Rhesus macaques communicate between themselves using a complex series of sounds that can signify things as distinct as the presence of danger, particular social relationships, emotions or food alerts. Now scientists in the latest issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, while analyzing the brain areas activated during the recognition of these sounds, found that not only do monkeys seem to interpret these sounds using abstract representations like humans but they also use analogue neural networks, a discovery that can help to understand the origins of language in humans.
Ricardo Gil-da-Costa, Alex Martin and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and the Harvard University in USA and at the Gulbenkian Science Institute in Portugal used positron emission tomography, a technique which allows the measurement of the functioning of distinct areas of the human brain with the individual conscious and alert, to study in Rhesus monkeys the brain’s response to the sounds used for communication within the species.
They were particularly interested in understanding how the monkeys processed the information transmitted by these sounds and the relationship with the mechanisms for human’s conceptual representation. The team of scientists used calls known to be associated with pleasant feelings, such as food recognition and friendly approach, or unpleasant emotions, such as fear, and analysed which areas of the brain were activated in each circumstance. As controls, non-biological sounds such as those produced by musical instruments were used.
Catarina Amorim | alfa
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine