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Vocalization as a specific trigger of emotional responses

Koji Kuraoka, Katsuki Nakamura

For several decades the functions of mammalian vocalization have been discussed, mainly from the vantage of the caller. In this article, however, the functions of mammalian vocalization are discussed from the position of the listener. Mammalian vocalization can induce changes in the internal state of the receivers, including their emotional state. We review data of autonomic and other physiological responses to mammalian vocalization, as well as neuronal responses in the subcortical brain structures, including the amygdala, of the rhesus monkey. The discussion leads to the conclusion that animal vocalization can trigger an emotional response in the listener, allowing it to avert a life-threatening situation.

In SM. Brudzynski (Ed.), HANDBOOK OF MAMMALIAN VOCALIZATION, Oxford: Academic Press, pp. 167-175, 2009


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