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J Acoust Soc Am. 2003 May;113(5):2927-32.

Responses of squirrel monkeys to their experimentally modified mobbing calls.

Author information

  • 1Deutsches Primatenzentrum, Abteilung Neurobiologie, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany. fichtel@eva.mpg.de

Abstract

Previous acoustic analyses suggested emotion-correlated changes in the acoustic structure of squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) vocalizations. Specifically, calls given in aversive contexts were characterized by an upward shift in frequencies, often accompanied by an increase in amplitude. In order to test whether changes in frequencies or amplitude are indeed relevant for conspecific listeners, playback experiments were conducted in which either frequencies or amplitude of mobbing calls were modified. Latency and first orienting response were measured in playback experiments with six adult squirrel monkeys. After broadcasting yaps with increased frequencies or amplitude, squirrel monkeys showed a longer orienting response towards the speaker than after the corresponding control stimuli. Furthermore, after broadcasting yaps with decreased frequencies or amplitude, squirrel monkeys showed a shorter orienting response towards the speaker than after the corresponding manipulated calls with higher frequencies or amplitude. These results suggest that changes in frequencies or amplitude were perceived by squirrel monkeys, indicating that the relationship between call structure and the underlying affective state of the caller agreed with the listener's assessment of the calls. However, a simultaneous increase in frequencies and amplitude did not lead to an enhanced response, compared to each single parameter. Thus, from the receiver's perspective, both call parameters may mutually replace each other.

PMID:
12765410
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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