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In situ vocal fold properties and pitch prediction by dynamic actuation of the songbird syrinx


Düring, Daniel N; Knörlein, Benjamin J; Elemans, Coen P H (2017). In situ vocal fold properties and pitch prediction by dynamic actuation of the songbird syrinx. Scientific Reports, 7:11296.

Abstract

The biomechanics of sound production forms an integral part of the neuromechanical control loop of avian vocal motor control. However, we critically lack quantification of basic biomechanical parameters describing the vocal organ, the syrinx, such as material properties of syringeal elements, forces and torques exerted on, and motion of the syringeal skeleton during song. Here, we present a novel marker-based 3D stereoscopic imaging technique to reconstruct 3D motion of servo-controlled actuation of syringeal muscle insertions sites in vitro and focus on two muscles controlling sound pitch. We furthermore combine kinematic analysis with force measurements to quantify elastic properties of sound producing medial labia (ML). The elastic modulus of the zebra finch ML is 18 kPa at 5% strain, which is comparable to elastic moduli of mammalian vocal folds. Additionally ML lengthening due to musculus syringealis ventralis (VS) shortening is intrinsically constraint at maximally 12% strain. Using these values we predict sound pitch to range from 350–800 Hz by VS modulation, corresponding well to previous observations. The presented methodology allows for quantification of syringeal skeleton motion and forces, acoustic effects of muscle recruitment, and calibration of computational birdsong models, enabling experimental access to the entire neuromechanical control loop of vocal motor control.

Abstract

The biomechanics of sound production forms an integral part of the neuromechanical control loop of avian vocal motor control. However, we critically lack quantification of basic biomechanical parameters describing the vocal organ, the syrinx, such as material properties of syringeal elements, forces and torques exerted on, and motion of the syringeal skeleton during song. Here, we present a novel marker-based 3D stereoscopic imaging technique to reconstruct 3D motion of servo-controlled actuation of syringeal muscle insertions sites in vitro and focus on two muscles controlling sound pitch. We furthermore combine kinematic analysis with force measurements to quantify elastic properties of sound producing medial labia (ML). The elastic modulus of the zebra finch ML is 18 kPa at 5% strain, which is comparable to elastic moduli of mammalian vocal folds. Additionally ML lengthening due to musculus syringealis ventralis (VS) shortening is intrinsically constraint at maximally 12% strain. Using these values we predict sound pitch to range from 350–800 Hz by VS modulation, corresponding well to previous observations. The presented methodology allows for quantification of syringeal skeleton motion and forces, acoustic effects of muscle recruitment, and calibration of computational birdsong models, enabling experimental access to the entire neuromechanical control loop of vocal motor control.

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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:2017
Deposited On:01 Mar 2018 12:48
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 18:00
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Series Name:Scientific Reports
Number of Pages:1
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-11258-1

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