Study finds babies younger than six months old able to acquire phonological knowledge Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2017 Phys.org Explore further In addition to our spoken language, humans also utter a variety of sounds that reveal our emotional state—sounds such as moans of pleasure during sex, frightened screams or even angry growls. Scientists have noted that other animals make sounds that correlate to their emotional states, as well. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn whether human beings are able to recognize which sort of emotional state other animals are experiencing based only on the sounds they emit.In the experiment, volunteers listened to prerecorded animal sounds and attempted to identify the emotional state of the creature that made it. To rule out the possibility that some sounds might be more or less recognizable by people who speak different languages, the volunteer group included people who spoke German, English or Mandarin. In all, the researchers played 180 vocalizations for the volunteers representing a very diverse group: black-capped chickadee, hourglass treefrog, American alligator, common raven, giant panda, barbary macaque and the African bush elephant. The researchers also carried out an acoustic analysis of the sounds on the recordings, comparing the sounds with people’s reactions to them and found that humans use many acoustic clues to understand emotional noises made by other animals.The researchers report that the volunteers were quite accurate in their ability to distinguish animal emotional vocalizations, showing an ability to distinguish between such sounds as cries of pain, exhilaration or fear in all of the land animals—regardless of which language the people spoke.This finding, the researchers suggest, hints at the possibility of common ancestral roots that evolved as a means of survival—being able to recognize the sounds other animals make when threatened, for example, could help humans prepare for what lies ahead.
Heavy smokers are likely to gain more weight after quitting than light to moderate smokers, says a new study.“This is good news for light to moderate smokers who are concerned about weight gain. It means that in the long term, quitting smoking will not make that big of an impact on their weight,” said one of the researchers Susan Veldheer from Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Centre in Pennsylvania, US.Quitting smoking may lead to some weight gain but how much weight gain depends on the individual. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To better understand personal factors that may contribute to weight gain, the researchers analysed data from 12,204 participants.They looked at the number of cigarettes smoked per day and body mass index before quitting, to see how these factors may have affected weight change over 10 years. What they found is that for smokers of fewer than 15 cigarettes per day, there was no significant difference in the 10-year weight gain between those who quit smoking and those who did not quit. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHowever, for smokers of 25 or more cigarettes per day and those who were obese prior to quitting —body mass index of 30 or more —the amount of weight gain attributable to quitting was substantial. Smokers of 25 or more cigarettes per day reported 23 pounds of weight gain that could be attributed to quitting cigarettes and obese smokers reported 16 pounds of weight gain that could be directly attributed to quitting.“Being able to easily identify smokers who may gain more weight when they quit is important so that we can work with patients to tailor their treatment plan,” Veldheer noted. The findings were reported in the International Journal of Obesity.