Perception of vocal tract resonances by whooping cranes Grus americana

Citation
Wt. Fitch et Jp. Kelley, Perception of vocal tract resonances by whooping cranes Grus americana, ETHOLOGY, 106(6), 2000, pp. 559-574
Citations number
59
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
106
Issue
6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
559 - 574
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200006)106:6<559:POVTRB>2.0.ZU;2-B
Abstract
Although formants (vocal tract resonances) can often be observed in avian v ocalizations, and several bird species have been shown to perceive formants in human speech sounds, no studies have examined formant perception in bir ds' own species-specific calls. We used playbacks of computer-synthesized c rane calls in a modified habituation-dishabituation paradigm to test for fo rmant perception in whooping cranes (Grus americana). After habituating bir ds to recordings of natural contact calls, we played a synthesized replica of one of the habituating stimuli as a control to ensure that the synthesiz er worked adequately; birds dishabituated in only one of 13 cases. Then, we played the same call with its formant frequencies shifted. The birds disha bituated to the formant-shifted calls in 10 out of 12 play-backs. These dat a suggest that cranes perceive and attend to changes in formant frequencies in their own species-specific vocalizations, and are consistent with the h ypothesis that formants can provide acoustic cues to individuality and body size.