Communication - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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To say communication has occurred we need a sender and a receiver ... Reconstructing the evolution of the honeybee dance. Lindauer's work. All honeybees dance ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Communication

  • Psychology 3906

  • Animals spend a lot of time communicating
  • Defense
  • Mating
  • Food sources
  • To say communication has occurred we need a
    sender and a receiver
  • As usual, we can look at evolutionary change, or
    adaptive value (or both of course)
  • We can also look at mechanism

You can dance if you want to….
  • Dance language of the honeybees
  • Function is to communicate location of food
    sources to hive members
  • Hive members then can interpret the dance
  • They then go out in the right direction and
    distance (or just right direction, depends) and
    find the food

The Round Dance
  • Used only if food source is lt 50 m away
  • Number of circuits in a given time tell how far
    away food source is
  • No direction info is given with the round dance

The Waggle Dance
  • If food source is gt 50 m away
  • Redundant sources of distance info
  • Number of circuits
  • Number of waggles
  • Number of sound bursts
  • All proportional to distance
  • Angle of straight line portion of dance gives
    compass direction!
  • Up is where the sun is in the sky

  • If you dont think this is cool…..
  • If they are forced to dance in the open air, they
    will actually use the sun rather than up means

Reconstructing the evolution of the honeybee dance
  • Lindauers work
  • All honeybees dance
  • All other Apids dance, but Apis Florea uses a
    sort of open air dance floor

And the story continues…
  • Some Trigona species just get exited and hum a
  • Giving out food in the process actually
  • Other Trigona species leave a scent mark as well
  • Melipona give out pulses of sound
  • Sort of leads em out

Adaptive Value
  • The Hive works together anyway, so its best to
    get to food quickly, by getting others involved
  • The hive works together, but for very specific
    reasons, and it is not altruism, more on that
    when we get there
  • Dont have to waste time leading others out, risk
    predation etc
  • Costs?
  • Other animals could interpret the signal
  • Very unlikely in the bee example

Sometimes other animals get the signal…..
  • Tungura Frogs
  • Females like the whine chuck call
  • Everybody whine chuck tonight….
  • (Drives the babes wild)
  • But, umm, bats like it too, and bats eat frogs!
  • When they are alone, males only whine, when they
    are with other males, they whine chuck

  • Look at human language to see what the
    characteristics are
  • Limited vs. Unbounded signal set
  • Reference and situational freedom
  • Intention

Language and the non humans
  • Dont be impressed by shiny objects
  • This may lead to a planet where apes evolved from
  • Anthropologists and missionaries
  • How can we tell if they are really using language?

What can we learn
  • Can animals learn human lingo
  • Stupid question…
  • Better Q is, what aspects
  • Can they learn productively?
  • Are apes like little kids?
  • Is language learning special?
  • Where did human language come from?

Nim Chimpsky
  • Serioulsy, that was his name..
  • Looks great
  • Two sign utterances
  • Basically just imitating
  • Damn…
  • Lana was a bit different, but not much
  • Kanzi may be a btter example

  • Animals communicate alll the time
  • Olfactory
  • Calls
  • Various other signals
  • Others can learn to pick up on the signals
  • Nothing clearly like language though!
  • Humans win humans win!!!

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