Event-related potentials in response to subjects' own names: A comparison between humans and a chimpanzee.

Satoshi Hirata, Goh Matsuda, Ari Ueno, Koki Fuwa, Keiko Sugama, Kiyo Kusunoki, Hirokata Fukushima, Kazuo Hiraki, Masaki Tomonaga, Toshikazu Hasegawa
DOI: 10.4161/cib.4.3.14841


The sound of one’s own name is one of the most salient auditory environmental stimuli. Several studies of human brain potentials have revealed some characteristic waveforms when we hear our own names. In a recent work, we investigated event-related potentials (ERPs) in a female chimpanzee and demonstrated that the ERP pattern generated when she heard her own name differed from that generated when she heard other sounds. However, her ERPs did not exhibit a prominent positive shift around 300 ms (P3) in response to her own name, as has been repeatedly shown in studies of human ERPs. The present study collected comparative data for adult humans using basically the same procedure as that used in our previous study of the chimpanzee. These results also revealed no prominent P3 to the human subjects’ own names. The lack of increased P3 is therefore likely due to our experimental protocol, in which we presented the subject’s own name relatively frequently. In contrast, our results revealed prominent negativity to the subject’s own name at around 500 ms in the chimpanzee and around 200 ms in human subjects. This may indicate that initial orientation to the sound of one’s own name is delayed in the chimpanzee.


auditory processing, ERP, chimpanzee, name, self,

Article Information
Hirata S, Matsuda G, Ueno A, Fuwa K, Sugama K, Kusunoki K, Fukushima H, Hiraki K, Tomonaga M, Hasegawa T(2011)Event-related potentials in response to subjects' own names: A comparison between humans and a chimpanzee. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 4(3), 321-323.. https://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cib.4.3.14841
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