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The Role of Basal Ganglia Circuits in Vocal Learning in the Songbird: A Hypothesis

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Air date: Monday, January 30, 2012, 12:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 340, (31 Live, 309 On-demand)
Category: Neuroscience
Runtime: 01:07:58
Description: Neuroscience Seminar Series

Sensitivity to temporal sequence is a striking and nearly universal aspect of brain function – not only at a sensory level, but also at a motor and cognitive level. The ability of the brain to step rapidly through a learned sequence of states underlies not only the performance of complex motor tasks such as speech, but perhaps our ability to think and plan as well. Despite the fundamental significance of temporal ordering in animal behavior, little is known about the biophysical and circuit mechanisms underlying the generation, learning and detection of complex sequences in the brain.

Animal vocalizations provide a marvelous example of these phenomena, and Dr. Fee's lab is using the songbird as an experimental system to explore detailed models of neural sequence generation. Most songbirds, such as the zebra finch, produce a stereotyped pattern of acoustic signals with structure and modulation over a wide range of time-scales, from milliseconds to several seconds. Another remarkable aspect of this behavior is that the specific acoustic pattern produced by a songbird is learned, rather than being innately controlled: Vocalizations are learned from the parents through a series of well-defined stages. Moreover, avian brain areas involved in song learning are closely homologous to mammalian brain areas involved in motor learning. Thus, the song control system may have a great deal to teach us about general principles of sequence generation and learning in the vertebrate brain.

For more information, visit: http://neuroseries.info.nih.gov
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NLM Title: The role of basal ganglia circuits in vocal learning in the songbird : a hypothesis / Michale Fee.
Author: Fee, Michale.
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Publisher:
Abstract: (CIT): Neuroscience Seminar Series Sensitivity to temporal sequence is a striking and nearly universal aspect of brain function - not only at a sensory level, but also at a motor and cognitive level. The ability of the brain to step rapidly through a learned sequence of states underlies not only the performance of complex motor tasks such as speech, but perhaps our ability to think and plan as well. Despite the fundamental significance of temporal ordering in animal behavior, little is known about the biophysical and circuit mechanisms underlying the generation, learning and detection of complex sequences in the brain. Animal vocalizations provide a marvelous example of these phenomena, and Dr. Fee's lab is using the songbird as an experimental system to explore detailed models of neural sequence generation. Most songbirds, such as the zebra finch, produce a stereotyped pattern of acoustic signals with structure and modulation over a wide range of time-scales, from milliseconds to several seconds. Another remarkable aspect of this behavior is that the specific acoustic pattern produced by a songbird is learned, rather than being innately controlled: Vocalizations are learned from the parents through a series of well-defined stages. Moreover, avian brain areas involved in song learning are closely homologous to mammalian brain areas involved in motor learning. Thus, the song control system may have a great deal to teach us about general principles of sequence generation and learning in the vertebrate brain. For more information, visit: http://neuroseries.info.nih.gov.
Subjects: Basal Ganglia--physiology
Learning
Songbirds--physiology
Vocalization, Animal--physiology
Publication Types: Lecture
Webcasts
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Caption Text: Download Caption File
NLM Classification: QL 698.5
NLM ID: 101578522
CIT Live ID: 10764
Permanent link: https://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?17081