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Bioacoustic papers in Natureââââ

Subject: Bioacoustic papers in Natureââââ
From: "XIAO, Jianqiang" <>
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 17:46:11 -0400
Research Highlights

Nature 460, 14 (2 July 2009) | doi:10.1038/460014c

Neuroscience: Early bird learns the tune

PLoS ONE doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005929 (2009)

Scientists have assumed that vocal learning in songbirds starts with subsongs — the bird equivalent of infant babbling. But Wan-chun Liu from the Rockefeller University, New York, and his colleagues, have determined that vocal learning begins much earlier — when juveniles first beg for food.

When begging, juvenile male chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina) exhibit neural activity in part of the forebrain associated with learned song, the team found. And begging patterns appear in the sparrows' first subsongs.

Auditory feedback is crucial to vocal learning, and distinguishes it from innate calls. Deafening affected the structures of males' begging calls, but had no such effect on females; female chipping sparrows do not sing and their begging calls are innate.



XIAO, Jianqiang, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Psychology Department
Rutgers University
152 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

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