Interruption of a basal ganglia–forebrain circuit prevents plasticity of learned vocalizations

  title={Interruption of a basal ganglia–forebrain circuit prevents plasticity of learned vocalizations},
  author={Michael S. Brainard and A. J. Doupe},
Birdsong, like speech, is a learned vocal behaviour that relies greatly on hearing; in both songbirds and humans the removal of auditory feedback by deafening leads to a gradual deterioration of adult vocal production. Here we investigate the neural mechanisms that contribute to the processing of auditory feedback during the maintenance of song in adult zebra finches. We show that the deleterious effects on song production that normally follow deafening can be prevented by a second insult to… 

Deafening-Induced Vocal Deterioration in Adult Songbirds Is Reversed by Disrupting a Basal Ganglia-Forebrain Circuit

In birds, the contribution of basal ganglia-thalamic-cortical circuits to motor control may change when feedback is absent or unexpected and includes both “active” and “permissive” roles.

A basal ganglia-forebrain circuit in the songbird biases motor output to avoid vocal errors

The observations support a view that basal ganglia-related circuits directly implement behavioral adaptations that minimize errors and subsequently stabilize these adaptations by training premotor cortical areas.

Contributions of an avian basal ganglia–forebrain circuit to real-time modulation of song

A previously unappreciated capacity of the AFP to direct real-time changes in song is demonstrated and frontal cortical and basal ganglia areas may contribute to motor learning by biasing motor output towards desired targets or by introducing stochastic variability required for reinforcement learning.

Dopaminergic Contributions to Vocal Learning

Investigation of the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in regulating vocal learning in the Bengalese finch finds that reduction of dopamine inputs to a region of the songbird basal ganglia greatly impairs vocal learning but has no detectable effect on vocal performance.

Postlearning Consolidation of Birdsong: Stabilizing Effects of Age and Anterior Forebrain Lesions

Birdsong is a learned, sequenced motor skill. For the zebra finch, learned song normally remains unchanging beyond early adulthood. However, stable adult song will gradually deteriorate after

Contributions of the Anterior Forebrain Pathway to Vocal Plasticity

  • M. Brainard
  • Biology, Psychology
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2004
This chapter reviews some of the experimental evidence supporting a role for the anterior forebrain pathway in song learning and vocal plasticity and discusses potential instructive and permissive functions of the AFP in vocal Plasticity.

Auditory-Dependent Vocal Recovery in Adult Male Zebra Finches Is Facilitated by Lesion of a Forebrain Pathway That Includes the Basal Ganglia

It is shown that deafening prevents vocal recovery after HVC microlesions, indicating that birds require auditory feedback to restore/relearn their vocal patterns, and the role of the AFP (basal ganglia circuit) in this feedback-based recovery is tested.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Contributions to Auditory Selectivity in a Song Nucleus Critical for Vocal Plasticity

In vivo intracellular recordings from LMAN projection neurons, coupled with local circuit inactivation, reveal that much of LMAN′s song selectivity is supplied by its extrinsic inputs, but selective blockade of GABA receptors indicates that local inhibition is required for the expression ofsong selectivity.

Song selectivity and sensorimotor signals in vocal learning and production.

Experiments that explore a role for the songbird anterior forebrain pathway (AFP), a basal ganglia-forebrain circuit, in evaluating song feedback and modifying vocal output illustrate that sensory and motor processes are highly interrelated in this circuit devoted to vocal learning, as is true for brain areas involved in speech.



Identification of a forebrain motor programming network for the learned song of zebra finches

The study of the motor control system for birdsong has provided the most direct evidence to date for localizing the programming of a skilled motor sequence to the telencephalon and the observation that unilateral forebrain perturbation was sufficient to alter the pattern of this bilaterally organized behavior suggests that (non-auditory) feedback pathways to the forebrain exist to coordinate the two hemispheres during singing.

Song- and Order-Selective Neurons in the Songbird Anterior Forebrain and their Emergence during Vocal Development

  • A. Doupe
  • Biology
    The Journal of Neuroscience
  • 1997
The auditory response properties of neurons in the anterior forebrain (AF) pathway of the songbird brain were investigated and provided one of the clearest examples of experience-dependent acquisition of complex stimulus selectivity.

Decrystallization of adult birdsong by perturbation of auditory feedback

Evidence is presented that auditory feedback is actively used in adulthood to maintain the stability of song structure in adult zebra finches, and that adult birds that do not learn new songs nevertheless retain a significant amount of plasticity in the brain.

Singing-Related Neural Activity in a Dorsal Forebrain–Basal Ganglia Circuit of Adult Zebra Finches

The singing-related activity of neurons in AFP nuclei of songbirds is consistent with a role of the AFP in adult singing or song maintenance, possibly related to the function of this circuit during initial song learning.

A comparative study of the behavioral deficits following lesions of various parts of the zebra finch song system: implications for vocal learning

  • C. ScharffF. Nottebohm
  • Biology
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • 1991
It is concluded that Area X and LMAN contribute differently to song acquisition: the song variability that is typical of vocal development persists following early deafness or lesions of Area X but ends abruptly following removal of LMAN.

Birdsong and human speech: common themes and mechanisms.

Human speech and birdsong have numerous parallels, with striking similarities in how sensory experience is internalized and used to shape vocal outputs, and how learning is enhanced during a critical period of development.

Changes in adult zebra finch song require a forebrain nucleus that is not necessary for song production.

Song plasticity induced in adult zebra finches with crystallized songs requires the presence of LMAN, a nucleus which had been thought to play a role in vocal production only during song learning.