Communication involves transmitting a signal encoded with information that can be interpreted by a receiver and used to mediate behavioral responses and decisions. In order for communication to function properly, some level of co-evolution between signal producer and receiver must have occurred; otherwise, signals would either be ignored or misinterpreted. Although this relationship is evident in every communication system, specialized systems offer a unique opportunity to observe how the specific features of a system interact to facilitate communication. For example, in vocal communication systems, individuals communicate by emitting vocalizations that are then interpreted by the auditory system of conspecifics. The information content and structure of the signals are manifested in a suite of acoustic variables that conform to species-typical boundaries. In a specialized system, particular acoustic features are encoded in the vocal signal and transmitted to the receiver who, in turn, has evolved a perceptual system to interpret particular features of the signal. Subtle differences in acoustic structure can be interpreted to indicate vastly different pieces of information. To decipher these signals, researchers must understand the interaction between acoustic features within the call and the behaviors that are elicited by such features. Specialized systems of vocal communication offer us an important opportunity to investigate this relationship most effectively.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Primate Audition|
|Subtitle of host publication||Ethology and Neurobiology|
|Number of pages||17|
|ISBN (Print)||0849309565, 9780849309564|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2002|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes