Category:Information in Communication Sounds
From CNBH Acoustic Scale Wiki
The sounds that animals use to communicate at a distance, to declare their territories and attract mates, are typically pulse-resonance sounds (Patterson et al., 2008). These sounds are ubiquitous in the natural world and in the human environment. They are the basis of the calls produced by most vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and fish); they are also the basis of many invertebrate communication sounds, such as those of the crustaceans (e.g., popping shrimp) and insects (e.g., grasshoppers and cicadas). Although the structures used to produce pulse-resonance sounds can be quite elaborate, the mechanism is conceptually very simple. The animal develops some means of producing an abrupt pulse of mechanical energy which causes structures in the body to resonate. From the signal processing perspective, the pulse marks the start of the communication and the resonance provides distinctive information about the shape and structure of the sounders in the sender’s body, and thus, distinctive information about the species producing the sound.
In the majority of animals that communicate by sound, nature has adapted existing body parts to create the structures that produce the communication sounds. In humans, as in almost all mammals, the vocal apparatus is based on the tubes that carry food and air from the entrance of the mouth and the entrance of the nose to the stomach and lungs, respectively. As the animal grows, these tubes have to get longer to keep the nose and mouth connected to the lungs and stomach. As the tubes get longer, the resonances in the vocal tract ring more slowly. This is a general physical principle of sound production; as things get larger or more massive, they vibrate more slowly. Similarly, as the vocal tract gets wider, the vocal cords get longer and more massive, which means that the glottal pulse rate decreases as the animal grows. The sound producing mechanism typically maintains its overall shape and structure as the individual grows. As a result, the set of messages that a species uses to communicate remain more or less the same as the animal grows, but the message is carried by sounds that vary in their resonance rate and their pulse rate. This category of the wiki, Information in Communication Sounds, focuses on the distinction between the message of a communication sound and the size information in the sound that carries the message from the sender to the listener. The main concepts are described, with reference to speech sounds, animal calls and musical tones, in The Size Information in Communication Sounds.
When we refer to the size information in communication sounds, we are referring to the physical size of the components of the physical system that produces the sound. Once the sound is in the air, free from the source, the proper name for the information in the sound that changes with the size of the source is acoustic scale, that is the scale of the acoustic components of the sound (Cohen, 1993). Communication sounds are typically generated by source/filter systems (Fant, 1970); in this case, the word "source" refers to the mechanism that produces the pulses that excite the system, and the word "filter" refers to the set of resonators that respond to this pulsive excitation. Communication sounds contain two forms of acoustic scale information associated with (a) the size of the components that produce the stream of pulses and (b) the size of the resonators that filter the excitation pulses (Irino and Patterson, 2002). For humans, the most familiar communication sound is speech and the relevant components of the speech production system are (a) the vocal folds (the source) and (b) the cavities of the vocal tract (the filter). A brief introduction to the acoustic scale information in speech sounds is provided in Acoustic Scale in the Waves and Spectra of Communication Sounds.
The size/scale information in speech sounds
Gaudrain, Li, Ban, Patterson, Interspeech 2009
Estimating the size and sex of a speaker from their speech sounds Access to this page is currently restricted
The size/scale information in musical tones
The effect of phase in the perception of octave height Access to this page is currently restricted
The robustness of communication to changes in acoustic scale
The scale-shift covariant Auditory Image (sscAI) Access to this page is currently restricted
Published papers for the Category: Information in Communication Sounds
Size information in musical sounds: van Dinther and Patterson (2006)
- Cohen, L. (1993). “The scale representation.” IEEE Trans. Sig. Proc., 41, p.3275-3292. 
- Fant, G.C.M. (1970). Acoustic Theory of Speech Production. (Mouton). 
- Irino, T. and Patterson, R.D. (2002). “Segregating Information about the Size and Shape of the Vocal Tract using a Time-Domain Auditory Model: The Stabilised Wavelet-Mellin Transform.” Speech Commun., 36, p.181-203. 
- Patterson, R.D., Smith, D.R.R., van Dinther, R. and Walters, T.C. (2008). “Size Information in the Production and Perception of Communication Sounds”, in Auditory Perception of Sound Sources, Yost, W.A., Popper, A.N. and Fay, R.R. editors (Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, New York).  
- Turner, R.E., Walters, T.C., Monaghan, J.J. and Patterson, R.D. (2009). “A statistical, formant-pattern model for segregating vowel type and vocal-tract length in developmental formant data.” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 125, p.2374-2386. 
- van Dinther, R. and Patterson, R.D. (2006). “Perception of acoustic scale and size in musical instrument sounds.” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 120, p.2158-76. 
Pages in category "Information in Communication Sounds"
The following 6 pages are in this category, out of 6 total.
- A simple, formant-pattern model of speech communication
- A statistical, formant-pattern model for estimating vocal-tract length from formant frequency data