Human communication is powered by rules for combining words to generate novel meanings. Such syntactical rules have long been assumed to be unique humans. A new study, published in Nature Communications, show that Japanese great tits combine their calls using specific rules to communicate important compound messages. These results demonstrate that syntax is not unique to humans. Instead, syntax may be a general adaptation to social and behavioral complexity in communication systems.
In a recently-published paper in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, authors Donald Drew, Kevin Dolch, and Maury Castro propose a stochastic differential equation model that simulates how musical performers in a large ensemble sustain tempo and phase while responding to a conductor, other musicians, and additional distractions modeled as 'noise.'
Concentrating attention on a visual task can render you momentarily 'deaf' to sounds at normal levels, reports a new UCL study funded by the Wellcome Trust.
A new University of Illinois study reveals that distracted dining may be as dangerous to your health as distracted driving is to your safety on the highway.
We all love belting our lungs out at sporting event, hurling insults and encouragements in turn, but does it actually have an effect on either team's performance? A study conducted by a student at the University of Nebraska seeks to answer this question. The study was performed by Brenna Boyd, an undergraduate research assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's. Boyd will present her findings at ASA's Fall 2015 Meeting.
Researchers from Brandeis University developed the video game 'Fish Police!!' to investigate audiovisual interaction and the impact of sensory distraction. The game was used on patrons to the Museum of Science in Boston in the museum's 'Living Laboratory.'
Birds 'shout' to be heard over the noise produced by man-made activity, new research has shown.
In a new study from New York University using 311 complaint data, researchers tracked when and where New Yorkers complain about their neighbors making noise, blocking driveways, or drinking in public. They found that these complaints -- a defining aspect of urban life -- are more likely to occur in areas sandwiched between two homogenous communities, where the boundaries between different ethnic and racial groups aren't clearly defined.
Our noisy world is no match for a screaming infant. An airplane could be flying by as a house party rages on downstairs while a literal cat fight takes place outside, and still a wailing baby will win your attention. One possible explanation, published July 16 in the journal Current Biology, is that human screams possess a unique acoustic property found to activate not just the auditory brain but also the brain's fear circuitry.
A quick biological test may be able to identify children who have literacy challenges or learning disabilities long before they learn to read, according to new research from Northwestern University. The study, published in the July issue of PLOS Biology, centers on the child's ability to decipher speech -- specifically consonants -- in a chaotic, noisy environment.