Vocal imitation in zebra finches is inversely related to model abundance

Tchernichovski, O., Lints, T., Mitra, P. P., Nottebohm, F. (1999) Vocal imitation in zebra finches is inversely related to model abundance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 96 (22). pp. 12901-12904. ISSN 00278424 (ISSN)

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URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10536020
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.96.22.12901


A juvenile male zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, kept singly with its father develops a fairly complete imitation of the father's song. The imitation is less complete when other male siblings are present, possibly because as imitation commences, model abundance increases. Here we examine the consequences of allowing more or less access to a song model. Young males heard a brief song playback when they pecked at a key, but different males were allowed to hear different numbers of playbacks per day. Using an automated procedure that scored the similarity between model and pupil songs, we discovered that 40 playbacks of the song motif per day, lasting a total of 30 sec, resulted in a fairly complete imitation. More exposure led to less complete imitation. Vocal imitation often may reflect the interaction of diverse influences. Among these, we should now include the possible inhibitory effect of model overabundance, which may foster individual identity and explain the vocal diversity found in zebra finches and other songbirds.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information: PubMed ID: 10536020
Uncontrolled Keywords: animal behavior article automation bird inhibition kinetics learning nonhuman outcomes research priority journal scoring system vocalization Animals Male Songbirds Vocalization Animal Animalia Aves Fringillidae Taeniopygia guttata
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior > learning
organism description > animal behavior > song
organism description > animal > bird > Zebra Finch
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Mitra lab
Depositing User: CSHL Librarian
Date: 1999
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2012 16:38
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2019 14:16
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/25888

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