AbstractOn the occasion of the centenary of the discovery of the Lombard effect, wereview the literature on noise-dependent regulation of vocal amplitude inhumans and other animals. The article addresses the scientific and thebiological history of the Lombard effect: first, it sketches the evolutionof the study of the Lombard effect, and second it reflects on the biologicalevolution of the effect itself. By comparing the findings from anurans,birds and mammals, we try to trace back the phylogenetic origins of thisbasic vocal mechanism for acoustic communication in noise. The currentevidence suggests two alternative parsimonious hypotheses: either theLombard effect is the outcome of a convergent evolution in birds and mammalsor it may be a synapomorphy of all amniotes. If the latter is true, then theLombard effect would have evolved to maintain vocal communication in thepresence of noise more than 300 million years ago.
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Keywords: ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION; LOMBARD EFFECT; SIGNAL AMPLITUDE; VOCAL PLASTICITY; NOISE; AUDITORY FEEDBACK