Evidence suggests auditory and vestibular effects should be added to the growing list of physiological impacts of COVID-19. During the 180th Meeting, Colleen Le Prell from the University of Texas at Dallas will talk about hearing and balance disorders associated with coronavirus infection and how pandemic-related stress and anxiety may aggravate tinnitus symptoms. Her presentation, “Hearing disorders secondary to infection with SARS-CoV-2,” will take place Thursday, June 10.
As more people are taking advantage of music on the go, personal audio systems are pumping up the volume to the detriment of the listener’s hearing. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Daniel Fink from The Quiet Coalition and Jan Mayes will talk about current research into personal audio system usage and the need for public health hearing conservation policies. Their session, “Personal audio system use can harm auditory health,” will take place Thursday, June 10.
The prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic created widespread lockdown fatigue and increased social tension in multiunit housing, but small improvements in quality-of-life routines may help people cope. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Braxton Boren from American University will discuss noise prevention techniques and the use of alterative acoustic stimulation to help those who find themselves in pandemic-related lockdowns. The session, “The Soundscape of Quarantine,” will take place Wednesday, June 9.
In the battle between hunter and hunted, sound plays an integral part in success or failure. In the case of bats vs. moths, the insects are using acoustics against their winged foes. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Thomas Neil from the University of Bristol will discuss how moth wings have evolved in composition and structure to help them create anti-bat defenses. The session, “Moth wings are acoustic metamaterials,” will take place Wednesday, June 9.
The world is filled with myriad sounds that can overwhelm a person with relentless acoustics. Noise is so prevalent in everyday life that the concept and achievement of comfortable quiet is hard to define. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Aggelos Tsaligopoulos from the University of the Aegean will describe how quiet could be measured in the hopes of better understanding its impact on people. The session, “Towards a new understanding of the concept of quietness,” will take place Wednesday, June 9.
Designing a soundscape to improve quality of life for an individual is centered on putting their perception at the heart of the process. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Arezoo Talebzadeh from Ghent University will show how a personalized soundscape can help those with dementia by providing clues regarding time of day and place. The session, “Soundscape design for people with dementia; the correlation between psychoacoustic parameter and human perception,” will take place Wednesday, June 9.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people worldwide have Major Depression Disorder and another 20 million have schizophrenia. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Carol Espy-Wilson from the University of Maryland,will discuss how a person’s mental health status is reflected in the coordination of speech gestures. The keynote lecture, “Speech Acoustics and Mental Health Assessment,” will take place Tuesday, June 8.
Many voice actors use a variety of speech vocalizations and patterns to create unique and memorable characters. How they create those amazing voices could help speech pathologists better understand the muscles involved for creating words and sounds. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Colette Feehan from Indiana University will talk about how voice actor performances can lead to better understanding about the speech muscles under our control. The session, “Articulatory and acoustic phonetics of voice actors,” will take place Tuesday, June 8.
Due to strict lockdowns, many of us have seen and heard our family and neighbors much more than ever before. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Ayca Sentop Dümen and Konca Saher from the Turkish Acoustical Society will discuss the effects of pandemic-related noise on people’s satisfaction with their homes and how this may inform future design choices. Their presentation, “Noise annoyance in dwellings during the first wave of Covid-19,” will take place Tuesday, June 8.
The COVID-19 pandemic created numerous changes and challenges for many people. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Andrew Morrison from Joliet Junior College will reveal lessons learned by educators during remote teaching caused by the pandemic and what techniques they can use in the return to classroom instruction. The session, “Lessons learned teaching through a pandemic and looking forward to a post-COVID-19 classroom,” will take place Tuesday, June 8.
Variations in children’s speech has traditionally been attributed to developmental delays. Recent work suggests the reasons for variability are not so clear, and an immediate call for treatment may need to be reconsidered. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Margaret Cychosz from the University of Maryland will discuss the need to better understand these variations. Her presentation, “Reconsidering variability in child speech production,” will take place Tuesday, June 8.
A better understanding of the impacts of face masks and shields on acoustic transmission in classrooms could help optimize educational settings. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Laura and Rich Ruhala from Kennesaw State University will talk about how various types of face coverings may affect students’ understanding of their teacher. Their presentation, “Acoustical transmission of face coverings used to reduce coronavirus transmission in a classroom environment,” will take place Tuesday, June 8.
Unmanned aerial vehicles may help emergency crews find those in need and provide situational awareness over a large area. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Macarena Varela from Fraunhofer FKIE will describe how a system using an array of microphones and advanced processing techniques could be a lifesaver for disaster victims. The session, “Bearing Estimation of Screams Using a Volumetric Microphone Array Mounted on a UAV,” will take place Tuesday, June 8.
Press conferences at the 180th ASA Meeting will cover the latest in acoustical research during the Acoustics in Focus meeting. The virtual press conferences will take place each day of the meeting and offer reporters and outlets the opportunity to hear key presenters talk about their research. To ensure the safety of attendees, volunteers, and ASA staff, Acoustics in Focus will be hosted entirely online.