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Hear them roar: A comparison of black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) and human (Homo sapiens) perception of arousal in vocalizations across all classes of terrestrial vertebrates

Congdon, Jenna V. ; Hahn, Allison H. ; Filippi, Piera ; Campbell, Kimberley A. ; Hoang, John ; Scully, Erin N. ; Bowling, Daniel L. ; Reber, Stephan Alexander LU and Sturdy, Christopher B. (2019) In Journal of Comparative Psychology
Abstract
Recently, evidence for acoustic universals in vocal communication was found by demonstrating that humans can identify levels of arousal in vocalizations produced by species across three biological classes (Filippi et al., 2017). Here, we extend this work by testing whether two vocal learning species, humans and chickadees, can discriminate vocalizations of high and low arousal using operant discrimination go/no-go tasks. Stimuli included vocalizations from nine species: giant panda, American alligator, common raven, hourglass treefrog, African elephant, Barbary macaque, domestic pig, black-capped chickadee, and human. Subjects were trained to respond to high or low arousal vocalizations, then tested with additional high and low arousal... (More)
Recently, evidence for acoustic universals in vocal communication was found by demonstrating that humans can identify levels of arousal in vocalizations produced by species across three biological classes (Filippi et al., 2017). Here, we extend this work by testing whether two vocal learning species, humans and chickadees, can discriminate vocalizations of high and low arousal using operant discrimination go/no-go tasks. Stimuli included vocalizations from nine species: giant panda, American alligator, common raven, hourglass treefrog, African elephant, Barbary macaque, domestic pig, black-capped chickadee, and human. Subjects were trained to respond to high or low arousal vocalizations, then tested with additional high and low arousal vocalizations produced by each species. Chickadees (Experiment 1) and humans (Experiment 2) learned to discriminate between high and low arousal stimuli and significantly transferred the discrimination to additional panda, human, and chickadee vocalizations. Finally, we conducted discriminant function analyses using four acoustic measures, finding evidence suggesting that fundamental frequency played a role in responding during the task. However, these analyses also suggest roles for other acoustic factors as well as familiarity. In sum, the results from these studies provide evidence that chickadees and humans are capable of perceiving arousal in vocalizations produced by multiple species. (Less)
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Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Comparative Psychology
pages
22 pages
publisher
American Psychological Association (APA)
ISSN
1939-2087
DOI
/10.1037/com0000187
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1adc046a-f35c-4546-b4ef-35ade77f82f8
date added to LUP
2019-08-20 01:43:08
date last changed
2019-11-19 04:01:44
@article{1adc046a-f35c-4546-b4ef-35ade77f82f8,
  abstract     = {Recently, evidence for acoustic universals in vocal communication was found by demonstrating that humans can identify levels of arousal in vocalizations produced by species across three biological classes (Filippi et al., 2017). Here, we extend this work by testing whether two vocal learning species, humans and chickadees, can discriminate vocalizations of high and low arousal using operant discrimination go/no-go tasks. Stimuli included vocalizations from nine species: giant panda, American alligator, common raven, hourglass treefrog, African elephant, Barbary macaque, domestic pig, black-capped chickadee, and human. Subjects were trained to respond to high or low arousal vocalizations, then tested with additional high and low arousal vocalizations produced by each species. Chickadees (Experiment 1) and humans (Experiment 2) learned to discriminate between high and low arousal stimuli and significantly transferred the discrimination to additional panda, human, and chickadee vocalizations. Finally, we conducted discriminant function analyses using four acoustic measures, finding evidence suggesting that fundamental frequency played a role in responding during the task. However, these analyses also suggest roles for other acoustic factors as well as familiarity. In sum, the results from these studies provide evidence that chickadees and humans are capable of perceiving arousal in vocalizations produced by multiple species.},
  author       = {Congdon, Jenna V. and  Hahn, Allison H. and Filippi, Piera and Campbell, Kimberley A. and Hoang, John and Scully, Erin N. and Bowling, Daniel L. and Reber, Stephan Alexander and Sturdy, Christopher B.},
  issn         = {1939-2087},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {American Psychological Association (APA)},
  series       = {Journal of Comparative Psychology},
  title        = {Hear them roar: A comparison of black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) and human (Homo sapiens) perception of arousal in vocalizations across all classes of terrestrial vertebrates},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org//10.1037/com0000187},
  doi          = {/10.1037/com0000187},
  year         = {2019},
}