Basal ganglia function, stuttering, sequencing, and repair in adult songbirds.
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A pallial-basal-ganglia-thalamic-pallial loop in songbirds is involved in vocal motor learning. Damage to its basal ganglia part, Area X, in adult zebra finches has been noted to have no strong effects on song and its function is unclear. Here we report that neurotoxic damage to adult Area X induced changes in singing tempo and global syllable sequencing in all animals, and considerably increased syllable repetition in birds whose song motifs ended with minor repetitions before lesioning. This stuttering-like behavior started at one month, and improved over six months. Unexpectedly, the lesioned region showed considerable recovery, including immigration of newly generated or repaired neurons that became active during singing. The timing of the recovery and stuttering suggest that immature recovering activity of the circuit might be associated with stuttering. These findings indicate that even after juvenile learning is complete, the adult striatum plays a role in higher level organization of learned vocalizations.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1038/srep06590
Publication InfoBosikova, E; Cvikova, M; Jarvis, Erich David; Kubikova, L; Lukacova, K; & Scharff, C (2014). Basal ganglia function, stuttering, sequencing, and repair in adult songbirds. Sci Rep, 4. pp. 6590. 10.1038/srep06590. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/11142.
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Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Neurobiology
Dr. Jarvis' laboratory studies the neurobiology of vocal communication. Emphasis is placed on the molecular pathways involved in the perception and production of learned vocalizations. They use an integrative approach that combines behavioral, anatomical, electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. The main animal model used is songbirds, one of the few vertebrate groups that evolved the ability to learn vocalizations. The generality of the discoveries is tested in other vocal