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Lesions of a higher auditory brain area during a sensorimotor period do not impair birdsong learning


Canopoli, Alessandro; Zai, Anja; Hahnloser, Richard (2016). Lesions of a higher auditory brain area during a sensorimotor period do not impair birdsong learning. Matters:online.

Abstract

One important function of the nervous system is to form and retrieve memories to direct behavior. A prime example of memorization occurs in songbirds when they imitate the songs of another bird heard early in life. Although many brain areas required for song learning have been identified, their separate roles in memory formation and retrieval remain unclear. In juvenile male zebra finches, we test the role of a higher auditory cortical area in memory retrieval. The Caudal Medial Nidopallium (NCM) has previously been shown to be necessary for song memory acquisition and is thus a likely location for holding the memory of tutor song necessary for learning. We extensively exposed young birds to tutor song after which we performed large bilateral lesions in NCM using injection of ibotenic acid. We observe successful song copying in lesioned animals, comparable to song behavior in untreated control birds. Our results show that intact NCM is not required to guide vocal learning based on a previously formed song memory.

Abstract

One important function of the nervous system is to form and retrieve memories to direct behavior. A prime example of memorization occurs in songbirds when they imitate the songs of another bird heard early in life. Although many brain areas required for song learning have been identified, their separate roles in memory formation and retrieval remain unclear. In juvenile male zebra finches, we test the role of a higher auditory cortical area in memory retrieval. The Caudal Medial Nidopallium (NCM) has previously been shown to be necessary for song memory acquisition and is thus a likely location for holding the memory of tutor song necessary for learning. We extensively exposed young birds to tutor song after which we performed large bilateral lesions in NCM using injection of ibotenic acid. We observe successful song copying in lesioned animals, comparable to song behavior in untreated control birds. Our results show that intact NCM is not required to guide vocal learning based on a previously formed song memory.

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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
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:26 Jan 2017 12:46
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 11:45
Publisher:ScienceMatters AG
ISSN:2297-8240
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.19185/matters.201603000018

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