Communication is 1 of the fundamental components of both human and non-human animal behavior. While the benefits and importance of language in human evolution are obvious, other non-human communication systems are also important. These communication systems are important, because for most, if not all, species, they are critical to the species' survival. For example, auditory communication signals (i.e., species-specific vocalizations, SSVs) play a fundamental role in the socioecology of several species of non-human primates, such as rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). While neurophysiological experiments examining the representation of SSVs in the non-human primate cortex have a long and rich history, there have not been any studies, to date, that have tested how neurons code the abstract qualities of SSVs. This grant proposal examines this important issue by testing how neurons in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vPFC) code the information conveyed by SSVs. The experiments in this grant proposal test the following general hypothesis: vPFC neurons are preferentially modulated by the information conveyed by SSVs and not by their spectrotemporal properties. In EXPERIMENT #1A, we test whether vPFC neurons code the information conveyed by SSVs in superordinate (e.g., food versus nonfood) or subordinate (high-quality food or low-quality food) categories. In EXPERIMENT #1B, we test the hypothesis that vPFC neurons respond to transitions between SSVs based on presentation context and the information conveyed by the SSVs. Together, these studies will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the role that the vPFC has in representing the information conveyed by the SSVs and the role of the PFC, in general, in the representing information in category-dependent formats. ? ?