Document Detail

Categorical perception of conspecific communication sounds by Japanese macaques, Macaca fuscata.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2925998     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Field studies indicate that Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) communication signals vary with the social situation in which they occur [S. Green, "Variation of vocal pattern with social situation in the Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata): A field study," in Primate Behavior, edited by L. A. Rosenblum (Academic, New York, 1975), Vol. 4]. A significant acoustic property of the contact calls produced by these primates is the temporal position of a frequency peak within the vocalization, that is, an inflection from rising to falling frequency [May et al., "Significant features of Japanese macaque communication sounds: A psychophysical study," Anim. Behav. 36, 1432-1444 (1988)]. The experiments reported here are based on the hypothesis that Japanese macaques derive meaning from this temporally graded feature by parceling the acoustic variation inherent in natural contact calls into two functional categories, and thus exhibit behavior that is analogous to the categorical perception of speech sounds by humans. To test this hypothesis, Japanese macaques were trained to classify natural contact calls by performing operant responses that signified either an early or late frequency peak position. Then, the subjects were tested in a series of experiments that required them to generalize this behavior to synthetic calls representing a continuum of peak positions. Demonstration of the classical perceptual effects noted for human listeners suggests that categorical perception reflects a principle of auditory information processing that influences the perception of sounds in the communication systems not only of humans, but of animals as well.
B May; D B Moody; W C Stebbins
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America     Volume:  85     ISSN:  0001-4966     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Acoust. Soc. Am.     Publication Date:  1989 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-04-24     Completed Date:  1989-04-24     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503051     Medline TA:  J Acoust Soc Am     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  837-47     Citation Subset:  IM    
Kresge Hearing Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Communication*
Auditory Perception*
Conditioning, Operant
Discrimination Learning
Vocalization, Animal
Grant Support

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