Auditory tuning in songbirds

Auditory receptive field properties of forebrain vocal-motor neurons in a songbird

Student: 
Sarah Smith '12 (CN Minor)
Sponsor: 
Dr. Marc Schmidt
Department: 
Biology
School: 
Arts and Sciences

Neural tuning of a premotor neuron in the song control nucleus of an awake behaving adult male zebra finch. The figure represents the spectral-temporal receptive field (STRF) properties of a sample neuron collected following the presentation of a large battery of conspecific songs. The properties of these neurons are unusual because despite their role in generating the motor commands necessary for song production, these neurons also exhibit properties very similar to those observed in auditory forebrain.