Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Speech Linked With Bipedality By UMBC Professor

Date:
November 19, 1999
Source:
University Of Maryland, Baltimore County
Summary:
Speech is a byproduct of the physiological adjustments that came along with walking upright on two feet, according to Robert Provine, UMBC professor of psychology.

Baltimore, MD - Speech is a byproduct of the physiological adjustments that came along with walking upright on two feet, according to Robert Provine, UMBC professor of psychology. Provine presented his research on this topic at the 29th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Miami Beach, FL on Thursday, October 28, 1999.

The ability to speak is both a mechanical and neurological issue. In quadrupeds, there is a one-to-one correlation between breathing pattern and stride because the lungs must be fully inflated to add rigidity to the thoracic complex (sternum, ribs and associated musculature) that absorbs forelimb impacts during running. Without such synchronization, the thorax is weak and unable to absorb the impact. When primates stood and walked on two legs, the thorax was freed of its support function during locomotion, breaking the link between breathing patterns and stride. This flexibility enabled humans to regulate breathing and ultimately, speak.

A prominent expert on laughter, Provine discovered this link while studying chimp laughter, which sounds like panting. Provine found that the pant-like laugh is a result of an inability to manipulate breathing patterns, limiting chimps to a simple inhalation-exhalation cycle.

"Humans have more flexible respiratory control, making it possible to chop an exhalation into parts, as is evident in the 'ha-ha-ha' pattern of laughter," says Provine.

He points out that humans both laugh and speak by the modulating sounds produced by an outward breath. Without respiratory control, human laughter would more closely resemble chimp laughter and speech would be impossible.

Provine's poster presentation "Stand Up and Talk," is based on his upcoming book, Laughter, to be published by Little/Brown in the spring of 2000.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Maryland, Baltimore County. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Maryland, Baltimore County. "Speech Linked With Bipedality By UMBC Professor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991119075602.htm>.
University Of Maryland, Baltimore County. (1999, November 19). Speech Linked With Bipedality By UMBC Professor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991119075602.htm
University Of Maryland, Baltimore County. "Speech Linked With Bipedality By UMBC Professor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991119075602.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins