Long-lasting vocal plasticity in adult marmoset monkeys

Lingyun Zhao, Bahar Boroumand Rad, Xiaoqin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Humans exhibit a high level of vocal plasticity in speech production, which allows us to acquire both native and foreign languages and dialects, and adapt to local accents in social communication. In comparison, nonhuman primates exhibit limited vocal plasticity, especially in adulthood, which would limit their ability to adapt to different social and environmental contexts in vocal communication. Here, we quantitatively examined the ability of adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), a highly vocal New World primate species, to modulate their vocal production in social contexts. While recent studies have demonstrated vocal learning in developing marmosets, we know much less about the extent of vocal learning and plasticity in adult marmosets. We found, in the present study, that marmosets were able to adaptively modify the spectrotemporal structure of their vocalizations when they encountered interfering sounds. Our experiments showed that marmosets shifted the spectrum of their vocalizations away from the spectrum of the interfering sounds in order to avoid the overlap. More interestingly, we found that marmosets made predictive and long-lasting spectral shifts in their vocalizations after they had experienced a particular type of interfering sound. These observations provided evidence for directional control of the vocalization spectrum and long-term vocal plasticity by adult marmosets. The findings reported here have important implications for the ability of this New World primate species in voluntarily and adaptively controlling their vocal production in social communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20190817
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume286
Issue number1905
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 26 2019

Fingerprint

Callithrix
vocalization
Callitrichidae
Haplorhini
monkeys
Plasticity
plasticity
primate
Acoustic waves
communication
animal communication
Aptitude
Communication
Callithrix jacchus
Primates
learning
Sodium Glutamate
Learning
adulthood
sound

Keywords

  • Marmoset
  • Vocal communication
  • Vocal control
  • Vocal learning
  • Vocal plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Long-lasting vocal plasticity in adult marmoset monkeys. / Zhao, Lingyun; Rad, Bahar Boroumand; Wang, Xiaoqin.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 286, No. 1905, 20190817, 26.06.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{2fdad5a3700a4dcd847f5437c2f34f64,
title = "Long-lasting vocal plasticity in adult marmoset monkeys",
abstract = "Humans exhibit a high level of vocal plasticity in speech production, which allows us to acquire both native and foreign languages and dialects, and adapt to local accents in social communication. In comparison, nonhuman primates exhibit limited vocal plasticity, especially in adulthood, which would limit their ability to adapt to different social and environmental contexts in vocal communication. Here, we quantitatively examined the ability of adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), a highly vocal New World primate species, to modulate their vocal production in social contexts. While recent studies have demonstrated vocal learning in developing marmosets, we know much less about the extent of vocal learning and plasticity in adult marmosets. We found, in the present study, that marmosets were able to adaptively modify the spectrotemporal structure of their vocalizations when they encountered interfering sounds. Our experiments showed that marmosets shifted the spectrum of their vocalizations away from the spectrum of the interfering sounds in order to avoid the overlap. More interestingly, we found that marmosets made predictive and long-lasting spectral shifts in their vocalizations after they had experienced a particular type of interfering sound. These observations provided evidence for directional control of the vocalization spectrum and long-term vocal plasticity by adult marmosets. The findings reported here have important implications for the ability of this New World primate species in voluntarily and adaptively controlling their vocal production in social communication.",
keywords = "Marmoset, Vocal communication, Vocal control, Vocal learning, Vocal plasticity",
author = "Lingyun Zhao and Rad, {Bahar Boroumand} and Xiaoqin Wang",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "26",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.2019.0817",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "286",
journal = "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences",
issn = "0800-4622",
publisher = "Royal Society of London",
number = "1905",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Long-lasting vocal plasticity in adult marmoset monkeys

AU - Zhao, Lingyun

AU - Rad, Bahar Boroumand

AU - Wang, Xiaoqin

PY - 2019/6/26

Y1 - 2019/6/26

N2 - Humans exhibit a high level of vocal plasticity in speech production, which allows us to acquire both native and foreign languages and dialects, and adapt to local accents in social communication. In comparison, nonhuman primates exhibit limited vocal plasticity, especially in adulthood, which would limit their ability to adapt to different social and environmental contexts in vocal communication. Here, we quantitatively examined the ability of adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), a highly vocal New World primate species, to modulate their vocal production in social contexts. While recent studies have demonstrated vocal learning in developing marmosets, we know much less about the extent of vocal learning and plasticity in adult marmosets. We found, in the present study, that marmosets were able to adaptively modify the spectrotemporal structure of their vocalizations when they encountered interfering sounds. Our experiments showed that marmosets shifted the spectrum of their vocalizations away from the spectrum of the interfering sounds in order to avoid the overlap. More interestingly, we found that marmosets made predictive and long-lasting spectral shifts in their vocalizations after they had experienced a particular type of interfering sound. These observations provided evidence for directional control of the vocalization spectrum and long-term vocal plasticity by adult marmosets. The findings reported here have important implications for the ability of this New World primate species in voluntarily and adaptively controlling their vocal production in social communication.

AB - Humans exhibit a high level of vocal plasticity in speech production, which allows us to acquire both native and foreign languages and dialects, and adapt to local accents in social communication. In comparison, nonhuman primates exhibit limited vocal plasticity, especially in adulthood, which would limit their ability to adapt to different social and environmental contexts in vocal communication. Here, we quantitatively examined the ability of adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), a highly vocal New World primate species, to modulate their vocal production in social contexts. While recent studies have demonstrated vocal learning in developing marmosets, we know much less about the extent of vocal learning and plasticity in adult marmosets. We found, in the present study, that marmosets were able to adaptively modify the spectrotemporal structure of their vocalizations when they encountered interfering sounds. Our experiments showed that marmosets shifted the spectrum of their vocalizations away from the spectrum of the interfering sounds in order to avoid the overlap. More interestingly, we found that marmosets made predictive and long-lasting spectral shifts in their vocalizations after they had experienced a particular type of interfering sound. These observations provided evidence for directional control of the vocalization spectrum and long-term vocal plasticity by adult marmosets. The findings reported here have important implications for the ability of this New World primate species in voluntarily and adaptively controlling their vocal production in social communication.

KW - Marmoset

KW - Vocal communication

KW - Vocal control

KW - Vocal learning

KW - Vocal plasticity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85068358196&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85068358196&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2019.0817

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2019.0817

M3 - Article

C2 - 31238841

AN - SCOPUS:85068358196

VL - 286

JO - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

JF - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

SN - 0800-4622

IS - 1905

M1 - 20190817

ER -