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Potential role of ecological psychoacoustics for managing community response to noise

[Abstract] The term ecological psychoacoustics is a relatively recent addition to interdisciplinary studies of sound perception. This paper begins with a discussion of how ecological psychoacoustics has emerged from a synthesis of soundscape analysis, acoustic ecology and physiological psychology. Building on S. Namba and S. Kuwano’s chapter on Environmental Acoustics: Psychological Assessment of Noise in R. Neuhoff’s landmark book, Ecological Psychoacoustics (2004), the authors discuss the potential of using concepts from ecological psychoacoustics towards understanding individual differences in community noise response. As an example, ecological psychoacoustics will be used to frame the problem of human response to wind farm noise. Two key concepts in this understanding are (1) Salt and Hullar’s (2010) demonstration that the human auditory system can respond to sound which is not consciously audible and (2) the demonstration by a number of researchers of the propensity of humans for auditory entrainment to rhythmic sound.

George Luz
Luz Social and Environmental Associates, Baltimore, Maryland

Daniel Valente
Engineer Research and Development Center/Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Champaign, Illinois

Presented at Inter-Noise 2012, August 19-22, 2012, New York, N.Y.

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