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Bioacoustic papers in Natureââââ

Subject: Bioacoustic papers in Natureââââ
From: "XIAO, Jianqiang" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 19:24:23 -0500
Research Highlights
Nature 462, 700 (10 December 2009) | doi:10.1038/462700a; Published
online 9 December 2009
Animal perception: When 'wit' is not 'wet'
Proc. R. Soc. B doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1788 (2009)
Humans can distinguish between similar-sounding words regardless of
the speaker. Debate has centred on whether this ability is unique to
humans or exists in other animals and contributed to the evolution of
human speech.
To tackle the question, Verena Ohms of the Institute of Biology Leiden
in the Netherlands and her colleagues recorded 21 men and women saying
the Dutch words 'wit' and 'wet', then played them back for eight zebra
finches (pictured). Enticed by birdseed, the finches learned to
discriminate between the two words. The birds could still tell the two
apart when the words were spoken by people they hadn't heard before,
including people of the opposite sex.

Research Highlights
Nature 462, 828 (17 December 2009) | doi:10.1038/462828a; Published
online 16 December 2009
Primatology: Monkey talk
Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA doi:10.1073/pnas.0908118106 (2009)
The vocal communication system used by Campbell's monkeys may
represent the most complex syntax-like structure yet found among
Karim Ouattara and Alban Lemasson of the University of Rennes in
France and Klaus Zuberbühler of the University of St Andrews, UK,
recorded and analysed the calls of males in six groups of free-ranging
Campbell's monkeys in the rainforest of Ivory Coast.
The males have just six basic types of call, but combine these in
context-specific sequences to convey different information. Crowned
eagles, for example, elicited four different sequences, and leopards
three, according to how the male learnt about their presence — by
seeing them, hearing them, or learning about them through the hearsay
of other monkey species.



XIAO, Jianqiang, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Psychology Department
Rutgers University
152 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

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