2pAB1. Temporal organization in birdsong production.

Session: Tuesday Afternoon, December 3

Time: 2:05

Author: Kazuo Okanoya
Location: Dept. of Cognit. and Information Sci., Faculty of Letters, Chiba Univ., 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba, 263 Japan


Birdsong is a complex time-series behavior that requires learning. Although neural characteristics of the temporal domain in the songbird brain are described in some detail, few studies addressed temporal parameters at a behavioral level. Temporal organization of Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica) song in several behavioral paradigms was examined. First, a detailed sequence analysis of song episodes was conducted and a transitional diagram of the song was obtained. Next, ongoing song production was interrupted by a flash-light stimulation, and the pattern of stopping was analyzed. Third, auditory and/or proprioceptive feedback was deprived and the temporal deterioration in the song was analyzed. All data suggest that the song in the Bengalese finch is a hierarchical behavior; a string of produced songs was comprised of subunits. The anatomical and physiological basis of the hierarchical organization of birdsong should be addressed in future studies.

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996