A review of the history, development and application of auditory weighting functions in humans and marine mammals

Dorian S. Houser, William Yost, Robert Burkard, James J. Finneran, Colleen Reichmuth, Jason Mulsow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    16 Scopus citations


    This document reviews the history, development, and use of auditory weighting functions for noise impact assessment in humans and marine mammals. Advances from the modern era of electroacoustics, psychophysical studies of loudness, and other related hearing studies are reviewed with respect to the development and application of human auditory weighting functions, particularly A-weighting. The use of auditory weighting functions to assess the effects of environmental noise on humans - such as hearing damage-risk criteria - are presented, as well as lower-level effects such as annoyance and masking. The article also reviews marine mammal auditory weighting functions, the development of which has been fundamentally directed by the objective of predicting and preventing noise-induced hearing loss. Compared to the development of human auditory weighting functions, the development of marine mammal auditory weighting functions have faced additional challenges, including a large number of species that must be considered, a lack of audiometric information on most species, and small sample sizes for nearly all species for which auditory data are available. The review concludes with research recommendations to address data gaps and assumptions underlying marine mammal auditory weighting function design and application.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1371-1413
    Number of pages43
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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