Animals adapt their vocal signals to social situations

August 25, 2008

WASHINGTON -- A special August issue of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, presents a host of studies that investigate the way that animals adapt their calls, chirps, barks and whistles to their social situation.

The special issue, Acoustic Interaction in Animal Groups: Signaling in Noisy and Social Contexts, reports on findings from the natural world such as: Review articles assess the evidence to date and outline future directions. For example, Peter Tyack, PhD, a biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, concludes that, "Pooling data on vocal imitation, vocal convergence and compensation for noise suggests a wider [cross-species] distribution of vocal production learning among mammals than has been generally appreciated." It could mean that mammals have more of the neural underpinnings for learning to vocalize than has been previously thought.

The Journal of Comparative Psychology publishes articles from a comparative perspective and features original empirical and theoretical research on the behavior, cognition, perception and sociality of diverse species. It is edited by Gordon Burghardt, PhD, of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he is alumni distinguished service professor, Departments of Psychology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.

"Animal communication has been a major emphasis in animal behavior and comparative psychology for many decades," Dr. Burghardt says. "However, in recent years, we have gone beyond the straightforward analysis of dyadic interactions between two individuals. We now consider the role of eavesdropping, deception and noisy environments in shaping signals and investigate how animals deploy them in various contexts."
-end-
Special Issue: "Acoustic Interaction in Animal Groups: Signaling in Noisy and Social Contexts." Journal of Comparative Psychology. Vol. 122, No. 3.

(Full text is available from the APA Public Affairs Office and at http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/com1223231.pdf)

Dr. Burghardt is on research leave until October 2008 and checking e-mail only periodically at gburghar@utk.edu. Guest editor Todd Freeberg, PhD, is available at tfreeber@utk.edu or by phone at (865) 974-3975.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 148,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

American Psychological Association

Related Psychology Articles from Brightsurf:

More than one cognition: A call for change in the field of comparative psychology
In a paper published in the Journal of Intelligence, researchers argue that cognitive studies in comparative psychology often wrongly take an anthropocentric approach, resulting in an over-valuation of human-like abilities and the assumption that cognitive skills cluster in animals as they do in humans.

Psychology research: Antivaxxers actually think differently than other people
As vaccine skepticism has become increasingly widespread, two researchers in the Texas Tech University Department of Psychological Sciences have suggested a possible explanation.

In court, far-reaching psychology tests are unquestioned
Psychological tests are important instruments used in courts to aid legal decisions that profoundly affect people's lives.

Psychology program for refugee children improves wellbeing
A positive psychology program created by researchers at Queen Mary University of London focuses on promoting wellbeing in refugee children.

Psychology can help prevent deadly childhood accidents
Injuries have overtaken infectious disease as the leading cause of death for children worldwide, and psychologists have the research needed to help predict and prevent deadly childhood mishaps, according to a presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

Raising the standard for psychology research
Researchers from Stanford University, Arizona State University, and Dartmouth College used Texas Advanced Computing Center supercomputers to apply more rigorous statistical methods to psychological studies of self-regulation.

Psychology: Robot saved, people take the hit
To what extent are people prepared to show consideration for robots?

Researchers help to bridge the gap between psychology and gamification
A multi-disciplinary research team is bridging the gap between psychology and gamification that could significantly impact learning efforts in user experience design, healthcare, and government.

Virtual reality at the service of psychology
Our environment is composed according to certain rules and characteristics which are so obvious to us that we are scarcely aware of them.

Modeling human psychology
A human being's psychological make-up depends on an array of emotional and motivational parameters.

Read More: Psychology News and Psychology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.