Springer, 2003. — 416 p. — (Springer Handbook of Auditory Research. Volume 16).Previous volumes in the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research have focused on mechanisms of hearing and sound processing using laboratory experiments to study the detection capabilities of the auditory system and neurophysiological experiments to study the underlying neural bases of these capabilities. Although the series has included a number of chapters dealing with various aspects of acoustic behavior, few, if any, chapters have examined the concept of acoustic communication and the related issue of how sound is used in a natural behavioral context. At the same time, it is important to remember that the auditory system has probably evolved for two reasons. Its earliest evolution is likely to have involved detection and recognition of environmental signals that enabled animals to obtain information about the non-biological and biological components of their environment. Because sound detection and recognition probably evolved in the aquatic environment, sound processing was highly useful because visual senses (if they existed at all) have a very limited range in the water. With sensitivity to sound, the earliest vertebrates could have extended the range over which they could detect and recognize objects, including potential predators or prey that might have made sounds as they moved. The second, and later, reason for further evolution of the auditory system was certainly for communication. There is little doubt that the process of acoustic communication has shaped some aspects of the evolution of hearing, the ear, and central processing mechanisms, and that is one of the major themes of this volume. Analyses of acoustic communication and behavior in this volume are based primarily on observations and experiments on animals in their natural habitats, where social, ecological, and environmental factors all influence sound detection and perception. All chapters in this volume share as a common theme the neuroethological approach to acoustic communication. The neuroethological approach attempts to understand the underlying neural and hormonal bases of complex, species-typical behavior in both an evolutionary and an ecological context. Thus, multiple levels of analysis are explored, from mechanistic to phylogenetic. Moreover, the chapters are not limited to discussing data from only one group of animals but attempt to derive common principles from a wide range of vertebrate species. In the first chapter, Simmons provides an overview of acoustic communication within a neuroethological perspective, emphasizing both the progress that has been made and the fascinating questions yet to be explored. Bass and Clark, in Chapter 2, tackle the difficult problem of sound communication by fishes in shallow and deep water. In Chapter 3, Fitch and Hauser explore the interface between vocal production mechanisms and the meanings of vocal signals. Boughman and Moss, in Chapter 4, explore how acoustic signals are shaped over ontogeny by psychological processes of learning. The physical acoustics of sound transmission in air are considered by Ryan and Kime in Chapter 5_. These authors address the issue of how signal structure and sensory processing mechanisms might have evolved to take advantage of the physical constraints of sound transmission pathways. Hormonal mechanisms mediating both sensory perception and vocal production are discussed by Yamaguchi and Kelley in Chapter 6_. Gentner and Margoliash, in Chapter 7, explore the variety of neural processing mechanisms underlying perception and cognition of complex vocal signals.Perspectives and Progress in Animal Acoustic Communication The Physical Acoustics of Underwater Sound Communication Unpacking Honesty: Vertebrate Vocal Production and the Evolution of Acoustic Signals Social Sounds: Vocal Learning and Development of Mammal and Bird Calls Selection on Long-Distance Acoustic Signals Hormonal Mechanisms in Acoustic Communication The Neuroethology of Vocal Communication: Perception and Cognition
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