Handbook of Mammalian Vocalization is designed as a broad and comprehensive, but well-balanced book, written from the neuroscience point of view in the broad sense of this term. This well-illustrated Handbook pays particular attention to systematically organized details but also to the explanatory style of the text and internal cohesiveness of the content, so the successive chapters gradually develop a consistent story without losing the inherent complexity. Studies from many species are included, however rodents dominate, as most of the brain investigations were done on these species.
The leading idea of the Handbook is that vocalizations evolved as highly adaptive specific signals, which are selectively picked up by the brain. The brain serves as a receptor and behavioural amplifier. Brain systems will be described, which allow vocal signals rapidly changing the entire state of the organism and trigger vital biological responses, usually also with accompanying emission of vocalizations. Integrative brain functions leading to vocal outcome will be described, along with the vocalization generators and motor output to larynx and other supportive motor subsystems. The last sections of the Handbook explains bioacoustic structure of vocalizations, present understanding of information coding, and origins of the complex semiotic/ semantic content of vocalizations in social mammals.
The Handbook is a major source of information for professionals from many fields, with a neuroscience approach as a common denominator. The handbook provides consistent and unified understanding of all major aspects of vocalization in a monographic manner, and at the same time, gives an encyclopaedic overview of major topics associated with vocalization from molecular/ cellular level to behavior and cognitive processing. It is written in a strictly scientific way but clear enough to serve not only for specialized researchers in different fields of neuroscience but also for academic teachers of neuroscience, including behavioural neuroscience, affective neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, neuroethology, biopsychology, neurolingusitics, speech pathology, and other related fields, and also for research fellows, graduate and other advanced students, who widely need such a source publication.
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The features of mammalian vocalization extending from high ultrasonic calls of the smallest mammals to powerful infrasounds of elephants are fascinating and the neural basis of vocalization is indeed of great importance to our understanding of animal communication, particularly as an evolutionary precursor to human language. In the present volume, Brudzynski for the first time assembles the current knowledge in the field for the only comprehensive, comparative, explanatory, and authoritative handbook.
The volume provides thorough descriptions of vocalizations of land-dwelling and marine mammals, as well as bats. Over 70 specialists from 13 countries provide carefully constructed overview chapters with the newest information available, reaching from the function of single molecules and cells to advanced and timely issues such as animal cognition, affect, communication codes, and the evolutionary origin of the human language.
The Handbook is divided into 10 sections and close to 50 individual Chapters, organized in a systematic and cohesive way. Over 2000 references provide easy access to the source literature, and summary tables, many original illustrations, diagrams, and drawings are completing the beautiful production.About the Author:
Dr. Brudzynski is professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University, and is a member and former director of the university’s Centre for Neuroscience. He has published more than 70 journal publications on vocalization and the expression of emotionality and was the first researcher to demonstrate ultrasonic vocalization in rats induced by pharmacological methods. He is the editor of Handbook of Mammalian Vocalization, published by Elsevier in 2009, and recipient of numerous accolades, including the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award bestowed by the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society in 2014.
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