Visiting Adjunct Professor of Voice Science Christian T. Herbst, Ph.D., was a member of an interdisciplinary team from Japan and Europe that studied how the human larynx evolved to allow us to communicate. The paper, “Evolutionary loss of complexity in human vocal anatomy as an adaptation for speech,” was published on Friday, Aug. 12, in the journal Science.
Herbst and his co-authors found that the human larynx has actually simplified relative to other primates, allowing for clearer sound production with less aural chaos. This is a surprising finding, as one may logically expect more complex vocal behaviors to be produced by more complex anatomical structures. This is not the case with the human voice.
Visit nytimes.com to learn more about the research.
Science is one of the world’s most respected academic journals and is the peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.