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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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A cross-taxa concept of emotion in acoustic communication: An ethological perspective

A cross-taxa concept of emotion in acoustic communication: An ethological perspective

Chapter:
(p.339) Chapter 20 A cross-taxa concept of emotion in acoustic communication: An ethological perspective
Source:
Evolution of Emotional Communication
Author(s):

Eckart Altenmüller

Sabine Schmidt

Elke Zimmermann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583560.003.0020

The search for biological roots of emotions in acoustic communication is a central topic in evolutionary neuroscience and has been one of our motivations to assemble the articles of this book. Current dimensional, categorical or component concepts of emotions have strong heuristic value. However, these concepts can hardly be applied to a comparative approach because they refer to introspection. The goal of our summarizing review is to propose an ethological framework by which acoustically conveyed emotions could be explored experimentally across non-human mammals and humans. We developed an individualized, context-related, concept of emotion (ICCE) for which fitness-related social scenarios have to be defined to determine the emotion of an individual in a given context. Based on this framework, the chapters in this book and the additional cross-taxa comparison of calls in a social isolation scenario and an approach-withdrawal scenario provided in this review disclose some universal principles, as well as unique species-specific adaptations, and shed light on selective factors shaping the evolution of speech and music. In the future, further systematic comparative analyses are needed to disentangle universal from taxa-specific components in emotional prosody and the respective processing networks in the brain.

Keywords:   evolution, emotion, ethology, acoustic communication, cross-taxa comparison, universals

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