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In the process of song learning, songbirds such as the zebra finch shape their initial soft and poorly formed vocalizations (subsong) first into variable plastic songs with a discernable recurring motif and then into highly stereotyped adult songs. A premotor brain area critically involved in plastic and adult song production is the cortical nucleus HVC. One of HVC's primary afferents, the nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf), provides a significant source of auditory input to HVC. However, the premotor involvement of NIf has not been extensively studied yet. Here we report that brief and reversible pharmacological inactivation of NIf in juvenile birds leads to transient degradation of plastic song toward subsong, as revealed by spectral and temporal song features. No such song degradation is seen following NIf inactivation in adults. However, in both juveniles and adults NIf inactivation leads to a transient decrease in song stereotypy. Our findings reveal a contribution of NIf to song production in juveniles that agrees with its known role in adults in mediating thalamic drive to downstream vocal motor areas during sleep.
|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics|
|DDC:||570 Life sciences; biology|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Auditory feedback;γ-aminobutyric acid;Stuttering|
|Date:||1 July 2011|
|Deposited On:||05 Mar 2012 17:23|
|Last Modified:||23 Nov 2012 15:50|
|Publisher:||American Physiological Society|
Scopus®. Citation Count: 4
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