AUDITORY LEARNING

Birds of a different feather sing together

A new study sheds light on how sensitivity to communication sounds is established in the brain. Juvenile finches raised with tutors of either the same or different species always learned the tutors’ songs. Cortical neurons developed selectivity for the learned song by tuning for its secondary acoustic features.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Learning the bird’s song drives changes in the auditory cortex.

References

  1. 1.

    Werker, J. F. & Tees, R. C. Infant Behav. Dev. 7, 49–63 (1984).

  2. 2.

    Mesgarani, N., Cheung, C., Johnson, K. & Chang, E. F. Science 343, 1006–1010 (2014).

  3. 3.

    Gervain, J. & Geffen, M. N. Trends Neurosci. 42, 56–65 (2019).

  4. 4.

    Moore, J.S. & Woolley, S.M.N. Nat. Neurosci. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-019-0458-4 (2019).

  5. 5.

    Tchernichovski, O., Lints, T., Mitra, P. P. & Nottebohm, F. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96, 12901–12904 (1999).

  6. 6.

    Immelmann, K. Song development in the zebra finch and other Estrildid finches. in Bird Vocalizations. (ed. R.A. Hinde) 61–74 (Cambridge University Press, 1969).

  7. 7.

    Wang, X., Merzenich, M. M., Beitel, R. & Schreiner, C. E. J. Neurophysiol. 74, 2685–2706 (1995).

  8. 8.

    Perrodin, C., Kayser, C., Logothetis, N. K. & Petkov, C. I. Curr. Biol. 21, 1408–1415 (2011).

  9. 9.

    Schnupp, J. W., Hall, T. M., Kokelaar, R. F. & Ahmed, B. J. Neurosci. 26, 4785–4795 (2006).

  10. 10.

    Atencio, C. A., Sharpee, T. O. & Schreiner, C. E. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 21894–21899 (2009).

  11. 11.

    Calabrese, A. & Woolley, S. M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 112, 3517–3522 (2015).

  12. 12.

    Carruthers, I. M., Natan, R. G. & Geffen, M. N. J. Neurophysiol. 109, 1912–1927 (2013).

  13. 13.

    Woolley, S. M., Fremouw, T. E., Hsu, A. & Theunissen, F. E. Nat. Neurosci. 8, 1371–1379 (2005).

  14. 14.

    Sanes, D. H. & Woolley, S. M. Neuron 72, 912–929 (2011).

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Maria N. Geffen.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark