Auditory Perception of Conspecific and Heterospecific Vocalizations in Birds: Evidence for Special Processes

Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), canaries (Serinus canaria), and zebra finches (Poephila guttata castanotis) were tested for their ability to discriminate among distance calls of each species. For comparison, starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were tested on the same sounds. Response latencies to detect a change in a repeating background of sound were taken as a measure of the […]

Species identity and the temporal characteristics of fish acoustic signals

Analyses of the acoustic signals of fish show that fine-scale temporal patterns of signals are what vary among species. A growing body of research addressing the topic of species differences in fish acoustic signals suggests that these differences are related to mate choice or species isolation. However, little behavioral work has been done to determine […]

Frequency-range discriminations and absolute pitch in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus), mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli), and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

The acoustic frequency ranges in birdsongs provide important absolute pitch cues for the recognition of conspecifics. Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus), mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli), and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were trained to sort tones contiguous in frequency into 8 ranges on the basis of associations between response to the tones in each range and reward. […]

Validation of an auditory sensory reinforcement paradigm: Campbell’s monkeys (Cercopithecus campbelli) do not prefer consonant over dissonant sounds

The central position and universality of music in human societies raises the question of its phylogenetic origin. One of the most important properties of music involves harmonic musical intervals, in response to which humans show a spontaneous preference for consonant over dissonant sounds starting from early human infancy. Comparative studies conducted with organisms at different […]

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) conceal visual and auditory information from others

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) competed with a human for food. The human sat inside a booth, with 1 piece of food to her left and 1 to her right, which she could retract from her chimpanzee competitor’s reach as needed. In Experiment 1, chimpanzees could approach either side of the booth unseen but then had to […]

An investigation of the auditory perception of western lowland gorillas in an enrichment study

Previous research has highlighted the varied effects of auditory enrichment on different captive animals. This study investigated how manipulating musical components can influence the behavior of a group of captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) at Bristol Zoo. The gorillas were observed during exposure to classical music, rock-and-roll music, and rainforest sounds. The two […]

Environmental enrichment of young adult rats (Rattus norvegicus) in different sensory modalities has long-lasting effects on their ability to learn via specific sensory channels

Sensory modalities individuals use to obtain information from the environment differ among conspecifics. The relative contributions of genetic divergence and environmental plasticity to this variance remain yet unclear. Numerous studies have shown that specific sensory enrichments or impoverishments at the postnatal stage can shape neural development, with potential lifelong effects. For species capable of adjusting […]