Song learning in birds: diversity and plasticity, opportunities and challenges

@article{Brenowitz2005SongLI,
  title={Song learning in birds: diversity and plasticity, opportunities and challenges},
  author={Eliot A. Brenowitz and M. D. Beecher},
  journal={Trends in Neurosciences},
  year={2005},
  volume={28},
  pages={127-132}
}
A common trend in neuroscience is convergence on selected model systems. Underlying this approach is an often implicit assumption that mechanisms observed in one species are characteristic of all related species. Although the model system approach has been extremely productive, it might not account for all of the mechanistic differences between species that differ behaviourally. Using the neural system that regulates song learning in songbirds as an example, we demonstrate how integrating model… Expand

Figures and Topics from this paper

Paper Mentions

Mechanisms of species diversity in birdsong learning
TLDR
This issue of PLOS Biology, Wang and colleagues use genome-wide investigations of gene expression in species hybrids to uncover transcriptional networks that could influence species differences in song learning and production. Expand
Functional aspects of song learning in songbirds.
TLDR
It is argued that further insights into the evolution and ecology of song learning will require that comparative data and functional hypotheses be analyzed in a phylogenetic context, and it is reviewed recent studies that might be the first steps in this process. Expand
Birdsong and Vocal Learning during Development
This article describes (1) how the bird song-control system has become a model system for the study of the neurobiology of learning and memory; (2) general parallels between bird song learning andExpand
A duetting perspective on avian song learning
TLDR
It is suggested that focusing research efforts on duetting species could significantly advance the understanding of vocal learning in birds and further cement the importance of avian species as models for understanding human conversations and the processes of vocallearning more broadly. Expand
Evolving the capacity for socially guided vocal learning in songbirds: a preliminary study
Socially guided vocal learning, the ability to use contingent reactions from social partners to guide immature vocalizations to more mature forms, is thought to be a rare ability known to be usedExpand
The Song Circuit as a Model of Basal Ganglia Function
TLDR
Current knowledge about the similarities and differences in the BG circuit in birds and mammals is reviewed at the biochemical, anatomical, and physiological levels to highlight the possible parallels that may be drawn between species and also to reveal the limitations of these parallels. Expand
Defining the multidimensional phenotype: New opportunities to integrate the behavioral ecology and behavioral neuroscience of vocal learning
TLDR
This review resurrects an idea first proposed by Beecher and Brenowitz (2005) by describing six dimensions of vocal learning: which vocalizations are learned, how much is learned, when it is learning, who it is learned from, what is the extent of the internal template, and how is the template integrated with social learning and innovation. Expand
Advantages of comparative studies in songbirds to understand the neural basis of sensorimotor integration.
TLDR
Key conclusions from this comparative analysis are that variation in song sequence complexity seems to covary with the strength of feedback signals in sensorimotor circuits and that sensorim motor circuits contain distinct representations of elements in the vocal repertoire, possibly enabling evolutionary variation in repertoire sizes. Expand
The Evolution of Vocal Learning Systems in Birds
TLDR
This work proposes that new circuits arose from similar pre-existing circuits through parcellation, forming new subdivisions within them devoted to vocal functions, and states that parrots and hummingbirds have similar circuits, but these differ in important respects from each other and from the oscine song system, suggesting independent evolution. Expand
A Modular Approach to Vocal Learning: Disentangling the Diversity of a Complex Behavioral Trait
TLDR
It is suggested that vocal learning is a multi-component behavioral phenotype comprised of distinct yet interconnected modules and the need for diversifying the field in order to disentangle the complexity of the vocal learning phenotype is highlighted. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 57 REFERENCES
Functional aspects of song learning in songbirds.
TLDR
It is argued that further insights into the evolution and ecology of song learning will require that comparative data and functional hypotheses be analyzed in a phylogenetic context, and it is reviewed recent studies that might be the first steps in this process. Expand
Birdsong and Singing Behavior
  • H. Williams
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2004
TLDR
Birdsong provides neuroscientists with a uniquely powerful model for studying imitative vocal learning in a system where the brain structures responsible for song learning and production are well known, and crystallized adult song is likely to provide insights into the neural control of facultative behavior. Expand
Three models of song learning: evidence from behavior.
  • P. Marler
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of neurobiology
  • 1997
TLDR
Research on avian song learning has traditionally been based on an instructional model, as exemplified by the sensorimotor model of song development, but an alternative model based on memorization by selection postulates a system of innate neural templates that facilitate the recognition and rapid memorization of conspecific song patterns. Expand
Song learning in birds: the relation between perception and production.
TLDR
The vocal control system of oscine songbirds has some perplexing properties that are not predicted by common views of how vocal learning takes place and the relation between the direct pathway for the control of learned song and the recursive pathway necessary for song learning is not understood. Expand
Neural Constraints on the Complexity of Avian Song
  • T. Devoogd
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Brain, Behavior and Evolution
  • 2004
TLDR
Evidence that females may do so because male song can be an honest indicator of attributes of a male’s brain that could contribute to his fitness or that of his young is reviewed. Expand
Comparative approaches to the avian song system.
TLDR
Whether the vocal control systems of parrots and songbirds were inherited from a common ancestor or independently evolved, and at what stage in the phylogeny of songbirds the hormone-sensitive forebrain circuit found in modern birds first evolved are considered. Expand
What songbirds teach us about learning
TLDR
With the discovery and investigation of discrete brain structures required for singing, songbirds are providing insights into neural mechanisms of learning and are addressing such basic issues in neuroscience as perceptual and sensorimotor learning, developmental regulation of plasticity, and the control and function of adult neurogenesis. Expand
Anatomical and synaptic substrates for avian song learning.
TLDR
The hypothesis that develpmental and/or seasonal changes in NMDA receptor function and the availability of new synapses may modulate thresholds for plasticity and thereby define sensitive periods for vocal learning is discussed. Expand
Evaluating theories of bird song learning: implications for future directions
  • D. Margoliash
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2002
TLDR
In this review, the traditional instructional (template) theory of song learning has been challenged on multiple fronts, especially at a behavioral level by evidence consistent with selectional hypotheses, and the caveats associated with these theories are highlighted. Expand
Cellular, Circuit, and Synaptic Mechanisms in Song Learning
TLDR
Experiments that explore the properties of the songbird anterior forebrain pathway show that the AFP contains cells that reflect learning of both BOS and tutor song, as well as developmentally regulated synaptic and circuit mechanisms well‐suited to create temporally organized assemblies of such cells. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...