Coen P H Elemans

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Birdsong is a widely used model for vocal learning and human speech, which exhibits high temporal and acoustic diversity. Rapid acoustic modulations are thought to arise from the vocal organ, the syrinx, by passive interactions between the two independent sound generators or intrinsic nonlinear dynamics of sound generating structures. Additionally, direct(More)
As animals vocalize, their vocal organ transforms motor commands into vocalizations for social communication. In birds, the physical mechanisms by which vocalizations are produced and controlled remain unresolved because of the extreme difficulty in obtaining in vivo measurements. Here, we introduce an ex vivo preparation of the avian vocal organ that(More)
In contrast to human phonation, the virtuoso vocalizations of most birds are modulated at the level of the sound generator, the syrinx. We address the hypothesis that syringeal muscles are physiologically capable of controlling the sound-generating syringeal membranes in the ring dove (Streptopelia risoria) syrinx. We establish the role of the(More)
Symbiotic microorganisms have had a large impact on eukaryotic evolution, with effects ranging from parasitic to mutualistic. Mitochondria and chloroplasts are prime examples of symbiotic microorganisms that have become obligate for their hosts, allowing for a dramatic extension of suitable habitats for life. Out of the extraordinary diversity of bacterial(More)
Like human infants, songbirds learn their species-specific vocalizations through imitation learning. The birdsong system has emerged as a widely used experimental animal model for understanding the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for vocal production learning. However, how neural impulses are translated into the precise motor behavior of the(More)
As an echolocating bat closes in on a flying insect, it increases call emission to rates beyond 160 calls per second. This high call rate phase, dubbed the terminal buzz, has proven enigmatic because it is unknown how bats are able to produce calls so quickly. We found that previously unknown and highly specialized superfast muscles power rapid call rates(More)
Bird songs frequently contain trilling sounds that demand extremely fast vocalization control. Here we show that doves control their syrinx, a vocal organ that is unique to birds, by using superfast muscles. These muscles, which are similar to those that operate highly specialist acoustic organs such as the rattle of the rattlesnake, are among the fastest(More)
The neuromuscular control of vocalization in birds requires complicated and precisely coordinated motor control of the vocal organ (i.e. the syrinx), the respiratory system and upper vocal tract. The biomechanics of the syrinx is very complex and not well understood. In this paper, we aim to unravel the contribution of different control parameters in the(More)
Birdsong has developed into one of the important models for motor control of learned behaviour and shows many parallels with speech acquisition in humans. However, there are several experimental limitations to studying the vocal organ - the syrinx - in vivo. The multidisciplinary approach of combining experimental data and mathematical modelling has greatly(More)
KEY POINTS In human skeletal muscles, the current view is that the capacity for mitochondrial energy production, and thus endurance capacity, is set by the mitochondria volume. However, increasing the mitochondrial inner membrane surface comprises an alternative mechanism for increasing the energy production capacity. In the present study, we show that(More)