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    1. Neuroscience

    Vocal development in a Waddington landscape

    Yayoi Teramoto et al.
    An integrated landscape framework shows how the coordinated changes in vocal apparatus, muscles, nervous system, and social interaction together influence the trajectory of vocal development.
    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Correlated evolution between repertoire size and song plasticity predicts that sexual selection on song promotes open-ended learning

    Cristina M Robinson et al.
    A longer birdsong-learning window evolves in response to sexual selection for song complexity and is associated with faster evolution of song performance characteristics.
    1. Neuroscience

    Rules and mechanisms for efficient two-stage learning in neural circuits

    Tiberiu Teşileanu et al.
    Teaching signals from "tutor" brain areas should be adapted to the plasticity mechanisms in "student" areas to achieve efficient learning in two-stage systems such as the vocal control circuit of the songbird.
    1. Neuroscience

    Songbirds can learn flexible contextual control over syllable sequencing

    Lena Veit et al.
    Songbirds can use arbitrary visual cues to immediately, flexibly and adaptively control syntax of learned song vocalizations in a manner that parallels human cognitive control over syllable sequencing in speech.
    1. Neuroscience

    Acetylcholine acts on songbird premotor circuitry to invigorate vocal output

    Paul I Jaffe, Michael S Brainard
    The neuromodulator acetylcholine contributes to state-dependent modulation of motor vigor and variability by direct action on songbird premotor cortex, bypassing basal ganglia circuitry.
    1. Neuroscience

    Neural activity in cortico-basal ganglia circuits of juvenile songbirds encodes performance during goal-directed learning

    Jennifer M Achiro et al.
    Activity in cortico-basal ganglia circuits of juvenile songbirds reflects evaluative signals necessary for comparing self-generated behavior to a goal representation during skill learning.
    1. Neuroscience

    Accelerated redevelopment of vocal skills is preceded by lasting reorganization of the song motor circuitry

    Michiel Vellema et al.
    The ability to quickly re-acquire a previously lost motor skill is associated with lasting synaptic changes in the brain circuit that controls that motor skill.
    1. Ecology
    2. Neuroscience

    Communication: Listening in

    Erich D Jarvis
    Insight
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    1. Ecology
    2. Neuroscience
    Silhouette of a zebra finch on a blue background.

    The Natural History of Model Organisms: Neurogenomic insights into the behavioral and vocal development of the zebra finch

    Mark E Hauber et al.
    The genetic and behavioral diversity of the zebra finch, both in the wild and in captivity, make it well-suited for neuroethological studies of vocal learning, culture, and social bonding.
    1. Neuroscience

    Unsupervised discovery of temporal sequences in high-dimensional datasets, with applications to neuroscience

    Emily L Mackevicius et al.
    Building on simple unsupervised matrix factorization techniques, the seqNMF algorithm successfully recovers neural sequences in a wide range of simulated and real datasets.