Sequential information of self-produced song is represented in the auditory areas in male Bengalese finches.
ABSTRACT Male Bengalese finches have a complex song-sequence pattern containing multiple elements. Learning and producing songs require memorization of the phonology and the sequence of elements. We tested the auditory memory of male finches for their own songs to determine whether the auditory memory included the sequence of elements. An immediate early gene ZENK is induced by auditory processing in the secondary auditory area of the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) and the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM) in response to song presentations. Repeated presentations of the same song result in a decrease in ZENK expression in these areas, reflecting habituation to auditory processing. We examined sequential differences in auditory processing using the habituation-dishabituation method. After repeatedly presenting the male finches' own song stimulus, we changed the stimulus to a shuffled sequence of songs. If the shuffled songs induced ZENK expression, it indicated that the auditory areas had been dishabituated by the sequential differences. The shuffled songs caused intermediate ZENK expression in the NCM when compared with the expression by a conspecific new song and that by the same song. The tendency toward intermediate expression was similar in the CMM; however, a significant difference was observed between the conspecific song and shuffled songs. These results suggest that the sequential difference caused a partial dishabituation in the NCM. Thus, the auditory areas processed not only the phonology but also the sequence of songs.
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ABSTRACT: Neurons in the songbird forebrain area HVc (hyperstriatum ventrale pars caudale or high vocal center) are sensitive to the temporal structure of the bird's own song and are capable of integrating auditory information over a period of several hundred milliseconds. Extracellular studies have shown that the responses of some HVc neurons depend on the combination and temporal order of syllables from the bird's own song, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying these response properties. To investigate these mechanisms, we recorded intracellular responses to a set of auditory stimuli designed to assess the degree of dependence of the responses on temporal context. This report provides evidence that HVc neurons encode information about temporal structure by using a variety of mechanisms including syllable-specific inhibition, excitatory postsynaptic potentials with a range of different time courses, and burst-firing nonlinearity. The data suggest that the sensitivity of HVc neurons to temporal combinations of syllables results from the interactions of several cells and does not arise in a single step from afferent inputs alone.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/1995; 92(12):5582-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The process through which young male songbirds learn the characteristics of the songs of an adult male of their own species has strong similarities with speech acquisition in human infants. Both involve two phases: a period of auditory memorization followed by a period during which the individual develops its own vocalizations. The avian 'song system', a network of brain nuclei, is the probable neural substrate for the second phase of sensorimotor learning. By contrast, the neural representation of song memory acquired in the first phase is localized outside the song system, in different regions of the avian equivalent of the human auditory association cortex.Nature reviews. Neuroscience 06/2006; 7(5):347-57. · 31.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Auditory information is critical for vocal imitation and other elements of social life in song birds. In zebra finches, neural centers that are necessary for the acquisition and production of learned vocalizations are known, and they all respond to acoustic stimulation. However, the circuits by which conspecific auditory signals are perceived, processed, and stored in long-term memory have not been well documented. In particular, no evidence exists of direct connections between auditory and vocal motor pathways, and two newly identified centers for auditory processing, caudomedial neostriatum (Ncm) and caudomedial hyperstriatum ventrale (cmHV), have no documented place among known auditory circuits. Our goal was to describe anatomically the auditory pathways in adult zebra finch males and, specifically, to show the projections by which Ncm and vocal motor centers may receive auditory input. By using injections of different kinds of neuroanatomical tracers (biotinylated dextran amines, rhodamine-linked dextran amines, biocytin, fluorogold, and rhodamine-linked latex beads), we have shown that, as in other avian groups, the neostriatal field L complex in caudal telencephalon is the primary forebrain relay for pathways originating in the auditory thalamus, i.e., the nucleus ovoidalis complex (Ov). In addition, Ncm and cmHV also receive input from the Ov complex. Ov has been broken down into two parts, the Ov "core" and "shell," which project in parallel to different targets in the caudal telencephalon. Parts of the field L complex are connected among themselves and to Ncm, cmHV, and caudolateral Hv (clHV) through a complex web of largely reciprocal pathways. In addition, clHV and parts of the field L complex project strongly to the "shelf" of neostriatum underneath the song control nucleus high vocal center (HVC) and to the "cup" of archistriatum rostrodorsal to another song-control nucleus, the robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA). We have documented two points at which the vocal motor pathway may pick up auditory signals: the HVC-shelf interface and a projection from clHV to the nucleus interfacialis (NIf), which projects to HVC. These data represent the most complete survey to date of auditory pathways in the adult male zebra finch brain, and of their projections to motor stations of the song system.The Journal of Comparative Neurology 04/1996; 366(4):613-42. · 3.66 Impact Factor