Show simple item record

Files in this item


Item metadata

dc.contributor.authorClay, Zanna
dc.contributor.authorZuberbuehler, Klaus
dc.identifier.citationClay , Z & Zuberbuehler , K 2011 , ' Bonobos extract meaning from call sequences ' , PLoS ONE , vol. 6 , no. 4 , e18786 .
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-8378-088X/work/64360628
dc.descriptionThis research was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Award and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.en
dc.description.abstractStudies on language-trained bonobos have revealed their remarkable abilities in representational and communication tasks. Surprisingly, however, corresponding research into their natural communication has largely been neglected. We address this issue with a first playback study on the natural vocal behaviour of bonobos. Bonobos produce five acoustically distinct call types when finding food, which they regularly mix together into longer call sequences. We found that individual call types were relatively poor indicators of food quality, while context specificity was much greater at the call sequence level. We therefore investigated whether receivers could extract meaning about the quality of food encountered by the caller by integrating across different call sequences. We first trained four captive individuals to find two types of foods, kiwi (preferred) and apples (less preferred) at two different locations. We then conducted naturalistic playback experiments during which we broadcasted sequences of four calls, originally produced by a familiar individual responding to either kiwi or apples. All sequences contained the same number of calls but varied in the composition of call types. Following playbacks, we found that subjects devoted significantly more search effort to the field indicated by the call sequence. Rather than attending to individual calls, bonobos attended to the entire sequences to make inferences about the food encountered by a caller. These results provide the first empirical evidence that bonobos are able to extract information about external events by attending to vocal sequences of other individuals and highlight the importance of call combinations in their natural communication system.
dc.relation.ispartofPLoS ONEen
dc.subjectFood associated callsen
dc.subjectWhite faced capuchinsen
dc.subjectGolden lion tamarinsen
dc.subjectCotton-top tamarinsen
dc.subjectAlarm callsen
dc.subjectPan paniscusen
dc.subjectElicited vocalisationsen
dc.subjectPlayback experimentsen
dc.subjectCebus capucinusen
dc.subjectQ Scienceen
dc.titleBonobos extract meaning from call sequencesen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record