("Daniel A. Levy" )

From:    "Daniel A. Levy"  <dlevyisi(at)NETVISION.NET.IL>
Date:    Sat, 4 May 2002 21:28:45 +0200

Honorable List, In the course of writing up an electrophysiological (ERP) study of pre-phonetic processing specificity for human voice stimuli, I have been considering the argument that the existence of dedicated areas or systems for face or voice processing yielding speeded or more accurate analysis of those perceptual objects is adaptive. I would like to know whether it has been found that in non-human animals, aside from differences in general perceptual abilities in any given sensory modality, that there is specialization for particular perceptual objects that are attributed to the adaptive significance of those objects in the animal's environment. What I have already read and heard about are phenomena such as specialization for species-specific vocalizations, or face processing in primates - these phenomena are rather along the same lines as face or voice processing in humans. There are of course, specializations for the production of sound, such as bird song. But are there cases of e.g. animal brain areas/systems specialized for predator or prey sound perception, or bird brain areas for visual insect identification? Innate specialization or plasticity resulting from acquired expertise would both be interesting. Thank you, Daniel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Daniel A. Levy Cognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory Department of Psychology The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905 ISRAEL

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