Document Detail

Primate visual signals in noisy environments.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17855789     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Most animals and plants need to send signals and rely on some sort of response. For an active receptor of signals, virtually all the signal transmissions that litter the environment, bar those that are functional at any given moment, can be described as 'noise'. I concentrate here on some primate examples where loud calls combine with 'loud' colouring and patterns, to suggest that increasing the intensity of signals can help overcome the problem of 'noise'. I also present evidence that certain ecological conditions favour use of the visual channel. I use some examples, drawn from African guenons, to suggest that visual patterns broadcast on this channel have evolved and have, effectively, been elaborated to conform with certain optical principles. These optical properties minimize ambiguity and enhance species-specific (or at least population-specific) distinctiveness. The abilities of ancestral forest primates to discriminate between functional signals and visual 'noise' may have played an important part in providing the basis for our own hominin ancestors' visual proficiencies.
Jonathan Kingdon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2007-09-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology     Volume:  78     ISSN:  1421-9980     ISO Abbreviation:  Folia Primatol.     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-09-14     Completed Date:  2007-10-12     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370723     Medline TA:  Folia Primatol (Basel)     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  389-404     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Department of Zoology, Oxford University, Tubney, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Communication*
Auditory Perception / physiology
Primates / physiology*
Species Specificity
Vision, Ocular / physiology*
Vocalization, Animal / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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