Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Pitfalls in the categorization of behaviour: a comparison of dolphin whistle classification methods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The categorization of behaviour patterns into separate classes is crucial to the study of animal behaviour. Traditionally researchers have classified behaviour patterns through careful observation by eye. Recently this method has been increasingly replaced by computer methods. While the definition and fine scale analysis that can be achieved with computers is desirable, only a few studies have actually looked at how these methods perform in comparison with human observation. I compared the classification of bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, whistles by human observers with the performance of three computer methods: (1) a method developed by McCowan (1995, Ethology, 100, 177-193); (2) a comparison of cross-correlation coefficients using hierarchical cluster analysis; and (3) a comparison of average difference in frequency along two whistle contours also using hierarchical cluster analysis. The whistle sample consisted of 104 randomly chosen whistles from a group of four captive bottlenose dolphins recorded both during periods when one was separate from the rest of the group and while they all swam in the same pool. The sample contained five individual-specific signature whistles and several nonsignature whistles. Five human observers, without knowledge of the recording context, were more likely than the computer methods to identify signature whistles that were used only while an animal was isolated from the rest of the group. I discuss the limitations of methods commonly used for pattern recognition in communication studies. The discrepancies between methods show how crucial it is to obtain an external validation of the behaviour classes used in studies of animal behaviour. (C) 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-143
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume57
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

    Research areas

  • BOTTLE-NOSED-DOLPHIN, TURSIOPS-TRUNCATUS, CATEGORICAL PERCEPTION, DELPHINIDAE, REPERTOIRES, SIGNALS, MIMICRY, SOUNDS

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Vocal production learning in mammals revisited

    Janik, V. M. & Knörnschild, M., 25 Dec 2021, In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 376, 1836, 10 p., 20200244.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  2. Species information in whistle frequency modulation patterns of common dolphins

    Oswald, J. N., Walmsley, S., Casey, C., Fregosi, S., Southall, B. & Janik, V. M., 25 Oct 2021, In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 376, 1836, 9 p., 20210046.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The role of vocal learning in call acquisition of wild grey seal pups

    Stansbury, A. & Janik, V. M., 25 Oct 2021, In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 376, 1836, 6 p., 20200251.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. The multi-dimensional nature of vocal learning

    Vernes, S., Kriengwatana, B. P., Beeck, V., Fischer, J., Tyack, P. L., ten Cate, C. & Janik, V. M., 25 Oct 2021, In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 376, 1836, 15 p., 20200236.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  5. Vocal learning in animals and humans

    Vernes, S., Janik, V. M., Fitch, W. T. S. & Slater, P. J. B., 25 Oct 2021, In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 376, 1836, 6 p., 20200234.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Manon Karin Schweinfurth (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2021 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)

    1 Jan 201831 Dec 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)

    15 Sep 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)

    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Michael Munro Webster (Editor)

    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Chimpanzees combine pant hoots with food calls into larger structures

    Leroux, M., Bosshard, A. B., Chandia, B., Manser, A., Zuberbühler, K. & Townsend, S. W., Sep 2021, In: Animal Behaviour. 179, p. 41-50 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Habitat-dependent intergroup hostility in Diana monkeys, Cercopithecus diana

    Decellieres, M., Zuberbühler, K. & León, J., Aug 2021, In: Animal Behaviour. 178, p. 95-104 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  3. Bonobos and chimpanzees preferentially attend to familiar members of the dominant sex

    Lewis, L. S., Kano, F., Stevens, J. M. G., DuBois, J. G., Call, J. & Krupenye, C., Jul 2021, In: Animal Behaviour. 177, p. 193-206

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Erratum to “Bonobos and chimpanzees preferentially attend to familiar members of the dominant sex” [Animal Behaviour 177 (2021) 193–206] (Animal Behaviour (2021) 177 (193–206), (S000334722100138X), (10.1016/j.anbehav.2021.04.027))

    Lewis, L. S., Kano, F., Stevens, J. M. G., DuBois, J. G., Call, J. & Krupenye, C., Jul 2021, In: Animal Behaviour. 177, p. 303 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

  5. Animal personality adds complexity to the processes of divergence between sympatric morphs of Arctic charr

    Horta-Lacueva, Q. J-B., Benhaïm, D., Morrissey, M. B., Snorrason, S. S. & Kapralova, K. H., May 2021, In: Animal Behaviour. 175, p. 57-73 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 93871

Top