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Neurobiological Aspects in the Phylogenetic Acquisition of Speech

  • Charles R. Noback

Abstract

The ability to articulate words and to communicate verbally is a major hallmark unique to man compared with the living primates from whose ancestors man evolved. Even this dichotomy may not be absolute. Recent evidence demonstrates that vervet monkeys in Kenya, East Africa, use semantic communication in their alarm calls (Seyfarth et al., 1980). These monkeys use three different alarm calls for three different predators and respond differently and appropriately according to whether the call (live or tape-recorded) means a leopard, a martial eagle, or a python. To a leopard alarm the monkeys run into the trees, to an eagle alarm the monkeys look up, and to a snake alarm the monkeys look down.

Keywords

Motor Cortex Vocal Tract Alarm Call Lower Motor Neuron Cerebral Neocortex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles R. Noback
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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