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The zebra finch forebrain song control nucleus RA (robust nucleus of the archistriatum) generates a phasic and temporally precise neural signal that drives vocal and respiratory motoneurons during singing. RA's output during singing predicts individual notes, even though afferent drive to RA from the song nucleus HVc is more tonic, and predicts song(More)
Stimulus-specific neuronal responses are a striking characteristic of several sensory systems, although the synaptic mechanisms underlying their generation are not well understood. The songbird nucleus HVC (used here as a proper name) contains projection neurons (PNs) that fire temporally sparse bursts of action potentials to playback of the bird's own song(More)
The development and adult production of birdsong are subserved by specialized brain nuclei, including the robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA), and its afferents originating in the caudal nucleus of the ventral hyperstriatum (HVc) and the lateral portion of the magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum (L-MAN). An in vitro brain slice(More)
Although neural circuits mediating various simple behaviors have been delineated, those generating more complex behaviors are less well described. The discrete structure of avian song control nuclei promises that circuits controlling complex behaviors, such as birdsong, can also be understood. To this end, we developed an in vitro brain slice preparation(More)
Androgens potently regulate the development of learned vocalizations of songbirds. We sought to determine whether one action of androgens is to functionally modulate the development of synaptic transmission in two brain nuclei, the lateral part of the magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum (LMAN) and the robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA),(More)
Birdsong, like human speech, is learned via auditory experience during a developmentally restricted sensitive period. Within projection neurons of two avian forebrain nuclei, NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs (NMDA-EPSCs) become fast during song development, a transition posited to limit learning. To discover whether slow NMDA-EPSCs at these synapses are(More)
This study examines the development of two neural pathways within the zebra finch forebrain that function respectively in the juvenile acquisition and the adult production of learned song. In the adult male zebra finch forebrain, the song nuclei L-MAN and HVc both innervate nucleus RA; L-MAN plays a crucial role in juvenile song acquisition but, unlike HVc(More)
The rodent vomeronasal system plays a critical role in mediating pheromone-evoked social and sexual behaviors. Recent studies of the anatomical and molecular architecture of the vomeronasal organ (VNO) and of its synaptic target, the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), have suggested that unique features underlie vomeronasal sensory processing. However, the(More)
In male zebra finches, the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum (LMAN) is necessary for the development of learned song but is not required for the production of acoustically stereotyped (crystallized) adult song. One hypothesis is that the physiological properties of LMAN neurons change over development and thus limit the ability of(More)
The development, maintenance, and perception of learned vocalizations in songbirds are likely to require auditory neurons that respond selectively to song. Neurons with song-selective responses have been described in several brain nuclei critical to singing, but the mechanisms by which such response properties arise, are modified, and propagate are poorly(More)