Data_Sheet_1_Neural Correlates of Vocal Repertoire in Primates.pdf (386.85 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_Neural Correlates of Vocal Repertoire in Primates.pdf

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posted on 09.08.2018, 15:01 by Jacob C. Dunn, Jeroen B. Smaers

Understanding the nature of the relationship between vocal complexity and brain architecture across non-human primates may help elucidate some of the key elements underlying the evolution of human speech. Here, we report a positive correlation between vocal repertoire size and the relative size of cortical association areas (governing voluntary control over behavioural output) in non-human primates. We further demonstrate that a hominid grade shift in the relative volume of cortical association areas coincides with a similar grade shift in the hypoglossal nucleus (which is associated with the cranial nerve that innervates the muscles of the tongue). Our results support a qualitative continuity in the neural correlates of vocal repertoire, but a quantitative discontinuity in the extent to which the neural system supporting speech is innervated by cortical association areas in great apes and humans.

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