The specialised human ability to perceive the sound quality known as “pitch” can no longer be listed as unique to humans.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins report new behavioural evidence that marmosets, ancient monkeys, appear to use auditory cues similar to humans to distinguish between low and high notes.

The discovery infers that aspects of pitch perception may have evolved more than 40 million years ago to enable vocal communication and song-like vocalisations.

A summary of the research has been published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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