Experimental evidence for the volitional control of vocal production in an immature gibbon Hiroki Koda , Chisako Oyakawa 1) , Akemi Kato & Nobuo Masataka (Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kanrin 41, Inuyama, Aichi, 484-8506, Japan) (Accepted: 17 April 2007) Summary Volitional control of vocal production is an essential ability for vocal usage learning in ani- mal calls. Operant conditioning of vocal production is one of the most direct experimental approaches for assessing volitional vocal control in animals. In this case study, we attempted operant conditioning of the vocalizations of an immature female white-handed gibbon ( Hy- lobates lar ). For the operant conditioning of vocal production, the gibbon was required to immediately vocalize in response to a V-sign cue by the human experimenter’s hand. During the 2-month period of intensive training for conditioning, the gibbon successfully learned to produce the contingent response of vocalizations. We again tested the conditioning with a 30-day interval after the completion of conditioning and were able to immediately show memorization of vocal conditioning. These results directly suggest greater volitional control of vocal production in gibbons than previously considered. Our study implies the possibility of upper level volitional control in this species, which
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2007
Keywords: VOLITIONAL CONTROL; VOCAL PRODUCTION; VOCAL USAGE LEARNING; OPERANT CONDITIONING; GIBBON
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