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Data from: Distributed acoustic cues for caller identity in macaque vocalization

Cite this dataset

Fukushima, Makoto et al. (2015). Data from: Distributed acoustic cues for caller identity in macaque vocalization [Dataset]. Dryad.


Individual primates can be identified by the sound of their voice. Macaques have demonstrated an ability to discern conspecific identity from a harmonically structured ‘coo’ call. Voice recognition presumably requires the integrated perception of multiple acoustic features. However, it is unclear how this is achieved, given considerable variability across utterances. Specifically, the extent to which information about caller identity is distributed across multiple features remains elusive. We examined these issues by recording and analysing a large sample of calls from eight macaques. Single acoustic features, including fundamental frequency, duration and Weiner entropy, were informative but unreliable for the statistical classification of caller identity. A combination of multiple features, however, allowed for highly accurate caller identification. A regularized classifier that learned to identify callers from the modulation power spectrum of calls found that specific regions of spectral–temporal modulation were informative for caller identification. These ranges are related to acoustic features such as the call’s fundamental frequency and FM sweep direction. We further found that the low-frequency spectrotemporal modulation component contained an indexical cue of the caller body size. Thus, cues for caller identity are distributed across identifiable spectrotemporal components corresponding to laryngeal and supralaryngeal components of vocalizations, and the integration of those cues can enable highly reliable caller identification. Our results demonstrate a clear acoustic basis by which individual macaque vocalizations can be recognized.

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