Journal Article The source-filter theory of whistle-like calls in marmosets: Acoustic analysis and simulation of helium-modulated voices.

Koda, Hiroki  ,  Tokuda, Isao T  ,  Wakita, Masumi  ,  Ito, Tsuyoshi  ,  Nishimura, Takeshi

137 ( 6 )  , pp.3068 - 3076 , 2015-06 , AIP Publishing
Whistle-like high-pitched "phee" calls are often used as long-distance vocal advertisements by small-bodied marmosets and tamarins in the dense forests of South America. While the source-filter theory proposes that vibration of the vocal fold is modified independently from the resonance of the supralaryngeal vocal tract (SVT) in human speech, a source-filter coupling that constrains the vibration frequency to SVT resonance effectively produces loud tonal sounds in some musical instruments. Here, a combined approach of acoustic analyses and simulation with helium-modulated voices was used to show that phee calls are produced principally with the same mechanism as in human speech. The animal keeps the fundamental frequency (f0) close to the first formant (F1) of the SVT, to amplify f0. Although f0 and F1 are primarily independent, the degree of their tuning can be strengthened further by a flexible source-filter interaction, the variable strength of which depends upon the cross-sectional area of the laryngeal cavity. The results highlight the evolutionary antiquity and universality of the source-filter model in primates, but the study can also explore the diversification of vocal physiology, including source-filter interaction and its anatomical basis in non-human primates.

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