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The nutritional stress hypothesis explains how learned features of song, such as complexity and local dialect structure, can serve as indicators of male quality of interest to females in mate choice. The link between song and quality comes about because the brain structures underlying song learning largely develop during the first few months post-hatching.(More)
SYNOPSIS. The developmental processes through which songbirds acquire their species-typical songs have been well-studied from a proximate perspective, but less attention has been given to the ultimate question of why birds learn to sing. We present a new hypothesis for the adaptive significance of song learning in song-birds, suggesting that this(More)
The movements of the head and beak of songbirds may play a functional role in vocal production by influencing the acoustic properties of songs. We investigated this possibility by synchronously measuring the acoustic frequency and amplitude and the kinematics (beak gape and head angle) of singing behavior in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia(More)
The complexity and dependence on learning of many bird sounds have suggested parallels between birdsong and human speech, but the mechanisms by which each is produced have been supposed to differ markedly. In human speech, resonances of the vocal tract are thought to modulate in complex ways the sound produced by vibration of the vocal folds. The current(More)
Bird song is unusual as a sexually selected trait because its expression depends on learning as well as genetic and other environmental factors. Prior work has demonstrated that males who are deprived of the opportunity to learn produce songs that function little if at all in male-female interactions. We asked whether more subtle variation in male(More)
Whether geographic variation in signals actually affects communication between individuals depends on whether discriminable differences in signals occur over distances that individuals move in their lifetimes. We measure the ability of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to discriminate foreign from local songs using foreign songs recorded at a series of(More)
This study examined whether African American children's ability to identify emotion in the facial expressions and tones of voice of European American stimuli was comparable to their European American peers and related to personality, social competence, and achievement. The Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy (DANVA ; Nowicki & Duke, 1994) was(More)
The division of continuously variable acoustic signals into discrete perceptual categories is a fundamental feature of vocal communication, including human speech. Despite the importance of categorical perception to learned vocal communication, the neural correlates underlying this phenomenon await identification. We found that individual sensorimotor(More)
Neural mechanisms for representing complex communication sounds must solve the problem of encoding multiple and potentially overlapping signals. Birdsong provides an excellent model for such processing, in that many songbird species produce multiple song types. Although auditory song representations in single song type species have been studied, how song is(More)