CE28 - Cognition, éducation, formation

Human nonverbal vocalisations: the missing link – SCREAM

Submission summary

While human nonverbal vocalisations such as laughs, screams and moans are ubiquitous in our everyday social interactions, beyond research on babies’ cries and adult laughter we still know surprisingly little about their place in human and animal communication. Here, we propose an ambitious research program uniting two CNRS labs and international collaborators, with the aim to understand their nature (e.g., are they innate or acquired?), their function (what information is communicated, can it be faked/exaggerated? Is it universal or culture-specific?) and how they develop throughout the lifespan (including their ontogeny and the role of sensory experience). This research has the potential to yield crucial insights into the origins and early evolution of language, constituting the “missing link” between fixed animal vocalisations and flexible human speech, and unravelling one of the least understood aspects of human behaviour, with important therapeutic and educational implications.

Project coordination

David Reby (Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CRNL Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon

Help of the ANR 393,139 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2022 - 42 Months

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