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Evolution of Emotional Communication: From Sounds in Nonhuman Mammals to Speech and Music in Man

Series: Series in Affective Science

By: Eckart Altenmüller (Editor), Sabine Schmidt (Editor), Elke Zimmermann (Editor)

376 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Jan 2013 | #199744 | ISBN-13: 9780199583560
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £58.99 $72/€66 approx

About this book

Why do we think that we can understand animal voices – such as the aggressive barking of a pet dog, and the longing meows of the family cat? Why do we think of deep voices as dominant and high voices as submissive. Are there universal principles governing our own communication system? Can we even see how close animals are related to us by constructing an evolutionary tree based on similarities and dissimilarities in acoustic signaling?

Research on the role of emotions in acoustic communication and its evolution has often been neglected, despite its obvious role in our daily life. When we infect others with our laugh, soothe a crying baby with a lullaby, or get goose bumps listening to classical music, we are barely aware of the complex processes upon which this behavior is based. It is not facial expressions or body language that are affecting us, but sound. They are present in music and speech as "emotional prosody" and allow us to communicate not only verbally but also emotionally.

Evolution of Emotional Communication presents a thorough exploration into how acoustically conveyed emotions are generated and processed in both animals and man. It is the first volume to bridge the gap between research in the acoustic communication of emotions in humans with those in animals, using a comparative approach. With the communication of emotions being an important research topic for a range of scientific fields, this book is valuable for those in the fields of animal behaviour, anthropology, evolutionary biology, human psychology, linguistics, musicology, and neurology.


Part A: Introductory Section
1: M. Mortillaru, M. Mehu and K.R. Scherer: The evolutionary origin of multimodal synchronisation and emotional expression
2: W.T. Fitch and K. Zuberbühler: Primate precursors to human language: Beyond discontinuity
3: J.P. Rauschecker: Brain networks for the encoding of emotions in communication sounds of human and nonhuman primates

Part B: Different mammalian taxa
4: G. Ehret: Sound communication in house mice: Emotions in their voices and ears?
5: S. Brudzynks: Vocalizations as indicators of emotional states in rats and cats
6: S. Schmidt: Beyond echolocation: Emotional acoustic communication in bats
7: J. Soltis: Emotional communication in African Elephants
8: E. Zimmermann, L. Leliveld, and S. Schehka: Toward the evolutionary roots of affective prosody in human acoustic communication: A comparative approach to mammalian voices
9: C.T. Snowdon and D. Teie: Emotional communication in monkeys: Music to their ears?

Part C: Non-speech Human vocalizations
10: P. Zeskind: Infant crying and the synchrony of arousal
11: M. J. Owren, M. Philipp, E. Vanman, N. Trivedi, A. Schulman, and J.A. Bachorowski: Understanding spontaneous human laughter: The role of voicing in inducing positive emotion
12: D. Szameitat, D. Wildgruber, and K. Alter: Vocal expression of emotions in laughter

Part D: Human Prosody
13: D. Grandjean and S. Frühholz: An integrative model of brain processes for the decoding of emotional prosody
14: S.A. Kotz, A.S. Hasting, and S. Paulmann: On the orbito-striatal interface in (acoustic) emotional processing
15: C. Schroeder and R. Dengler: The role of dopamine in perception and expression of emotional communication in Parkinson's disease
16: P.N. Juslin: Vocal affect expression: Problems and promises

Part E: Music
17: I. Peretz, W. Aube, and J. Armony: Towards a neurobiology of musical emotions
18: T. Fritz and S. Koelsch: Acoustically mediated emotional contagion as an across-species homology underlying music processing
19: E. Altenmüller R. Kopiez, and O. Grewe: A contribution to the evolutionary basis of music: Lessons from the chill-response

Part F: Summary: Where to go?
20: 1. E. Altenmüller, S. Schmidt, and E. Zimmermann: A cross-taxa concept of emotion in acoustic communication: An ethological perspective

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Prof. Dr. med. Eckart Altenmüller (b. 1955) holds a Masters degree in classical flute, and is a Medical Doctor. After clinical training as a neurologist and habilitation, he became in 1994 chairman and director of the Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine at the University of Music, Drama, and Media in Hannover. He continues research into the neurobiology of emotions and into movement disorders in musicians as well as motor, auditory and sensory learning. Since 2005 he is President of the German Society of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine and Member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences.

Privatdozent Dr. rer nat. Sabine Schmidt is an experimental behavioural and sensory biologist and Head of the Sensory Biology group of the Institute of Zoology at the University of Veterinary Medicine and the Centre for Systems Neuroscience in Hannover, Germany. Her main research interests cover behavioural ecology and psychoacoustics, with special emphasis on echolocation and acoustic communication in bats.

Prof. Dr. rer nat. Elke Zimmermann is an experimental behavioural and evolutionary biologist and Director of the Institute of Zoology and Professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine and the Center for Systems Neuroscience in Hannover, Germany. Her main research interests cover patterns, processes and mechanisms of primate adaptation, speciation and evolution, with special emphasis to the evolution of communication and cognition. She is spokesperson of the DFG-funded interdisciplinary Research Unit Acoustic communication of emotions in humans and nonhuman mammals.

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