Neurogenetics of birdsong

Constance Scharff*, Iris Adam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Songbirds are a productive model organism to study the neural basis of auditory-guided vocal motor learning. Like human babies, juvenile songbirds learn many of their vocalizations by imitating an adult conspecific. This process is a product of genetic predispositions and the individual's life experience and has been investigated mainly by neuroanatomical, physiological and behavioral methods. Results have revealed general principles governing vertebrate motor behavior, sensitive periods, sexual dimorphism, social behavior regulation and adult neurogenesis. More recently, the emerging field of birdsong neurogenetics has advanced the way we think about genetic contributions to communication, mechanistically and conceptually.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)29-36
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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