Nonlinear vocal phenomena affect human perceptions of distress, size and dominance in puppy whines - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Year : 2022

Nonlinear vocal phenomena affect human perceptions of distress, size and dominance in puppy whines

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Abstract

While nonlinear phenomena (NLP) are widely reported in animal vocalizations, often causing perceptual harshness and roughness, their communicative function remains debated. Several hypotheses have been put forward: attention-grabbing, communication of distress, exaggeration of body size and dominance. Here, we use state-of-the-art sound synthesis to investigate how NLP affect the perception of puppy whines by human listeners. Listeners assessed the distress, size or dominance conveyed by synthetic puppy whines with manipulated NLP, including frequency jumps and varying proportions of subharmonics, sidebands and deterministic chaos. We found that the presence of chaos increased the puppy's perceived level of distress and that this effect held across a range of representative fundamental frequency ( f o ) levels. Adding sidebands and subharmonics also increased perceived distress among listeners who have extensive caregiving experience with pre-weaned puppies (e.g. breeders, veterinarians). Finally, we found that whines with added chaos, subharmonics or sidebands were associated with larger and more dominant puppies, although these biases were attenuated in experienced caregivers. Together, our results show that nonlinear phenomena in puppy whines can convey rich information to human listeners and therefore may be crucial for offspring survival during breeding of a domesticated species.
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Dates and versions

hal-03799562 , version 1 (06-10-2022)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Mathilde Massenet, Andrey Anikin, Katarzyna Pisanski, Karine Reynaud, Nicolas Mathevon, et al.. Nonlinear vocal phenomena affect human perceptions of distress, size and dominance in puppy whines. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2022, 289 (1973), pp.1-9. ⟨10.1098/rspb.2022.0429⟩. ⟨hal-03799562⟩
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