New paper from Nicole Lahiff, Simon Townsend, Volker Dellwo and colleagues in Animal Cognition showing the processing of degraded and computer-generated speech in a language-trained bonobo.

Results suggest that - apart from noise-vocoded computer-generated speech - the language-trained bonobo recognised both natural and computer-generated voices that had been degraded, at rates significantly above chance. He performed better with all forms of natural voice speech compared to computer-generated speech. This work provides additional support for the hypothesis that the processing apparatus necessary to deal with highly variable speech, including for the first time in nonhuman animals, computer-generated speech, may be at least as old as the last common ancestor we share with bonobos and chimpanzees.


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