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Dr. Adriano Lameira - University of Warwick. Coventry, , GB

Dr. Adriano Lameira Dr. Adriano Lameira

Assistant Professor, Psychology | University of Warwick

Coventry, UNITED KINGDOM

Focused on understanding the biological basis and primate origins of human behaviour and culture.

Social

Areas of Expertise (8)

Human Behavior And Culture

Language Evolution

Primate Socioecology

Great Ape Communication

Great Ape Cognition

Origins Of The Mind

Vocal Learning

Dance Evolution

Education (2)

University of Utrecht: Ph.D., Behavioral Biology 2012

Universidade de Lisboa: M.S., Environmental Biology 2005

Selected Media Appearances (3)

Dance-like Behaviour in Chimpanzees Linked with Human Evolution: Study

NewsGram  online

2019-12-25

Dance is an icon of human expression. Despite astounding diversity around the world’s cultures and dazzling abundance of reminiscent animal systems, the evolution of dance in the human clade remains obscure, said Adriano Lameira, from the University of Warwick in the US.

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How humans learned to dance: From the chimpanzee conga line

Science Daily  online

2019-12-12

Dr Adriano Lameira, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick comments: "Dance is an icon of human expression. Despite astounding diversity around the world's cultures and dazzling abundance of reminiscent animal systems, the evolution of dance in the human clade remains obscure. "Dance requires individuals to interactively synchronize their whole-body tempo to their partner's, with near-perfect precision, this explains why no dance forms were present amongst nonhuman primates. Critically, this is evidence for conjoined full-body rhythmic entrainment in great apes that could help reconstruct possible proto-stages of human dance is still lacking"...

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How humans learnt to dance; from the Chimpanzee Conga

News Wise  

2019-12-12

Dr Adriano Lameira, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick comments: “Dance is an icon of human expression. Despite astounding diversity around the world’s cultures and dazzling abundance of reminiscent animal systems, the evolution of dance in the human clade remains obscure. “Dance requires individuals to interactively synchronize their whole-body tempo to their partner’s, with near-perfect precision, this explains why no dance forms were present amongst nonhuman primates. Critically, this is evidence for conjoined full-body rhythmic entrainment in great apes that could help reconstruct possible proto-stages of human dance is still lacking”...

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Selected Articles (5)

When orangutans played kazoos, they produced evolutionary news The Washington Post

2020 A kazoo might seem a world away from the spoken word. But our ability to produce its buzzing, Donald Duck-like sound at will was key in us ever developing the ability to speak at all. And while our capacity for speech is unique, my colleague Robert Shumaker and I have used the novelty instrument to show that great apes aren’t far behind. Speech is one of the defining marks of humanhood. It is the interface of our social and societal relationships, and the baton through which individuals and generations pass information and knowledge from one to the other. Yet, how our species — and our species alone — developed such a powerful method of communication remains unclear.

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Orangutans show active voicing through a membranophone Scientific Reports

2019 Active voicing – voluntary control over vocal fold oscillation – is essential for speech. Nonhuman great apes can learn new consonant- and vowel-like calls, but active voicing by our closest relatives has historically been the hardest evidence to concede to. To resolve this controversy, a diagnostic test for active voicing is reached here through the use of a membranophone: a musical instrument where a player’s voice flares a membrane’s vibration through oscillating air pressure. We gave the opportunity to use a membranophone to six orangutans (with no effective training), three of whom produced a priori novel (species-atypical) individual-specific vocalizations. After 11 and 34 min, two subjects were successful by producing their novel vocalizations into the instrument, hence, confirming active voicing. Beyond expectation, however, within

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Coupled whole-body rhythmic entrainment between two chimpanzees Scientific Reports

2019 Dance is an icon of human expression. Despite astounding diversity around the world’s cultures and dazzling abundance of reminiscent animal systems, the evolution of dance in the human clade remains obscure. Dance requires individuals to interactively synchronize their whole-body tempo to their partner’s, with near-perfect precision. This capacity is motorically-heavy, engaging multiple neural circuitries, but also dependent on an acute socio-emotional bond between partners. Hitherto, these factors helped explain why no dance forms were present amongst nonhuman primates. Critically, evidence for conjoined full-body rhythmic entrainment in great apes that could help reconstruct possible proto-stages of human dance is still lacking. Here, we report an endogenously-effected case of ritualized dance-like behaviour between two captive chimpanzees – synchronized bipedalism. We submitted video recordings to rigorous time-series analysis and circular statistics. We found that individual step tempo was within the genus’ range of “solo” bipedalism. Between-individual analyses, however, revealed that synchronisation between individuals was non-random, predictable, phase concordant, maintained with instantaneous centi-second precision and jointly regulated, with individuals also taking turns as “pace-makers”. No function was apparent besides the behaviour’s putative positive social affiliation. Our analyses show a first case of spontaneous whole-body entrainment between two ape peers, thus providing tentative empirical evidence for phylogenies of human dance. Human proto-dance, we argue, may have been rooted in mechanisms of social cohesion among small groups that might have granted stress-releasing benefits via gait-synchrony and mutual-touch. An external sound/musical beat may have been initially uninvolved. We discuss dance evolution as driven by ecologically-, socially- and/or culturally-imposed “captivity”.

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Time-space–displaced responses in the orangutan vocal system Science Advances

2018 One of the defining features of language is displaced reference—the capacity to transmit information about something that is not present or about a past or future event. It is very rare in nature and has not been shown in any nonhuman primate, confounding, as such, any understanding of its precursors and evolution in the human lineage. Here, we describe a vocal phenomenon in a wild great ape with unparalleled affinities with displaced reference. When exposed to predator models, Sumatran orangutan mothers temporarily suppressed alarm calls up to 20 min until the model was out of sight. Subjects delayed their vocal responses in function of perceived danger for themselves, but four major predictions for stress-based mechanisms were not met. Conversely, vocal delay was also a function of perceived danger for another—an infant—suggesting high-order cognition. Our findings suggest that displaced reference in language is likely to have originally piggybacked on akin behaviors in an ancestral hominid.

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Bidding evidence for primate vocal learning and the cultural substrates for speech evolution Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews

2017 Speech evolution seems to defy scientific explanation. Progress on this front has been jammed in an entrenched orthodoxy about what great apes can and (mostly) cannot do vocally, an idea epitomized by the Kuypers/Jürgens hypothesis. Findings by great ape researchers paint, however, starkly different and more optimistic landscapes for speech evolution. Over twenty studies qualify as positive evidence for primate vocal (production) learning following accepted terminology. Additionally, the Kuypers/Jürgens hypothesis shows low etymological, empirical, and theoretical soundness. Great apes can produce novel voiced calls and voluntarily control their modification – observations supposedly impossible. Furthermore, no valid pretext justifies dismissing heuristically the production of new voiceless consonant-like calls by great apes.

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