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  Vocal-Tract Resonances as Indexical Cues in Rhesus Monkeys

Ghazanfar, A., Turesson, H., Maier, J., Dinther, R., Patterson, R., & Logothetis, N. (2007). Vocal-Tract Resonances as Indexical Cues in Rhesus Monkeys. Current Biology, 17(5), 425-430. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.029.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-CEB5-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-D0A3-9
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Ghazanfar, AA1, 2, Author              
Turesson, HK1, 2, Author              
Maier, JX2, 3, Author              
Dinther , RV, Author
Patterson, RD, Author
Logothetis, NK1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497798              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              
3Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              

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 Abstract: Vocal-tract resonances (or formants) are acoustic signatures in the voice and are related to the shape and length of the vocal tract. Formants play an important role in human communication, helping us not only to distinguish several different speech sounds [1], but also to extract important information related to the physical characteristics of the speaker, so-called indexical cues. How did formants come to play such an important role in human vocal communication? One hypothesis suggests that the ancestral role of formant perception—a role that might be present in extant nonhuman primates—was to provide indexical cues 2, 3, 4 and 5. Although formants are present in the acoustic structure of vowel-like calls of monkeys 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and implicated in the discrimination of call types 8, 9 and 10, it is not known whether they use this feature to extract indexical cues. Here, we investigate whether rhesus monkeys can use the formant structure in their “coo” calls to assess the age-related body size of conspecifics. Using a preferential-looking paradigm 11 and 12 and synthetic coo calls in which formant structure simulated an adult/large- or juvenile/small-sounding individual, we demonstrate that untrained monkeys attend to formant cues and link large-sounding coos to large faces and small-sounding coos to small faces—in essence, they can, like humans [13], use formants as indicators of age-related body size.

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 Dates: 2007-02
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.01.029
BibTex Citekey: 4406
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Title: Current Biology
  Other : Curr. Biol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London, UK : Cell Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 17 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 425 - 430 Identifier: ISSN: 0960-9822
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925579107