Dolphins, Therapy & Autism


Dolphin Sound Production on the Right and the Left Side



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Dolphin Sound Production on the Right and the Left Side

Hydrophones were placed on each side of the dolphin's blowhole (as shown). Sounds from the right side deflected an oscilloscope trace horizontally and sounds from the left side deflected the trace vertically. The figure shows photographs taken during sound production. If the dolphin clicked only on the left, one sees only a vertical trace. Clicks on the right form horizontal traces and similarly for whistles on each side. Whistles coupled between both sides form complex ellipses on the screen. In a given click train, the dolphin may control the clicks such that the ellipse patterns shift their axes. [Capital "S" means stereo, i.e., sound linked on the two sides and "D" means “double" (or separated) sound production on the two sides without coupling.] (After J. C. Lilly) 26


Another time Lilly picked up a whistle as recorded by one hydrophone (underwater microphone) that appeared to be made by one dolphin. However the same signal was picked up by a second hydrophone. Analysis showed the whistle was made by two dolphins. One made the first part of the whistle and the second finished it. The transition between the two dolphins was smooth and in phase! This demonstrates exquisite phase control and phase locking among dolphins.


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