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dc.contributor.authorLameira, Adriano R
dc.contributor.authorHardus, Madeleine E
dc.contributor.authorMielke, Alexander
dc.contributor.authorWich, Serge A
dc.contributor.authorShumaker, Robert W
dc.identifier.citationLameira , A R , Hardus , M E , Mielke , A , Wich , S A & Shumaker , R W 2016 , ' Vocal fold control beyond the species-specific repertoire in an orang-utan ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 6 , 30315 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 252018868
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: a41bdfc6-7b98-4095-8dbb-09cbb94e94fb
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84979782593
dc.identifier.otherBibtex: lameira2016vocal
dc.descriptionARL was supported by a European Union COFUND/Durham Junior Research Fellowship.en
dc.description.abstractVocal fold control was critical to the evolution of spoken language, much as it today allows us to learn vowel systems. It has, however, never been demonstrated directly in a non-human primate, leading to the suggestion that it evolved in the human lineage after divergence from great apes. Here, we provide the first evidence for real-time, dynamic and interactive vocal fold control in a great ape during an imitation "do-as-I-do" game with a human demonstrator. Notably, the orang-utan subject skilfully produced "wookies"-an idiosyncratic vocalization exhibiting a unique spectral profile among the orang-utan vocal repertoire. The subject instantaneously matched human-produced wookies as they were randomly modulated in pitch, adjusting his voice frequency up or down when the human demonstrator did so, readily generating distinct low vs. high frequency sub-variants. These sub-variants were significantly different from spontaneous ones (not produced in matching trials). Results indicate a latent capacity for vocal fold exercise in a great ape (i) in real-time, (ii) up and down the frequency spectrum, (iii) across a register range beyond the species-repertoire and, (iv) in a co-operative turntaking social setup. Such ancestral capacity likely provided the neuro-behavioural basis of the more fine-tuned vocal fold control that is a human hallmark.
dc.relation.ispartofScientific Reportsen
dc.rights© The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleVocal fold control beyond the species-specific repertoire in an orang-utanen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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