chapter  7
24 Pages

Acoustic Information for Objects, Places. and Events Introduction

Byla111es J. Jenkins

One day last spring when the writing of this chapter was much on my mind. my wife and I were sitting in the garden drinking coffee and enjoying the morning sunlight. l suddenly realized as my wife and l talked that l was at that moment hearing her voice and following her conversation and that at the same time I could be aware that the radio inside was playing music, that two dogs in the next yard (out of sight) were playing together (and that one was a puppy and the other a mature, large dog), that the breeze was rustling the leaves in the tree overhead, that a variety of birds were singing and chirping , that an airplane was approaching overhead from the northwest , that the dog in the yard behind me was complaining about something. that a lawn mower was running somewhere in the neighborhood , and that traffic was cruising past on the main road a half a block away. And , I protest, I was still following the meaning of our conversation! All of this via variations of air pressure sensed at two little holes in my head! I was again reminded of the truly marvelous capacity of the auditory system to pick up acoustic information and identify its coherent aspects.