Session: 5

PS5-09 | A consolidated view of neural activity in a cortical avian nucleus supports an integrated model for birdsong production

Cecilia Thomsett Herbert

Laboratorio de Sistemas Dinámicos, Departamento de Física, UBA e IFIBA-CONICET

Singing constitutes a complex learned behavior in songbirds. During song, the respiratory system and the vocal organ are driven by neural instructions from a set of nuclei dedicated to song production. This system is well-established as neuroethological model for understanding a range of fundamental biological questions pertaining to behavioral production, perception and learning, as well as relations of evolutionary and translational relevance.Telencephalic nucleus HVC (used as a proper name) plays a key role in the production of motor commands that drive the periphery. However, the precise nature of its involvement is yet to be resolved. A recent population model of the neural system makes specific predictions about the timing of the sparse activity in HVC during the production of motor gestures, and we have previously shown good accordance of local field potential and single-unit activity with these predictions. In this work, we analysed multiunit activity from extracellular electrophysiological recordings in singing canaries (Serinus canaria). We compared this activity to the local field potential and to single-unit activity. We present a consolidated view in the singing animal in which all modalities agree with the proposed model and present activity locked to relevant features of the syllable being produced.