Learn More
A miniature lightweight radio telemetric device is described which is shown to be suitable for recording neuronal activity in freely behaving animals. Its size (12 x 5 x 8 mm) and weight (1.0-1.1 g with batteries, 0.4-0.5 g without) make the device particularly suitable for recording neuronal units in small animals such as mice or zebra finches. The device(More)
Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone(More)
During song learning, vocal patterns are matched to an auditory memory acquired from a tutor, a process involving sensorimotor feedback. Song sensorimotor learning and song production of birds is controlled by a set of interconnected brain nuclei, the song control system. In male zebra finches, the beginning of the sensorimotor phase of song learning(More)
Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which "stack" calls are(More)
In birds and mammals, including humans, melatonin-binding sites are abundant in brain areas that have no known clock function. Although the role of such binding sites is still unclear, it is assumed that these sites link neural functions to circadian or circannual demands of neuroendocrine homeostasis and reproduction. To investigate a possible direct role(More)
Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are highly social and monogamous birds that display relatively low levels of aggression and coordinate group life mainly by means of vocal communication. In the wild, small groups may congregate to larger flocks of up to 150-350 birds. Little is known, however, about possible effects of population density on development(More)
Pair compatibility affects the success of a pair; however, its causes and mechanisms are not fully understood. Vocal exchange may be very important for pair formation, coordinating pair activities, maintaining the pair bond and mate guarding. To investigate the role of vocal exchange in pair formation and pair maintenance, we explored whether new and(More)
In male birds, influence of the sex steroid hormone testosterone and its estrogenic metabolites on seasonal song behavior has been demonstrated for many species. In contrast, female song was only recently recognized to be widespread among songbird species, and to date, sex hormone effects on singing and brain regions controlling song development and(More)
Individual vocal recognition plays an important role in the social lives of many vocally active species. In group-living songbirds the most common vocalizations during communal interactions are low-intensity, soft, unlearned calls. Being able to tell individuals apart solely from a short call would allow a sender to choose a specific group member to(More)
In most temperate zone vertebrates, photoperiodic change plays the major role in the timing of seasonal breeding. However, direct environmental stimuli such as temperature, rainfall, or availability of food are thought to be important for fine-tuning breeding activities. Building on evidence from wild Island canaries (Serinus canaria), the authors had shown(More)