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Recent experiments in divergent fields of birdsong have revealed that vocal performance is important for reproductive success and under active control by distinct neural circuits. Vocal consistency, the degree to which the spectral properties (e.g. dominant or fundamental frequency) of song elements are produced consistently from rendition to rendition, has(More)
Birdsong, like human speech, relies critically on auditory feedback to provide information about the quality of vocalizations. Although the importance of auditory feedback to vocal learning is well established, whether and how feedback signals influence vocal premotor circuitry has remained obscure. Previous studies in singing birds have not detected(More)
Birdsong is a learned motor skill that is performed with a high degree of stereotypy in adult birds. Nevertheless, even in species where song "crystallizes" in a form that remains stable over time, there is residual variability. Such variability in well-learned skills is often construed as uncontrolled and irrelevant biological "noise." However, studies in(More)
The mechanisms that control growth and reproduction have received considerable attention by molecular and cellular endocrinologists, yet there has been relatively little effort to link these two aspects of physiology. On the other hand, evolutionary biologists have long commented on the relationship between growth and reproduction in many species, yet have(More)
Songbirds and humans both rely critically on hearing for learning and maintaining accurate vocalizations. Evidence strongly indicates that auditory feedback contributes in real time to human speech, but similar contributions of feedback to birdsong remain unclear. Here, we assessed real-time influences of auditory feedback on Bengalese finch song using a(More)
The neural basis of individual differences in behavior has been studied primarily by analyzing the properties of specific neural areas. However, because of the organization of the nervous system, it is also plausible that differences in behavior are mediated by differences in the interactivity or functional connectivity among brain nuclei in particular(More)
Kratochvil et al. (Naturwissenschaften 95:209-215, 2008) reported recently that in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) of the family Eublepharidae with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), clutches in which eggs were incubated at the same temperature produce only same-sex siblings. Interpreting this result in light of studies of sex steroid(More)
Although the utility of analyzing behavioral experience effects on neural cytochrome oxidase (CO) activity is well recognized, the behavioral correlates of endogenous differences in CO activity have rarely been explored. In male leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), the incubation temperature experienced during embryogenesis (IncT) and age affect CO(More)
Sensory feedback is important for the learning and control of a variety of behaviors. Vocal motor production in songbirds is a powerful model system to study sensory influences on behavior because the learning, maintenance, and control of song are critically dependent on auditory feedback. Based on previous behavioral and neural experiments, it has been(More)
Behavior is critically shaped during sensitive periods in development. Birdsong is a learned vocal behavior that undergoes dramatic plasticity during a sensitive period of sensorimotor learning. During this period, juvenile songbirds engage in vocal practice to shape their vocalizations into relatively stereotyped songs. By the time songbirds reach(More)