Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/20683
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Vocal modulation during courtship increases proceptivity even in naive listeners
Authors: Leongomez, Juan David
Binter, Jakub
Kubicova, Lydie
Stolarova, Petra
Klapilova, Katerina
Havlicek, Jan
Roberts, S Craig
Contact Email: craig.roberts@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: human voice
fundamental frequency
mate choice
intrasexual competition
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Publisher: Elsevier for Human Behavior and Evolution Society
Citation: Leongomez JD, Binter J, Kubicova L, Stolarova P, Klapilova K, Havlicek J & Roberts SC (2014) Vocal modulation during courtship increases proceptivity even in naive listeners, Evolution and Human Behavior, 35 (6), pp. 489-496.
Abstract: Speakers modulate their voice when talking to infants, but we know little about subtle variation in acoustic parameters during speech in adult social interactions. Because tests of perception of such variation are hampered by listeners' understanding of semantic content, studies often confine speech to enunciation of standard sentences, restricting ecological validity. Furthermore, apparent paralinguistic modulation in one language may be underpinned by specific parameters of that language. Here we circumvent these problems by recording speech directed to attractive or unattractive potential partners or competitors, and testing responses to these recordings by naive listeners, across both a Germanic (English) and a Slavic (Czech) language. Analysis of acoustic parameters indicates that men's voices varied F0 most in speech towards potential attractive versus unattractive mates, while modulation of women's F0 variability was more sensitive to competitors, with higher variability when those competitors were relatively attractive. There was striking similarity in patterns of social context-dependent F0 variation across the two model languages, with both men's and women's voices varying most when responding to attractive individuals. Men's minimum pitch was lower when responding to attractive than unattractive women. For vocal modulation to be effective, however, it must be sufficiently detectable to promote proceptivity towards the speaker. We showed that speech directed towards attractive individuals was preferred by naive listeners of either language over speech by the same speaker to unattractive individuals, even when voices were stripped of several acoustic properties by low-pass filtering, which renders speech unintelligible. Our results suggest that modulating F0 may be a critical parameter in human courtship, independently of semantic content.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/20683
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.06.008
Rights: Published in Evolution and Human Behavior by Elsevier; Elsevier believes that individual authors should be able to distribute their accepted author manuscripts for their personal voluntary needs and interests, e.g. posting to their websites or their institution’s repository, e-mailing to colleagues. The Elsevier Policy is as follows: Authors retain the right to use the accepted author manuscript for personal use, internal institutional use and for permitted scholarly posting provided that these are not for purposes of commercial use or systematic distribution. An "accepted author manuscript" is the author’s version of the manuscript of an article that has been accepted for publication and which may include any author-incorporated changes suggested through the processes of submission processing, peer review, and editor-author communications.
Affiliation: University of Stirling
Charles University in Prague
Charles University in Prague
Charles University in Prague
Charles University in Prague
Charles University in Prague
Psychology

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