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Primate Communication: Signaling, Vocalization

  • Uwe Jürgens
Chapter
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)

Abstract

Primates represent the most highly evolved order in the zoological system. Nevertheless, they have a number of communicatory signals that, similar to lower organisms, are not shaped by imitation from conspecifics but are genetically determined. Such signals include most nonverbal vocalizations (monkey calls; human laughing, crying, moaning), many facial expressions (monkey threatening face and submission grin, human smiling and frowning) as well as more complex display patterns, such as the genital display of the squirrel monkey, lip smacking of macaques, or chest beating of the gorilla. The motor control of innate and learned patterns relies on partially different neural mechanisms in the sense that there are a number of brain structures involved in the production of human speech, whistling, or gestural signing that are dispensable for the production of pain cries, smiling, or fist clenching during rage. These brain structures are superimposed on, not independent of, those controlling innate behavior.

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Further reading

  1. Jürgens U (1979): Neural control of vocalization in non-human primates. In: Neurobiology of Social Communication in Primates, Steklis HD, Raleigh MJ, eds. New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Sutton D (1979): Mechanisms underlying learned vocal control in primates. In: Neurobiology of Social Communication in Primates, Steklis HD, Raleigh MJ, eds. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uwe Jürgens

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