends on the properties of their hearing systems. In many animals, the directional hearing is based only on differences of sound amplitude at the ears. Other animals also exploit differences in time-of-arrival (phase), and their directional hearing appears to be more immune to sound degradation. Different phase mechanisms (neural and acoustical) and strategies for sound communication will be discussed.