Understanding the masking effects of noise on communication in natural environments
Keywords:Animals, Audition, Bioacoustics, Communication, Physiology, Adverse effect, Anthropogenic noise, Auditory systems, Broadband noise, Hearing loss, Natural environments, Pure tones, Sleep disturbances, Sound detection
AbstractAnthropogenic noises can cause a variety of adverse effects on birds and other wildlife. These effects include stress and physiological changes, auditory system damage from acoustic overexposure, and masking of communication and other important biological sounds. A second reason is that, while all humans have similar auditory capabilities and sensitivities, the same is not true for all animals. Still another issue is separating the various effects of noise. There are well documented adverse consequences of elevated noise on humans including hearing loss, masking, stress, physiological and sleep disturbances, and changes in feelings of well-being, and it would not be too surprising to find a similar range of effects in animals. The simplest kind of masking experiment is to measure the sound detection thresholds for pure tones in the presence of a broadband noise.
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