Wei Chong

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  • Article
    Possible limitations of dolphin echolocation: a simulation study based on a cross-modal matching experiment
    (Nature Research, 2021-03-23) Wei, Chong ; Hoffmann-Kuhnt, Matthias ; Au, Whitlow W. L. ; Ho, Abel Zhong Hao ; Matrai, Patricia A. ; Feng, Wen ; Ketten, Darlene R. ; Zhang, Yu
    Dolphins use their biosonar to discriminate objects with different features through the returning echoes. Cross-modal matching experiments were conducted with a resident bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus). Four types of objects composed of different materials (water-filled PVC pipes, air-filled PVC pipes, foam ball arrays, and PVC pipes wrapped in closed-cell foam) were used in the experiments, respectively. The size and position of the objects remained the same in each case. The data collected in the experiment showed that the dolphin’s matching accuracy was significantly different across the cases. To gain insight into the underlying mechanism in the experiments, we used finite element methods to construct two-dimensional target detection models of an echolocating dolphin in the vertical plane, based on computed tomography scan data. The acoustic processes of the click’s interaction with the objects and the surrounding media in the four cases were simulated and compared. The simulation results provide some possible explanations for why the dolphin performed differently when discriminating the objects that only differed in material composition in the previous matching experiments.
  • Article
    Biosonar signal propagation in the harbor porpoise's (Phocoena phocoena) head : the role of various structures in the formation of the vertical beam
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2017-06-07) Wei, Chong ; Au, Whitlow W. L. ; Ketten, Darlene R. ; Song, Zhongchang ; Zhang, Yu
    Harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) use narrow band echolocation signals for detecting and locating prey and for spatial orientation. In this study, acoustic impedance values of tissues in the porpoise's head were calculated from computer tomography (CT) scan and the corresponding Hounsfield Units. A two-dimensional finite element model of the acoustic impedance was constructed based on CT scan data to simulate the acoustic propagation through the animal's head. The far field transmission beam pattern in the vertical plane and the waveforms of the receiving points around the forehead were compared with prior measurement results, the simulation results were qualitatively consistent with the measurement results. The role of the main structures in the head such as the air sacs, melon and skull in the acoustic propagation was investigated. The results showed that air sacs and skull are the major components to form the vertical beam. Additionally, both beam patterns and sound pressure of the sound waves through four positions deep inside the melon were demonstrated to show the role of the melon in the biosonar sound propagation processes in the vertical plane.
  • Article
    Finite element simulation of broadband biosonar signal propagation in the near- and far-field of an echolocating Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2018-05-02) Wei, Chong ; Au, Whitlow W. L. ; Ketten, Darlene R. ; Zhang, Yu
    Bottlenose dolphins project broadband echolocation signals for detecting and locating prey and predators, and for spatial orientation. There are many unknowns concerning the specifics of biosonar signal production and propagation in the head of dolphins and this manuscript represents an effort to address this topic. A two-dimensional finite element model was constructed using high resolution CT scan data. The model simulated the acoustic processes in the vertical plane of the biosonar signal emitted from the phonic lips and propagated into the water through the animal's head. The acoustic field on the animal's forehead and the farfield transmission beam pattern of the echolocating dolphin were determined. The simulation results and prior acoustic measurements were qualitatively extremely consistent. The role of the main structures on the sound propagation pathway such as the air sacs, melon, and connective tissue was investigated. Furthermore, an investigation of the driving force at the phonic lips for dolphins that emit broadband echolocation signals and porpoises that emit narrowband echolocation signals suggested that the driving force is different for the two types of biosonar. Finally, the results provide a visual understanding of the sound transmission in dolphin's biosonar.
  • Article
    Does rotation during echolocation increase the acoustic field of view? Comparative numerical models based on CT data of a live versus deceased dolphin
    (IOP Publishing, 2023-04-04) Wei, Chong ; Houser, Dorian ; Erbe, Christine ; Zhang, Chuang ; Matrai, Eszter ; Finneran, James J. ; Au, Whitlow W.
    Spinning is a natural and common dolphin behavior; however, its role in echolocation is unknown. We used computed tomography (CT) data of a live and a recently deceased bottlenose dolphin together with measurements of the acoustic properties of head tissues to perform acoustic property reconstrcution. The anatomical configuration and acoustic properties of the main forehead structures between the live and deceased dolphins were compared. Finite element analysis (FEA) was applied to simulate the generation and propagation of echolocation clicks, to compute their waveforms and spectra in both near- and far-fields, and to derive echolocation beam patterns. Model results from both the live and deceased dolphins were in good agreement with click recordings from live, echolocating individuals. FEA was also used to estimate the acoustic scene experienced by a dolphin rotating 180ã about its longitudinal axis to detect fish in the far-field at elevation angles of 0ã –20ã . The results suggest that the spinning behavior provides a wider insonification area and compensates for the dolphin’s relatively narrow biosonar beam and constraints on the pointing direction that are limited by head movement. The results also have implications for examining the accuracy of FEA in acoustic simulations using freshly deceased specimens.