Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG
HOME > PAST ISSUE > COMMENTS > Comment Detail

The Complex Call of the Carolina Chickadee


Comment

Over 60 years ago when I was an Engineering student at the University of CT
I was part of an experiment to determine just which part of the human voice spectrum communicated information.
It was obvious, even then, that while the voice spectrum was many kilocycles wide,
the information transfer was at teletype speeds - typically under 100 words per minute.
The brain processed a simpler signal generated in the structure of the ear.
my Job along with other volunteers (at 50 cent per hour) was to listen to artificial speech written by hand.

Your article brought memories of this experiment back to me. One of the principal experimenters could almost miraculously speak to us with a calligraphy pen on a strip of paper processed by the frequency synthesizer. Not only was he easily understood, he could speak to us in accents from new england to the deep south. The spectrograms in this article on bird speech looks very much like what was processed by the machine we listened to.

If they keep at it -- someday these experimenters may be able to talk to the birds in their own language.

Roland Boucher
Irvine Ca

posted by Roland Boucher
August 23, 2012

 

Read Us on JSTOR

JSTOR, the online academic archive, now contains complete back issues of American Scientist from its inception in 1913 (as Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.

The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.

View the full collection here.


Indexes

Year-end indexes in PDF format:

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010


Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • Sigma Xi SmartBrief:

    A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, Science Observers and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.


Write for American Scientist

Review our submission guidelines.


Subscribe to American Scientist