This paper reviews research conducted by our laboratory exploring the possible use of acoustical stimuli as a tool for influencing behavior. Over the course of several programs, different types of acoustic stimuli have been evaluated for their effectiveness in disrupting targeting, balance, and high-order cognitive processes in both humans and animals. Escape responses are of particular use in this regard. An escape response serves not only as an objective measure of aversion, but as a potential substitute for ongoing behavior. We have also assessed whether the level of performance changes if the individual does not perform an escape response. In general these studies have both suggested certain types of sounds are more aversive or distracting than others. Although the laboratory
development of additional stimuli needs to continue, we are taking the next step by testing some of the more effective stimuli in more applied experimental scenarios including those involving group dynamics.