My work pictured by AI – Nikhil Phaniraj
"Mathematical modelling of marmoset vocal learning suggests a dynamic template matching mechanism." - By Nikhil Phaniraj
What is this work about? Vocal learning plays an important role during speech development in human infants and is vital for language. However, the complex structure of language creates a colossal challenge in quantifying and tracking vocal changes in humans. Consequently, animals with simpler vocal communication systems are powerful tools for understanding the mechanisms underlying vocal learning. While human infants show the most drastic vocal changes, many adult animals, including humans, continue to show vocal learning in the form of a much-understudied phenomena called vocal accommodation. Vocal accommodation is often seen when people use similar words, pronunciations and speech rate to their conversing partner. Such a phenomena is also seen in common marmosets, a highly voluble Brazilian monkey species, with a simpler communication system compared to humans. In this project, I developed a mathematical model that explains the basic principles and rules underlying marmoset vocal accommodation. The model provides crucial insights into the mechanisms underlying vocal learning in adult animals and how they might differ from vocal learning in infant animals and humans.
The first word that came to mind when seeing the AI-generated picture? Monkey-learning.