Psychological Mechanisms in Animal Communication

Volume 5 of the series Animal Signals and Communication pp 1-16


Signaler and Receiver Psychology

  • Mark A. BeeAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Email author 
  • , Cory T. MillerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Neurosciences Graduate Program, University of California

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This edited volume on Psychological Mechanisms in Animal Communication highlights research on the sensory, perceptual, and cognitive mechanisms that underlie signaling and receiving. It brings together researchers working on a broad range of conceptual questions in diverse animal systems and using an assortment of empirical tools. Collectively, these researchers seek to understand how signalers signal and receivers receive. This introductory chapter introduces the major questions in studies of signaler and receiver psychology that are explored in greater depth in subsequent chapters. In so doing, this chapter makes the case that a research agenda aimed at elucidating the mechanisms of signaler and receiver psychology complements and enriches several current areas of animal communication research, in particular those focused on signal design and the parallels and precursors of human language in animals. Ultimately, the goal of this volume is to lay a solid foundation for broader and more comparative studies that investigate the psychological mechanisms of animal communication.