Seeing with ears

Sightless humans' perception of dog bark provides a test for structural rules in vocal communication

Csaba Molnár, P. Pongrácz, A. Miklósi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prerecorded family dog (Canis familiaris) barks were played back to groups of congenitally sightless, sightless with prior visual experience, and sighted people (none of whom had ever owned a dog). We found that blind people without any previous canine visual experiences can categorize accurately various dog barks recorded in different contexts, and their results are very close to those of sighted people in characterizing the emotional content of barks. These findings suggest that humans can recognize some of the most important motivational states reflecting, for example, fear or aggression in a dog's bark without any visual experience. It is very likely that this result can be generalized to other mammalian species-that is, no visual experience of another individual is needed for recognizing some of the most important motivational states of the caller.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1004-1013
Number of pages10
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume63
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

Fingerprint

Ear
Communication
Dogs
Aggression
Fear
Canidae

Keywords

  • Barking
  • Blind people
  • Communication
  • Dog
  • Domestication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

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