Acoustical and Perceptual Structures of Sexually Dimorphic Distance Calls in Bengalese Finches (Lonchura striata domestica)

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Abstract

We characterized the physical structure of distance calls by Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) and its relation to perception. Distance calls were recorded from 12 female and 12 male Bengalese finches and analyzed; such acoustic parameters as length, bandwidth, and peak frequency were obtained, and differences between sexes on combinations of these parameters were tested and shown to be significant. To assess perceptual salience of acoustic parameters, discrimination of 4 female and 4 male calls was examined. The reaction time required to discriminate a pair of distance calls was used as a measure of similarity between the 2 calls and analyzed by a multidimensional scaling procedure to find the perceptual dimensions. The results suggest that the sex difference in Bengalese finch distance calls is easily perceived by Bengalese finches and the males and females were not different in their perception of the calls.

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