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Bioacoustics papers in EMU

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Subject: Bioacoustics papers in EMU
From: "Matthew Stanton" <>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2010 12:22:56 +1100
These two papers were part of a larger collection of Zebra Finch papers
in 110(3)

The neurobiology of Zebra Finch song: insights from gene expression
Sarah E. London A and David F. Clayton A
Institute for Genomic Biology, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science
and Technology, and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology,
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, USA. Email:
Male Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) sing a unique, stereotyped song
that they learn from a tutor during development. A set of interconnected
areas of the brain work together so that the birds can perceive, learn
and produce song. In this review, we introduce the major components of
the song system and describe evidence for how each might contribute to
these three aspects of song. In particular, we highlight studies that
have measured patterns of gene expression in the song system. These
experiments clarify the structural organisation, and reveal functional
activities, of the neural system underlying vocal communication. The
utility of gene expression studies has been greatly enhanced with the
release of the Zebra Finch genome. Investigation of gene expression in
the song system will therefore continue to be a powerful way to connect
the workings of this neural circuit with the behaviour of song.
Zebra Finches sing a soft song that sounds squeaky and cheerful to the
human ear and, perhaps, more mechanical than musical. (Richard Zann,
'The Zebra Finch', 1996)
Emu 110(3) 219-232    doi:10.1071/MU09079
Submitted: 25 August 2009    Accepted: 12 January 2010    Published: 18
August 2010

The functional role and female perception of male song in Zebra Finches
Mark E. Hauber A C, Dana L. M. Campbell A and Sarah M. N. Woolley B
A Department of Psychology, Hunter College, City University of New York,
NY 10065, USA.
B Department of Psychology, Columbia University, NY 10027, USA.
C Corresponding author. Email: 
The song of male Zebra Finches has been the focus of decades of
behavioural, developmental, neurobiological and, increasingly, genomic
research. Zann was the first to summarise the immense and integrative
research effort in a landmark synthesis of field and laboratory studies
of Zebra Finches, which paralleled his own championing work on the
sociality and vocal behaviour of estrildid finches in the wild and in
captivity. The study of the production and perception of Zebra Finch
song has driven theoretical, empirical and technological advances in
behavioural ecology, endocrinology and neuroethology, and led to a
greater understanding of the evolution of animal communication systems
in general. A survey of the literature shows that there are still
significant gaps in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the
responses of non-singing females to male sexual displays, including
song. We focus on recent insights into the features and functions of
male song that shape female choice, regarding both behavioural and
neurobiological measures of selectivity. This review underscores the
need for continued research into the biological mechanisms underlying
the perception of male song by female Zebra Finches and confirms this
system as a valuable and productive model for research on animal
Keywords: Bengalese Finch, female choice, genome, Lonchura striata vars.
domestica, neuroethology, sexual selection, Taeniopygia guttata.
Emu 110(3) 209-218    doi:10.1071/MU10003
Submitted: 24 January 2010    Accepted: 20 April 2010    Published: 18
August 2010

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