Rudimentary substrates for vocal learning in a suboscine.
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Vocal learning has evolved in only a few groups of mammals and birds. The key neuroanatomical and behavioural links bridging vocal learners and non-learners are still unknown. Here we show that a non-vocal-learning suboscine, the eastern phoebe, expresses neural and behavioural substrates that are associated with vocal learning in closely related oscine songbirds. In phoebes, a specialized forebrain region in the intermediate arcopallium seems homologous to the oscine song nucleus RA (robust nucleus of arcopallium) by its neural connections, expression of glutamate receptors and singing-dependent immediate-early gene expression. Lesion of this RA-like region induces subtle but consistent song changes. Moreover, the unlearned phoebe song unexpectedly develops through a protracted ontogeny. These features provide the first evidence of forebrain vocal-motor control in suboscines, which has not been encountered in other avian non-vocal-learners, and offer a potential configuration of brain and behaviour from which vocal learning might have evolved.
Gene Expression Regulation
Nerve Tissue Proteins
Receptors, Kainic Acid
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1038/ncomms3082
Publication InfoJarvis, Erich David; Liu, WC; Nottebohm, F; & Wada, K (2013). Rudimentary substrates for vocal learning in a suboscine. Nat Commun, 4. pp. 2082. 10.1038/ncomms3082. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/11205.
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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