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Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other. / King, Stephanie Laura; Janik, Vincent.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 110, No. 32, 06.08.2013, p. 13216-13221.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

King, SL & Janik, V 2013, 'Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 110, no. 32, pp. 13216-13221. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1304459110

APA

King, S. L., & Janik, V. (2013). Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(32), 13216-13221. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1304459110

Vancouver

King SL, Janik V. Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2013 Aug 6;110(32):13216-13221. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1304459110

Author

King, Stephanie Laura ; Janik, Vincent. / Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2013 ; Vol. 110, No. 32. pp. 13216-13221.

Bibtex - Download

@article{85abb4f5307c4aebad20765bff1b84ae,
title = "Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other",
abstract = "In animal communication research, vocal labeling refers to incidents in which an animal consistently uses a specific acoustic signal when presented with a specific object or class of objects. Labeling with learned signals is a foundation of human language but is notably rare in nonhuman communication systems. In natural animal systems, labeling often occurs with signals that are not influenced by learning, such as in alarm and food calling. There is a suggestion, however, that some species use learned signals to label conspecific individuals in their own communication system when mimicking individually distinctive calls. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a promising animal for exploration in this area because they are capable of vocal production learning and can learn to use arbitrary signals to report the presence or absence of objects. Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another. Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back. Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin{\textquoteright}s learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system. ",
keywords = "Vocal matching, Animal cognition, Playback experiment, Marine mammals, Individual recognition",
author = "King, {Stephanie Laura} and Vincent Janik",
note = "The project was funded by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Studentship, a Marie Curie Fellowship of the European Community programme “Improving Human Research Potential and the Socio-economic Knowledge Base” under contract HPMF-CT-2000-00510, a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, and a Fellowship of the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin.",
year = "2013",
month = aug,
day = "6",
doi = "10.1073/pnas.1304459110",
language = "English",
volume = "110",
pages = "13216--13221",
journal = "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America",
issn = "0027-8424",
publisher = "NATL ACAD SCIENCES",
number = "32",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other

AU - King, Stephanie Laura

AU - Janik, Vincent

N1 - The project was funded by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Studentship, a Marie Curie Fellowship of the European Community programme “Improving Human Research Potential and the Socio-economic Knowledge Base” under contract HPMF-CT-2000-00510, a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, and a Fellowship of the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin.

PY - 2013/8/6

Y1 - 2013/8/6

N2 - In animal communication research, vocal labeling refers to incidents in which an animal consistently uses a specific acoustic signal when presented with a specific object or class of objects. Labeling with learned signals is a foundation of human language but is notably rare in nonhuman communication systems. In natural animal systems, labeling often occurs with signals that are not influenced by learning, such as in alarm and food calling. There is a suggestion, however, that some species use learned signals to label conspecific individuals in their own communication system when mimicking individually distinctive calls. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a promising animal for exploration in this area because they are capable of vocal production learning and can learn to use arbitrary signals to report the presence or absence of objects. Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another. Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back. Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin’s learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system.

AB - In animal communication research, vocal labeling refers to incidents in which an animal consistently uses a specific acoustic signal when presented with a specific object or class of objects. Labeling with learned signals is a foundation of human language but is notably rare in nonhuman communication systems. In natural animal systems, labeling often occurs with signals that are not influenced by learning, such as in alarm and food calling. There is a suggestion, however, that some species use learned signals to label conspecific individuals in their own communication system when mimicking individually distinctive calls. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a promising animal for exploration in this area because they are capable of vocal production learning and can learn to use arbitrary signals to report the presence or absence of objects. Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another. Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back. Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin’s learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system.

KW - Vocal matching

KW - Animal cognition

KW - Playback experiment

KW - Marine mammals

KW - Individual recognition

U2 - 10.1073/pnas.1304459110

DO - 10.1073/pnas.1304459110

M3 - Article

VL - 110

SP - 13216

EP - 13221

JO - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

SN - 0027-8424

IS - 32

ER -

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