Books  Ornithology  Biology, Ecology & Behaviour 

Neuroscience of Birdsong

By: H Philip Zeigler(Editor), Peter R Marler(Editor)

550 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustration, tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Nov 2012 | #199480 | ISBN-13: 9781107411579
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £55.99 $73/€64 approx
Hardback | Sep 2008 | #173964 | ISBN-13: 9780521869157
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
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About this book

Speech has long been thought of as a uniquely defining characteristic of humans. Yet song birds, like humans, communicate using learned signals (song, speech) that are acquired from their parents by a process of vocal imitation. Both song and speech begin as amorphous vocalizations (subsong, babble) that are gradually transformed into an individualized version of the parents' speech, including dialects. With contributions from both the founding forefathers and younger researchers of this field, this 2008 book provides a comprehensive summary of birdsong neurobiology, and identifies the common brain mechanisms underlying this achievement in both birds and humans.

Written primarily for advanced graduates and researchers, Neuroscience of Birdsong provides an introductory overview covering song learning, the parallels between language and birdsong and the relationship between the brains of birds and mammals; with subsequent sections deal with producing, processing, learning and recognizing song, as well as with hormonal and genomic mechanisms.

"Neuroscience of Birdsong is the first and long-awaited book that provides a comprehensive view of this field, and is for that reason alone a must-have for anyone working on birdsong or neural mechanisms of learning. [...] beautifully produced [...] [It] does a very good job at addressing the wealth of findings on how birds are able to learn and produce their often wonderfully complex songs. [...] [It] provides a unique and comprehensive source of information on the state of the art in the field. It is a praiseworthy achievement that will be of great benefit to anyone studying birdsong or neural mechanisms of learning, advanced students and specialists alike."
- Animal Behaviour


Part I. Foundations: Singing and the Brain
1. Introduction H. P. Zeigler
2. Birdsong and human speech Alison Doupe and Pat Kuhl
3. Birdsong and singing behavior Heather Williams
4. The Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen): an alternative model for the study of songbird neurobiology Gisela Kaplan
5. Songbirds and the revised avian brain nomenclature Anton Reiner, David J. Perkel, Claudio V. Mello and Erich D. Jarvis
6. The songbird brain in comparative perspective Michael Farries and David. J. Perkel

Part II. Song Production and its Neural Control
7. Introduction H. P. Zeigler
8. Mechanisms of song production in songbirds Roderick A. Suthers and Sue Ann Zollinger
9. Peripheral sensorimotor mechanisms and the control of song Franz Goller and Brenton G. Cooper
10. Integrating breathing and singing: forebrain and brainstem mechanisms Marc F. Schmidt and Robin Ashmore
11. Birdsong: anatomical foundations and central mechanisms of sensorimotor integration J. Martin Wild

Part III. Hearing and Recognizing the Song
12. Introduction Peter Marler
13. Song selectivity and the songbird brain Frédéric E. Theunissen, Noopur Amin, Sarita Shaevitz, Sarah M. N. Woolley, Thane Fremouw and Mark E. Hauber
14. Song-selective neurons: synaptic mechanisms and functional roles J. F. Prather and Richard Mooney
15. Temporal auditory pattern recognition in songbirds Tim Gentner

Part IV. Learning the Song: Mechanisms of Acquisition and Maintenance
16. Introduction Peter Marler
17. Comparative aspects of song learning Henrike Hultsch and Dietmar Todt
18. Developmental song learning in the zebra finch Sigal Saar, Partha P. Mithra, Sebastien Deregnaucourt and Ofer Tchernichovski
19. Auditory feedback and singing in adult birds Sarah M. N. Woolley
20. The anterior forebrain pathway and vocal plasticity Michael S. Brainard
21. Circuits and cellular mechanisms of sensory acquisition Kathy and Ernest Nordeen
22. Chasin' the trace: the neural substrate of birdsong memory Johan J. Bolhuis
23. The template concept - crafting a song replica from memory Patrice Adret

Part V. Mechanisms of Modulation and Plasticity
24. Introduction Peter Marler
25. Hormonal modulation of singing behavior: methodology and principles of hormone action Cheryl F. Harding
26. Sex differences in brain and behavior and neuroendocrine control of the motivation to sing Gregory F. Ball, Lauren V. Riters, Scott A. MacDougall-Shackleton and J. Balthazart
27. Plasticity of the song control system in adult birds Eliot Brenowitz
28. Regulation and function of neuronal replacement in the avian song system Carolyn Pytte, Linda Wilbrecht and John R. Kirn

Part VI. The Genomic Revolution and Birdsong Neurobiology
29. Introduction H. P. Zeigler
30. Studies of songbirds in the age of genetics: what to expect from genomic approaches in the next 20 years David F. Clayton and Arthur P. Arnold
31. Behavior-dependent expression of inducible genes in vocal learning birds Claudio V. Mello and Erich D. Jarvis
32. Genes for tuning up the vocal brain: FoxP2 in human speech and birdsong Sebastian Haesler and Constance Scharff

Part VII. On a Personal Note
33. Introduction H. P. Zeigler
34. William Homans Thorpe: a biographical memoir R. A. Hinde
35. My journey with birdsong M. Konishi
36. The discovery of replaceable neurons Fernando Nottebohm
37. The birdsong saga Peter Marler

Part VIII. Collected References

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H. Philip Zeigler is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Hunter College, City University of New York. He is a behavioural neurobiologist with interests in comparative neurobiology and the study of sensorimotor mechanisms of behaviour. Peter Marler is recognised as the founding father of bird song research. His research is both greatly admired and respected, with over 300 publications to his name. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis.

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