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In this work, we build an electronic syrinx, i.e., a programmable electronic device capable of integrating biomechanical model equations for the avian vocal organ in order to synthesize song. This vocal prosthesis is controlled by the bird's neural instructions to respiratory and the syringeal motor systems, thus opening great potential for studying motor(More)
The nature of telencephalic control over premotor and motor circuits is debated. Hypotheses range from complete usurping of downstream circuitry to highly interactive mechanisms of control. We show theoretically and experimentally, that telencephalic song motor control in canaries is consistent with a highly interactive strategy. As predicted from a(More)
Song production in songbirds is a model system for studying learned vocal behavior. As in humans, bird phonation involves three main motor systems (respiration, vocal organ and vocal tract). The avian respiratory mechanism uses pressure regulation in air sacs to ventilate a rigid lung. In songbirds sound is generated with two independently controlled sound(More)
Singing behavior in songbirds is a model system for motor control of learned behavior. The target organs of its central motor programs are the various muscle systems involved in sound generation. Investigation of these peripheral motor mechanisms of song production is the first step toward an understanding of how different motor systems are coordinated.(More)
Juvenile male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) learn a stereotyped song by imitating sounds from adult male tutors. Their song is composed of a series of syllables, which are separated by silent periods. How acoustic units of song are translated into respiratory and syringeal motor gestures during the song learning process is not well understood. To(More)
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)
Precisely timed behaviors are central to the survival of almost all organisms. Song is an example of a learned behavior under exquisite temporal control. Song tempo in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) is systematically modified depending on social context. When male zebra finches sing to females (directed), it is produced with a faster motor pattern(More)
Many birds perform visual signals during their learned songs, but little is known about the interrelationship between visual and vocal displays. We show here that male brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) synchronize the most elaborate wing movements of their display with atypically long silent periods in their song, potentially avoiding adverse(More)
We reconstruct the physiological parameters that control an avian vocal organ during birdsong production using recorded song. The procedure involves fitting the time dependent parameters of an avian vocal organ model. Computationally, the model is implemented as a dynamical system ruling the behavior of the oscillating labia that modulate the air flow(More)
  • Coen P H Elemans, Igor L Y Spierts, Ulrike K Müller, Johan L Van Leeuwen, Franz Goller
  • 2004
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)