Abstract # 4496 Poster # 88:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN BROCA'S AREA ASYMMETRIES AND OROFACIAL MOTOR CONTROL IN CHIMPANZEES.

S. M. Pope1, M. Misiura2, J. P. Taglialatela3,4 and W. D. Hopkins1,4
1Georgia State University, Neuroscience Institute, 880 Petit Science Center , Atlanta, GA 30303, USA, 2Agnes Scott College, 3Kennesaw State University, 4Yerkes National Primate Research Center
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     Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are capable of producing attention-getting vocalizations (AGVs) that serve to gain the attention of an otherwise inattentive human observer. AGVs utilize specific orofacial manipulations in order to elicit sounds such as raspberries and kisses.  Strikingly, there are significant individual differences in the use of AGVs with some chimpanzees reliably producing them (AGV+) and others not (AGV-). Here, we examined whether variation in the homolog to Broca’s area (IFG) is morphologically different between AGV+ and AGV- chimpanzees.  Magnetic resonance images were obtained from 65 captive chimpanzees and analyzed for both grey matter and white matter volumes.  We found that chimpanzees that produce AGVs have a leftward grey matter asymmetry in their IFG compared to those who do not [F(1,61)=4.96; p=0.030].  This finding suggests a direct link between Broca’s area morphology and communicative ability in chimpanzees.