The transmission of information, SIGNALs or messages between a sender and a receiver. The messages exchanged may be verbal, written, visual, aural or involve other sets of sense receptors of engineered devices such as telephone, radio, etc.
The idealized communication system comprises six elements: source, transmitter, CHANNEL, MESSAGE, RECEIVER, and destination. Because communication means a sharing of elements of behaviour or modes of life, it necessarily involves sets of rules for the exchange of such information. Such sets of rules comprise the communication code and are designed to bring about a discriminatory response from the person or device receiving the message. At each stage of the message transfer, NOISE can occur.
See also: ELECTROACOUSTIC, METACOMMUNICATION, REDUNDANCY. Compare: FEEDBACK, NETWORK, RADIO SPECTRUM, TRANSMISSION.
The contemporary study of communication has shifted from a model based on signal transfer to one based on information exchange, a shift that is similar to the difference between hearing and listening, or the difference between acoustical engineering and SOUNDSCAPE studies.
See also: SILENCE, SOUND POLLUTION.
Ref.: B. Truax, Acoustic Communication, Ablex Publishing Corp., 1984.