Acoustical basis of human emotion assessment of conspecific and dog vocalizations

Faragó, Tamás and Andics, Attila and Devecseri, Viktor and Kis, Anna and Gácsi, Márta and Miklósi, Ádám (2013) Acoustical basis of human emotion assessment of conspecific and dog vocalizations. In: Behaviour 2013: Joint meeting of the 33rd International Ethological Conference (IEC) & the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)., 2013.08.04-2013.08.08., Newcastle, UK.

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Human non-verbal vocal bursts are evolutionary conservative emotional expressions. Humans can easily assess inner states of conspecifics based on these calls. Moreover, they can attribute emotions to non-human animal vocalizations too. However, whether the same acoustic cues are used to assess emotional content in conspecific and nonconspecific vocalizations is not clarified yet. To test this, we compiled a pool of 100-100 various dog and human non-verbal vocalizations from diverse social contexts, and designed an online survey, in which every sample could be rated along emotional valence and intensity. We also measured within each sample the average length of calls, the fundamental frequency and the harmonics-to-noise ratio. While valence ratings did not differ across species, human vocalizations were less intense. Linear regressions revealed that both shorter dog and human calls were rated as more positive. In contrast, subjects scored higher pitched human and dog sounds to be more intense. We also found dog vocalizations with shorter call length or with higher HNR were rated less intense. In conclusion, acoustical parameters affected humans’ emotional ratings independently from the source species of these vocalizations. These findings suggest that humans utilize the same mental mechanisms for recognizing conspecific and heterospecific vocal emotions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH301 Biology / biológia
Depositing User: Dr Tamás Faragó
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2014 19:30
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 19:30

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