Researchers have learned neural circuits present in the rhesus macaque monkeys which could represent a common origin for speech and communication in humans and monkeys. These findings proved that these circuits are responsible for face recognition, changing facial expression, and changes in emotions. The team from the Rockefeller University in New York City used an experimental setup which is used for MRI of brains.
Winrich Freiwald, one of the scientist said, the video clips of monkeys making facial expressions they also change their expressions. When the monkey in the clips made a lip-smacking gesture as a response to the video. Moreover, the face-perception regions of the brains that feed information associated with emotion and expression did not exchange information in another sequential fashion.
The videos that replicated social communication through eye contact causes an unexpected light up in the third neural circuit. This generates the friendly lip smack, especially in the portion of the human brain which is taking care of speech production.
The study suggests that lip smacks might be an evolutionary sign that human speech was simpler and reflexive to create a way for little sophisticated and as good as human verbal communication. The researchers are measuring this activity with electrical activity in every individual neuron in all of three networks which they revealed in the scan.
Understanding these changes in monkeys surely will help to understand the origin of speech in human. In case of monkeys, things are simpler while it is complicated in the case of humans, said Freiwald. He described their findings as an important building block which will help in to understand the speech in humans.