Analysis of Song in the Auditory Pathway of Song Birds

  • Hans-Joachim Leppelsack
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 56)


Bird song represents a behavioral complex which has been fascinating investigators for centuries (Plinius, 88). Dealing with this behavior also has some esthetic aspects, and thus many scientists have been attracted to research in this field. Nowadays detailed documentations of the physical structure (Greenewalt, 1968), the ethological significance (Hinde, 1969) and the ontogentical development (Konishi, 1978) of bird song are available. Peter Marler (this volume) gives an appreciation of this behavior for the successful investigation of the appropriate neuroethological complex.


Vocal Pathway Tuning Curve Auditory Pathway Acoustic Communication Guinea Fowl 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arnold, A.P., 1980, Anatomical and electrophysiological studies of sexual dimorphism in a passerine vocal control system, in “Acta XVII Congr. Intern. Ornithol. 1978”, R. Nöhring, ed., Verl. Dtsch. Ornithol. Ges., Berlin.Google Scholar
  2. Baptista, L.F., 1975, Song dialects and demes in sedentary populations of the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttali). Univ. Calif. Publ. Zool., 105:1–52.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, H.P., Thielke, G., and Wüstenberg, W., 1980, Der Tonhöhenverlauf ist entscheidend für das Gesangslernen beim Mitteleuropäischen Zilpzalp. J. Ornithol., 121:229–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boord, R.L., 1969, The anatomy of the avian auditory system. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 167:186–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Evans, E.F., 1974, Neural processes for the detection of acoustic patterns and for sound localization, in “The Neurosciences: Third Study Program”, F.O. Schmitt and F.G. Worden, eds., MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  6. Greenewalt, C.H., 1968, “Bird Song: Acoustic and Physiology”, Smithsonian Inst. Press, City of Washington.Google Scholar
  7. Hinde, R.A., 1969, “Bird Vocalization”, Cambridge Univ. Press, London.Google Scholar
  8. Katz, L.C., and Gurney, M.E., 1981, Auditory responses in the zebra finch’s motor system for song. Brain Res., 211:192–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kelley, D.B., and Nottebohm, F., 1979, Projections of a telencephalic auditory nucleus — Field L — in the canary. J. Comp. Neurol., 183:455–469.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kirsch, M., Coles, R.B., and Leppelsack, H.-J., 1980, Unit recordings from a new auditory area in the frontal neostriatum of the awake Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Exp. Brain Res., 38:375–380.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Knudsen, E.I., and Konishi, M., 1978, Space and frequency are represented separately in auditory midbrain of the owl. J. Neurophysiol., 41:870–884.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Konishi, M., 1965, The role of auditory feedback in the control of vocalization in the white-crowned sparrow. Z. Tierpsychol., 22:770–783.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Konishi, M., 1970, Comparative neurophysiological studies of hearing and vocalization in songbirds. Z. vergl. Physiol., 66:257–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Konishi, M., 1978, Auditory environment and vocal development in birds, in “Perception and Experience”, R.W. Walk and H.L. Pick Jr., eds., Plenum Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  15. Langner, G., Bonke, D., and Scheich, H., 1979, Selective responses of neurons to vowel sounds in the auditory neostriatum of the Mynah Bird (EBBS Workshop: “Hearing Mechanisms and Speech”). Exp. Brain Res. Suppl. II, 110–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Leppelsack, H.-J., 1974, Funktionelle Eigenschaften der Hörbahn im Feld L des Neostriatum caudale des Staren (Sturnus vulgaris L., Aves). J. Comp. Physiol., 88:271–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Leppelsack, H.-J., 1978, Unit responses to species-specific sounds in an auditory forebrain center of birds. Fed. Proc, 37:22–27.Google Scholar
  18. Leppelsack, H.-J., 1980, Response selectivity of auditory forebrain neurons in a songbird, in “Acta XVII Congr. Intern. Ornithol. 1978”, R. Nöhring, ed., Verl. Dtsch. Ornithol. Ges., Berlin.Google Scholar
  19. Leppelsack, H.-J., 1981, “Antwortverhaiten auditorischer Vorderhirnneurone eines Singvogels unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Gesangslernens”, Habilitationsschrift Univ. Bochum, Abt. Biol., Bochum.Google Scholar
  20. Leppelsack, H.-J., and Manley, G.A., 1978, Reaktionen akustischer Neuronen im Ganglion cochleare des Staren auf arteigene Laute. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. Konstanz, 1978:192.Google Scholar
  21. Newman, J.D., and Wollberg, Z., 1973, Responses of single neurons in the auditory cortex of Squirrel Monkeys to variants of a single call type. Exp. Neurol., 40:821–824.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nottebohm, F., Stokes, T.M., and Leonard, Ch.M., 1976, Central control of song in the canary, Serinus canarius. J. Comp. Neurol., 165:457–486.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Plinius, C., 88, Naturalis historia, Vol. 10, Aves.Google Scholar
  24. Sachs, M.B., and Sinnott, J.M., 1978, Responses to tones of single cells in the nucleus magnocellularis and nucleus angularis of Redwinged Blackbird (Agelaius phoenicus). J. Comp. Physiol., 126:347–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sachs, M.B., Woolf, N.K., and Sinnott, J.M., 1980, Response properties of neurons in the avian auditory system: Comparison with mammalian homologues and consideration of the neural encoding of complex stimuli, in “Comparative Studies of Hearing in Vertebrates”, A.N. Popper and R.R. Fay, eds., Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  26. Saini, K.D., and Leppelsack, H.-J., 1981, Cell types of the auditory caudomedial neostriatum of the starling (Sturnus vulgaris). J. Comp. Neurol., 198:209–230.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Scheich, H., Langner, G., and Koch, R., 1977, Coding of narrow-band and wide-band vocalizations in the auditory midbrain nucleus (MLD) of the Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris). J. Comp. Physiol., 117:245–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Joachim Leppelsack
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine ZoologieRuhr-Universität BochumBochum 1F.R. of Germany

Personalised recommendations