Abstract # 190:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 17 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation

Vocalizations of Common Marmosets as Behavioral Phenotypes

E. C. Aronoff, K. R. Ladd and J. D. Newman
Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS, Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA
     Marmoset phee calls are stereotyped vocalizations present from birth. Acoustic differences in calls from given individuals may represent heritable traits that differ between the offspring of different parents. We used a standardized behavioral setting to elicit vocalizations, and commercially available hardware and software to produce 20 acoustic parameters that could be statistically evaluated for shared familial characteristics. At least 20 phee calls were recorded from 44 individuals from 20 pairs of parents at 2 and 3 months of age. A total of 1760 calls were then digitized and ‘Raven’ (Cornell University) was used to display sonagraphic images of the calls. A computer mouse was used to save 4 sets of time and frequency values from each call. Tables of the measured and calculated parameters were subjected to discriminant analysis using SPSS, v. 11.5. Acoustic differences in the parameters of phee calls were found in both related and unrelated individuals of the same age. Despite this, there was a greater resemblance between the calls of siblings than between an individual’s calls and the calls of an unrelated individual. The first of these findings supports the widely held view that infant non-human primates produce specific vocalizations without reference to acoustic modeling. The second finding suggests that the acoustic details of the phee call may be heritable. This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of NICHD.