[SydPhil] Fwd: Gestural communication in great apes - Macquarie seminar this Friday 1-2 pm Biology Tearoom E8A280

John Sutton john.sutton at mq.edu.au
Mon Nov 3 21:15:15 AEDT 2014

Enquiries to Martin Whiting, martin.whiting at mq.edu.au

*From: *Martin Whiting <martin.whiting at mq.edu.au>
*Subject: **Gestural communication in great apes - seminar this Friday 1-2
pm Biology Tearoom E8A280*
*Date: *3 November 2014 6:27:16 pm AEDT

Hi everyone,
This Friday,  7 November, we have a special guest seminar by Prof. Richard
Byrne (Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, St. Andrews). Please join
us in the Biology Tearoom E8A280, from 1-2 pm. Dick is around all of this
week if you would like to meet with him, and he will be around during the
week of 17-21 November too.

Gestural communication in great apes
Biologists who study animal signals normally seek function: the Darwinian
fitness benefits of effective behavioural manipulation by signalling. In
contrast, linguists and psychologists who study language seek meaning: the
effects on audience behaviour that are intended by communicators. Great ape
gestures, however, cross this divide. There is now abundant evidence that
ape gestures are given intentionally, to produce specific, anticipated
effects on specific audiences. This raises several questions, that I'll try
to answer in the talk: Are ape gesture repertoires learned socially, like
the words of language? Do series of gestures have syntactic structure,
where the meaning depends on their organization? And what intended meanings
are conveyed by ape gestures?
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