Why do we easily distinguish a sound produced by a breaking glass from the sound produced by a shock on a metallic structure, although the spectral content of the two sounds is very close? Why do we easily accept the ersatz of a horse's hooves made by a sound effects engineer knocking coco-nuts together? These questions, representing every-day examples both illustrate the complexity and the pragmatism behind the rather unknown concept related to the: meaning of sounds. This project aims at establishing relations between the structure of sounds, and their impact on human beings. It is based on an interdisciplinary approach associating acoustics, signal processing, psychoacoustics and cognitive neuroscience. The complementarities of these domains make it possible to address this crucial aspect of sound communication.

The project is divided in four parts based on scientific considerations covering a large variety of fields that strongly interact in order to bring forward answers to questions related to the meaning of sounds.