Red deer stags use formants as assessment cues during intra-sexual agonistic interactions

Reby, David, McComb, Karen, Cargnelutti, Bruno, Darwin, Chris, Fitch, W Tecumseh and Clutton-Brock, Tim (2005) Red deer stags use formants as assessment cues during intra-sexual agonistic interactions. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 272 (1566). pp. 941-947. ISSN 1471-2954

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Abstract

While vocal tract resonances or formants are key acoustic parameters that define differences between phonemes in human speech, little is known about their function in animal communication. Here, we used playback experiments to present red deer stags with re-synthesized vocalizations in which formant frequencies were systematically altered to simulate callers of different body sizes. In response to stimuli where lower formants indicated callers with longer vocal tracts, stags were more attentive, replied with more roars and extended their vocal tracts further in these replies. Our results indicate that mammals other than humans use formants in vital vocal exchanges and can adjust their own formant frequencies in relation to those that they hear.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: David Reby
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:39
Last Modified: 23 May 2012 13:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13780
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