A neuroethological view of the multifaceted sensory influences on birdsong

Giacomo Costalunga, Daniela Vallentin, Jonathan I. Benichov

Learning and execution of complex motor skills are often modulated by sensory feedback and contextual cues arriving across multiple sensory modalities. Vocal motor behaviors, in particular, are primarily influenced by auditory inputs, both during learning and mature vocal production. The importance of auditory input in shaping vocal output has been investigated in several songbird species that acquire their adult song based on auditory exposure to a tutor during development. Recent studies have highlighted the influences of stimuli arriving through other sensory channels in juvenile song learning and in adult song production. Here, we review changes induced by diverse sensory stimuli during the song learning process and the production of adult song, considering the neuroethological significance of sensory channels in different species of songbirds. Additionally, we highlight advances, open questions, and possible future approaches for understanding the neural circuits that enable the multimodal shaping of singing behavior.

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 86:102867 (2024)


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