Tid: Torsdag 12 november 2015, kl 15:00 - 17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati

Istället för postseminarum bjuder vi in till Institutionsfest i Gula villan kl. 17-23


Some time after our ancestors split from the chimpanzees about 6 million years ago they went beyond the use of innate vocalizations - such as those used by chimpanzees and other apes – and developed an ability to modify their sound making and to learn new acoustic patterns. Why and how did that happen?

The reason ought to have been that a larger set of distinctive signals than the innate ones could enhance the chances of survival for the communicators. A first step may have been that existing innate signals were differentiated into sets of similar but distinguishable utterances. Good candidates for such developments were calls and commands/warnings to other individuals in the group. These new utterances were learned within the groups, not transmitted genetically, and could therefore proliferate fast but did not become the common property of the species.

How did the transition from innate to learned signals unfold? One of the reasons why apes do not talk is the fact that their vocal behaviour exhibits a curious asymmetry: while sound perception and comprehension are relatively open-ended, vocal production is a bottleneck that blocks learning. In our presentation we will highlight some of the changes that led to the elimination of the asymmetry and may have paved the way for modern phonologically structured utterances.

Hjärtligt välkomna!
Ljuba Veselinova