Soutenance de thèse de Fatimzahra Ennaji (BaNCO)

vendredi 25 mars 2022 à 14:00
Publié le 21/03/2022

Fatima-Ezzahra ENNAJI (Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone (INT) /Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive (LPC)Aix-Marseille université)

Voice perception in non-human primates : Behavioral study of categorization of vocal and non-vocal sounds in Guinea baboon (Papio papio) 

Vendredi 25 mars à 14h, Salle des Voûtes, Campus St-Charles (sous-sol du pôle 3C) 

Fatima-Ezzahra ENNAJI 

La soutenance se déroulera en hybride, le lien de la visio: https://univ-amu-fr.zoom.us/j/88970560591?pwd=T2NzVmdOeFBYUzFaUDB6SG1rSm44UT0


  • Dr. Martine Meunier, Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences, Lyon (Rapporteuse)
  • Pr. David Reby, Université Jean Monnet, Saint Etienne (Rapporteur)
  • Dr. Kasia Pisanski, Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage, Lyon (Examinatrice)
  • Pr. Arnaud Norena, Laboratoire Neurosciences Sensorielles et Cognitives, Marseille (Examinateur, Président du jury)
  • Dr. Joël Fagot, LPC Aix-Marseille université, Marseille (Co-directeur de thèse)
  • Pr. Pascal Belin, INT Aix-Marseille université, Marseille (Directeur de thèse) 

This thesis investigates a basic component of vocal perception which is the ability to differentiate conspecific vocalizations (CVs) from other auditory stimuli. We aimed to examine the behavioral mechanisms of voice processing and whether non-human primates would show evidence of a separate perceptual representation for CVs, as indicated by their ability to be trained to categorize CVs apart from non-vocal sounds. We tested a social group of Guinea baboons (papio papio) in the ALDM set up on their ability to categorize (1) grunt vocalizations (2) new classes of their CVs, and (3) human voices apart from non-vocal sounds. We also examined their performance in case of added white noise to the auditory stimuli at different levels. Our main results indicate that 3 young baboons learned to categorize grunt vocalization apart from other sounds, suggesting that they developed an open-ended categorical representation in the auditory domain. However, these baboons didn’t appear to represent the task as vocal/non-vocal categorization problem.  These findings do not confirm the existence of a separate perceptual category for CVs in baboons. Nonetheless, our research endeavor confirms that addressing questions on auditory processing in NHP is very challenging in laboratories. Also, based on our studies and evidence from the literature, these difficulties have a multifactorial origin: the appropriateness of the training and test protocol, the age of the subjects, and their past experience with visual and auditory discrimination tasks.