Scientists have trained bats of the genus copiesof to reduce the frequency of their cries when they heard his voice, altered by a few semitones. For the correct sounds of the animals were given bananas. So the researchers tried to teach them to imitate the sounds, this capacity is rare in mammals and few have been studied in bats. All koperasi gradually decreased the frequency of screams, but only one out of six again promoted her, when she heard high-pitched sounds. The authors believe that this individual is not just learned by trial and error, and really learned how to imitate the voice from the speaker. Article published in the journal Biology Letters.
The ultrasonic cries of bats help them to navigate in space and find objects, but also to communicate with other dogs. They have complex songs of syllables and phrases, is special for each social situation. Do bats even have the ability for vocal learning, for example, they learn to repeat the call of the mothers. Voice imitation is found only in several groups of mammals, and therefore particularly interesting to study.
Latecan Ella (Ella Lattenkamp) from the Institute of psycholinguistics of the max Planck Society and her colleagues trained six pale Kapitonov (Phyllostomus discolor) to reduce the frequency of her cry. To do this, set up a whole recording Studio in which bats could listen to recordings of your own voice, and their ultrasonic vocalizations caught on the microphone. When the animals cried, automatic feeder gave them a piece of banana as a backup.
After the bats are accustomed to the situation, they included a recording of their cries, in a low frequency several semitones. Animals received reinforcements in that case, if they were able to mimic the sound and reduce the frequency of vocalizations. The training took place five days a week for two to three months.
Within the first 30 days of training all koperasi gradually reduced the frequency of vocalizations (p < 0.01 for each animal).