Coevolution in communication senders and receivers: vocal behavior and auditory processing in multiple songbird species
Article first published online: 28 APR 2011
© 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 1225, New Perspectives on Neurobehavioral Evolution pages 155–165, April 2011
How to Cite
Woolley, S. M. N. and Moore, J. M. (2011), Coevolution in communication senders and receivers: vocal behavior and auditory processing in multiple songbird species. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1225: 155–165. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.05989.x
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2011
- estrildid finches;
- sensory coding;
Communication is a strong selective pressure on brain evolution because the exchange of information between individuals is crucial for fitness-related behaviors, such as mating. Given the importance of communication, the brains of signal senders and receivers are likely to be functionally coordinated. We study vocal behavior and auditory processing in multiple species of estrildid finches with the goal of understanding how species identity and early experience interact to shape the neural systems that subserve communication. Male finches learn to produce species-specific songs, and both sexes learn to recognize songs. Our studies indicate that closely related species exhibit different auditory coding properties in the midbrain and forebrain and that early life experience of vocalizations contributes to these differences. Moreover, birds that naturally sing tonal songs can learn broadband songs from heterospecific tutors, providing an opportunity to examine the interplay between species identity and early experience in the development of vocal behavior and auditory tuning.