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Evolution of Communicative FlexibilityComplexity, Creativity, and Adaptability in Human and Animal Communication$
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D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262151214

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262151214.001.0001

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Contextually Flexible Communication in Nonhuman Primates

Contextually Flexible Communication in Nonhuman Primates

Chapter:
(p.70) (p.71) 4 Contextually Flexible Communication in Nonhuman Primates
Source:
Evolution of Communicative Flexibility
Author(s):

Charles T. Snowdon

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262151214.003.0004

This chapter outlines the critically important literature on primate vocalization. It highlights that while primates are limited in flexibility of vocal production, they are more flexible in usage of vocalizations and far more flexible in comprehension, and presents contextual flexibility in response to sexual odors in marmosets. The chapter shows that marmosets can be rapidly conditioned to substitute a novel odor for responding sexually to a female and also reveals that the social status of a male actually influenced his physiological response to a communicative signal. It suggests that nonhuman primates display many fixed and inflexible features in signal production.

Keywords:   primate vocalization, contextual flexibility, sexual odors, marmosets, nonhuman primates, signal production

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