The brain activity of a fully awake chimpanzee being presented with her name was investigated. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured for each of the following auditory stimuli: the vocal sound of the subject's own name (SON), the vocal sound of a familiar name of another group member, the vocal sound of an unfamiliar name and a non-vocal sound. Some differences in ERP waveforms were detected between kinds of stimuli at latencies at which P3 and Nc components are typically observed in humans. Following stimulus onset, an Nc-like negative shift at approximately 500 ms latency was observed, particularly in response to SON. Such specific ERP patterns suggest that the chimpanzee processes her name differently from other sounds.
Keywords: ERPs, auditory processing, name, self, awake chimpanzee