Clémentine Bodin

photo Doctoral student, email: clementine.bodin(at)
Temporal voice areas in primates : anatomico-functional correspondence and compared cognition approach
Language is a human ability. However, paralinguistic features also exchanged during vocal communication seem to have a much more primitive origin. Recognize the meaning and the identity in vocalizations of our congeners is a capacity that we share with non-human primates. This is not surprising when we consider the importance of this kind of cognitive abilities to create and maintain social interactions. Some authors suggest that there is a coevolution between sociability and vocal communication in primates. Nowadays, ethology and neurosciences tend to be closer to study the origins of language and if it emerged from a primitive vocal communication. For that we need to compare our human features with those of our closest relatives, and this is what we propose to do in this study. In one hand, we will perform an fMRI study on voice perception in macaque rhesus. We will investigate the relations between cortical anatomy and functional activity linked to voice sensitivity, by using methods that have previously employed in humans. In another hand, we will realize an extensive study on the anatomy of the superior temporal sulcus (STS), a hub in social perception, in three species of primates (macaque, baboons and chimpanzee). The main goal of this study is to highlight a coevolution between STS anatomy and functional basis of vocal communication in primates.