Locatability of vocal signals in Old World monkeys: Design features for the communication of position

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Abstract

The ability of 3 monkeys (Macaca nemestrina and M. mulatta) to resolve the spatial origin of monkey vocalizations was psychophysically determined. Ss were trained through positive reinforcement operant conditioning procedures to report the detection of a change in the horizontal coordinate (azimuth) of the signal's location. Each S was tested with an array of signals, including natural calls, low-pass filtered components of calls, and simulated elements of calls. The acuity of localization of different macaque vocalizations was found to exceed a 4-fold range (from less than 4| to nearly 15|). Results indicate that both “harsh calls” and frequency-modulated “clear calls” were readily localized. The acuity of localization was unaffected by the harmonic content of clear calls. These observations suggest that signal locatability is one of the dimensions that have influenced the structure of macaque vocal signals. (47 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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