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Monkeys' Anatomy Is Perfect For Speech But Lacks The Brain Circuitry To Do So

First Posted: Dec 22, 2016 04:29 AM EST
This Simulated Recording Of Monkey Saying 'Will You Marry Me?' Is Creepy As Hell
Scientists say monkeys have the right vocal anatomy to talk like humans but the lack of brain circuitry prevents them from doing so.
(Photo : GeoBeats News/YouTube screenshot)

Monkeys under macaque genus possess the vocal anatomy to provide "clearly intelligible" human speech; however, they lack the brain capacity to try to -- this is according to a new research.

The findings may apply to alternative African and Asian primates called Old World monkeys, thus suggest that human speech stems mainly from the distinctive evolution and construction of the brains. It is not joined to vocalization-related anatomical variations between humans and primates, the researchers have reported last Dec. 9 in the journal Science Advances.

The co-corresponding author, Asif Ghazanfar, who is a Princeton University professor of psychology as well as in Princeton Neuroscience Institute, stated that scientists across several disciplines have long debated if there is and to what extent is the difference between the human and primate vocal anatomy that permits folks to talk but does not allow monkeys and apes.

Ghazanfar stated that no one could say that it has to do with the vocal anatomy that keeps monkeys from having the ability to speak. Else, it has to be something in the brain. Eventhough this finding solely applies to macaque monkeys, it would still roast the thought that it is the anatomy that limits speech in non-humans according to Phys.org.

Ghazanfar also added that the interesting question is, what is behind the human brain that makes it very special? Thore Jon Bergman, who is an assistant professor of psychology and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan, stated that the research may slim down the origin of human speech, according to Princeton University.

Bergman also added that it is the neuro-cognitive as opposing anatomical that has different contribution to the broader variety of sounds people tend to produce relative to other primates. Ghazanfar also added that because the work shows that macaques express nearly the same range of physical movements as humans in vocalization, the primates could be an instrument for models of understanding early human speech development and the human speech evolution.

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