Revisiting vocal perception in non-human animals : a review of vowel discrimination, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization
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The extent to which human speech perception evolved by taking advantage of predispositions and pre-existing features of vertebrate auditory and cognitive systems remains a central question in the evolution of speech. This paper reviews asymmetries in vowel perception, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization in non-human animals topics that have not been thoroughly discussed in relation to the abilities of non-human animals, but are nonetheless important aspects of vocal perception. Throughout this paper we demonstrate that addressing these issues in non-human animals is relevant and worthwhile because many non-human animals must deal with similar issues in their natural environment. That is, they must also discriminate between similar-sounding vocalizations, determine signaler identity from vocalizations, and resolve signaler-dependent variation in vocalizations from conspecifics. Overall, we find that, although plausible, the current evidence is insufficiently strong to conclude that directional asymmetries in vowel perception are specific to humans, or that non-human animals can use voice characteristics to recognize human individuals. However, we do find some indication that non-human animals can normalize speaker differences. Accordingly, we identify avenues for future research that would greatly improve and advance our understanding of these topics.
Kriengwatana , B , Escudero , P & ten Cate , C 2015 , ' Revisiting vocal perception in non-human animals : a review of vowel discrimination, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization ' Frontiers in Psychology , vol 5 , 1543 . DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01543
Frontiers in Psychology
© 2015 Kriengwatana, Escudero and ten Cate. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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