Behavioral variability in an adult songbird, the Bengalese finch. Cara Hampton, Michael Brainard UCSF
Vocal learning in songbirds is like speech learning in humans Bengalese Finch 30 d 60 d 90 d Sensory  Sensorimotor  Adult ...
The songbird brain is specialized for song
Song is a learned motor skill it starts out extremely variable but then becomes finely tuned
What happens once a motor skill is well-learned? How is the brain involved? “ practice” = behavioral variability for the p...
My thesis work: Behavioral variability and the brain How is behavioral variability regulated by the brain? Why is behavior...
A male sings more variable song when alone  than with a female more variable less variable
This variability is actively driven by a circuit  in the brain:the AFP
Recovery from injury also requires the AFP
Conclusions <ul><li>Adult behavior retains variability </li></ul><ul><li>song is more variable during “practice” </li></ul...
Thank You! <ul><li>The ARCS Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>National Institutes of Health, IPSR UC Berkeley </li></ul><ul><li...
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  • Vocal learning in songbirds is one example of a complex behavior which is learned. Like human speech learning, it is learned by first listening to a model song and then shaping vocalizations to match that model song. Also, like speech, song is dependant upon sensory feedback. This is an example of song from one of the tutors in our colony. We record song digitally and represent it in a spectrogram which is basically a frequency vs. time plot. Song is composed of individual syllables of varying complexity, put together into a sequence which we call a motif. A song bout is generally one to three different motifs repeated a number of times.
  • Arcs Presentation

    1. 1. Behavioral variability in an adult songbird, the Bengalese finch. Cara Hampton, Michael Brainard UCSF
    2. 2. Vocal learning in songbirds is like speech learning in humans Bengalese Finch 30 d 60 d 90 d Sensory Sensorimotor Adult Song Tutor
    3. 3. The songbird brain is specialized for song
    4. 4. Song is a learned motor skill it starts out extremely variable but then becomes finely tuned
    5. 5. What happens once a motor skill is well-learned? How is the brain involved? “ practice” = behavioral variability for the purpose of maintenance practice: fine tune and adjust behavior Practice and Performance performance: best version
    6. 6. My thesis work: Behavioral variability and the brain How is behavioral variability regulated by the brain? Why is behavioral variability regulated by the brain? Does behavioral variability exist in the adult Bengalese finch?
    7. 7. A male sings more variable song when alone than with a female more variable less variable
    8. 8. This variability is actively driven by a circuit in the brain:the AFP
    9. 9. Recovery from injury also requires the AFP
    10. 10. Conclusions <ul><li>Adult behavior retains variability </li></ul><ul><li>song is more variable during “practice” </li></ul><ul><li>HOW? This behavioral variability is actively driven by the brain </li></ul><ul><li>AFP lesions remove variability during “practice” </li></ul><ul><li>WHY? This process may be important for behavioral maintenance. </li></ul><ul><li>AFP lesions also prevent recovery from injury. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Thank You! <ul><li>The ARCS Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>National Institutes of Health, IPSR UC Berkeley </li></ul><ul><li>The Brainard Lab: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Michael Brainard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kris Bouchard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ritu Kapur </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raj Mazumder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jon Sakata </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sam Sober </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evren Tumer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tim Warren </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mel Wohlgemuth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jonathan Wong </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thesis committee: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Steve Lisberger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Philip Sabes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christoph Shreiner </li></ul></ul>

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