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What Studies on Learning can Teach us about Playback Design

  • Irene M. Pepperberg
Chapter
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 228)

Abstract

Communication must be studied as social interaction. If we are to understand how birds communicate, we need to examine not only the form of a given signal, the song, but also its meaning and the appropriate context for its use, the singing behaviour (see Smith 1991). Researchers who designed learning and playback experiments to study avian communication initially concentrated on form and sometimes meaning, but not the details of context. Recent studies on learning, however, have shown how birds are affected by the singing behaviour of other individuals: interactions that demonstrate how communication might occur, provide feedback on whether information has been transferred, or encourage the development of different forms of communication in different contexts (reviews in Pepperberg 1991; Pepperberg and Schinke-Llano in press). Playback experiments, in contrast, still generally concentrate on describing how birds respond to the form of a signal. But closer analysis reveals that playback studies, like those on song learning, actually do involve response to singing behaviour and not song alone (e.g. Smith 1988; Stoddard et al. 1988, 1990).

Keywords

Language Acquisition Song Type Acoustic Communication Playback Experiment Song Sparrow 
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

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene M. Pepperberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Department of PsychologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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