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Social coordination in animal vocal interactions. Is there any evidence of turn-taking? The starling as an animal model.

Henry L, Craig AJ, Lemasson A, Hausberger M - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Here we test the hypothesis that turn-taking and associated rules of conversations may be an adaptive response to the requirements of social life, by testing the applicability of turn-taking rules to an animal model, the European starling.These findings lead to solid bases of discussion on the evolution of communication rules in relation to social evolution.They will be discussed also in terms of processes, at the light of recent neurobiological findings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratoire d'éthologie animale et humaine, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6552, Université de Rennes 1 Rennes, France.

ABSTRACT
Turn-taking in conversation appears to be a common feature in various human cultures and this universality raises questions about its biological basis and evolutionary trajectory. Functional convergence is a widespread phenomenon in evolution, revealing sometimes striking functional similarities between very distant species even though the mechanisms involved may be different. Studies on mammals (including non-human primates) and bird species with different levels of social coordination reveal that temporal and structural regularities in vocal interactions may depend on the species' social structure. Here we test the hypothesis that turn-taking and associated rules of conversations may be an adaptive response to the requirements of social life, by testing the applicability of turn-taking rules to an animal model, the European starling. Birdsong has for many decades been considered as one of the best models of human language and starling songs have been well described in terms of vocal production and perception. Starlings do have vocal interactions where alternating patterns predominate. Observational and experimental data on vocal interactions reveal that (1) there are indeed clear temporal and structural regularities, (2) the temporal and structural patterning is influenced by the immediate social context, the general social situation, the individual history, and the internal state of the emitter. Comparison of phylogenetically close species of Sturnids reveals that the alternating pattern of vocal interactions varies greatly according to the species' social structure, suggesting that interactional regularities may have evolved together with social systems. These findings lead to solid bases of discussion on the evolution of communication rules in relation to social evolution. They will be discussed also in terms of processes, at the light of recent neurobiological findings.

No MeSH data available.


Song sequences produced by an adult (A) and by a 2 year old birds that did not receive adult tutoring (B). Recordings were made at the same time of year.
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Figure 10: Song sequences produced by an adult (A) and by a 2 year old birds that did not receive adult tutoring (B). Recordings were made at the same time of year.

Mentions: Similar findings were obtained at the NCM level: 10 young birds were taken from the nest, hand raised, and then placed in a large outdoor aviary where they could hear wild adults but had no direct contact with any adult. Four months later they were transferred as a group to an indoor aviary with no auditory nor direct contact with adults for 12 months. These birds, when adult, had a fairly normal song repertoire including whistled and warbling structures. However, they did not produce sequences of whistles as “normal” starlings do (Hausberger, 1991), and placed them within warbling sequences which made them inappropriate for alternating vocal interactions (Figure 10). Interestingly, the electrophysiological recordings of the NCM neurons showed a clear deficiency in processing song categories (George et al., 2010). The lack of direct experience with adults despite a rich auditory experience therefore induced a singing style that did not promote alternation in vocal interactions despite the production of appropriate structures. Since brain processes devoted to song categorization were clearly affected, the birds probably could not recognize appropriate times for replying.


Social coordination in animal vocal interactions. Is there any evidence of turn-taking? The starling as an animal model.

Henry L, Craig AJ, Lemasson A, Hausberger M - Front Psychol (2015)

Song sequences produced by an adult (A) and by a 2 year old birds that did not receive adult tutoring (B). Recordings were made at the same time of year.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4585254&req=5

Figure 10: Song sequences produced by an adult (A) and by a 2 year old birds that did not receive adult tutoring (B). Recordings were made at the same time of year.
Mentions: Similar findings were obtained at the NCM level: 10 young birds were taken from the nest, hand raised, and then placed in a large outdoor aviary where they could hear wild adults but had no direct contact with any adult. Four months later they were transferred as a group to an indoor aviary with no auditory nor direct contact with adults for 12 months. These birds, when adult, had a fairly normal song repertoire including whistled and warbling structures. However, they did not produce sequences of whistles as “normal” starlings do (Hausberger, 1991), and placed them within warbling sequences which made them inappropriate for alternating vocal interactions (Figure 10). Interestingly, the electrophysiological recordings of the NCM neurons showed a clear deficiency in processing song categories (George et al., 2010). The lack of direct experience with adults despite a rich auditory experience therefore induced a singing style that did not promote alternation in vocal interactions despite the production of appropriate structures. Since brain processes devoted to song categorization were clearly affected, the birds probably could not recognize appropriate times for replying.

Bottom Line: Here we test the hypothesis that turn-taking and associated rules of conversations may be an adaptive response to the requirements of social life, by testing the applicability of turn-taking rules to an animal model, the European starling.These findings lead to solid bases of discussion on the evolution of communication rules in relation to social evolution.They will be discussed also in terms of processes, at the light of recent neurobiological findings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratoire d'éthologie animale et humaine, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6552, Université de Rennes 1 Rennes, France.

ABSTRACT
Turn-taking in conversation appears to be a common feature in various human cultures and this universality raises questions about its biological basis and evolutionary trajectory. Functional convergence is a widespread phenomenon in evolution, revealing sometimes striking functional similarities between very distant species even though the mechanisms involved may be different. Studies on mammals (including non-human primates) and bird species with different levels of social coordination reveal that temporal and structural regularities in vocal interactions may depend on the species' social structure. Here we test the hypothesis that turn-taking and associated rules of conversations may be an adaptive response to the requirements of social life, by testing the applicability of turn-taking rules to an animal model, the European starling. Birdsong has for many decades been considered as one of the best models of human language and starling songs have been well described in terms of vocal production and perception. Starlings do have vocal interactions where alternating patterns predominate. Observational and experimental data on vocal interactions reveal that (1) there are indeed clear temporal and structural regularities, (2) the temporal and structural patterning is influenced by the immediate social context, the general social situation, the individual history, and the internal state of the emitter. Comparison of phylogenetically close species of Sturnids reveals that the alternating pattern of vocal interactions varies greatly according to the species' social structure, suggesting that interactional regularities may have evolved together with social systems. These findings lead to solid bases of discussion on the evolution of communication rules in relation to social evolution. They will be discussed also in terms of processes, at the light of recent neurobiological findings.

No MeSH data available.