Towards quantification of vocal imitation in the zebra finch

Tchernichovski, O., Mitra, P. P. (2002) Towards quantification of vocal imitation in the zebra finch. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 188 (11-12). pp. 867-878. ISSN 03407594 (ISSN)

DOI: 10.1007/s00359-002-0352-4


The transition from an amorphous subsong into mature song requires a series of vocal changes. By tracing song elements during development, we have shown that the imitation trajectory to the target could not be predicted based on monotonic progression of vocal changes, indicating an internal component that imposes constraints on song development. Here we further examine the nature of constraints on song imitation in the zebra finch. We first present techniques for identifying and tracing distinctive vocal changes, and then we examine how sequences of vocal change are expressed and coordinated. Examples suggest two types of constraints on song imitation, based on the nature of the temporal context. Developmentally diachronic constraints are imposed by sequential dependencies between vocal changes as a function of developmental time, whereas developmentally synchronic constraints are given by the acoustic context of notes within the song. Finally, we show that the tendency of birds to copy certain sounds in the song model before others might be related to such constraints. We suggest that documenting the full range of distinctive vocal changes and the coordination of their expression would be useful for testing mechanisms of vocal imitation.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Birdsong Development Sound analysis Vocal learning Zebra finch age algorithm animal auditory stimulation biological model comparative study conference paper entropy growth, development and aging imitation learning male physiology songbird sound detection spectroscopy time vocalization Acoustic Stimulation Age Factors Algorithms Animals Imitative Behavior Models, Biological Songbirds Sound Spectrography Spectrum Analysis Time Factors Vocalization Animal
Subjects: bioinformatics > quantitative biology
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: 2002
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2012 17:01
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2017 21:03
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