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Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution$
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Martin Stevens

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199601776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601776.001.0001

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Multimodal Signals and Communication

Multimodal Signals and Communication

(p.89) Chapter 6 Multimodal Signals and Communication
Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution

Martin Stevens

Oxford University Press

Multimodal signals involve the use of signal components from two or more sensory modalities. This chapter explains the existence and benefits of multimodal signals, including whether signal components provide the same information (redundancy), with each component acting as a back-ups to the other, or whether signal components each convey a different ‘message’. It discusses the advantages that multimodal signals may provide, including effective signalling under noisy or variable signalling environments, and allowing receivers to extract several different aspects of information from the signal. It also outlines how researchers need to clarify key terminology and frameworks for understanding multimodal signalling.

Keywords:   multimodal signalling, communication, signals, signal redundancy, noise, information

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