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Song-selective auditory circuits in the vocal control system of the zebra finch

Doupe, Allison J. and Konishi, Masakazu (1991) Song-selective auditory circuits in the vocal control system of the zebra finch. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 88 (24). pp. 11339-11343. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC53130. doi:10.1073/pnas.88.24.11339.

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Birdsong is a learned behavior controlled by a distinct set of brain nuclei. The song nuclei known as area X, the medial nucleus of the dorsolateral thalamus (DLM), and the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum (L-MAN) form a pathway that plays an important but unknown role in song learning. One function served by this circuit might be auditory feedback, which is critical to normal song development. We used single unit recordings to demonstrate that all three of these nuclei contain auditory neurons in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). These neurons are song selective: they respond more robustly to the bird's own song than to songs of conspecific individuals, and they are sensitive to the temporal structure of song. Auditory neurons so highly specialized for song within a pathway required for song learning may play a role in the auditory feedback essential in song development. Recordings in the robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA), the nucleus to which L-MAN projects, showed that RA also contains highly song-selective neurons. RA receives a direct projection from the caudal nucleus of the ventral hyperstriatum (HVc) as well as from L-MAN. We investigated the contributions of these two inputs to auditory responses of RA neurons by selectively inactivating one or both inputs. Our results suggest that there is a song-selective pathway directly from HVc to RA in addition to the circuit via L-MAN. Thus the songbird brain contains multiple auditory pathways specialized for song, and these circuits may vary in their functional importance at different stages of learning.

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Additional Information:© 1991 by the National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Masakazu Konishi, September 20, 1991. We thank Richard Mooney, Paul Patterson, Derek Stemple, Susan Volman, and the members of the Konishi laboratory for critical comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Life Sciences Research Foundation (Monsanto Company) and the Lucille B. Markey Charitable Trust. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
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Life Sciences Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Lucille P. Markey Charitable TrustUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:24
PubMed Central ID:PMC53130
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:DOUpnas91
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1413
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Jan 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:10

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