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cate ten 100x120prof. dr. Carel ten Cate

I am professor of animal behaviour at the Institute of Biology. After a PhD at Groningen University (NL), postdocs at the universities of Cambridge (UK) and Utrecht (NL), and a senior research fellowship of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences at Groningen, I moved to Leiden.

My research concerns animal communication. Over the last ten years I have become increasingly interested in exploring what the songbird model has to offer as a comparative model for human language. Birdsong is considered the closest animal analogue to human language and several projects address whether the acquisition, the syntactic rules and the mechanisms underlying production and perception of song and language/speech share more than superficial similarities.

Project: Assessing the linguistic abilities of a songbird: syntax detection and rule learning in zebra finches
Project: Bird speech? On the perception of speech sounds by birds
Project: Segments and rules: a comparative study into the computational mechanisms underlying language acquisition
Project: The neurogenomics of vocal learning

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