Séminaire de Attila Andics
Friday 21st April, at 12:15, on Zoom
Attila Andics (Neuroethology of Communication Lab, Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)
The neural bases of voice and speech perception in dogs
A central objective of comparative cognitive neuroscience is to reveal how and when certain neural sensitivities emerged during evolution: what is uniquely human, what is shared across species, and how do brains adapt to environmental changes? When it comes to mechanisms underlying social functions, and specifically speech processing, such questions require comparisons not only to evolutionarily proximal species (primates), but also to socially proximal ones (domestic animals). Companion dogs are an ideal study population to complement primate research on the phylogenetic and experiential contributions to the neural bases of voice and speech perception. Over the last decade our lab has been conducting non-invasive EEG and fMRI on awake, cooperating dogs using no restraints or sedation. This is only done in very few labs worldwide, and has not yet been done with any other animals. In this talk I will overview our latest behavioural and neuroimaging findings on dogs’ capacities for communicative cueing; voice and face processing; decoding vocal emotions and identities; speech segmentation and word learning; phonetic, prosodic and lexical processing; and language representations. I will highlight exciting similarities but also remarkable differences to corresponding human capacities.