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PNAS:猕猴适应有韵律的交流

来源:EurekAlert!中文 2013-01-15 15:47

一项研究发现,猴类似于人,当交流遵循一种自然韵律的时候,它们交流得最好,这支持了一种理论,即现代人的说话方式是从灵长类祖先交流时使用的有韵律的面部表达进化而来的。当以稳定的3到8赫兹的韵律发出音节的时候,人类语音最容易被理解;破坏了这种节拍的人造口和面部运动降低了可理解性。Asif Ghazanfar及其同事探索了猴——它们通过嘴部活动等有韵律的面部运动进行交流——是否适应一种自然的韵律。这组作者确定了11只猕猴用了多长时间观看计算机生成的两只并列的的猴头像,这些头像以缓慢、自然或加速的韵律进行嘴部活动。当这些头像以大约6赫兹的自然韵律进行嘴部活动的时候,这些猴观看这些头像的时间比观看其他头像的时间长了大约30%。将近一半的猕猴用它们自己的嘴部动作响应了这种6赫兹的头像,这类似于在野外观察到的相互交流的比例。根据他们的发现以及此前的研究,这组作者提出猴的嘴部活动和人类语音韵律可能共有一种来自于共同进化起源的感觉运动机制。(生物谷Bioon.com)

Monkeys are perceptually tuned to facial expressions that exhibit a theta-like speech rhythm

Asif A. Ghazanfara,b,c,1, Ryan J. Morrilla,c, and Christoph Kayserd,e,1

Human speech universally exhibits a 3- to 8-Hz rhythm, corresponding to the rate of syllable production, which is reflected in both the sound envelope and the visual mouth movements. Artificial perturbation of the speech rhythm outside the natural range reduces speech intelligibility, demonstrating a perceptual tuning to this frequency band. One theory posits that the mouth movements at the core of this speech rhythm evolved through modification of ancestral primate facial expressions. Recent evidence shows that one such communicative gesture in macaque monkeys, lip-smacking, has motor parallels with speech in its rhythmicity, its developmental trajectory, and the coordination of vocal tract structures. Whether monkeys also exhibit a perceptual tuning to the natural rhythms of lip-smacking is unknown. To investigate this, we tested rhesus monkeys in a preferential-looking procedure, measuring the time spent looking at each of two side-by-side computer-generated monkey avatars lip-smacking at natural versus sped-up or slowed-down rhythms. Monkeys showed an overall preference for the natural rhythm compared with the perturbed rhythms. This lends behavioral support for the hypothesis that perceptual processes in monkeys are similarly tuned to the natural frequencies of communication signals as they are in humans. Our data provide perceptual evidence for the theory that speech may have evolved from ancestral primate rhythmic facial expressions.

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