The Avian Auditory Pallium

  • Taffeta M. Elliott
  • Frédéric E. Theunissen


The functional and anatomical similarities between the avian auditory pallium and the mammalian auditory cortex are arguably as striking as their differences. Here, we hope to demonstrate the potential of a comparative approach in auditory physiology. On the one hand, birds and mammals face similar problems in auditory scene analysis and therefore it is not surprising to find evolutionary convergence in the functional strategies of information processing both by individual cells and by circuits. On the other hand, parallel evolution has resulted in avian pallium lacking the six-layer anatomical structure found in mammalian cortex and in the Aves having less extensive feedback between the primary sensory cortex and the thalamus.


Zebra Finch Immediate Early Gene Tuning Property Ventral Pallidum Auditory Scene Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



anterior auditory field


primary auditory cortex


dorsomedial part of the intermediate arcopallium


ventromedial part of the intermediate arcopallium


ventromedial nucleus of the intermediate arcopallium


nucleus basorostralis


broad band


bird’s own song


ensemble modulation transfer function


cochlear nuclei


γ-aminobutyric acid


letter-based proper name


inferior colliculus


external nucleus of the inferior colliculus


intercollicular nucleus


immediately early gene


subregions of the auditory nidopallium Field L


dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus


intermediate nucleus of the lateral lemniscus


ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus




medial geniculate body


dorsal part of the lateral mesencephalon


modulation transfer function


angular nucleus


narrow band


caudal medial nidopallium


dorsal nidopallium


lateral frontal nidopallium


ventrolateral nidopallium intermedium


laminar nucleus


magnocellular nucleus


auditory nerve


nucleus ovoidalis


nucleus paramedianus internus thalami


robust nucleus of the arcopallium


superior olive


nucleus semilunaris parovoidalis


stimulus-specific adaptation


spectrotemporal receptive field


torus semicircularis


ventromedial hypothalamus





FET is grateful to have known Prof. Winer and to have benefited from his unwavering support at the earlier stages of his career in auditory science. The two authors thank Prof. Schreiner for his patience and careful editing. The work done by the Theunissen laboratory described here was supported by grants from the NIDCD and the NIMH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taffeta M. Elliott
    • 1
  • Frédéric E. Theunissen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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