AP in wolf's clothing ("Robert J. Zatorre" )

Subject: AP in wolf's clothing
From:    "Robert J. Zatorre"  <MD37(at)MUSICA.MCGILL.CA>
Date:    Fri, 30 Oct 1998 13:34:28 -0500

Dan Do you really think this is the same thing as AP in humans? I haven't read the paper you cite, and I'm prepared to keep an open mind, but I'll bet wolves use lots of cues, including time-varying spectral cues (formants), etc. Of course, most animals, us included, have a reasonable ability to respond in an absolute manner to frequency (see the old generalization gradients that behaviorists determined with conditioning paradigms with rats, for instance). But it's a far cry from AP, which means being able to respond with a unique label to upwards of 50 or 60 subdivisions of a frequency continuum (devoid of other cues), rapidly and with minimal errors. Unless wolves have been shown to do this in a rigorous fashion, I'd be wary of interpreting it as a similar phenomenon to AP. And while we're at clarifications, I thought I'd raise the question of color. When I was taught about categorical perception, the key distinction was that discrimination was completely limited (or nearly so) by identification. That was the original Haskins formulation. Now unless my understanding of color psychophysics is way out of line, color discrimination is much much finer than color category labelling. Just what you'd expect for noncategorical continua. In fact, I use to use that example for my students to explain how color perception is NOT categorical: when you get that purple paint back home from the store, you find it doesn't match at all the purple on your wall! Best, Robert At 14:40 29/10/98 -0800, you wrote: >> >>Do canines exhibit AP? Possibly not, unless the stimuli were played >>through woofers. >> > > >Just to set the record straight (and prevent anyone from barking up the >wrong tree), canines do have AP. Wolves in the wild use the absolute pitch >of the fundamental frequency of a wolf call to identify whether the howler >is friend or foe, known or unknown. > >See Tooze, et al, (1990). Individually distinct vocalizations in timber >wolves, canis lupus. Animal Behavior, 40, 723-730. > >============================================== >Daniel J. Levitin, M.Sc., Ph.D. Phone: (650) 723-4971 >CCRMA/Dept. of Music FAX: (650) 723-8468 >Stanford University email: levitin(at)ccrma.stanford.edu >Stanford, CA 94305 > >Visiting Scholar, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics > >Home Page: http://www-ccrma.stanford.edu/~levitin > >================================================ > >McGill is running a new version of LISTSERV (1.8d on Windows NT). >Information is available on the WEB at http://www.mcgill.ca/cc/listserv > Robert J. Zatorre, Ph.D. Montreal Neurological Institute 3801 University St. Montreal, QC H3A2B4 Canada phone: 514-398-8903 fax 514-398-1338 Email to AUDITORY should now be sent to AUDITORY(at)lists.mcgill.ca LISTSERV commands should be sent to listserv(at)lists.mcgill.ca Information is available on the WEB at http://www.mcgill.ca/cc/listserv

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DAn Ellis <dpwe@ee.columbia.edu>
Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University