Infants Able to Identify Humans as Source of Speech and Monkeys as Source of Monkey Calls, Psychology Researchers Find


Infants as young as five months old are able to correctly identify humans as the source of speech and monkeys as the source of monkey calls, psychology researchers have found. Their finding, which appears in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), provides the first evidence that human infants are able to correctly match different kinds of vocalizations to different species.

Infants as young as five months old are able to correctly identify humans as the source of speech and monkeys as the source of monkey calls, psychology researchers have found. Their finding, which appears in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), provides the first evidence that human infants are able to correctly match different kinds of vocalizations to different species.

The study’s co-authors were: Athena Vouloumanos, an assistant professor in New York University’s Department of Psychology; Madelynn Druhen, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Marc Hauser, a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Psychology and Human Evolutionary Biology; and Anouk Huizink, a researcher in McGill University’s Department of Psychology. The research was conducted at the McGill Infant Development Centre and the NYU Infant Cognition and Communication Lab, under the direction of Vouloumanos.

While young children know that humans speak, monkeys grunt, and ducks quack, it’s not clear when we come to know which vocalizations each of these animals produce. Although much is known about infants’ abilities to 500

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