Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Hearing Shapes

PostedApril 22, 2005

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Listen hard and you have a good chance of hearing the difference between sounds coming from the other side of a square, a circle, or a triangle.  University of California psychologist Larry Rosenblum's experiments show that people can actually perceive subtle variations in sound waves as they pass around an object's edges.  He thinks a better understanding of our hearing sensitivities might allow engineers to improve acoustics.  One day, such research may even lead to rooms designed with structural features that help the visually impaired hear their way around.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.