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New review of the effects of noise on animal vocalizations

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Subject: New review of the effects of noise on animal vocalizations
From: Cara Hotchkin <>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:17:45 -0500
Dear Bioacoustics Subscribers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article,
available in Early View through Biological Reviews:

Hotchkin, C. and Parks, S. The Lombard effect and other noise-induced
vocal modifications: insight from mammalian communication systems.
DOI: 10.1111/brv.12026

The PDF can be accessed online at or via
email request 


Humans and non-human mammals exhibit fundamentally similar vocal
responses to increased noise, including increases in vocalization
amplitude (the Lombard effect) and changes to spectral and temporal
properties of vocalizations. Different research focuses have resulted
in significant discrepancies in study methodologies and hypotheses
among fields, leading to particular knowledge gaps and techniques
specific to each field. This review compares and contrasts
noise-induced vocal modifications observed from human and non-human
mammals with reference to experimental design and the history of each
field. Topics include the effects of communication motivation and
subject-specific characteristics on the acoustic parameters of
vocalizations, examination of evidence for a proposed biomechanical
linkage between the Lombard effect and other spectral and temporal
modifications, and effects of noise on self-communication signals
(echolocation). Standardized terminology, cross-taxa tests of
hypotheses, and open areas for future research in each field are
recommended. Findings indicate that more research is needed to
evaluate linkages among vocal modifications, context dependencies, and
the finer details of the Lombard effect during natural communication.
Studies of non-human mammals could benefit from applying the tightly
controlled experimental designs developed in human research, while
studies of human speech in noise should be expanded to include natural
communicative contexts. The effects of experimental design and
behavioural context on vocalizations should not be neglected as they
may impact the magnitude and type of noise-induced vocal


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