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Birdsong

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28087242/brains-for-birds-and-babies-neural-parallels-between-birdsong-and-speech-acquisition
#1
REVIEW
Jonathan Prather, Kazuo Okanoya, Johan J Bolhuis
Language as a computational cognitive mechanism appears to be unique to the human species. However, there are remarkable behavioral similarities between song learning in songbirds and speech acquisition in human infants that are absent in non-human primates. Here we review important neural parallels between birdsong and speech. In both cases there are separate but continually interacting neural networks that underlie vocal production, sensorimotor learning, and auditory perception and memory. As in the case of human speech, neural activity related to birdsong learning is lateralized, and mirror neurons linking perception and performance may contribute to sensorimotor learning...
January 10, 2017: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28057835/how-social-learning-adds-up-to-a-culture-from-birdsong-to-human-public-opinion
#2
REVIEW
Ofer Tchernichovski, Olga Feher, Daniel Fimiarz, Dalton Conley
Distributed social learning may occur at many temporal and spatial scales, but it rarely adds up to a stable culture. Cultures vary in stability and diversity (polymorphism), ranging from chaotic or drifting cultures, through cumulative polymorphic cultures, to stable monolithic cultures with high conformity levels. What features can sustain polymorphism, preventing cultures from collapsing into either chaotic or highly conforming states? We investigate this question by integrating studies across two quite separate disciplines: the emergence of song cultures in birds, and the spread of public opinion and social conventions in humans...
January 1, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27940872/mind-the-gap-neural-coding-of-species-identity-in-birdsong-prosody
#3
Makoto Araki, M M Bandi, Yoko Yazaki-Sugiyama
Juvenile songbirds learn vocal communication from adult tutors of the same species but not from adults of other species. How species-specific learning emerges from the basic features of song prosody remains unknown. In the zebra finch auditory cortex, we discovered a class of neurons that register the silent temporal gaps between song syllables and are distinct from neurons encoding syllable morphology. Behavioral learning and neuronal coding of temporal gap structure resisted song tutoring from other species: Zebra finches fostered by Bengalese finch parents learned Bengalese finch song morphology transposed onto zebra finch temporal gaps...
December 9, 2016: Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27940209/an-integrated-model-for-motor-control-of-song-in-serinus-canaria
#4
Rodrigo Gogui Alonso, Ana Amador, Gabriel B Mindlin
Birdsong is a learned motor behavior controlled by an interconnected structure of neural nuclei. This pathway is bilaterally organized, with anatomically indistinguishable structures in each brain hemisphere. In this work, we present a computational model whose variables are the average activities of different neural nuclei of the song system of oscine birds. Two of the variables are linked to the air sac pressure and the tension of the labia during canary song production. We show that these time dependent gestures are capable of driving a model of the vocal organ to synthesize realistic canary like songs...
December 8, 2016: Journal of Physiology, Paris
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27910886/sequential-information-in-a-great-ape-utterance
#5
Pawel Fedurek, Klaus Zuberbühler, Christoph D Dahl
Birdsong is a prime example of acoustically sophisticated vocal behaviour, but its complexity has evolved mainly through sexual selection to attract mates and repel sexual rivals. In contrast, non-human primate calls often mediate complex social interactions, but are generally regarded as acoustically simple. Here, we examine arguably the most complex call in great ape vocal communication, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) 'pant hoot'. This signal consists of four acoustically distinct phases: introduction, build-up, climax and let-down...
December 2, 2016: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27908084/a-robust-automatic-birdsong-phrase-classification-a-template-based-approach
#6
Kantapon Kaewtip, Abeer Alwan, Colm O'Reilly, Charles E Taylor
Automatic phrase detection systems of bird sounds are useful in several applications as they reduce the need for manual annotations. However, birdphrase detection is challenging due to limited training data and background noise. Limited data occur because of limited recordings or the existence of rare phrases. Background noise interference occurs because of the intrinsic nature of the recording environment such as wind or other animals. This paper presents a different approach to birdsong phrase classification using template-based techniques suitable even for limited training data and noisy environments...
November 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27892854/a-comprehensive-excitatory-input-map-of-the-striatum-reveals-novel-functional-organization
#7
Barbara J Hunnicutt, Bart C Jongbloets, William T Birdsong, Katrina J Gertz, Haining Zhong, Tianyi Mao
The striatum integrates excitatory inputs from the cortex and the thalamus to control diverse functions. Although the striatum is thought to consist of sensorimotor, associative and limbic domains, their precise demarcations and whether additional functional subdivisions exist remain unclear. How striatal inputs are differentially segregated into each domain is also poorly understood. This study presents a comprehensive map of the excitatory inputs to the mouse striatum. The input patterns reveal boundaries between the known striatal domains...
November 28, 2016: ELife
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27870407/evolutionary-framework-for-identifying-sex-and-species-specific-vulnerabilities-in-brain-development-and-functions
#8
REVIEW
David C Geary
Sexual selection describes the reproductive dynamics that drive the evolution of many sex differences but is rarely used to guide the study of brain development or function. This Mini-Review describes how these dynamics can result in trait elaboration in one sex or the other and why these traits have a heightened sensitivity to stressors. The framework provides a conceptual model that will help to organize what we know about sex differences in brain and cognition, a means to focus the search for additional sex differences, and a means to predict brain systems that are particularly vulnerable to disruption by exposure to stressors...
January 2, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27852738/contributions-of-rapid-neuromuscular-transmission-to-the-fine-control-of-acoustic-parameters-of-birdsong
#9
Caitlin Mencio, Balagurunathan Kuberan, Franz Goller
Neural control of complex vocal behaviors, such as birdsong and speech, requires integration of biomechanical nonlinearities through muscular output. Although control of airflow and tension of vibrating tissues are known functions of vocal muscles, it remains unclear how specific muscle characteristics contribute to specific acoustic parameters. To address this gap, we removed heparan sulfate chains using heparitinases to subtly perturb neuromuscular transmission in the syrinx of adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)...
November 16, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27761321/positive-effect-of-dietary-lutein-and-cholesterol-on-the-undirected-song-activity-of-an-opportunistic-breeder
#10
Stefania Casagrande, Rianne Pinxten, Erika Zaid, Marcel Eens
Song is a sexually selected trait that is thought to be an honest signal of the health condition of an individual in many bird species. For species that breed opportunistically, the quantity of food may be a determinant of singing activity. However, it is not yet known whether the quality of food plays an important role in this respect. The aim of the present study was to experimentally investigate the role of two calorie-free nutrients (lutein and cholesterol) in determining the expression of a sexually selected behavior (song rate) and other behaviors (locomotor activity, self-maintenance activity, eating and resting) in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)...
2016: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27723764/a-neural-code-that-is-isometric-to-vocal-output-and-correlates-with-its-sensory-consequences
#11
Alexei L Vyssotski, Anna E Stepien, Georg B Keller, Richard H R Hahnloser
What cortical inputs are provided to motor control areas while they drive complex learned behaviors? We study this question in the nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf), which is required for normal birdsong production and provides the main source of auditory input to HVC, the driver of adult song. In juvenile and adult zebra finches, we find that spikes in NIf projection neurons precede vocalizations by several tens of milliseconds and are insensitive to distortions of auditory feedback. We identify a local isometry between NIf output and vocalizations: quasi-identical notes produced in different syllables are preceded by highly similar NIf spike patterns...
October 2016: PLoS Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27667850/a-novel-statistical-method-for-behaviour-sequence-analysis-and-its-application-to-birdsong
#12
Sarah J Alger, Bret R Larget, Lauren V Riters
Complex vocal signals, such as birdsong, contain acoustic elements that differ in both order and duration. These elements may convey socially relevant meaning, both independently and through their interactions, yet statistical methods that combine order and duration data to extract meaning have not, to our knowledge, been fully developed. Here we design novel semi-Markov methods, Bayesian estimation and classification trees to extract order and duration information from behavioural sequences and apply these methods to songs produced by male European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, in two social contexts in which the function of song differs: a spring (breeding) and autumn (nonbreeding) context...
June 2016: Animal Behaviour
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27586730/assessment-of-the-masking-effects-of-birdsong-on-the-road-traffic-noise-environment
#13
Yiying Hao, Jian Kang, Heinrich Wörtche
This study aims to explore how the soundscape quality of traffic noise environments can be improved by the masking effects of birdsong in terms of four soundscape characteristics, i.e., perceived loudness, naturalness, annoyance and pleasantness. Four factors that may influence the masking effects of birdsong (i.e., distance of the receiver from a sound source, loudness of masker, occurrence frequencies of masker, and visibility of sound sources) were examined by listening tests. The results show that the masking effects are more significant in the road traffic noise environments with lower sound levels (e...
August 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27573712/aromatase-inhibition-rapidly-affects-in-a-reversible-manner-distinct-features-of-birdsong
#14
Beau A Alward, Catherine de Bournonville, Trevor T Chan, Jacques Balthazart, Charlotte A Cornil, Gregory F Ball
Recent evidence has implicated steroid hormones, specifically estrogens, in the rapid modulation of cognitive processes. Songbirds have been a useful model system in the study of complex cognitive processes including birdsong, a naturally learned vocal behavior regulated by a discrete steroid-sensitive telencephalic circuitry. Singing behavior is known to be regulated by long-term actions of estrogens but rapid steroid modulation of this behavior has never been examined. We investigated if acute actions of estrogens regulate birdsong in canaries (Serinus canaria)...
2016: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27506786/auditory-induced-neural-dynamics-in-sensory-motor-circuitry-predict-learned-temporal-and-sequential-statistics-of-birdsong
#15
Kristofer E Bouchard, Michael S Brainard
Predicting future events is a critical computation for both perception and behavior. Despite the essential nature of this computation, there are few studies demonstrating neural activity that predicts specific events in learned, probabilistic sequences. Here, we test the hypotheses that the dynamics of internally generated neural activity are predictive of future events and are structured by the learned temporal-sequential statistics of those events. We recorded neural activity in Bengalese finch sensory-motor area HVC in response to playback of sequences from individuals' songs, and examined the neural activity that continued after stimulus offset...
August 23, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27458334/-bird-song-metronomics-isochronous-organization-of-zebra-finch-song-rhythm
#16
Philipp Norton, Constance Scharff
The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27442240/automatic-recognition-of-element-classes-and-boundaries-in-the-birdsong-with-variable-sequences
#17
Takuya Koumura, Kazuo Okanoya
Researches on sequential vocalization often require analysis of vocalizations in long continuous sounds. In such studies as developmental ones or studies across generations in which days or months of vocalizations must be analyzed, methods for automatic recognition would be strongly desired. Although methods for automatic speech recognition for application purposes have been intensively studied, blindly applying them for biological purposes may not be an optimal solution. This is because, unlike human speech recognition, analysis of sequential vocalizations often requires accurate extraction of timing information...
2016: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27439502/atypical-birdsong-and-artificial-languages-provide-insights-into-how-communication-systems-are-shaped-by-learning-use-and-transmission
#18
Olga Fehér
In this article, I argue that a comparative approach focusing on the cognitive capacities and behavioral mechanisms that underlie vocal learning in songbirds and humans can provide valuable insights into the evolutionary origins of language. The experimental approaches I discuss use abnormal song and atypical linguistic input to study the processes of individual learning, social interaction, and cultural transmission. Atypical input places increased learning and communicative pressure on learners, so exploring how they respond to this type of input provides a particularly clear picture of the biases and constraints at work during learning and use...
July 20, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27415293/birdsong-dialect-patterns-explained-using-magnetic-domains
#19
James Burridge, Steven Kenney
The songs and calls of many bird species, like human speech, form distinct regional dialects. We suggest that the process of dialect formation is analogous to the physical process of magnetic domain formation. We take the coastal breeding grounds of the Puget Sound white crowned sparrow as an example. Previous field studies suggest that birds of this species learn multiple songs early in life, and when establishing a territory for the first time, retain one of these dialects in order to match the majority of their neighbors...
June 2016: Physical Review. E
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27397518/a-distributed-recurrent-network-contributes-to-temporally-precise-vocalizations
#20
Kosuke Hamaguchi, Masashi Tanaka, Richard Mooney
How do forebrain and brainstem circuits interact to produce temporally precise and reproducible behaviors? Birdsong is an elaborate, temporally precise, and stereotyped vocal behavior controlled by a network of forebrain and brainstem nuclei. An influential idea is that song premotor neurons in a forebrain nucleus (HVC) form a synaptic chain that dictates song timing in a top-down manner. Here we combine physiological, dynamical, and computational methods to show that song timing is not generated solely by a mechanism localized to HVC but instead is the product of a distributed and recurrent synaptic network spanning the forebrain and brainstem, of which HVC is a component...
August 3, 2016: Neuron
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