PNAS2014-01-02 9:13 PM

Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other 宽吻海豚可以利用学到的语音标记来定位彼此

Abstract
In animal communication research, vocal labeling refers to incidents in which an animal consistently uses a specific acoustic signal when presented with a specific object or class of objects. Labeling with learned signals is a foundation of human language but is notably rare in nonhuman communication systems. In natural animal systems, labeling often occurs with signals that are not influenced by learning, such as in alarm and food calling. There is a suggestion, however, that some species use learned signals to label conspecific individuals in their own communication system when mimicking individually distinctive calls. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a promising animal for exploration in this area because they are capable of vocal production learning and can learn to use arbitrary signals to report the presence or absence of objects. Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another. Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back. Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin’s learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system. 论文摘要 在动物通讯的研究中,语音标记是指当动物面对某一或某类具体目标时,始终使用某种特定的声音信号的一类事件。用所学信号进行标记是人类语言的基础,但这在非人类的通讯系统中非常罕见。在自然动物系统中,这种标记往往伴随那些不会受学习影响的信号而出现,例如在警告和投食的情况下。但是我们发现,当模仿个体独特的呼叫时,有一些种群它们自己的沟通系统可以利用习得的信号来标记特定的个体。 瓶鼻海豚(宽吻海豚)是用来探索该领域的颇有潜力的动物,因为它们拥有学习发声的能力并可以学习使用任意信号来报告目标的出现和消失。宽吻海豚发展出了独属自我的身份信号,即象征性的口哨。这种口哨编码了具有语音特征的独立个体身份。因此对该种哨声的重复可以让动物标记或定位彼此。我们在此表明,野生宽吻海豚在听到属于自己的象征性哨声时会回应同样的哨声作为应答。动物不会对不属于自己的哨声作出回应。 这项研究提供了令人信服的证据表明:海豚会运用习得的身份信号来定位同伴。因此瓶鼻海豚可以说是用它们自己的自然的沟通系统从不同的伙伴那边获得的信号作为区别个体的标签的唯一的非人类哺乳动物。

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