Yoko Yazaki-Sugiyama

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Learned vocalizations, such as bird song, require intricate coordination of vocal and respiratory muscles. Although the neural basis for this coordination remains poorly understood, it likely includes direct synaptic interactions between respiratory premotor neurons and vocal motor neurons. In birds, as in mammals, the medullary nucleus retroambigualis(More)
Genetically targeted approaches that permit acute and reversible manipulation of neuronal circuit activity have enabled an unprecedented understanding of how discrete neuronal circuits control animal behavior. Zebra finch singing behavior has emerged as an excellent model for studying neuronal circuit mechanisms underlying the generation and learning of(More)
As in human speech acquisition, songbird vocal learning depends on early auditory experience. During development, juvenile songbirds listen to and form auditory memories of adult tutor songs, which they use to shape their own vocalizations in later sensorimotor learning. The higher-level auditory cortex, called the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), is a(More)
Juvenile songbirds learn vocal communication from adult tutors of the same species but not from adults of other species. How species-specific learning emerges from the basic features of song prosody remains unknown. In the zebra finch auditory cortex, we discovered a class of neurons that register the silent temporal gaps between song syllables and are(More)
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