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ERIC Number: EJ890984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0023-9690
Absolute Pitch in Boreal Chickadees and Humans: Exceptions that Test a Phylogenetic Rule
Weisman, Ronald G.; Balkwill, Laura-Lee; Hoeschele, Marisa; Moscicki, Michele K.; Bloomfield, Laurie L.; Sturdy, Christopher B.
Learning and Motivation, v41 n3 p156-173 Aug 2010
This research examined generality of the phylogenetic rule that birds discriminate frequency ranges more accurately than mammals. Human absolute pitch chroma possessors accurately tracked transitions between frequency ranges. Independent tests showed that they used note naming (pitch chroma) to remap the tones into ranges; neither possessors nor nonpossessors were accurate at octave (pitch height) naming. Boreal chickadees discriminated frequency ranges less accurately than other birds; they tracked reward across several lower frequency ranges but failed at frequencies over 4000 Hz. The results revealed the error of describing species differences solely in terms of their discrimination of frequency ranges. Exceptions to the rule disappear when the rule is restated in terms of underlying mechanism: birds are superior to mammals in the ability to use absolute pitch height perception to discriminate pitches and ranges of pitches. (Contains 6 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A