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Vocal communication develops under social influences that can enhance attention, an important factor in memory formation and perceptual tuning. In songbirds, social conditions can delay sensitive periods of development, overcome learning inhibitions and enable exceptional learning or induce selective learning. However, we do not know how social conditions(More)
The field L complex is thought to be the highest auditory centre and the input in the song vocal nuclei. Different anatomical and functional subdivisions have been described in field L. Auditory neurons of field L are well activated by natural sounds and especially by species-specific sounds. A complex sound coding appears to exist in field L. However,(More)
Venom from the spider Argiope trifasciata, a highly specific blocker of the ionic channels associated with invertebrate glutamatergic receptors, was perfused through scala tympani of the basal turn of the pig cochlea. Its effect on spontaneous and driven activity of single afferent neurons was studied. 0.1 U/ml spider venom altered the maximum driven(More)
Although evidence exists for a lateralization of song production, few studies have focused on the perceptual aspect of lateralization in songbirds. In the present study, the authors recorded neuronal responses to a variety of species-specific and artificial, nonspecific stimuli in both hemispheres of awake and anesthetized male starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).(More)
Lateralization of brain functions is a widespread phenomenon in vertebrates. With the well-known lateralization in the processing of human speech and the parallels that exist between birdsong and language, songbirds are interesting for addressing such questions. In the present study, we investigated the central processing of communicative and artificial(More)
Social influence on song acquisition was studied in 3 groups of young European starlings raised under different social conditions but with the same auditory experience of adult song. Attentional focusing on preferred partners appears the most likely explanation for differences found in song acquisition in relation to experience, sex, and song categories.(More)
This paper reviews some aspects on the perceptual processes involved in the categorization of natural sounds, especially in birdsong. Different models have been proposed to account for the simple filtering observed at the peripheral level to the recognition processes, revealed through behavioural responses. Some studies have shown that neurons in some of(More)
The effect of early experience on brain development was investigated in the central auditory area of a songbird, the field L complex, which is analogous to the mammalian auditory cortex. Multi-unit recordings of auditory responses in the field L complex of adult starlings raised without any experience of adult song during development provide strong evidence(More)
Songbirds are one of the few vertebrate groups (including humans) that evolved the ability to learn vocalizations. During song learning, social interactions with adult models are crucial and young songbirds raised without direct contacts with adults typically produce abnormal songs showing phonological and syntactical deficits. This raises the question of(More)
One of the most challenging issues in neuroethology concerns the neural substrates for song production, perception and learning in songbirds. However, electrophysiological studies of the song system of songbirds are often fragmented and centered on a small number of selected neurons. Here, we have developed a new extensive approach to record a great number(More)