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J Acoust Soc Am. 2003 Apr;113(4 Pt 1):2114-26.

Laryngeal biomechanics and vocal communication in the squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis).

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Department of Psychology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688, USA.


The larynges of eight squirrel monkeys were harvested, dissected, mounted on a pseudotracheal tube, and phonated using compressed air. Patterns of vocal fold oscillation were compared with sound spectrograms of calls recorded from monkeys in our colony. Four different regimes of vocal fold activation were identified. Regime 1 resembled typical human vowel production, with regular vocal-fold vibration, a prominent fundamental frequency, and an accompanying series of harmonic overtones. This regime is likely to give rise to squirrel monkey "cackles," as well as a variety of other harmonically structured calls. In regime 2, the pattern of vibrations exhibited the presence of two or more unrelated frequencies (biphonation). This regime of glottal activity resembled the biphonation observed in many exemplars of "twitter" and "kecker" calls. The vocal folds oscillated continuously in regime 3, but produced glottal pulses whose amplitudes waxed and waned rhythmically. This phenomenon resulted in the percept of a series of discrete pulses, and may give rise to "errs," "churrs," and other calls composed of a rapid sequence of acoustic elements. In regime 4, the period of each oscillation was quasi-irregular. Shrieks and other broadband calls or call elements that lack an apparent fundamental frequency may be produced in this manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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