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According to this hypothesis, once the formation of the inner ear is complete, when the foetus receives an auditory stimulus that includes rhythm or melody through the cochlea, very primitive brainstem centres that induce vocalisation are activated in the area related to social behaviour.
Says Howard, Eoe1/4EoWe use a specially designed microphone (called a hydrophone) which is lowered into the sea from our boat on a long cable and digitally records the Eoe1/4Y[pounds sterling]songEoe1/4ao of humpback whales as well as the vocalisations of other whales and dolphins.
She said the type of communication the researchers observed in the wild bonobos could represent an important evolutionary transition from vocalisations that are tied to specific contexts or emotional states towards human vocalisations.
The recorder captured environmental sounds and the infants' vocalisations over two 16-hour periods -- at what would have been the 32nd and 36th weeks of pregnancy.
The authors note that, given that 30% of households are thought to have televisions on all of the time, the results raise a question about how many opportunities of child and parent vocalisations are being displaced.
The acoustic structure of particular monkey vocalisations may be adaptively designed to attract young infants.
During the babbling stage babies still produce many gestures without combining them with vocalisations.
The project is being funded by Vodafone and eventually it is hoped to establish a dial-a-dolphin number where people can ring in from their mobile phones and hear the different vocalisations.