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Evolution of Emotional CommunicationFrom Sounds in Nonhuman Mammals to Speech and Music in Man$
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Eckart Altenmüller, Sabine Schmidt, and Elke Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583560.001.0001

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Sound communication in house mice: Emotions in their voices and ears?

Sound communication in house mice: Emotions in their voices and ears?

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter 4 Sound communication in house mice: Emotions in their voices and ears?
Source:
Evolution of Emotional Communication
Author(s):

Günter Ehret

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583560.003.0004

Mouse pups (Mus musculus) produce six acoustically different types of sounds in situations of interaction (birth cry, wriggling calls, distress calls, smacking sounds) or loss of interaction with other animals (pure ultrasounds, clicks). Adults emit ultrasounds alone and in interaction with other animals and distress calls (squealing) in response to or anticipation of painful stimulation. Females emit defensive calls against sexually interested males, and males produce sounds by tail rattling in agonistic situations with another male. These sounds express, mainly by their frequency bandwidths and noisiness, emotions of fear, submissiveness, distress, and comfort. They are perceived, i.e. adult mice specifically respond to them, as one of three basic emotional meanings. Fear and submissiveness is perceived as attraction, distress as aversion, and comfort as cohesion. Auditory perceptual mechanisms of mammals for classification of basic meanings, and similarities and differences in acoustic emotional perception of mice and nonhuman primates are briefly discussed.

Keywords:   auditory perception, communication sounds, emotional meaning, instinctive vocalizing, meaningful sounds, motivation-structural rules, mouse audition, sound perception, vocal behavior

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