A special August issue of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, presents a host of studies that investigate the way that animals adapt their calls, chirps, barks and whistles to their social situation.
The special issue, Acoustic Interaction in Animal Groups: Signaling in Noisy and Social Contexts, reports on findings from the natural world such as:
Review articles assess the evidence to date and outline future directions. For example, Peter Tyack, PhD, a biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, concludes that, "Pooling data on vocal imitation, vocal convergence and compensation for noise suggests a wider [cross-species] distribution of vocal production learning among mammals than has been generally appreciated." It could mean that mammals have more of the neural underpinnings for learning to vocalize than has been previously thought.
The Journal of Comparative Psychology publishes articles from a comparative perspective and features original empirical and theoretical research on the behavior, cognition, perception and sociality of diverse species. It is edited by Gordon Burghardt, PhD, of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he is alumni distinguished service professor, Departments of Psychology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.
"Animal communication has been a major emphasis in animal behavior and comparative psychology for many decades," Dr. Burghardt says. "However, in recent years, we have gone beyond the straightforward analysis of dyadic interactions between two individuals. We now consider the role of eavesdropping, deception and noisy environments in shaping signals and investigate how animals deploy them in various contexts."
Special Issue: "Acoustic Interaction in Animal Groups: Signaling in Noisy and Social Contexts." Journal of Comparative Psychology. Vol. 122, No. 3. (http://www.apa.org/journals/com/)
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