Two distinct sub-species of zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata guttataTaeniopygia guttata guttata Taeniopygia gutatta castanotisTaeniopygia gutatta castanotis medium sized finch 10-11 cm long10-11 cm long weighing about 12 gramsweighing about 12 grams
male and female head and back are greyhead and back are grey the tail has black and white barsthe tail has black and white bars social creatures live year round in flocks of 50 and up to 100 or more birds produce as many as 5 to 7 eggs
The young undergo a rapid developmentundergo a rapid development reaching nutritional independence at about 35 daysreaching nutritional independence at about 35 days sexually mature at 3 monthssexually mature at 3 months Monogamous and sexually dimorphic
Song system of zebra finches and other song birds two pathways Efferent pathway Anterior forebrain pathway
Song learning and production regions HVC- caudal nucleus of the ventral hyperstriatum RA- robust nucleus of the archistriatum. DLM- medial nucleus of the dorsolateral thalamus lMAN- lateral magnocellualr nucleus of the anterior neostriatum. Area X- lobus parolfactorius nXIIts- tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nucleus
Efferent pathway Production of learned song HVC RA nXIIts vocal organ
Anterior forebrain pathway Song learning pathway HVC area X DLM lMAN RA
lMAN initiation and early development of song learning males 10-20 days - increased ~72%10-20 days - increased ~72% 20-40 days – decrease ~ 48%20-40 days – decrease ~ 48% > 40 days – no change> 40 days – no change
Females Exhibit same patternsExhibit same patterns Males lMAN volume twice that of females at 10 daysMales lMAN volume twice that of females at 10 days 30 days - = lMAN volume of males30 days - = lMAN volume of males > 30 days – decrease until adulthood> 30 days – decrease until adulthood
HVC Males Development until adulthoodDevelopment until adulthood 10 -30 days – increased ~ 71%10 -30 days – increased ~ 71% 30 – 40 days – further increased of 47%30 – 40 days – further increased of 47% 40 - 50 days – growth stop40 - 50 days – growth stop 50 – 60 days – increased 39%50 – 60 days – increased 39% > 60 days – constant> 60 days – constant
Females 10 days – adulthood – no volume growth detected10 days – adulthood – no volume growth detected
RA volume similar during the first 20 days for males and females Males 20 - 30 days – increase ~48%20 - 30 days – increase ~48% Every 10 days – increase ~ 22% until normal value is reachedEvery 10 days – increase ~ 22% until normal value is reached
Females 20 – 30 days – decrease 23%20 – 30 days – decrease 23% Continue to decrease until normal value is reached in adulthoodContinue to decrease until normal value is reached in adulthood
Area X Visible in males Missing in females Occurred at two period 20 days – increased ~ 84%20 days – increased ~ 84% 40 days – further increased ~ 76%40 days – further increased ~ 76%
What does it indicate? Song learning consists of two phases Memorizing song (sensory acquisition phase)Memorizing song (sensory acquisition phase) Reproducing song (sensorimotor learning phase)Reproducing song (sensorimotor learning phase) Memorizing phase started firstMemorizing phase started first Lasted up to 40 days Reproducing phase started laterReproducing phase started later Lasted up to 60 days phases partly overlapping phases partly overlapping
lMAN There is 10 days delay for females Related to only memorizing songRelated to only memorizing song Important to differentiate songs Males early development related to both the memorizing and reproducing song
HVC & RA Males HVC increase in two time periods & increase continually in RA HVC increase in two time periods & increase continually in RA May related to memorizing phase started first May related to reproducing phase started later
Females Declined of HVC & RADeclined of HVC & RA Occurred before reproducing phase has started Only memorizing phase occurred
Song learning process Males -process takes place between 25-90 days of age -plays a crucial role in mate selection, developing the species or population specific vocalization. -exposure of songs can be acquired through social learning between non-relatives but is usually done by the father -must learn before sexual maturation for repertories to be stable
Learning process con’t Females Learn preferences for males by the male’s songs. Trait is passed on to the nestlings.Learn preferences for males by the male’s songs. Trait is passed on to the nestlings. vocalization developed independently from social learning because they do not sing.vocalization developed independently from social learning because they do not sing. Provides a natural control group where perception learning is not influenced by song production learningProvides a natural control group where perception learning is not influenced by song production learning Preferred songs like their father’s over an unfamiliar one.Preferred songs like their father’s over an unfamiliar one.
Distance Call structure Male call tonal component- made up of pure, sustained harmonic tonestonal component- made up of pure, sustained harmonic tones Noise component- harsh, rapidly-modulated qualityNoise component- harsh, rapidly-modulated quality Female Call Only tonal component- longer and lower pitchedOnly tonal component- longer and lower pitched Males, not females learn distance calls from father during first 40 days of lifeMales, not females learn distance calls from father during first 40 days of life
Female Song preferences Songs heard early in life influence which song advertised by males they will choose to mate with in adulthood Need adult song exposure in early development to develop normal song preference Reared with adult males=preferred normal quality songs Reared without adult males=preferred abnormal quality song Prefer fathers’ song over unfamiliar ones Experiments conducted
Stress effects on song structure Stress of song structure affects the attractiveness of the song. Stressed males exhibited shorter, simpler songs Nutrition stress effects brief period of under-nutrition affects the repertoire size (quantity of what is learned) and also the ability to copy local song material (the quality of what is learned).brief period of under-nutrition affects the repertoire size (quantity of what is learned) and also the ability to copy local song material (the quality of what is learned).
Stress effects Con’t Study conducted on stress effects. The stressed males exhibited lower numbers of syllables and fewer different syllables in a phrase. Rate and frequency did not differ between two song typesThe stressed males exhibited lower numbers of syllables and fewer different syllables in a phrase. Rate and frequency did not differ between two song types Females showed a significant preference for non-stressed songsFemales showed a significant preference for non-stressed songs Non-stressed males conducted a complex song. Complexity of a song may indicate that a male is older and therefore having a better territory.Non-stressed males conducted a complex song. Complexity of a song may indicate that a male is older and therefore having a better territory.
Other effects on song quality The number of male siblings cause social inhibition of song imitation among each other Study conducted by Tchernichovski Found that incomplete imitations are more common among early-hatched than among late-hatched siblings.Found that incomplete imitations are more common among early-hatched than among late-hatched siblings. Young siblings were more likely to develop song first and imitate entirely their fathers song than the older siblings.Young siblings were more likely to develop song first and imitate entirely their fathers song than the older siblings.
Used chronic exposure to loud white noise Long-term exposure to continuous wn resulted in disruption of songs similar to that observed after deafening Recovery of pre-WN song patterns were limited after restoration of hearing. Suggested that an adult form of learning existed White noise effect
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