A Caltech Library Service

Long Memory in Song Learning by Zebra Finches

Funabiki, Yasuko and Konishi, Masakazu (2003) Long Memory in Song Learning by Zebra Finches. Journal of Neuroscience, 23 (17). pp. 6928-6935. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC6740713. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.23-17-06928.2003.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Young songbirds use memorized tutor songs as templates to shape their own songs. This process requires control of voice by auditory feedback. We prevented zebra finches from hearing their own vocalizations by exposure to loud noise after 35 d of age, before which they had been reared with song tutors from birth. When the noise stopped at 102-200 d of age, the birds sang unstable and noisy song syllables that did not resemble the tutor syllables. The similarity to the tutor syllables steadily increased until the time of song crystallization ∼30 d later. These findings show that the memory of tutor syllables survives auditory perturbations during the period when it is normally recalled and that zebra finches can use the memory well after the normal period of song development. The temporal order of syllables resembled the tutor model only in birds released from the noise before 80 d of age but not in older birds. Thus, different schedules and processes may govern the learning of syllable phonology and syntax.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Funabiki, Yasuko0000-0002-3399-5169
Additional Information:© 2003 Society for Neuroscience. For the first six months after publication SfN’s license will be exclusive. Beginning six months after publication the Work will be made freely available to the public on SfN’s website to copy, distribute, or display under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license ( Received February 6, 2003. Revision received June 4, 2003. Accepted June 4, 2003. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant NH55984. We thank Ofer Tchernichovski for help with sound analysis, Allison Doupe and Teresa Nick for critically reviewing previous drafts of this manuscript, and Anthony Leonardo and Kazuo Funabiki for help with the hardware and software used in the present project.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:zebra finch; memory; learning; auditory feedback; sensory phase; sensorimotor phase
Issue or Number:17
PubMed Central ID:PMC6740713
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151201-110252136
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Long Memory in Song Learning by Zebra Finches. Yasuko Funabiki and Masakazu Konishi. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30 July 2003, 23(17):6928-6935;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62498
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:01 Dec 2015 19:15
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:03

Repository Staff Only: item control page