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(Greek: akouein = to hear) Commonly, the study of SOUND and its behaviour in various media and environments, including the effects of ABSORPTION, DIFFRACTION, INTERFERENCE, REFLECTION, and REFRACTION.
When sounds are conducted separately and independently to each ear via tubes or headphones, the sounds are said to be heard dichotically. In various psychoacoustic experiments, isolation of the function of each ear is desirable, such as in the testing or simulation of BINAURAL HEARING with the PRECEDENCE EFFECT, or in testing preferences for different sounds presented simultaneously to separate ears.
Sound at frequencies above the audible range, namely above 20 kHz, audible only to various non-human species. Because of its very short WAVELENGTH in the megahertz range, ultrasound is used as a safe alternative to X-ray photography in medical diagnosis. Ultrasound scanning is sometimes called sonography.
The ability to judge PITCH absolutely, without reference to another pitch or frequency. Also called absolute pitch. Perfect pitch appears to be an innate ability of some individuals, whereas related skills, such as remembered pitch or relative pitch which use other pitches as references, can be learned through musical practice.