Bone Conduction: Anatomy, Physiology, and Communication

Report No. ARL-TR-4138
Authors: Paula Henry and Tomasz R. Letowski
Date/Pages: May 2007; 204 pages
Abstract: Humans hear through air and bone conduction pathways. Both pathways can be used to transmit sound to a listener and from a talker although traditionally, the air conduction pathway has been used. Communication through bone conduction is a feasible alternative to air conduction reception and transmission and provides benefits to the user that an air conduction system cannot provide. This report combines results of an extensive literature review of the anatomy and physiology of human hearing, theories behind the mechanisms of bone conduction transmission, devices for use in bone conduction transmission, and the use of the bone conduction pathway for communication. Bone conduction for the transmission of communication is effective and feasible for Soldiers because it provides a means of providing radio communication in combination with hearing protection devices.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2007