Using information theory to assess the diversity, complexity, and development of communicative repertoires

Brenda Mccowan, Sean F. Hanser, Laurance R. Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The application of quantitative and comparative measures from information theory on animal communication can provide novel insights into the ecological, environmental, social, and contextual properties that shape the structure, organization, and function of signal repertoires. Using 2 phylogenetically different mammalian species that share similar ecological and social constraints as examples, the authors quantitatively examined the internal structure and development of a subsystem of these species' vocal repertoires in comparison with that of human language and illustrated that these species exhibit convergent developmental processes. The authors also discussed how predictions on the structure and organization of animal communication systems can be made from this new application of information theoretic measures with respect to behavioral ecology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume116
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

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Animal Communication
Information Theory
animal communication
communications technology
Ecology
Language
behavioral ecology
animal
ecology
prediction
communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Using information theory to assess the diversity, complexity, and development of communicative repertoires. / Mccowan, Brenda; Hanser, Sean F.; Doyle, Laurance R.

In: Journal of Comparative Psychology, Vol. 116, No. 2, 01.01.2002, p. 166-172.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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