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The Design of Animal Communication

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Overview

When animals, including humans, communicate, they convey information and express their perceptions of the world. Because different organisms are able to produce and perceive different signals, the animal world contains a diversity of communication systems. Based on the approach laid out in the 1950s by Nobel laureate Nikolaas Tinbergen, this book looks at animal communication from the four perspectives of mechanisms, ontogeny, function, and phylogeny.

The book's great strength is its broad comparative perspective, which enables the reader to appreciate the diversity of solutions to particular problems of signal design and perception. For example, although the neural circuitry underlying the production of acoustic signals is different in frogs, songbirds, bats, and humans, each involves a set of dedicated pathways designed to solve particular problems of communicative efficiency. Such comparative findings form the basis of a conceptual framework for understanding the mechanisms underlying communication systems and their evolution.

Disc. mechanisms, ontogeny, function & phylogeny; compara- tive perspective.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262582230
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 713
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc D. Hauser is Professor of Psychology and Codirector of the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Program at Harvard University.

Mark Konishi is Bing Professor of Behavioral Biology at the California Institute of Technology.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
I Mechanisms of Communication 1
1 Vocal Communication in Xenopus laevis 9
2 The Motor Basis of Vocal Performance in Songbirds 37
3 The Anatomy and Timing of Vocal Learning in Birds 63
4 The Dance Language of Honeybees: Recent Findings and Problems 111
5 Processing Species-specific Calls by Combination-sensitive Neurons in an Echolocating Bat 133
6 A Cellular Basis for Reading Minds from Faces and Actions 159
7 Neural Systems for Recognizing Emotions in Humans 187
8 The Neuroendocrine Basis of Seasonal Changes in Vocal Behavior among Songbirds 213
9 Testosterone, Aggression, and Communication: Ecological Bases of Endocrine Phenomena 255
II Ontogeny of Communication 285
10 On Innateness: Are Sparrow Songs "Learned" or "Innate"? 293
11 Making Ecological Sense of Song Development by Songbirds 319
12 Song- and Order-seective Auditory Responses Emerge in Neurons of the Songbird Anterior Forebrain during Vocal Learning 343
13 Genetics of Canary Song Learning: Innate Mechanisms and Other Neurobiological Considerations 369
14 Production, Usage, and Response in Nonhuman Primate Vocal Development 391
15 Speech, Language, and the Brain: Innate Preparation for Learning 419
III Evolution of Communication 451
16 Signal Evolution in Electric Communication 461
17 Complementary Explanations for Existing Phenotypes in an Acoustic Communication System 493
18 Reproductive Character Displacement and Other Sources of Selection on Acoustic Communication Systems 515
19 Phylogenetic Inference and the Evolution of Communication in Tungara Frogs 535
20 Categorical Perception of Behaviorally Relevant Stimuli by Crickets 559
21 Functions of Song Variation in Song Sparrows 577
22 The Evolution of a Lopsided Brain: Asymmetries Underlying Facial and Vocal Expressions in Primates 597
23 Mechanisms Underlying the Vocalizations of Nonhuman Primates 629
24 Communication and Tool Use in Chimpanzees: Cultural and Social Contexts 645
List of Contributors 673
Name Index 675
Subject Index 689
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