Monkeys can talk but don’t want

Researchers found that African and Asian macaques are physiologically quite able to pronounce words and even whole sentences. So why these extremely highly developed primates has still not got its own lexicon?

The macaques, a genus of primates living in Asia and Africa, have the physiological ability to use in his speech to a linguistic language, according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances. With the help of x-rays, the researchers were able to determine the range of fluctuations of the voice structures in the body of the macaque.

Asif Gazanfar, a Professor of psychology at Princeton University and co-author of Tekumel Fitz, Professor of cognitive biology at the University of Vienna, Austria, used x-ray machine to capture images, and then traced the movement of various parts of the vocal anatomy of the Primate (tongue, lip, throat) in some examples, Orofacial behavior. Then these data were converted into a computer model with the help of Bart de Boer from the artificial intelligence lab, VUB in Belgium. The model helped to identify and model the vocal range of the macaque based on her physical attributes.

Carefully analyzing the model, the researchers found that macaques theoretically “can pronounce the vowels and even whole sentences, provided that she has the neural ability to do it.” Simply put, a monkey is able to speak physiologically, it is only necessary to teach. Fortunately, in the wild, they don’t talk much, since we are such monkeys would be a weird sound (you can listen here).

Why macaques are silent? Rather, it is the limitations, not of the throat, but of the mind. Anthropologists shared the view that the ancestors of man, too, had developed vocal apparatus long before it appeared in the Tom, which is familiar to us. As expressed by the authors of the article, “the results indicate that human speech derives primarily from a unique evolution and structure of our brain, and not connected with the anatomical differences of the vocal apparatus between humans and primates.”