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Re: What animal model provides the closest match to human vocalization?

Dear Pete and all,

as far as I can see, seals have not been mentioned in the discussion
so far. Their vocal production and hearing are quite similar to those
of primates (e.g. via the larynx, no ultrasound), they vocalize often
(though with a limited repertoire), and a number of cases of vocal
learning have been documented (e.g.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0310.2006.01306.x and
http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1568943 ).

Sound examples are available via
http://homepage.univie.ac.at/tecumseh.fitch/2010/08/10/hoover-a-talking-seal/ .

With kind regards,


On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 3:03 PM, Pete Howell <p.howell@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Thanks everyone for your replies. I was deliberately vague as I was
> interested in getting a range of suggestions (btw the goat was really
> funny). Mutations in mice and zebra finches have been used to model speech
> disorders where auditory feedback processes are often thought to be
> implicated. The primary interest is in how CNS connectivity is affected. But
> people have looked at each of these species' vocalizations after mutation
> and then drawn parallels with disordered speech. My worry about the animal
> models is that the vocalization behaviors that have been observed are very
> different from human speech in both its natural and disordered forms. So, I
> wondered whether there was an animal model we could start with that
> vocalized and heard in closer ways to humans than the existing models. Then
> we could have a good look at the parallels to speech disorders after
> mutation in a systematic way (whether articulatory coordination is affected,
> whether they show tonic and clonic features etc.). I'd overlooked the point
> Stuart made - that I should look for species that vocalize a lot, so ta for
> that. We only have limited facilities and licenses for animal work, so I am
> still actively seeking suggestions, so please continue suggestions.
> Peter
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