BOB HIRSHON (host):
Monkey baby talk. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
(newborn marmoset calls)
Baby marmoset monkeys start out life producing a variety of vocalizations, but within 2 months their calls become much more consistent:
(2 month marmoset calls)
In the journal Science, Princeton neuroscientist Asif Ghazanfar and his colleagues report that their findings contradict a long-held assumption in animal behavior.
ASIF GHAZANFAR (Princeton University):
It was generally thought that when primates are born that they’re already able to produce all of the vocalizations that they’re going to need for the rest of their lives; that there’s no involvement of experience.
Ghazanfar says the youngsters who received the most vocal feedback from their parents developed their calls the fastest, and that the species could make a good model for understanding early vocal development in humans. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.