Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

At grammatical faculty of language, flies outsmart men


Stoop, R; Nüesch, P; Stoop, R L; Bunimovich, L A (2013). At grammatical faculty of language, flies outsmart men. PLoS ONE, 8(8):e70284.

Abstract

Using a symbolic dynamics and a surrogate data approach, we show that the language exhibited by common fruit flies Drosophila (‘D.’) during courtship is as grammatically complex as the most complex human-spoken modern languages. This finding emerges from the study of fifty high-speed courtship videos (generally of several minutes duration) that were visually frame-by-frame dissected into 37 fundamental behavioral elements. From the symbolic dynamics of these elements, the courtship-generating language was determined with extreme confidence (significance level > 0.95). The languages categorization in terms of position in Chomsky’s hierarchical language classification allows to compare Drosophila’s body language not only with computer’s compiler languages, but also with human-spoken languages. Drosophila’s body language emerges to be at least as powerful as the languages spoken by humans.

Abstract

Using a symbolic dynamics and a surrogate data approach, we show that the language exhibited by common fruit flies Drosophila (‘D.’) during courtship is as grammatically complex as the most complex human-spoken modern languages. This finding emerges from the study of fifty high-speed courtship videos (generally of several minutes duration) that were visually frame-by-frame dissected into 37 fundamental behavioral elements. From the symbolic dynamics of these elements, the courtship-generating language was determined with extreme confidence (significance level > 0.95). The languages categorization in terms of position in Chomsky’s hierarchical language classification allows to compare Drosophila’s body language not only with computer’s compiler languages, but also with human-spoken languages. Drosophila’s body language emerges to be at least as powerful as the languages spoken by humans.

Statistics

Citations

2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

26 downloads since deposited on 12 Feb 2014
8 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:12 Feb 2014 17:08
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 08:08
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Series Name:PLoS ONE
Number of Pages:1
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0070284
PubMed ID:24058398

Download

Download PDF  'At grammatical faculty of language, flies outsmart men'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)