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Regulation of learned vocal behavior by an auditory motor cortical nucleus in juvenile zebra finches


Naie, K; Hahnloser, R H R (2011). Regulation of learned vocal behavior by an auditory motor cortical nucleus in juvenile zebra finches. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(1):291-300.

Abstract

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.

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.

Citations

9 citations in Web of Science®
8 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification: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:05 Apr 2016 15:42
Publisher:American Physiological Society
ISSN:0022-3077
Publisher DOI:10.​1152/​jn.​01035.​2010

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