Bioacoustics in cognitive research: Applications, considerations, and recommendations

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Bioacoustics in cognitive research: Applications, considerations, and recommendations

The capacity for bioacoustics to contribute to the understanding of cognition is dependent on consideration of recording context and methodology and implementation of best practices.

Abstract

The multifaceted ability to produce, transmit, receive, and respond to acoustic signals is widespread in animals and forms the basis of the interdisciplinary science of bioacoustics. Bioacoustics research methods, including sound recording and playback experiments, are applicable in cognitive research that centers around the processing of information from the acoustic environment. We provide an overview of bioacoustics techniques in the context of cognitive studies and make the case for the importance of bioacoustics in the study of cognition by outlining some of the major cognitive processes in which acoustic signals are involved. We also describe key considerations associated with the recording of sound and its use in cognitive applications. Based on these considerations, we provide a set of recommendations for best practices in the recording and use of acoustic signals in cognitive studies. Our aim is to demonstrate that acoustic recordings and stimuli are valuable tools for cognitive researchers when used appropriately. In doing so, we hope to stimulate opportunities for innovative cognitive research that incorporates robust recording protocols.

This article is categorized under:
Neuroscience > Cognition
Psychology > Theory and Methods
Neuroscience > Behavior
Neuroscience > Cognition

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