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Sample records for vocal learning birds

  1. Song evolution, speciation, and vocal learning in passerine birds.

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    Mason, Nicholas A; Burns, Kevin J; Tobias, Joseph A; Claramunt, Santiago; Seddon, Nathalie; Derryberry, Elizabeth P

    2017-03-01

    Phenotypic divergence can promote reproductive isolation and speciation, suggesting a possible link between rates of phenotypic evolution and the tempo of speciation at multiple evolutionary scales. To date, most macroevolutionary studies of diversification have focused on morphological traits, whereas behavioral traits─including vocal signals─are rarely considered. Thus, although behavioral traits often mediate mate choice and gene flow, we have a limited understanding of how behavioral evolution contributes to diversification. Furthermore, the developmental mode by which behavioral traits are acquired may affect rates of behavioral evolution, although this hypothesis is seldom tested in a phylogenetic framework. Here, we examine evidence for rate shifts in vocal evolution and speciation across two major radiations of codistributed passerines: one oscine clade with learned songs (Thraupidae) and one suboscine clade with innate songs (Furnariidae). We find that evolutionary bursts in rates of speciation and song evolution are coincident in both thraupids and furnariids. Further, overall rates of vocal evolution are higher among taxa with learned rather than innate songs. Taken together, these findings suggest an association between macroevolutionary bursts in speciation and vocal evolution, and that the tempo of behavioral evolution can be influenced by variation in developmental modes among lineages. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Specialized motor-driven dusp1 expression in the song systems of multiple lineages of vocal learning birds.

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    Haruhito Horita

    Full Text Available Mechanisms for the evolution of convergent behavioral traits are largely unknown. Vocal learning is one such trait that evolved multiple times and is necessary in humans for the acquisition of spoken language. Among birds, vocal learning is evolved in songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds. Each time similar forebrain song nuclei specialized for vocal learning and production have evolved. This finding led to the hypothesis that the behavioral and neuroanatomical convergences for vocal learning could be associated with molecular convergence. We previously found that the neural activity-induced gene dual specificity phosphatase 1 (dusp1 was up-regulated in non-vocal circuits, specifically in sensory-input neurons of the thalamus and telencephalon; however, dusp1 was not up-regulated in higher order sensory neurons or motor circuits. Here we show that song motor nuclei are an exception to this pattern. The song nuclei of species from all known vocal learning avian lineages showed motor-driven up-regulation of dusp1 expression induced by singing. There was no detectable motor-driven dusp1 expression throughout the rest of the forebrain after non-vocal motor performance. This pattern contrasts with expression of the commonly studied activity-induced gene egr1, which shows motor-driven expression in song nuclei induced by singing, but also motor-driven expression in adjacent brain regions after non-vocal motor behaviors. In the vocal non-learning avian species, we found no detectable vocalizing-driven dusp1 expression in the forebrain. These findings suggest that independent evolutions of neural systems for vocal learning were accompanied by selection for specialized motor-driven expression of the dusp1 gene in those circuits. This specialized expression of dusp1 could potentially lead to differential regulation of dusp1-modulated molecular cascades in vocal learning circuits.

  3. Peripheral Mechanisms for Vocal Production in Birds--Differences and Similarities to Human Speech and Singing

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    Riede, Tobias; Goller, Franz

    2010-01-01

    Song production in songbirds is a model system for studying learned vocal behavior. As in humans, bird phonation involves three main motor systems (respiration, vocal organ and vocal tract). The avian respiratory mechanism uses pressure regulation in air sacs to ventilate a rigid lung. In songbirds sound is generated with two independently…

  4. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds.

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    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-06-14

    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning.

  5. Computational model for vocal tract dynamics in a suboscine bird

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    Assaneo, M. F.; Trevisan, M. A.

    2010-09-01

    In a recent work, active use of the vocal tract has been reported for singing oscines. The reconfiguration of the vocal tract during song serves to match its resonances to the syringeal fundamental frequency, demonstrating a precise coordination of the two main pieces of the avian vocal system for songbirds characterized by tonal songs. In this work we investigated the Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulfuratus), a suboscine bird whose calls display a rich harmonic content. Using a recently developed mathematical model for the syrinx and a mobile vocal tract, we set up a computational model that provides a plausible reconstruction of the vocal tract movement using a few spectral features taken from the utterances. Moreover, synthetic calls were generated using the articulated vocal tract that accounts for all the acoustical features observed experimentally.

  6. Cetacean vocal learning and communication.

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    Janik, Vincent M

    2014-10-01

    The cetaceans are one of the few mammalian clades capable of vocal production learning. Evidence for this comes from synchronous changes in song patterns of baleen whales and experimental work on toothed whales in captivity. While baleen whales like many vocal learners use this skill in song displays that are involved in sexual selection, toothed whales use learned signals in individual recognition and the negotiation of social relationships. Experimental studies demonstrated that dolphins can use learned signals referentially. Studies on wild dolphins demonstrated how this skill appears to be useful in their own communication system, making them an interesting subject for comparative communication studies.

  7. Vocal mechanisms in birds and bats: a comparative view

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    Suthers Roderick A.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Vocal signals play a very important role in the life of both birds and echolocating bats, but these two unrelated groups of flying vertebrates have very different vocal systems. They nevertheless must solve many of the same problems in producing sound. This brief review examines avian and microchiropteran motor mechanisms for: 1 coordinating the timing of phonation with the vocal motor pattern that controls its acoustic properties, and 2 achieving respiratory strategies that provide adequate ventilation for pulmonary gas exchange, while also facilitating longer duration songs or trains of sonar pulses.

  8. General principles involved in the effect of noise on hearing and vocal communication in birds

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    Dooling, Robert J.; Dent, Michael L.

    2002-05-01

    Birds provide very useful models for understanding the effects of noise on hearing and acoustic communication. They are excellent subjects for laboratory studies of hearing in which signals and noise can be precisely defined and delivered and behavioral responses can be unambiguously interpreted. For this reason, a huge amount is already known about their hearing. Acoustic communication is critically important for most species of birds and some even acquire their communication signals through vocal learning. For this reason, a lot is already known about how birds perceive complex acoustic signals such as vocalizations. Drawing from both field and laboratory studies, we review what is known about the effects of noise on hearing and vocal communication in birds. This includes the effects of intense noise on the ear, the effects of background noise on the detection and discrimination of both simple sounds and complex vocalizations, and the spatial effects of signal detection in noise in the free-field. As a whole, these studies show that birds are resistant to damage and interference from noise and have developed a variety of strategies to effectively communicate.

  9. Breeding bird density does not drive vocal individuality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Daniel T.BLUMSTEIN; Douglas R.MCCLAIN; Carrie DE JESUS; Gustavo ALARC(O)N-NIETO

    2012-01-01

    Many species produce individually specific vocalizations and sociality is a hypothesized driver of such individuality.Previous studies of how social variation influenced individuality focused on colonial or non-colonial avian species,and how social group size influenced individuality in sciurid rodents.Since sociality is an important driver of individuality,we expected that bird species that defend nesting territories in higher density neighborhoods should have more individually-distinctive calls than those that defend nesting territories in lower-density neighborhoods.We used Beecher's information statistic to quantify individuality,and we examined the relationship between bird density (calculated with point-counts) and vocal individuality on seven species of passerines.We found non-significant relationships between breeding bird density and vocal individuality whether regressions were fitted on species values,or on phylogenetically-independent contrast values.From these results,we infer that while individuality may be explained by social factors,breeding bird density is unlikely to be generally important in driving the evolution of individually-specific vocalizations.

  10. Melatonin affects the temporal pattern of vocal signatures in birds.

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    Derégnaucourt, Sébastien; Saar, Sigal; Gahr, Manfred

    2012-10-01

    In humans and other animals, melatonin is involved in the control of circadian biological rhythms. Here, we show that melatonin affects the temporal pattern of behavioral sequences in a noncircadian manner. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song and the crow of the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) are courtship vocalizations composed of a stereotyped sequence of syllables. The zebra finch song is learned from conspecifics during infancy, whereas the Japanese quail crow develops normally without auditory input. We recorded and analyzed the complete vocal activity of adult birds of both species kept in social isolation for several weeks. In both species, we observed a shortening of signal duration following the transfer from a light-dark (LD) cycle to constant light (LL), a condition known to abolish melatonin production and to disrupt circadian rhythmicity. This effect was reversible because signal duration increased when the photoperiod was returned to the previous LD schedule. We then tested whether this effect was directly related to melatonin by removal of the pineal gland, which is the main production site of circulating melatonin. A shortening of the song duration was observed following pinealectomy in LD. Likewise, melatonin treatment induced changes in the temporal structure of the song. In a song learning experiment, young pinealectomized finches and young finches raised in LL failed to copy the temporal pattern of their tutor's song. Taken together, these results suggest that melatonin is involved in the control of motor timing of noncircadian behavioral sequences through an evolutionary conserved neuroendocrine pathway. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  11. Coos, booms, and hoots: The evolution of closed-mouth vocal behavior in birds.

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    Riede, Tobias; Eliason, Chad M; Miller, Edward H; Goller, Franz; Clarke, Julia A

    2016-08-01

    Most birds vocalize with an open beak, but vocalization with a closed beak into an inflating cavity occurs in territorial or courtship displays in disparate species throughout birds. Closed-mouth vocalizations generate resonance conditions that favor low-frequency sounds. By contrast, open-mouth vocalizations cover a wider frequency range. Here we describe closed-mouth vocalizations of birds from functional and morphological perspectives and assess the distribution of closed-mouth vocalizations in birds and related outgroups. Ancestral-state optimizations of body size and vocal behavior indicate that closed-mouth vocalizations are unlikely to be ancestral in birds and have evolved independently at least 16 times within Aves, predominantly in large-bodied lineages. Closed-mouth vocalizations are rare in the small-bodied passerines. In light of these results and body size trends in nonavian dinosaurs, we suggest that the capacity for closed-mouth vocalization was present in at least some extinct nonavian dinosaurs. As in birds, this behavior may have been limited to sexually selected vocal displays, and hence would have co-occurred with open-mouthed vocalizations. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  12. Prosthetic Avian Vocal Organ Controlled by a Freely Behaving Bird Based on a Low Dimensional Model of the Biomechanical Periphery

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    Arneodo, Ezequiel M.; Perl, Yonatan Sanz; Goller, Franz; Mindlin, Gabriel B.

    2012-01-01

    Because of the parallels found with human language production and acquisition, birdsong is an ideal animal model to study general mechanisms underlying complex, learned motor behavior. The rich and diverse vocalizations of songbirds emerge as a result of the interaction between a pattern generator in the brain and a highly nontrivial nonlinear periphery. Much of the complexity of this vocal behavior has been understood by studying the physics of the avian vocal organ, particularly the syrinx. A mathematical model describing the complex periphery as a nonlinear dynamical system leads to the conclusion that nontrivial behavior emerges even when the organ is commanded by simple motor instructions: smooth paths in a low dimensional parameter space. An analysis of the model provides insight into which parameters are responsible for generating a rich variety of diverse vocalizations, and what the physiological meaning of these parameters is. By recording the physiological motor instructions elicited by a spontaneously singing muted bird and computing the model on a Digital Signal Processor in real-time, we produce realistic synthetic vocalizations that replace the bird's own auditory feedback. In this way, we build a bio-prosthetic avian vocal organ driven by a freely behaving bird via its physiologically coded motor commands. Since it is based on a low-dimensional nonlinear mathematical model of the peripheral effector, the emulation of the motor behavior requires light computation, in such a way that our bio-prosthetic device can be implemented on a portable platform. PMID:22761555

  13. Prosthetic avian vocal organ controlled by a freely behaving bird based on a low dimensional model of the biomechanical periphery.

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    Ezequiel M Arneodo

    Full Text Available Because of the parallels found with human language production and acquisition, birdsong is an ideal animal model to study general mechanisms underlying complex, learned motor behavior. The rich and diverse vocalizations of songbirds emerge as a result of the interaction between a pattern generator in the brain and a highly nontrivial nonlinear periphery. Much of the complexity of this vocal behavior has been understood by studying the physics of the avian vocal organ, particularly the syrinx. A mathematical model describing the complex periphery as a nonlinear dynamical system leads to the conclusion that nontrivial behavior emerges even when the organ is commanded by simple motor instructions: smooth paths in a low dimensional parameter space. An analysis of the model provides insight into which parameters are responsible for generating a rich variety of diverse vocalizations, and what the physiological meaning of these parameters is. By recording the physiological motor instructions elicited by a spontaneously singing muted bird and computing the model on a Digital Signal Processor in real-time, we produce realistic synthetic vocalizations that replace the bird's own auditory feedback. In this way, we build a bio-prosthetic avian vocal organ driven by a freely behaving bird via its physiologically coded motor commands. Since it is based on a low-dimensional nonlinear mathematical model of the peripheral effector, the emulation of the motor behavior requires light computation, in such a way that our bio-prosthetic device can be implemented on a portable platform.

  14. Molecular mapping of movement-associated areas in the avian brain: a motor theory for vocal learning origin.

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    Feenders, Gesa; Liedvogel, Miriam; Rivas, Miriam; Zapka, Manuela; Horita, Haruhito; Hara, Erina; Wada, Kazuhiro; Mouritsen, Henrik; Jarvis, Erich D

    2008-03-12

    Vocal learning is a critical behavioral substrate for spoken human language. It is a rare trait found in three distantly related groups of birds-songbirds, hummingbirds, and parrots. These avian groups have remarkably similar systems of cerebral vocal nuclei for the control of learned vocalizations that are not found in their more closely related vocal non-learning relatives. These findings led to the hypothesis that brain pathways for vocal learning in different groups evolved independently from a common ancestor but under pre-existing constraints. Here, we suggest one constraint, a pre-existing system for movement control. Using behavioral molecular mapping, we discovered that in songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds, all cerebral vocal learning nuclei are adjacent to discrete brain areas active during limb and body movements. Similar to the relationships between vocal nuclei activation and singing, activation in the adjacent areas correlated with the amount of movement performed and was independent of auditory and visual input. These same movement-associated brain areas were also present in female songbirds that do not learn vocalizations and have atrophied cerebral vocal nuclei, and in ring doves that are vocal non-learners and do not have cerebral vocal nuclei. A compilation of previous neural tracing experiments in songbirds suggests that the movement-associated areas are connected in a network that is in parallel with the adjacent vocal learning system. This study is the first global mapping that we are aware for movement-associated areas of the avian cerebrum and it indicates that brain systems that control vocal learning in distantly related birds are directly adjacent to brain systems involved in movement control. Based upon these findings, we propose a motor theory for the origin of vocal learning, this being that the brain areas specialized for vocal learning in vocal learners evolved as a specialization of a pre-existing motor pathway that controls

  15. Molecular mapping of movement-associated areas in the avian brain: a motor theory for vocal learning origin.

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    Gesa Feenders

    Full Text Available Vocal learning is a critical behavioral substrate for spoken human language. It is a rare trait found in three distantly related groups of birds-songbirds, hummingbirds, and parrots. These avian groups have remarkably similar systems of cerebral vocal nuclei for the control of learned vocalizations that are not found in their more closely related vocal non-learning relatives. These findings led to the hypothesis that brain pathways for vocal learning in different groups evolved independently from a common ancestor but under pre-existing constraints. Here, we suggest one constraint, a pre-existing system for movement control. Using behavioral molecular mapping, we discovered that in songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds, all cerebral vocal learning nuclei are adjacent to discrete brain areas active during limb and body movements. Similar to the relationships between vocal nuclei activation and singing, activation in the adjacent areas correlated with the amount of movement performed and was independent of auditory and visual input. These same movement-associated brain areas were also present in female songbirds that do not learn vocalizations and have atrophied cerebral vocal nuclei, and in ring doves that are vocal non-learners and do not have cerebral vocal nuclei. A compilation of previous neural tracing experiments in songbirds suggests that the movement-associated areas are connected in a network that is in parallel with the adjacent vocal learning system. This study is the first global mapping that we are aware for movement-associated areas of the avian cerebrum and it indicates that brain systems that control vocal learning in distantly related birds are directly adjacent to brain systems involved in movement control. Based upon these findings, we propose a motor theory for the origin of vocal learning, this being that the brain areas specialized for vocal learning in vocal learners evolved as a specialization of a pre-existing motor

  16. Differences in number and distribution of striatal calbindin medium spiny neurons between a vocal-learner (Melopsittacus undulatus and a non-vocal learner bird (Colinus virginianus

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    Elena eGarcia-Calero

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projecting neurons, known as medium spiny neurons (MSNs, segregate into two compartments called matrix and striosome in the mammalian striatum. The matrix domain is characterized by the presence of calbindin immunopositive (CB+ MSNs, not observed in the striosome subdivision. The existence of a similar CB+ MSN population has recently been described in two striatal structures in male zebra finch (a vocal learner bird: the striatal capsule and the Area X, a nucleus implicated in song learning. Female zebra finches show a similar pattern of CB+ MSNs than males in the developing striatum but loose these cells in juveniles and adult stages. In the present work we analyzed the existence and allocation of CB+MSNs in the striatal domain of the vocal learner bird budgerigar (representative of psittaciformes order and the non-vocal learner bird quail (representative of galliformes order. We studied the co-localization of CB protein with FoxP1, a transcription factor expressed in vertebrate striatal MSNs. We observed CB+ MSNs in the medial striatal domain of adult male and female budgerigars, although this cell type was missing in the potentially homologous nucleus for Area X in budgerigar. In quail, we observed CB+ cells in the striatal domain at developmental and adult stages but they did not co-localize with the MSN marker FoxP1. We also described the existence of the CB+ striatal capsule in budgerigar and quail and compared these results with the CB+ striatal capsule observed in juvenile zebra finches. Together, these results point out important differences in CB+MSN distribution between two representative species of vocal learner and non-vocal learner avian orders (respectively the budgerigar and the quail, but also between close vocal learner bird families.

  17. Model for vocalization by a bird with distensible vocal cavity and open beak.

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    Fletcher, Neville H; Riede, Tobias; Suthers, Roderick A

    2006-02-01

    Some birds make use of a distensible oral cavity to produce nearly pure-tone song. Songbirds such as the Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) have a muscularly distended oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity between the top of the trachea and the open beak. The present paper analyzes the acoustics of this vocal system. It is shown that the resonance of the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity, vented through the beak, introduces a dominant peak in the radiation efficiency, the frequency of which can be adjusted by varying the volume of the cavity, the beak gape, and perhaps the position of the tongue in the mouth. To produce nearly pure-tone song, the bird adjusts the frequency of this peak to coincide with the fundamental of the syringeal oscillation. The present paper provides the acoustical analysis underlying this behavior.

  18. Of mice, birds, and men: the mouse ultrasonic song system has some features similar to humans and song-learning birds.

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    Gustavo Arriaga

    Full Text Available Humans and song-learning birds communicate acoustically using learned vocalizations. The characteristic features of this social communication behavior include vocal control by forebrain motor areas, a direct cortical projection to brainstem vocal motor neurons, and dependence on auditory feedback to develop and maintain learned vocalizations. These features have so far not been found in closely related primate and avian species that do not learn vocalizations. Male mice produce courtship ultrasonic vocalizations with acoustic features similar to songs of song-learning birds. However, it is assumed that mice lack a forebrain system for vocal modification and that their ultrasonic vocalizations are innate. Here we investigated the mouse song system and discovered that it includes a motor cortex region active during singing, that projects directly to brainstem vocal motor neurons and is necessary for keeping song more stereotyped and on pitch. We also discovered that male mice depend on auditory feedback to maintain some ultrasonic song features, and that sub-strains with differences in their songs can match each other's pitch when cross-housed under competitive social conditions. We conclude that male mice have some limited vocal modification abilities with at least some neuroanatomical features thought to be unique to humans and song-learning birds. To explain our findings, we propose a continuum hypothesis of vocal learning.

  19. Differential expression of glutamate receptors in avian neural pathways for learned vocalization.

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    Wada, Kazuhiro; Sakaguchi, Hironobu; Jarvis, Erich D; Hagiwara, Masatoshi

    2004-08-01

    Learned vocalization, the substrate for human language, is a rare trait. It is found in three distantly related groups of birds-parrots, hummingbirds, and songbirds. These three groups contain cerebral vocal nuclei for learned vocalization not found in their more closely related vocal nonlearning relatives. Here, we cloned 21 receptor subunits/subtypes of all four glutamate receptor families (AMPA, kainate, NMDA, and metabotropic) and examined their expression in vocal nuclei of songbirds. We also examined expression of a subset of these receptors in vocal nuclei of hummingbirds and parrots, as well as in the brains of dove species as examples of close vocal nonlearning relatives. Among the 21 subunits/subtypes, 19 showed higher and/or lower prominent differential expression in songbird vocal nuclei relative to the surrounding brain subdivisions in which the vocal nuclei are located. This included relatively lower levels of all four AMPA subunits in lMAN, strikingly higher levels of the kainite subunit GluR5 in the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), higher and lower levels respectively of the NMDA subunits NR2A and NR2B in most vocal nuclei and lower levels of the metabotropic group I subtypes (mGluR1 and -5) in most vocal nuclei and the group II subtype (mGluR2), showing a unique expression pattern of very low levels in RA and very high levels in HVC. The splice variants of AMPA subunits showed further differential expression in vocal nuclei. Some of the receptor subunits/subtypes also showed differential expression in hummingbird and parrot vocal nuclei. The magnitude of differential expression in vocal nuclei of all three vocal learners was unique compared with the smaller magnitude of differences found for nonvocal areas of vocal learners and vocal nonlearners. Our results suggest that evolution of vocal learning was accompanied by differential expression of a conserved gene family for synaptic transmission and plasticity in vocal nuclei. They also suggest

  20. Social learning of vocal structure in a nonhuman primate?

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    Lemasson Alban

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Non-human primate communication is thought to be fundamentally different from human speech, mainly due to vast differences in vocal control. The lack of these abilities in non-human primates is especially striking if compared to some marine mammals and bird species, which has generated somewhat of an evolutionary conundrum. What are the biological roots and underlying evolutionary pressures of the human ability to voluntarily control sound production and learn the vocal utterances of others? One hypothesis is that this capacity has evolved gradually in humans from an ancestral stage that resembled the vocal behavior of modern primates. Support for this has come from studies that have documented limited vocal flexibility and convergence in different primate species, typically in calls used during social interactions. The mechanisms underlying these patterns, however, are currently unknown. Specifically, it has been difficult to rule out explanations based on genetic relatedness, suggesting that such vocal flexibility may not be the result of social learning. Results To address this point, we compared the degree of acoustic similarity of contact calls in free-ranging Campbell's monkeys as a function of their social bonds and genetic relatedness. We calculated three different indices to compare the similarities between the calls' frequency contours, the duration of grooming interactions and the microsatellite-based genetic relatedness between partners. We found a significantly positive relation between bond strength and acoustic similarity that was independent of genetic relatedness. Conclusion Genetic factors determine the general species-specific call repertoire of a primate species, while social factors can influence the fine structure of some the call types. The finding is in line with the more general hypothesis that human speech has evolved gradually from earlier primate-like vocal communication.

  1. Nonlinear Bayesian cue integration explains the dynamics of vocal learning

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    Zhou, Baohua; Sober, Samuel; Nemenman, Ilya

    The acoustics of vocal production in songbirds is tightly regulated during both development and adulthood as birds progressively refine their song using sensory feedback to match an acoustic target. Here, we perturb this sensory feedback using headphones to shift the pitch (fundamental frequency) of song. When the pitch is shifted upwards (downwards), birds eventually learn to compensate and sing lower (higher), bringing the experienced pitch closer to the target. Paradoxically, the speed and amplitude of this motor learning decrease with increases in the introduced error size, so that birds respond rapidly to a small sensory perturbation, while seemingly never correcting a much bigger one. Similar results are observed broadly across the animal kingdom, and they do not derive from a limited plasticity of the adult brain since birds can compensate for a large error as long as the error is imposed gradually. We develop a mathematical model based on nonlinear Bayesian integration of two sensory modalities (one perturbed and the other not) that quantitatively explains all of these observations. The model makes predictions about the structure of the probability distribution of the pitches sung by birds during the pitch shift experiments, which we confirm using experimental data. This work was supported in part by James S. McDonnell Foundation Grant # 220020321, NSF Grant # IOS/1208126, NSF Grant # IOS/1456912 and NIH Grants # R01NS084844.

  2. Birds and babies : a comparison of the early development in vocal learners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haar, Sita Minke ter

    2013-01-01

    This thesis provides a comparison of mostly perceptual development during vocal learning in songbirds (zebra finches) and human infants. The aim is to disentangle experience dependent and independent processes during vocal learning. In both human infants and juvenile songbirds, a perceptual preferen

  3. Birds and babies : a comparison of the early development in vocal learners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haar, Sita Minke ter

    2013-01-01

    This thesis provides a comparison of mostly perceptual development during vocal learning in songbirds (zebra finches) and human infants. The aim is to disentangle experience dependent and independent processes during vocal learning. In both human infants and juvenile songbirds, a perceptual preferen

  4. Vocal learning in elephants: neural bases and adaptive context.

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    Stoeger, Angela S; Manger, Paul

    2014-10-01

    In the last decade clear evidence has accumulated that elephants are capable of vocal production learning. Examples of vocal imitation are documented in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants, but little is known about the function of vocal learning within the natural communication systems of either species. We are also just starting to identify the neural basis of elephant vocalizations. The African elephant diencephalon and brainstem possess specializations related to aspects of neural information processing in the motor system (affecting the timing and learning of trunk movements) and the auditory and vocalization system. Comparative interdisciplinary (from behavioral to neuroanatomical) studies are strongly warranted to increase our understanding of both vocal learning and vocal behavior in elephants.

  5. If horses entrain, don’t entirely reject vocal learning: An experience-based vocal learning hypothesis

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    Adena Schachner

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Bregman and colleagues describe methods for testing whether horses entrain their actions to an auditory beat. If horses can entrain, does this necessarily imply that there is no causal relationship between vocal learning and entrainment? I propose an alternative way in which vocal learning may relate to entrainment — one that is consistent with entrainment in some vocal non-learning species. Due to engaging in the developmental process of vocal learning, there may be early experiences common to vocal learners, but rare in vocal non-learning species. It is possible that it is these experiences that are critical for entrainment — not vocal learning itself, nor related genes. These experiences may result in critical changes in neural development, leading to the development of cognitive mechanisms necessary for both vocal learning and entrainment. This hypothesis changes the causal story from one of genetic change to one of changes in experience, and from a focus on evolution to a focus on individual ontogeny. Thus, if horses can entrain, we should not immediately reject the idea of a relationship between vocal learning and entrainment: First, we should consider whether some unusual aspect of the horses' experience effectively replicates the unusual experiences of vocal learning animals.

  6. Vocal learning beyond imitation: mechanisms of adaptive vocal development in songbirds and human infants.

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    Tchernichovski, Ofer; Marcus, Gary

    2014-10-01

    Studies of vocal learning in songbirds typically focus on the acquisition of sensory templates for song imitation and on the consequent process of matching song production to templates. However, functional vocal development also requires the capacity to adaptively diverge from sensory templates, and to flexibly assemble vocal units. Examples of adaptive divergence include the corrective imitation of abnormal songs, and the decreased tendency to copy over-abundant syllables. Such frequency-dependent effects might mirror tradeoffs between the assimilation of group identity (culture) while establishing individual and flexibly expressive songs. Intriguingly, although the requirements for vocal plasticity vary across songbirds, and more so between birdsong and language, the capacity to flexibly assemble vocal sounds develops in a similar, stepwise manner across species. Therefore, universal features of vocal learning go well beyond the capacity to imitate. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Convergent transcriptional specializations in the brains of humans and song-learning birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfenning, Andreas R.; Hara, Erina; Whitney, Osceola

    2014-01-01

    Song-learning birds and humans share independently evolved similarities in brain pathways for vocal learning that are essential for song and speech and are not found in most other species. Comparisons of brain transcriptomes of song-learning birds and humans relative to vocal nonlearners identified...... convergent gene expression specializations in specific song and speech brain regions of avian vocal learners and humans. The strongest shared profiles relate bird motor and striatal song-learning nuclei, respectively, with human laryngeal motor cortex and parts of the striatum that control speech production...... and learning. Most of the associated genes function in motor control and brain connectivity. Thus, convergent behavior and neural connectivity for a complex trait are associated with convergent specialized expression of multiple genes....

  8. Neural FoxP2 and FoxP1 expression in the budgerigar, an avian species with adult vocal learning.

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    Hara, Erina; Perez, Jemima M; Whitney, Osceola; Chen, Qianqian; White, Stephanie A; Wright, Timothy F

    2015-04-15

    Vocal learning underlies acquisition of both language in humans and vocal signals in some avian taxa. These bird groups and humans exhibit convergent developmental phases and associated brain pathways for vocal communication. The transcription factor FoxP2 plays critical roles in vocal learning in humans and songbirds. Another member of the forkhead box gene family, FoxP1 also shows high expression in brain areas involved in vocal learning and production. Here, we investigate FoxP2 and FoxP1 mRNA and protein in adult male budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), a parrot species that exhibits vocal learning as both juveniles and adults. To examine these molecules in adult vocal learners, we compared their expression patterns in the budgerigar striatal nucleus involved in vocal learning, magnocellular nucleus of the medial striatum (MMSt), across birds with different vocal states, such as vocalizing to a female (directed), vocalizing alone (undirected), and non-vocalizing. We found that both FoxP2 mRNA and protein expressions were consistently lower in MMSt than in the adjacent striatum regardless of the vocal states, whereas previous work has shown that songbirds exhibit down-regulation in the homologous region, Area X, only after singing alone. In contrast, FoxP1 levels were high in MMSt compared to the adjacent striatum in all groups. Taken together these results strengthen the general hypothesis that FoxP2 and FoxP1 have specialized expression in vocal nuclei across a range of taxa, and suggest that the adult vocal plasticity seen in budgerigars may be a product of persistent down-regulation of FoxP2 in MMSt.

  9. Learned vocal variation is associated with abrupt cryptic genetic change in a parrot species complex.

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    Raoul F H Ribot

    Full Text Available Contact zones between subspecies or closely related species offer valuable insights into speciation processes. A typical feature of such zones is the presence of clinal variation in multiple traits. The nature of these traits and the concordance among clines are expected to influence whether and how quickly speciation will proceed. Learned signals, such as vocalizations in species having vocal learning (e.g. humans, many birds, bats and cetaceans, can exhibit rapid change and may accelerate reproductive isolation between populations. Therefore, particularly strong concordance among clines in learned signals and population genetic structure may be expected, even among continuous populations in the early stages of speciation. However, empirical evidence for this pattern is often limited because differences in vocalisations between populations are driven by habitat differences or have evolved in allopatry. We tested for this pattern in a unique system where we may be able to separate effects of habitat and evolutionary history. We studied geographic variation in the vocalizations of the crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans parrot species complex. Parrots are well known for their life-long vocal learning and cognitive abilities. We analysed contact calls across a ca 1300 km transect encompassing populations that differed in neutral genetic markers and plumage colour. We found steep clinal changes in two acoustic variables (fundamental frequency and peak frequency position. The positions of the two clines in vocal traits were concordant with a steep cline in microsatellite-based genetic variation, but were discordant with the steep clines in mtDNA, plumage and habitat. Our study provides new evidence that vocal variation, in a species with vocal learning, can coincide with areas of restricted gene flow across geographically continuous populations. Our results suggest that traits that evolve culturally can be strongly associated with reduced gene flow

  10. Human mutant huntingtin disrupts vocal learning in transgenic songbirds.

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    Liu, Wan-Chun; Kohn, Jessica; Szwed, Sarah K; Pariser, Eben; Sepe, Sharon; Haripal, Bhagwattie; Oshimori, Naoki; Marsala, Martin; Miyanohara, Atsushi; Lee, Ramee

    2015-11-01

    Speech and vocal impairments characterize many neurological disorders. However, the neurogenetic mechanisms of these disorders are not well understood, and current animal models do not have the necessary circuitry to recapitulate vocal learning deficits. We developed germline transgenic songbirds, zebra finches (Taneiopygia guttata) expressing human mutant huntingtin (mHTT), a protein responsible for the progressive deterioration of motor and cognitive function in Huntington's disease (HD). Although generally healthy, the mutant songbirds had severe vocal disorders, including poor vocal imitation, stuttering, and progressive syntax and syllable degradation. Their song abnormalities were associated with HD-related neuropathology and dysfunction of the cortical-basal ganglia (CBG) song circuit. These transgenics are, to the best of our knowledge, the first experimentally created, functional mutant songbirds. Their progressive and quantifiable vocal disorder, combined with circuit dysfunction in the CBG song system, offers a model for genetic manipulation and the development of therapeutic strategies for CBG-related vocal and motor disorders.

  11. Song practice promotes acute vocal variability at a key stage of sensorimotor learning.

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    Julie E Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trial by trial variability during motor learning is a feature encoded by the basal ganglia of both humans and songbirds, and is important for reinforcement of optimal motor patterns, including those that produce speech and birdsong. Given the many parallels between these behaviors, songbirds provide a useful model to investigate neural mechanisms underlying vocal learning. In juvenile and adult male zebra finches, endogenous levels of FoxP2, a molecule critical for language, decrease two hours after morning song onset within area X, part of the basal ganglia-forebrain pathway dedicated to song. In juveniles, experimental 'knockdown' of area X FoxP2 results in abnormally variable song in adulthood. These findings motivated our hypothesis that low FoxP2 levels increase vocal variability, enabling vocal motor exploration in normal birds. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: After two hours in either singing or non-singing conditions (previously shown to produce differential area X FoxP2 levels, phonological and sequential features of the subsequent songs were compared across conditions in the same bird. In line with our prediction, analysis of songs sung by 75 day (75d birds revealed that syllable structure was more variable and sequence stereotypy was reduced following two hours of continuous practice compared to these features following two hours of non-singing. Similar trends in song were observed in these birds at 65d, despite higher overall within-condition variability at this age. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Together with previous work, these findings point to the importance of behaviorally-driven acute periods during song learning that allow for both refinement and reinforcement of motor patterns. Future work is aimed at testing the observation that not only does vocal practice influence expression of molecular networks, but that these networks then influence subsequent variability in these skills.

  12. Hearing is believing: Birds learn fear.

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    Sturdy, Christopher B; Proppe, Darren S

    2016-09-01

    Although it is known that animals attend to the vocalizations of others (referred to as eavesdropping), what has been missing, or at least left experimentally unproven, until now is whether animals can learn new associations between a signal and a threat. Here Magrath and colleagues (Current Biology, 25(15), 2047-2050, 2015) have for the first time conducted a field experiment that demonstrates just this: superb fairy-wrens learned to associate a novel vocalization with a predator.

  13. Flow-Structure-Acoustic Interaction Simulation of Vocalization of a Non-song Bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Weili; Zheng, Xudong; Xue, Qian; Have Rasmussen, Jeppe; Elemans, Coen; Complex Flow Modeling; Simulation Lab Team; Elemans Lab Team

    2016-11-01

    The myoelastic-aerodynamic mechanism of vocalization was recently evidenced in birds across a wide range of taxa, which, for a long time, was believed to generate sound based on the aerodynamic whistle mechanism. The objective of the current study is to: (1) develop a first-principle based, flow-structure-acoustics (FSA) interaction computational model of a non-song bird (rock pigeon); (2) strongly validate the computational model by comparing to the experimental data on the same bird model; (3) examine the data so as to generate new insights into the physics of vocalization of birds. In the current approach, a sharp interface immersed boundary method based incompressible flow solver is utilized to model the air flow; A finite element based solid mechanics solver is utilized to model the LVM(lateral vibratory mass) vibration; A high-order immersed boundary method based acoustics solver is utilized to directly compute sound. Geometric structure of the syrinx, including syringeal lumen, LVM, position of tracheal rings, is based on CT scan of a rock pigeon. The LVM is simulated as isotropic material according to the experimental measurements. Simulation setup about the bronchial pressure, static deformation due to air sac pressure also follows the setup in the experiments. Results including the fundamental frequency, air flow rate, gap, vibration shape will be analyzed and compared to the experimental data.

  14. Auditory experience refines cortico-basal ganglia inputs to motor cortex via remapping of single axons during vocal learning in zebra finches.

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    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C; Bottjer, Sarah W

    2012-02-01

    Experience-dependent changes in neural connectivity underlie developmental learning and result in life-long changes in behavior. In songbirds axons from the cortical region LMAN(core) (core region of lateral magnocellular nucleus of anterior nidopallium) convey the output of a basal ganglia circuit necessary for song learning to vocal motor cortex [robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA)]. This axonal projection undergoes remodeling during the sensitive period for learning to achieve topographic organization. To examine how auditory experience instructs the development of connectivity in this pathway, we compared the morphology of individual LMAN(core)→RA axon arbors in normal juvenile songbirds to those raised in white noise. The spatial extent of axon arbors decreased during the first week of vocal learning, even in the absence of normal auditory experience. During the second week of vocal learning axon arbors of normal birds showed a loss of branches and varicosities; in contrast, experience-deprived birds showed no reduction in branches or varicosities and maintained some arbors in the wrong topographic location. Thus both experience-independent and experience-dependent processes are necessary to establish topographic organization in juvenile birds, which may allow birds to modify their vocal output in a directed manner and match their vocalizations to a tutor song. Many LMAN(core) axons of juvenile birds, but not adults, extended branches into dorsal arcopallium (Ad), a region adjacent to RA that is part of a parallel basal ganglia pathway also necessary for vocal learning. This transient projection provides a point of integration between the two basal ganglia pathways, suggesting that these branches convey corollary discharge signals as birds are actively engaged in learning.

  15. Aeroelastic flutter of feathers, flight and the evolution of non-vocal communication in birds.

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    Clark, Christopher J; Prum, Richard O

    2015-11-01

    Tonal, non-vocal sounds are widespread in both ordinary bird flight and communication displays. We hypothesized these sounds are attributable to an aerodynamic mechanism intrinsic to flight feathers: aeroelastic flutter. Individual wing and tail feathers from 35 taxa (from 13 families) that produce tonal flight sounds were tested in a wind tunnel. In the wind tunnel, all of these feathers could flutter and generate tonal sound, suggesting that the capacity to flutter is intrinsic to flight feathers. This result implies that the aerodynamic mechanism of aeroelastic flutter is potentially widespread in flight of birds. However, the sounds these feathers produced in the wind tunnel replicated the actual flight sounds of only 15 of the 35 taxa. Of the 20 negative results, we hypothesize that 10 are false negatives, as the acoustic form of the flight sound suggests flutter is a likely acoustic mechanism. For the 10 other taxa, we propose our negative wind tunnel results are correct, and these species do not make sounds via flutter. These sounds appear to constitute one or more mechanism(s) we call 'wing whirring', the physical acoustics of which remain unknown. Our results document that the production of non-vocal communication sounds by aeroelastic flutter of flight feathers is widespread in birds. Across all birds, most evolutionary origins of wing- and tail-generated communication sounds are attributable to three mechanisms: flutter, percussion and wing whirring. Other mechanisms of sound production, such as turbulence-induced whooshes, have evolved into communication sounds only rarely, despite their intrinsic ubiquity in ordinary flight.

  16. Does age matter in song bird vocal interactions? Results from interactive playback experiments

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    Kiefer Sarah

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The song of oscines provides an extensively studied model of age-dependent behaviour changes. Male and female receivers might use song characteristics to obtain information about the age of a signaller, which is often related to its quality. Whereas most of the age-dependent song changes have been studied in solo singing, the role of age in vocal interactions is less well understood. We addressed this issue in a playback study with common nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos. Previous studies showed that male nightingales had smaller repertoires in their first year than older males and males adjusted their repertoire towards the most common songs in the breeding population. We now compared vocal interaction patterns in a playback study in 12 one year old and 12 older nightingales (cross-sectional approach. Five of these males were tested both in their first and second breeding season (longitudinal approach. Song duration and latency to respond did not differ between males of different ages in either approach. In the cross-sectional approach, one year old nightingales matched song types twice as often as did older birds. Similarly, in the longitudinal approach all except one bird reduced the number of song type matches in their second season. Individuals tended to overlap songs at higher rates in their second breeding season than in their first. The higher levels of song type matches in the first year and song overlapping by birds in their second year suggest that these are communicative strategies to establish relationships with competing males and/or choosy females.

  17. Hemispheric asymmetry in new neurons in adulthood is associated with vocal learning and auditory memory.

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    Shuk C Tsoi

    Full Text Available Many brain regions exhibit lateral differences in structure and function, and also incorporate new neurons in adulthood, thought to function in learning and in the formation of new memories. However, the contribution of new neurons to hemispheric differences in processing is unknown. The present study combines cellular, behavioral, and physiological methods to address whether 1 new neuron incorporation differs between the brain hemispheres, and 2 the degree to which hemispheric lateralization of new neurons correlates with behavioral and physiological measures of learning and memory. The songbird provides a model system for assessing the contribution of new neurons to hemispheric specialization because songbird brain areas for vocal processing are functionally lateralized and receive a continuous influx of new neurons in adulthood. In adult male zebra finches, we quantified new neurons in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM, a forebrain area involved in discrimination and memory for the complex vocalizations of individual conspecifics. We assessed song learning and recorded neural responses to song in NCM. We found significantly more new neurons labeled in left than in right NCM; moreover, the degree of asymmetry in new neuron numbers was correlated with the quality of song learning and strength of neuronal memory for recently heard songs. In birds with experimentally impaired song quality, the hemispheric difference in new neurons was diminished. These results suggest that new neurons may contribute to an allocation of function between the hemispheres that underlies the learning and processing of complex signals.

  18. Development of auditory-vocal perceptual skills in songbirds.

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    Vanessa C Miller-Sims

    Full Text Available Songbirds are one of the few groups of animals that learn the sounds used for vocal communication during development. Like humans, songbirds memorize vocal sounds based on auditory experience with vocalizations of adult "tutors", and then use auditory feedback of self-produced vocalizations to gradually match their motor output to the memory of tutor sounds. In humans, investigations of early vocal learning have focused mainly on perceptual skills of infants, whereas studies of songbirds have focused on measures of vocal production. In order to fully exploit songbirds as a model for human speech, understand the neural basis of learned vocal behavior, and investigate links between vocal perception and production, studies of songbirds must examine both behavioral measures of perception and neural measures of discrimination during development. Here we used behavioral and electrophysiological assays of the ability of songbirds to distinguish vocal calls of varying frequencies at different stages of vocal learning. The results show that neural tuning in auditory cortex mirrors behavioral improvements in the ability to make perceptual distinctions of vocal calls as birds are engaged in vocal learning. Thus, separate measures of neural discrimination and behavioral perception yielded highly similar trends during the course of vocal development. The timing of this improvement in the ability to distinguish vocal sounds correlates with our previous work showing substantial refinement of axonal connectivity in cortico-basal ganglia pathways necessary for vocal learning.

  19. Development of auditory-vocal perceptual skills in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C; Bottjer, Sarah W

    2012-01-01

    Songbirds are one of the few groups of animals that learn the sounds used for vocal communication during development. Like humans, songbirds memorize vocal sounds based on auditory experience with vocalizations of adult "tutors", and then use auditory feedback of self-produced vocalizations to gradually match their motor output to the memory of tutor sounds. In humans, investigations of early vocal learning have focused mainly on perceptual skills of infants, whereas studies of songbirds have focused on measures of vocal production. In order to fully exploit songbirds as a model for human speech, understand the neural basis of learned vocal behavior, and investigate links between vocal perception and production, studies of songbirds must examine both behavioral measures of perception and neural measures of discrimination during development. Here we used behavioral and electrophysiological assays of the ability of songbirds to distinguish vocal calls of varying frequencies at different stages of vocal learning. The results show that neural tuning in auditory cortex mirrors behavioral improvements in the ability to make perceptual distinctions of vocal calls as birds are engaged in vocal learning. Thus, separate measures of neural discrimination and behavioral perception yielded highly similar trends during the course of vocal development. The timing of this improvement in the ability to distinguish vocal sounds correlates with our previous work showing substantial refinement of axonal connectivity in cortico-basal ganglia pathways necessary for vocal learning.

  20. A sensorimotor area in the songbird brain is required for production of vocalizations in the song learning period of development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piristine, Hande C; Choetso, Tenzin; Gobes, Sharon M H

    2016-11-01

    Sensory feedback is essential for acquiring and maintaining complex motor behaviors, including birdsong. In zebra finches, auditory feedback reaches the song control circuits primarily through the nucleus interfacialis nidopalii (Nif), which provides excitatory input to HVC (proper name)-a premotor region essential for the production of learned vocalizations. Despite being one of the major inputs to the song control pathway, the role of Nif in generating vocalizations is not well understood. To address this, we transiently inactivated Nif in late juvenile zebra finches. Upon Nif inactivation (in both hemispheres or on one side only), birds went from singing stereotyped zebra finch song to uttering highly variable and unstructured vocalizations resembling sub-song, an early juvenile song form driven by a basal ganglia circuit. Simultaneously inactivating Nif and LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium), the output nucleus of a basal ganglia circuit, inhibited song production altogether. These results suggest that Nif is required for generating the premotor drive for song. Permanent Nif lesions, in contrast, have only transient effects on vocal production, with song recovering within a day. The sensorimotor nucleus Nif thus produces a premotor drive to the motor pathway that is acutely required for generating learned vocalizations, but once permanently removed, the song system can compensate for its absence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1213-1225, 2016.

  1. Comparative gene expression analysis among vocal learners (Bengalese finch and budgerigar and non-learners (quail and ring dove reveals variable cadherin expressions in the vocal system

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    Eiji eMatsunaga

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Birds use various vocalizations to communicate with one another, and some are acquired through learning. So far, three families of birds (songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds have been identified as having vocal learning ability. Previously, we found that cadherins, a large family of cell-adhesion molecules, show vocal control-area-related expression in a songbird, the Bengalese finch. To investigate the molecular basis of evolution in avian species, we conducted comparative analysis of cadherin expressions in the vocal and other neural systems among vocal learners (Bengalese finch and budgerigar and a non-learner (quail and ring dove. The gene expression analysis revealed that cadherin expressions were more variable in vocal and auditory areas compared to vocally unrelated areas such as the visual areas among these species. Thus, it appears that such diverse cadherin expressions might have been related to generating species diversity in vocal behavior during the evolution of avian vocal learning. 

  2. Vocal learning is constrained by the statistics of sensorimotor experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sober, Samuel J; Brainard, Michael S

    2012-12-18

    The brain uses sensory feedback to correct behavioral errors. Larger errors by definition require greater corrections, and many models of learning assume that larger sensory feedback errors drive larger motor changes. However, an alternative perspective is that larger errors drive learning less effectively because such errors fall outside the range of errors normally experienced and are therefore unlikely to reflect accurate feedback. This is especially crucial in vocal control because auditory feedback can be contaminated by environmental noise or sensory processing errors. A successful control strategy must therefore rely on feedback to correct errors while disregarding aberrant auditory signals that would lead to maladaptive vocal corrections. We hypothesized that these constraints result in compensation that is greatest for smaller imposed errors and least for larger errors. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated the pitch of auditory feedback in singing Bengalese finches. We found that learning driven by larger sensory errors was both slower than that resulting from smaller errors and showed less complete compensation for the imposed error. Additionally, we found that a simple principle could account for these data: the amount of compensation was proportional to the overlap between the baseline distribution of pitch production and the distribution experienced during the shift. Correspondingly, the fraction of compensation approached zero when pitch was shifted outside of the song's baseline pitch distribution. Our data demonstrate that sensory errors drive learning best when they fall within the range of production variability, suggesting that learning is constrained by the statistics of sensorimotor experience.

  3. Evolution and diversity in avian vocal system: an Evo-Devo model from the morphological and behavioral perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Eiji; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2009-04-01

    Birds use various vocalizations to mark their territory and attract mates. Three groups of birds (songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds) learn their vocalizations through imitation. In the brain of such vocal learners, there is a neural network called the song system specialized for vocal learning and production. In contrast, birds such as chickens and pigeons do not have such a neural network and can only produce innate sounds. Since each avian species shows distinct, genetically inherited vocal learning abilities that are related to its morphology, the avian vocal system is a good model for studying the evolution of functional neural circuits. Nevertheless, studies on avian vocalization from an evolutionary developmental-biological (Evo-Devo) perspective are scant. In the present review, we summarize the results of songbird studies and our recent work that used the Evo-Devo approach to understand the evolution of the avian vocal system.

  4. Vocal Learning in Grey Parrots: A Brief Review of Perception, Production, and Cross-Species Comparisons

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    Pepperberg, Irene M.

    2010-01-01

    This chapter briefly reviews what is known-and what remains to be understood--about Grey parrot vocal learning. I review Greys' physical capacities--issues of auditory perception and production--then discuss how these capacities are used in vocal learning and can be recruited for referential communication with humans. I discuss cross-species…

  5. Comparative analysis of mineralocorticoid receptor expression among vocal learners (Bengalese finch and budgerigar) and non-vocal learners (quail and ring dove) has implications for the evolution of avian vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Eiji; Suzuki, Kenta; Kobayashi, Tetsuya; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2011-12-01

    Mineralocorticoid receptor is the receptor for corticosteroids such as corticosterone or aldosterone. Previously, we found that mineralocorticoid receptor was highly expressed in song nuclei of a songbird, Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica). Here, to examine the relationship between mineralocorticoid receptor expression and avian vocal learning, we analyzed mineralocorticoid receptor expression in the developing brain of another vocal learner, budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) and non-vocal learners, quail (Coturnix japonica) and ring dove (Streptopelia capicola). Mineralocorticoid receptor showed vocal control area-related expressions in budgerigars as Bengalese finches, whereas no such mineralocorticoid receptor expressions were seen in the telencephalon of non-vocal learners. Thus, these results suggest the possibility that mineralocorticoid receptor plays a role in vocal development of parrots as songbirds and that the acquisition of mineralocorticoid receptor expression is involved in the evolution of avian vocal learning.

  6. A hypothesis on improving foreign accents by optimizing variability in vocal learning brain circuits.

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    Simmonds, Anna J

    2015-01-01

    Rapid vocal motor learning is observed when acquiring a language in early childhood, or learning to speak another language later in life. Accurate pronunciation is one of the hardest things for late learners to master and they are almost always left with a non-native accent. Here, I propose a novel hypothesis that this accent could be improved by optimizing variability in vocal learning brain circuits during learning. Much of the neurobiology of human vocal motor learning has been inferred from studies on songbirds. Jarvis (2004) proposed the hypothesis that as in songbirds there are two pathways in humans: one for learning speech (the striatal vocal learning pathway), and one for production of previously learnt speech (the motor pathway). Learning new motor sequences necessary for accurate non-native pronunciation is challenging and I argue that in late learners of a foreign language the vocal learning pathway becomes inactive prematurely. The motor pathway is engaged once again and learners maintain their original native motor patterns for producing speech, resulting in speaking with a foreign accent. Further, I argue that variability in neural activity within vocal motor circuitry generates vocal variability that supports accurate non-native pronunciation. Recent theoretical and experimental work on motor learning suggests that variability in the motor movement is necessary for the development of expertise. I propose that there is little trial-by-trial variability when using the motor pathway. When using the vocal learning pathway variability gradually increases, reflecting an exploratory phase in which learners try out different ways of pronouncing words, before decreasing and stabilizing once the "best" performance has been identified. The hypothesis proposed here could be tested using behavioral interventions that optimize variability and engage the vocal learning pathway for longer, with the prediction that this would allow learners to develop new motor

  7. A hypothesis on improving foreign accents by optimizing variability in vocal learning brain circuits

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    Anna J Simmonds

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Rapid vocal motor learning is observed when acquiring a language in early childhood, or learning to speak another language later in life. Accurate pronunciation is one of the hardest things for late learners to master and they are almost always left with a non-native accent. Here I propose a novel hypothesis that this accent could be improved by optimizing variability in vocal learning brain circuits during learning. Much of the neurobiology of human vocal motor learning has been inferred from studies on songbirds. Jarvis (2004 proposed the hypothesis that as in songbirds there are two pathways in humans: one for learning speech (the striatal vocal learning pathway, and one for production of previously learnt speech (the motor pathway. Learning new motor sequences necessary for accurate non-native pronunciation is challenging and I argue that in late learners of a foreign language the vocal learning pathway becomes inactive prematurely. The motor pathway is engaged once again and learners maintain their original native motor patterns for producing speech, resulting in speaking with a foreign accent. Further, I argue that variability in neural activity within vocal motor circuitry generates vocal variability that supports accurate non-native pronunciation. Recent theoretical and experimental work on motor learning suggests that variability in the motor movement is necessary for the development of expertise. I propose that there is little trial-by-trial variability when using the motor pathway. When using the vocal learning pathway variability gradually increases, reflecting an exploratory phase in which learners try out different ways of pronouncing words, before decreasing and stabilizing once the ‘best’ performance has been identified. The hypothesis proposed here could be tested using behavioral interventions that optimize variability and engage the vocal learning pathway for longer, with the prediction that this would allow learners to

  8. At the interface of the auditory and vocal motor systems: NIf and its role in vocal processing, production and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowski, Brian; Vyssotski, Alexei; Hahnloser, Richard H R; Schmidt, Marc

    2013-06-01

    Communication between auditory and vocal motor nuclei is essential for vocal learning. In songbirds, the nucleus interfacialis of the nidopallium (NIf) is part of a sensorimotor loop, along with auditory nucleus avalanche (Av) and song system nucleus HVC, that links the auditory and song systems. Most of the auditory information comes through this sensorimotor loop, with the projection from NIf to HVC representing the largest single source of auditory information to the song system. In addition to providing the majority of HVC's auditory input, NIf is also the primary driver of spontaneous activity and premotor-like bursting during sleep in HVC. Like HVC and RA, two nuclei critical for song learning and production, NIf exhibits behavioral-state dependent auditory responses and strong motor bursts that precede song output. NIf also exhibits extended periods of fast gamma oscillations following vocal production. Based on the converging evidence from studies of physiology and functional connectivity it would be reasonable to expect NIf to play an important role in the learning, maintenance, and production of song. Surprisingly, however, lesions of NIf in adult zebra finches have no effect on song production or maintenance. Only the plastic song produced by juvenile zebra finches during the sensorimotor phase of song learning is affected by NIf lesions. In this review, we carefully examine what is known about NIf at the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral levels. We reexamine conclusions drawn from previous studies in the light of our current understanding of the song system, and establish what can be said with certainty about NIf's involvement in song learning, maintenance, and production. Finally, we review recent theories of song learning integrating possible roles for NIf within these frameworks and suggest possible parallels between NIf and sensorimotor areas that form part of the neural circuitry for speech processing in humans.

  9. Vocal tract articulation revisited: the case of the monk parakeet.

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    Ohms, Verena R; Beckers, Gabriël J L; ten Cate, Carel; Suthers, Roderick A

    2012-01-01

    Birdsong and human speech share many features with respect to vocal learning and development. However, the vocal production mechanisms have long been considered to be distinct. The vocal organ of songbirds is more complex than the human larynx, leading to the hypothesis that vocal variation in birdsong originates mainly at the sound source, while in humans it is primarily due to vocal tract filtering. However, several recent studies have indicated the importance of vocal tract articulators such as the beak and oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity. In contrast to most other bird groups, parrots have a prominent tongue, raising the possibility that tongue movements may also be of significant importance in vocal production in parrots, but evidence is rare and observations often anecdotal. In the current study we used X-ray cinematographic imaging of naturally vocalizing monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) to assess which articulators are possibly involved in vocal tract filtering in this species. We observed prominent tongue height changes, beak opening movements and tracheal length changes, which suggests that all of these components play an important role in modulating vocal tract resonance. Moreover, the observation of tracheal shortening as a vocal articulator in live birds has to our knowledge not been described before. We also found strong positive correlations between beak opening and amplitude as well as changes in tongue height and amplitude in several types of vocalization. Our results suggest considerable differences between parrot and songbird vocal production while at the same time the parrot's vocal articulation might more closely resemble human speech production in the sense that both make extensive use of the tongue as a vocal articulator.

  10. Vocal coordination and vocal imitation: a role for mirror neurons?

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    Newman, John D

    2014-04-01

    Some birds and mammals have vocal communication systems in which coordination between individuals is important. Examples would include duetting or antiphonal calling in some birds and mammals, rapid exchanges of the same vocalization, and vocal exchanges between paired individuals and other nearby pairs. Mirror neurons may play a role in such systems but become functional only after experience.

  11. Vocalic and consonantal processing biases in early word-learning: Cross-language differences?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    Previous research showed that French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds could learn pairs of words that differed by a single consonantal but not vocalic feature. Danish has a richer vowel inventory than French, allowing for 31 phonological vowel contrasts, including vowel length and presence/absence o...

  12. Convergent differential regulation of SLIT-ROBO axon guidance genes in the brains of vocal learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Chen, Chun-Chun; Hara, Erina; Rivas, Miriam V; Roulhac, Petra L; Howard, Jason T; Chakraborty, Mukta; Audet, Jean-Nicolas; Jarvis, Erich D

    2015-04-15

    Only a few distantly related mammals and birds have the trait of complex vocal learning, which is the ability to imitate novel sounds. This ability is critical for speech acquisition and production in humans, and is attributed to specialized forebrain vocal control circuits that have several unique connections relative to adjacent brain circuits. As a result, it has been hypothesized that there could exist convergent changes in genes involved in neural connectivity of vocal learning circuits. In support of this hypothesis, expanding on our related study (Pfenning et al. [2014] Science 346: 1256846), here we show that the forebrain part of this circuit that makes a relatively rare direct connection to brainstem vocal motor neurons in independent lineages of vocal learning birds (songbird, parrot, and hummingbird) has specialized regulation of axon guidance genes from the SLIT-ROBO molecular pathway. The SLIT1 ligand was differentially downregulated in the motor song output nucleus that makes the direct projection, whereas its receptor ROBO1 was developmentally upregulated during critical periods for vocal learning. Vocal nonlearning bird species and male mice, which have much more limited vocal plasticity and associated circuits, did not show comparable specialized regulation of SLIT-ROBO genes in their nonvocal motor cortical regions. These findings are consistent with SLIT and ROBO gene dysfunctions associated with autism, dyslexia, and speech sound language disorders and suggest that convergent evolution of vocal learning was associated with convergent changes in the SLIT-ROBO axon guidance pathway.

  13. Vocal turn-taking in a non-human primate is learned during ontogeny.

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    Chow, Cecilia P; Mitchell, Jude F; Miller, Cory T

    2015-05-22

    Conversational turn-taking is an integral part of language development, as it reflects a confluence of social factors that mitigate communication. Humans coordinate the timing of speech based on the behaviour of another speaker, a behaviour that is learned during infancy. While adults in several primate species engage in vocal turn-taking, the degree to which similar learning processes underlie its development in these non-human species or are unique to language is not clear. We recorded the natural vocal interactions of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) occurring with both their sibling twins and parents over the first year of life and observed at least two parallels with language development. First, marmoset turn-taking is a learned vocal behaviour. Second, marmoset parents potentially played a direct role in guiding the development of turn-taking by providing feedback to their offspring when errors occurred during vocal interactions similarly to what has been observed in humans. Though species-differences are also evident, these findings suggest that similar learning mechanisms may be implemented in the ontogeny of vocal turn-taking across our Order, a finding that has important implications for our understanding of language evolution. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Machine Learning Algorithms for Automatic Classification of Marmoset Vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Sidarta; Pereira, Danillo R.; Papa, João P.; de Albuquerque, Victor Hugo C.

    2016-01-01

    Automatic classification of vocalization type could potentially become a useful tool for acoustic the monitoring of captive colonies of highly vocal primates. However, for classification to be useful in practice, a reliable algorithm that can be successfully trained on small datasets is necessary. In this work, we consider seven different classification algorithms with the goal of finding a robust classifier that can be successfully trained on small datasets. We found good classification performance (accuracy > 0.83 and F1-score > 0.84) using the Optimum Path Forest classifier. Dataset and algorithms are made publicly available. PMID:27654941

  15. Booming far: the long-range vocal strategy of a lekking bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornec, C; Hingrat, Y; Aubin, T; Rybak, F

    2017-08-01

    The pressures of selection acting on transmission of information by acoustic signals are particularly high in long-distance communication networks. Males of the North African houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata undulata) produce extremely low-frequency vocalizations called 'booms' as a component of their courtship displays. These displays are performed on sites separated by a distance of on average 550 m, constituting exploded leks. Here, we investigate the acoustic features of booms involved in species-specific identity. We first assessed the modifications of acoustic parameters during boom transmission at long range within the natural habitat of the species, finding that the frequency content of booms was reliably transmitted up to 600 m. Additionally, by testing males' behavioural responses to playbacks of modified signals, we found that the presence of the second harmonic and the frequency modulation are the key parameters for species identification, and also that a sequence of booms elicited stronger responses than a single boom. Thus, the coding-decoding process relies on redundant and propagation-resistant features, making the booms particularly well adapted for the long-range transmission of information between males. Moreover, by experimentally disentangling the presentation of visual and acoustic signals, we showed that during the booming phase of courtship, the two sensory modalities act in synergy. The acoustic component is dominant in the context of intra-sexual competition. While the visual component is not necessary to induce agonistic response, it acts as an amplifier and reduces the time of detection of the signaller. The utilization of these adaptive strategies allows houbara males to maximize the active space of vocalizations emitted in exploded leks.

  16. Revisiting the syntactic abilities of non-human animals: natural vocalizations and artificial grammar learning.

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    ten Cate, Carel; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2012-07-19

    The domain of syntax is seen as the core of the language faculty and as the most critical difference between animal vocalizations and language. We review evidence from spontaneously produced vocalizations as well as from perceptual experiments using artificial grammars to analyse animal syntactic abilities, i.e. abilities to produce and perceive patterns following abstract rules. Animal vocalizations consist of vocal units (elements) that are combined in a species-specific way to create higher order strings that in turn can be produced in different patterns. While these patterns differ between species, they have in common that they are no more complex than a probabilistic finite-state grammar. Experiments on the perception of artificial grammars confirm that animals can generalize and categorize vocal strings based on phonetic features. They also demonstrate that animals can learn about the co-occurrence of elements or learn simple 'rules' like attending to reduplications of units. However, these experiments do not provide strong evidence for an ability to detect abstract rules or rules beyond finite-state grammars. Nevertheless, considering the rather limited number of experiments and the difficulty to design experiments that unequivocally demonstrate more complex rule learning, the question of what animals are able to do remains open.

  17. Vocal tract articulation in zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena R Ohms

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Birdsong and human vocal communication are both complex behaviours which show striking similarities mainly thought to be present in the area of development and learning. Recent studies, however, suggest that there are also parallels in vocal production mechanisms. While it has been long thought that vocal tract filtering, as it occurs in human speech, only plays a minor role in birdsong there is an increasing number of studies indicating the presence of sound filtering mechanisms in bird vocalizations as well. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Correlating high-speed X-ray cinematographic imaging of singing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to song structures we identified beak gape and the expansion of the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity (OEC as potential articulators. We subsequently manipulated both structures in an experiment in which we played sound through the vocal tract of dead birds. Comparing acoustic input with acoustic output showed that OEC expansion causes an energy shift towards lower frequencies and an amplitude increase whereas a wide beak gape emphasizes frequencies around 5 kilohertz and above. CONCLUSION: These findings confirm that birds can modulate their song by using vocal tract filtering and demonstrate how OEC and beak gape contribute to this modulation.

  18. The response of the anterior striatum during adult human vocal learning.

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    Simmonds, Anna J; Leech, Robert; Iverson, Paul; Wise, Richard J S

    2014-08-15

    Research on mammals predicts that the anterior striatum is a central component of human motor learning. However, because vocalizations in most mammals are innate, much of the neurobiology of human vocal learning has been inferred from studies on songbirds. Essential for song learning is a pathway, the homolog of mammalian cortical-basal ganglia "loops," which includes the avian striatum. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated adult human vocal learning, a skill that persists throughout life, albeit imperfectly given that late-acquired languages are spoken with an accent. Monolingual adult participants were scanned while repeating novel non-native words. After training on the pronunciation of half the words for 1 wk, participants underwent a second scan. During scanning there was no external feedback on performance. Activity declined sharply in left and right anterior striatum, both within and between scanning sessions, and this change was independent of training and performance. This indicates that adult speakers rapidly adapt to the novel articulatory movements, possibly by using motor sequences from their native speech to approximate those required for the novel speech sounds. Improved accuracy correlated only with activity in motor-sensory perisylvian cortex. We propose that future studies on vocal learning, using different behavioral and pharmacological manipulations, will provide insights into adult striatal plasticity and its potential for modification in both educational and clinical contexts.

  19. The Origins of Vocal Learning: New Sounds, New Circuits, New Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nottebohm, Fernando; Liu, Wan-Chun

    2010-01-01

    We do not know how vocal learning came to be, but it is such a salient trait in human evolution that many have tried to imagine it. In primates this is difficult because we are the only species known to possess this skill. Songbirds provide a richer and independent set of data. I use comparative data and ask broad questions: How does vocal…

  20. Learning-related neuronal activation in the zebra finch song system nucleus HVC in response to the bird's own song.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan J Bolhuis

    Full Text Available Like many other songbird species, male zebra finches learn their song from a tutor early in life. Song learning in birds has strong parallels with speech acquisition in human infants at both the behavioral and neural levels. Forebrain nuclei in the 'song system' are important for the sensorimotor acquisition and production of song, while caudomedial pallial brain regions outside the song system are thought to contain the neural substrate of tutor song memory. Here, we exposed three groups of adult zebra finch males to either tutor song, to their own song, or to novel conspecific song. Expression of the immediate early gene protein product Zenk was measured in the song system nuclei HVC, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA and Area X. There were no significant differences in overall Zenk expression between the three groups. However, Zenk expression in the HVC was significantly positively correlated with the strength of song learning only in the group that was exposed to the bird's own song, not in the other two groups. These results suggest that the song system nucleus HVC may contain a neural representation of a memory of the bird's own song. Such a representation may be formed during juvenile song learning and guide the bird's vocal output.

  1. The learning advantage: bird species that learn their song show a tighter adjustment of song to noisy environments than those that do not learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ríos-Chelén, Alejandro Ariel; Salaberria, C; Barbosa, I; Macías Garcia, C; Gil, D

    2012-11-01

    Song learning has evolved within several avian groups. Although its evolutionary advantage is not clear, it has been proposed that song learning may be advantageous in allowing birds to adapt their songs to the local acoustic environment. To test this hypothesis, we analysed patterns of song adjustment to noisy environments and explored their possible link to song learning. Bird vocalizations can be masked by low-frequency noise, and birds respond to this by singing higher-pitched songs. Most reports of this strategy involve oscines, a group of birds with learning-based song variability, and it is doubtful whether species that lack song learning (e.g. suboscines) can adjust their songs to noisy environments. We address this question by comparing the degree of song adjustment to noise in a large sample of oscines (17 populations, 14 species) and suboscines (11 populations, 7 species), recorded in Brazil (Manaus, Brasilia and Curitiba) and Mexico City. We found a significantly stronger association between minimum song frequency and noise levels (effect size) in oscines than in suboscines, suggesting a tighter match in oscines between song transmission capacity and ambient acoustics. Suboscines may be more vulnerable to acoustic pollution than oscines and thus less capable of colonizing cities or acoustically novel habitats. Additionally, we found that species whose song frequency was more divergent between populations showed tighter noise-song frequency associations. Our results suggest that song learning and/or song plasticity allows adaptation to new habitats and that this selective advantage may be linked to the evolution of song learning and plasticity.

  2. Vocal learning of a communicative signal in captive chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Jamie L; McIntyre, Joseph M; Hopkins, William D; Taglialatela, Jared P

    2013-12-01

    We hypothesized that chimpanzees could learn to produce attention-getting (AG) sounds via positive reinforcement. We conducted a vocal assessment in 76 captive chimpanzees for their use of AG sounds to acquire the attention of an otherwise inattentive human. Fourteen individuals that did not produce AG sounds during the vocal assessment were evaluated for their ability to acquire the use of an AG sound through operant conditioning and to employ these sounds in an attention-getting context. Nine of the 14 chimpanzees were successfully shaped using positive reinforcement to produce an AG sound. In a post-training vocal assessment, eight of the nine individuals that were successfully trained to produce AG sounds generalized the use of these newly acquired signals to communicatively relevant situations. Chimpanzees possess the ability to acquire the use of a communicative signal via operant conditioning and can generalize the use of this newly acquired signal to appropriate communicative contexts.

  3. Evaluating theories of bird song learning: implications for future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margoliash, D

    2002-12-01

    Studies of birdsong learning have stimulated extensive hypotheses at all levels of behavioral and physiological organization. This hypothesis building is valuable for the field and is consistent with the remarkable range of issues that can be rigorously addressed in this system. The traditional instructional (template) theory of song learning has been challenged on multiple fronts, especially at a behavioral level by evidence consistent with selectional hypotheses. In this review I highlight the caveats associated with these theories to better define the limits of our knowledge and identify important experiments for the future. The sites and representational forms of the various conceptual entities posited by the template theory are unknown. The distinction between instruction and selection in vocal learning is not well established at a mechanistic level. There is as yet insufficient neurophysiological data to choose between competing mechanisms of error-driven learning and reinforcement learning. Both may obtain for vocal learning. The possible role of sleep in acoustic or procedural memory consolidation, while supported by some physiological observations, does not yet have support in the behavioral literature. The remarkable expansion of knowledge in the past 20 years and the recent development of new technologies for physiological and behavioral experiments should permit direct tests of these theories in the coming decade.

  4. A learning program that ensures prompt and versatile vocal imitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wan-Chun; Nottebohm, Fernando

    2007-12-18

    Here we show how a migratory songbird, the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), achieves prompt and precise vocal imitation. Juvenile chipping sparrow males develop five to seven potential precursor songs; the normal development of these songs requires intact hearing but not imitation from external models. The potential precursor songs conform with general species-typical song parameters but differ from the song of wild, adult territorial males. As chipping sparrow males return from migration to start their first breeding season, they settle close to an older adult. The young male then stops producing all but one of its precursor songs, retaining the one that most resembles that of its neighbor. This single song then becomes more variable and, in a matter of days, is altered to closely match the neighbor's song. This elegant solution ensures species specificity and promptness of imitation.

  5. Vocal copying of individually distinctive signature whistles in bottlenose dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephanie L.; Sayigh, Laela S.; Wells, Randall S.; Fellner, Wendi; Janik, Vincent M.

    2013-01-01

    Vocal learning is relatively common in birds but less so in mammals. Sexual selection and individual or group recognition have been identified as major forces in its evolution. While important in the development of vocal displays, vocal learning also allows signal copying in social interactions. Such copying can function in addressing or labelling selected conspecifics. Most examples of addressing in non-humans come from bird song, where matching occurs in an aggressive context. However, in other animals, addressing with learned signals is very much an affiliative signal. We studied the function of vocal copying in a mammal that shows vocal learning as well as complex cognitive and social behaviour, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Copying occurred almost exclusively between close associates such as mother–calf pairs and male alliances during separation and was not followed by aggression. All copies were clearly recognizable as such because copiers consistently modified some acoustic parameters of a signal when copying it. We found no evidence for the use of copying in aggression or deception. This use of vocal copying is similar to its use in human language, where the maintenance of social bonds appears to be more important than the immediate defence of resources. PMID:23427174

  6. Distribution of language-related Cntnap2 protein in neural circuits critical for vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condro, Michael C; White, Stephanie A

    2014-01-01

    Variants of the contactin associated protein-like 2 (Cntnap2) gene are risk factors for language-related disorders including autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment, and stuttering. Songbirds are useful models for study of human speech disorders due to their shared capacity for vocal learning, which relies on similar cortico-basal ganglia circuitry and genetic factors. Here we investigate Cntnap2 protein expression in the brain of the zebra finch, a songbird species in which males, but not females, learn their courtship songs. We hypothesize that Cntnap2 has overlapping functions in vocal learning species, and expect to find protein expression in song-related areas of the zebra finch brain. We further expect that the distribution of this membrane-bound protein may not completely mirror its mRNA distribution due to the distinct subcellular localization of the two molecular species. We find that Cntnap2 protein is enriched in several song control regions relative to surrounding tissues, particularly within the adult male, but not female, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), a cortical song control region analogous to human layer 5 primary motor cortex. The onset of this sexually dimorphic expression coincides with the onset of sensorimotor learning in developing males. Enrichment in male RA appears due to expression in projection neurons within the nucleus, as well as to additional expression in nerve terminals of cortical projections to RA from the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium. Cntnap2 protein expression in zebra finch brain supports the hypothesis that this molecule affects neural connectivity critical for vocal learning across taxonomic classes. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. The speech and vocalization patterns of boys with ADHD compared with boys with dyslexia and boys without learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breznitz, Zvia

    2003-12-01

    This research study dealt with an inquiry into the speech and vocalization patterns of boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who were not under the influence of stimulating medication, compared with the speech and vocalization patterns of boys with reading disabilities and a control group of learners without learning disabilities. The voices of 105 participants were recorded during interviews and analyzed in the laboratory using equipment that examined the temporal speech patterns and physical features of vocalization. The speech patterns were examined with a frequency examination, speech unit length duration, and correlation between the vocalization and pauses in the speech unit. The physical features of vocalization were examined with volume and frequency scales. The research results indicated that the speech and vocalization patterns of boys with ADHD were significantly different from those of boys with reading disabilities and from the boys in the control group. The results support the assumption that speech and vocalization indicators can be used as objective indicators for the diagnosis of hyperactivity syndrome with attention and concentration difficulties.

  8. Convergent differential regulation of parvalbumin in the brains of vocal learners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erina Hara

    Full Text Available Spoken language and learned song are complex communication behaviors found in only a few species, including humans and three groups of distantly related birds--songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds. Despite their large phylogenetic distances, these vocal learners show convergent behaviors and associated brain pathways for vocal communication. However, it is not clear whether this behavioral and anatomical convergence is associated with molecular convergence. Here we used oligo microarrays to screen for genes differentially regulated in brain nuclei necessary for producing learned vocalizations relative to adjacent brain areas that control other behaviors in avian vocal learners versus vocal non-learners. A top candidate gene in our screen was a calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV. In situ hybridization verification revealed that PV was expressed significantly higher throughout the song motor pathway, including brainstem vocal motor neurons relative to the surrounding brain regions of all distantly related avian vocal learners. This differential expression was specific to PV and vocal learners, as it was not found in avian vocal non-learners nor for control genes in learners and non-learners. Similar to the vocal learning birds, higher PV up-regulation was found in the brainstem tongue motor neurons used for speech production in humans relative to a non-human primate, macaques. These results suggest repeated convergent evolution of differential PV up-regulation in the brains of vocal learners separated by more than 65-300 million years from a common ancestor and that the specialized behaviors of learned song and speech may require extra calcium buffering and signaling.

  9. Convergent differential regulation of parvalbumin in the brains of vocal learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Erina; Rivas, Miriam V; Ward, James M; Okanoya, Kazuo; Jarvis, Erich D

    2012-01-01

    Spoken language and learned song are complex communication behaviors found in only a few species, including humans and three groups of distantly related birds--songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds. Despite their large phylogenetic distances, these vocal learners show convergent behaviors and associated brain pathways for vocal communication. However, it is not clear whether this behavioral and anatomical convergence is associated with molecular convergence. Here we used oligo microarrays to screen for genes differentially regulated in brain nuclei necessary for producing learned vocalizations relative to adjacent brain areas that control other behaviors in avian vocal learners versus vocal non-learners. A top candidate gene in our screen was a calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV). In situ hybridization verification revealed that PV was expressed significantly higher throughout the song motor pathway, including brainstem vocal motor neurons relative to the surrounding brain regions of all distantly related avian vocal learners. This differential expression was specific to PV and vocal learners, as it was not found in avian vocal non-learners nor for control genes in learners and non-learners. Similar to the vocal learning birds, higher PV up-regulation was found in the brainstem tongue motor neurons used for speech production in humans relative to a non-human primate, macaques. These results suggest repeated convergent evolution of differential PV up-regulation in the brains of vocal learners separated by more than 65-300 million years from a common ancestor and that the specialized behaviors of learned song and speech may require extra calcium buffering and signaling.

  10. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and vocal tract: Applications to the study of speech production and language learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Daniel; McGettigan, Carolyn

    2017-04-01

    The human vocal system is highly plastic, allowing for the flexible expression of language, mood and intentions. However, this plasticity is not stable throughout the life span, and it is well documented that adult learners encounter greater difficulty than children in acquiring the sounds of foreign languages. Researchers have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to interrogate the neural substrates of vocal imitation and learning, and the correlates of individual differences in phonetic "talent". In parallel, a growing body of work using MR technology to directly image the vocal tract in real time during speech has offered primarily descriptive accounts of phonetic variation within and across languages. In this paper, we review the contribution of neural MRI to our understanding of vocal learning, and give an overview of vocal tract imaging and its potential to inform the field. We propose methods by which our understanding of speech production and learning could be advanced through the combined measurement of articulation and brain activity using MRI - specifically, we describe a novel paradigm, developed in our laboratory, that uses both MRI techniques to for the first time map directly between neural, articulatory and acoustic data in the investigation of vocalisation. This non-invasive, multimodal imaging method could be used to track central and peripheral correlates of spoken language learning, and speech recovery in clinical settings, as well as provide insights into potential sites for targeted neural interventions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Let the music play! A short-term but no long-term detrimental effect of vocal background music with familiar language lyrics on foreign language vocabulary learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, A.M.B.; Smedinga, H.E.

    2014-01-01

    Participants learned foreign vocabulary by means of the paired-associates learning procedure in three conditions: (a) in silence, (b) with vocal music with lyrics in a familiar language playing in the background, or (c) with vocal music with lyrics in an unfamiliar language playing in the

  12. Let the music play! A short-term but no long-term detrimental effect of vocal background music with familiar language lyrics on foreign language vocabulary learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, A.M.B.; Smedinga, H.E.

    2014-01-01

    Participants learned foreign vocabulary by means of the paired-associates learning procedure in three conditions: (a) in silence, (b) with vocal music with lyrics in a familiar language playing in the background, or (c) with vocal music with lyrics in an unfamiliar language playing in the background

  13. Wild birds learn to eavesdrop on heterospecific alarm calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magrath, Robert D; Haff, Tonya M; McLachlan, Jessica R; Igic, Branislav

    2015-08-01

    Many vertebrates gain critical information about danger by eavesdropping on other species' alarm calls [1], providing an excellent context in which to study information flow among species in animal communities [2-4]. A fundamental but unresolved question is how individuals recognize other species' alarm calls. Although individuals respond to heterospecific calls that are acoustically similar to their own, alarms vary greatly among species, and eavesdropping probably also requires learning [1]. Surprisingly, however, we lack studies demonstrating such learning. Here, we show experimentally that individual wild superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, can learn to recognize previously unfamiliar alarm calls. We trained individuals by broadcasting unfamiliar sounds while simultaneously presenting gliding predatory birds. Fairy-wrens in the experiment originally ignored these sounds, but most fled in response to the sounds after two days' training. The learned response was not due to increased responsiveness in general or to sensitization following repeated exposure and was independent of sound structure. Learning can therefore help explain the taxonomic diversity of eavesdropping and the refining of behavior to suit the local community. In combination with previous work on unfamiliar predator recognition (e.g., [5]), our results imply rapid spread of anti-predator behavior within wild populations and suggest methods for training captive-bred animals before release into the wild [6]. A remaining challenge is to assess the importance and consequences of direct association of unfamiliar sounds with predators, compared with social learning-such as associating unfamiliar sounds with conspecific alarms.

  14. Let the music play! A short-term but no long-term detrimental effect of vocal background music with familiar language lyrics on foreign language vocabulary learning

    OpenAIRE

    de Groot, A.M.B.; Smedinga, H.E.

    2014-01-01

    Participants learned foreign vocabulary by means of the paired-associates learning procedure in three conditions: (a) in silence, (b) with vocal music with lyrics in a familiar language playing in the background, or (c) with vocal music with lyrics in an unfamiliar language playing in the background. The vocabulary to learn varied in concreteness (concrete vs. abstract) and phonological typicality of the foreign words’ forms (typical vs. atypical). When tested during and immediately after tra...

  15. Developmental stress affects song learning but not song complexity and vocal amplitude in zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumm, Henrik; Zollinger, Sue Anne; Slater, Peter J B

    2009-07-01

    Several recent studies have tested the hypothesis that song quality in adult birds may reflect early developmental conditions, specifically nutritional stress during the nestling period. Whilst all of these earlier studies found apparent links between early nutritional stress and song quality, their results disagree as to which aspects of song learning or production were affected. In this study, we attempted to reconcile these apparently inconsistent results. Our study also provides the first assessment of song amplitude in relation to early developmental stress and as a potential cue to male quality. We used an experimental manipulation in which the seeds on which the birds were reared were mixed with husks, making them more difficult for the parents to obtain. Compared with controls, such chicks were lighter at fledging; they were thereafter placed on a normal diet and had caught up by 100 days. We show that nutritional stress during the first 30 days of life reduced the birds' accuracy of song syntax learning, resulting in poorer copies of tutor songs. Our experimental manipulations did not lead to significant changes in song amplitude, song duration or repertoire size. Thus, individual differences observed in song performance features probably reflect differences in current condition or motivation rather than past condition.

  16. Superfast vocal muscles control song production in songbirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coen P H Elemans

    Full Text Available Birdsong is a widely used model for vocal learning and human speech, which exhibits high temporal and acoustic diversity. Rapid acoustic modulations are thought to arise from the vocal organ, the syrinx, by passive interactions between the two independent sound generators or intrinsic nonlinear dynamics of sound generating structures. Additionally, direct neuromuscular control could produce such rapid and precisely timed acoustic features if syringeal muscles exhibit rare superfast muscle contractile kinetics. However, no direct evidence exists that avian vocal muscles can produce modulations at such high rates. Here, we show that 1 syringeal muscles are active in phase with sound modulations during song over 200 Hz, 2 direct stimulation of the muscles in situ produces sound modulations at the frequency observed during singing, and that 3 syringeal muscles produce mechanical work at the required frequencies and up to 250 Hz in vitro. The twitch kinematics of these so-called superfast muscles are the fastest measured in any vertebrate muscle. Superfast vocal muscles enable birds to directly control the generation of many observed rapid acoustic changes and to actuate the millisecond precision of neural activity into precise temporal vocal control. Furthermore, birds now join the list of vertebrate classes in which superfast muscle kinetics evolved independently for acoustic communication.

  17. Auditory Signal Processing in Communication: Perception and Performance of Vocal Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Jonathan F.

    2013-01-01

    Learning and maintaining the sounds we use in vocal communication require accurate perception of the sounds we hear performed by others and feedback-dependent imitation of those sounds to produce our own vocalizations. Understanding how the central nervous system integrates auditory and vocal-motor information to enable communication is a fundamental goal of systems neuroscience, and insights into the mechanisms of those processes will profoundly enhance clinical therapies for communication disorders. Gaining the high-resolution insight necessary to define the circuits and cellular mechanisms underlying human vocal communication is presently impractical. Songbirds are the best animal model of human speech, and this review highlights recent insights into the neural basis of auditory perception and feedback-dependent imitation in those animals. Neural correlates of song perception are present in auditory areas, and those correlates are preserved in the auditory responses of downstream neurons that are also active when the bird sings. Initial tests indicate that singing-related activity in those downstream neurons is associated with vocal-motor performance as opposed to the bird simply hearing itself sing. Therefore, action potentials related to auditory perception and action potentials related to vocal performance are co-localized in individual neurons. Conceptual models of song learning involve comparison of vocal commands and the associated auditory feedback to compute an error signal that is used to guide refinement of subsequent song performances, yet the sites of that comparison remain unknown. Convergence of sensory and motor activity onto individual neurons points to a possible mechanism through which auditory and vocal-motor signals may be linked to enable learning and maintenance of the sounds used in vocal communication. PMID:23827717

  18. On the phonetic and syntactic processing abilities of birds: from songs to speech and artificial grammars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Cate, Carel

    2014-10-01

    Like speech and language, the songs of many songbirds consist of learned, rapidly produced, structured sequences of distinct vocal units, originating from an interplay between experience and learning biases. Songs are species specific, but also show considerable within species variation in elements or element sequencing. This variation implies that birds possess mechanisms to identify, categorize and combine sounds. I review the abilities for speech sound perception and categorization, as well as for grammatical rule learning by birds. Speech sound perception in birds is in many ways comparable to human speech perception. Birds can also detect and generalize patterns underlying artificially arranged strings of vocal elements. However, there is a need for more comparative studies to examine the limits of their rule learning abilities and how they relate to those of humans.

  19. Learning About Bird Species on the Primary Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randler, Christoph

    2009-04-01

    Animal species identification is often emphasized as a basic prerequisite for an understanding of ecology because ecological interactions are based on interactions between species at least as it is taught on the school level. Therefore, training identification skills or using identification books seems a worthwhile task in biology education, and should already start on the primary level. On the primary level, however, complex interactions could not be taught but pupils are often interested in basic knowledge about species. We developed a hands-on, group-based and self-determined learning phase organized in workstations. About 138 pupils (2nd-4th graders) participated in this study. The two groups received an identification treatment with six different bird species. These were presented either as soft toys or as taxidermy specimen. Both groups scored similar prior and after the treatment (posttest 1) and with a delay of 6-8 weeks (posttest 2). More complex general linear modeling revealed a significant influence of prior knowledge, treatment and of grade (2nd, 3rd or 4th grade) on the first posttest while in the retention test gender differences emerged. We suggest that soft toys may be of equal value for teaching species identification on the primary level compared to natural taxidermic specimen, especially when considering pricing, insensitivity to handling, and contamination with agents used for preservation.

  20. Let the Music Play!--A Short-Term but No Long-Term Detrimental Effect of Vocal Background Music with Familiar Language Lyrics on Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot, Annette M. B.; Smedinga, Hilde E.

    2014-01-01

    Participants learned foreign vocabulary by means of the paired-associates learning procedure in three conditions: (a) in silence, (b) with vocal music with lyrics in a familiar language playing in the background, or (c) with vocal music with lyrics in an unfamiliar language playing in the background. The vocabulary to learn varied in concreteness…

  1. Let the Music Play!--A Short-Term but No Long-Term Detrimental Effect of Vocal Background Music with Familiar Language Lyrics on Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot, Annette M. B.; Smedinga, Hilde E.

    2014-01-01

    Participants learned foreign vocabulary by means of the paired-associates learning procedure in three conditions: (a) in silence, (b) with vocal music with lyrics in a familiar language playing in the background, or (c) with vocal music with lyrics in an unfamiliar language playing in the background. The vocabulary to learn varied in concreteness…

  2. Can a bird brain do phonology?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bridget D. Samuels

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available A number of recent studies have revealed correspondences between song- and language-related neural structures, pathways, and gene expression in humans and songbirds. Analyses of vocal learning, song structure, and the distribution of song elements have similarly revealed a remarkable number of shared characteristics with human speech. This article reviews recent developments in the understanding of these issues with reference to the phonological phenomena observed in human language. This investigation suggests that birds possess a host of abilities necessary for human phonological computation, as evidenced by behavioral, neuroanatomical, and molecular genetic studies. Vocal-learning birds therefore present an excellent model for studying some areas of human phonology, though differences in the primitives of song and language as well as the absence of a human-like morphosyntax make human phonology differ from birdsong phonology in crucial ways.

  3. Vocal tract filtering and sound radiation in a songbird

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nelson, Brian S; Beckers, Gabriël J L; Suthers, Roderick A

    2005-01-01

    .... Several studies have described the dynamics with which birds actively vary beak gape while singing and it has been hypothesized that birds vary beak gape as a mechanism for varying vocal tract resonances...

  4. Finding the beat: From socially coordinated vocalizations in songbirds to rhythmic entrainment in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Isaac Benichov

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Humans and oscine songbirds share the rare capacity for vocal learning. Songbirds have the ability to acquire songs and calls of various rhythms through imitation. In several species, birds can even coordinate the timing of their vocalizations with other individuals in duets that are synchronized with millisecond-accuracy. It is not known, however, if songbirds can perceive rhythms holistically nor if they are capable of spontaneous entrainment to complex rhythms, in a manner similar to humans. Here we review emerging evidence from studies of rhythm generation and vocal coordination across songbirds and humans. In particular, recently developed experimental methods have revealed neural mechanisms underlying the temporal structure of song and have allowed us to test birds’ abilities to predict the timing of rhythmic social signals. Surprisingly, zebra finches can readily learn to anticipate the calls of a vocal robot partner and alter the timing of their answers to avoid jamming, even in reference to complex rhythmic patterns. This capacity resembles, to some extent, human predictive motor response to an external beat. In songbirds, this is driven, at least in part, by the forebrain song system, which controls song timing and is essential for vocal learning. Building upon previous evidence for spontaneous entrainment in human and non-human vocal learners, we propose a comparative framework for future studies aimed at identifying shared mechanism of rhythm production and perception across songbirds and humans.

  5. Noradrenergic control of gene expression and long-term neuronal adaptation evoked by learned vocalizations in songbirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarciso A F Velho

    Full Text Available Norepinephrine (NE is thought to play important roles in the consolidation and retrieval of long-term memories, but its role in the processing and memorization of complex acoustic signals used for vocal communication has yet to be determined. We have used a combination of gene expression analysis, electrophysiological recordings and pharmacological manipulations in zebra finches to examine the role of noradrenergic transmission in the brain's response to birdsong, a learned vocal behavior that shares important features with human speech. We show that noradrenergic transmission is required for both the expression of activity-dependent genes and the long-term maintenance of stimulus-specific electrophysiological adaptation that are induced in central auditory neurons by stimulation with birdsong. Specifically, we show that the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM, an area directly involved in the auditory processing and memorization of birdsong, receives strong noradrenergic innervation. Song-responsive neurons in this area express α-adrenergic receptors and are in close proximity to noradrenergic terminals. We further show that local α-adrenergic antagonism interferes with song-induced gene expression, without affecting spontaneous or evoked electrophysiological activity, thus dissociating the molecular and electrophysiological responses to song. Moreover, α-adrenergic antagonism disrupts the maintenance but not the acquisition of the adapted physiological state. We suggest that the noradrenergic system regulates long-term changes in song-responsive neurons by modulating the gene expression response that is associated with the electrophysiological activation triggered by song. We also suggest that this mechanism may be an important contributor to long-term auditory memories of learned vocalizations.

  6. Mindfulness for Singers: The Effects of a Targeted Mindfulness Course on Learning Vocal Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czajkowski, Anne-Marie L.; Greasley, Alinka E.

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports the development and implementation of a unique Mindfulness for Singers (MfS) course designed to improve singers' vocal technique. Eight university students completed the intervention. Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) scores showed general improvement across all five facets of mindfulness. Qualitative results showed…

  7. Mindfulness for Singers: The Effects of a Targeted Mindfulness Course on Learning Vocal Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czajkowski, Anne-Marie L.; Greasley, Alinka E.

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports the development and implementation of a unique Mindfulness for Singers (MfS) course designed to improve singers' vocal technique. Eight university students completed the intervention. Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) scores showed general improvement across all five facets of mindfulness. Qualitative results showed…

  8. The roles of vocal and visual interactions in social learning zebra finches: A video playback experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D

    2016-12-30

    The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator.

  9. Dynamics of zebra finch and mockingbird vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimenser, Aylin

    Along with humans, whales, and bats, three groups of birds which include songbirds (oscines) such as the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) are the only creatures known to learn sounds by imitation. Numerous similarities between human and songbird vocalizations exist and, recently, it has been shown that Zebra Finch in particular possesses a gene, FoxP2, known to be involved in human language. This thesis investigates song development in Zebra Finches, as well as the temporal dynamics of song in Mockingbirds. Zebra Finches have long been the system of choice for studying vocal development, ontogeny, and complexity in birdsong. Physicists find them intriguing because the spectrally complex vocalizations of the Zebra Finch can exhibit sudden transitions to chaotic dynamics, period doubling & mode-locking phenomena. Mockingbirds, by contrast, provide an ideal system to examine the richness of an avian repertoire, since these musically versatile songbirds typically know upwards of 200 songs. To analyse birdsong data, we have developed a novel clustering algorithm that can be applied to the bird's syllables, tracing their dynamics back to the earliest stages of vocal development. To characterize birdsong we have used Fourier techniques, based upon multitaper spectral analysis, to optimally work around the constraints imposed by (Heisenberg's) time-frequency uncertainty principle. Furthermore, estimates that provide optimal compromise between frequency and temporal resolution have beautiful connections with solutions to the Helmholtz wave equation in prolate spheroidal coordinates. We have used this connection to provide firm foundation for certain heuristics used in the literature to compute associated spectral derivatives and supply a pedagogical account here in this thesis. They are of interest because spectral derivatives emphasize sudden changes in the dynamics of the underlying phenomenon, and often provide a nice way to visualize

  10. Can Birds Perceive Rhythmic Patterns? A Review and Experiments on a Songbird and a Parrot Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Cate, Carel; Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan

    2016-01-01

    While humans can easily entrain their behavior with the beat in music, this ability is rare among animals. Yet, comparative studies in non-human species are needed if we want to understand how and why this ability evolved. Entrainment requires two abilities: (1) recognizing the regularity in the auditory stimulus and (2) the ability to adjust the own motor output to the perceived pattern. It has been suggested that beat perception and entrainment are linked to the ability for vocal learning. The presence of some bird species showing beat induction, and also the existence of vocal learning as well as vocal non-learning bird taxa, make them relevant models for comparative research on rhythm perception and its link to vocal learning. Also, some bird vocalizations show strong regularity in rhythmic structure, suggesting that birds might perceive rhythmic structures. In this paper we review the available experimental evidence for the perception of regularity and rhythms by birds, like the ability to distinguish regular from irregular stimuli over tempo transformations and report data from new experiments. While some species show a limited ability to detect regularity, most evidence suggests that birds attend primarily to absolute and not relative timing of patterns and to local features of stimuli. We conclude that, apart from some large parrot species, there is limited evidence for beat and regularity perception among birds and that the link to vocal learning is unclear. We next report the new experiments in which zebra finches and budgerigars (both vocal learners) were first trained to distinguish a regular from an irregular pattern of beats and then tested on various tempo transformations of these stimuli. The results showed that both species reduced the discrimination after tempo transformations. This suggests that, as was found in earlier studies, they attended mainly to local temporal features of the stimuli, and not to their overall regularity. However, some

  11. Can Birds Perceive Rhythmic Patterns? A Review and Experiments on a Songbird and a Parrot Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ten Cate, Carel; Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan

    2016-01-01

    While humans can easily entrain their behavior with the beat in music, this ability is rare among animals. Yet, comparative studies in non-human species are needed if we want to understand how and why this ability evolved. Entrainment requires two abilities: (1) recognizing the regularity in the auditory stimulus and (2) the ability to adjust the own motor output to the perceived pattern. It has been suggested that beat perception and entrainment are linked to the ability for vocal learning. The presence of some bird species showing beat induction, and also the existence of vocal learning as well as vocal non-learning bird taxa, make them relevant models for comparative research on rhythm perception and its link to vocal learning. Also, some bird vocalizations show strong regularity in rhythmic structure, suggesting that birds might perceive rhythmic structures. In this paper we review the available experimental evidence for the perception of regularity and rhythms by birds, like the ability to distinguish regular from irregular stimuli over tempo transformations and report data from new experiments. While some species show a limited ability to detect regularity, most evidence suggests that birds attend primarily to absolute and not relative timing of patterns and to local features of stimuli. We conclude that, apart from some large parrot species, there is limited evidence for beat and regularity perception among birds and that the link to vocal learning is unclear. We next report the new experiments in which zebra finches and budgerigars (both vocal learners) were first trained to distinguish a regular from an irregular pattern of beats and then tested on various tempo transformations of these stimuli. The results showed that both species reduced the discrimination after tempo transformations. This suggests that, as was found in earlier studies, they attended mainly to local temporal features of the stimuli, and not to their overall regularity. However, some

  12. Can birds perceive rhythmic patterns? A review and experiments on a songbird and a parrot species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle eSpierings

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available While humans can easily entrain their behavior with the beat in music, this ability is rare among animals. Yet, comparative studies in non-human species are needed if we want to understand how and why this ability evolved. Entrainment requires two abilities: (1 recognizing the regularity in the auditory stimulus and (2 the ability to adjust the own motor output to the perceived pattern. It has been suggested that beat perception and entrainment are linked to the ability for vocal learning. The presence of some bird species showing beat induction, and also the existence of vocal learning as well as vocal non-learning bird taxa, make them relevant models for comparative research on rhythm perception and its link to vocal learning. Also, some bird vocalizations show strong regularity in rhythmic structure, suggesting that birds might perceive rhythmic structures. In this paper we review the available experimental evidence for the perception of regularity and rhythms by birds, like the ability to distinguish regular from irregular stimuli over tempo transformations and report data from new experiments. While some species show a limited ability to detect regularity, most evidence suggests that birds attend primarily to absolute and not relative timing of patterns and to local features of stimuli. We conclude that, apart from some large parrot species, there is limited evidence for beat and regularity perception among birds and that the link to vocal learning is unclear. We next report experiments in which zebra finches and budgerigars (both vocal learners were first trained to distinguish a regular from an irregular pattern of beats and then tested on various tempo transformations of these stimuli. The results showed that both species reduced the discrimination after tempo transformations. This suggests that, as was found in earlier studies, they attended mainly to local temporal features of the stimuli, and not to their overall regularity. However

  13. Statistical learning in songbirds: from self-tutoring to song culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehér, Olga; Ljubičić, Iva; Suzuki, Kenta; Okanoya, Kazuo; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2017-01-01

    At the onset of vocal development, both songbirds and humans produce variable vocal babbling with broadly distributed acoustic features. Over development, these vocalizations differentiate into the well-defined, categorical signals that characterize adult vocal behaviour. A broadly distributed signal is ideal for vocal exploration, that is, for matching vocal production to the statistics of the sensory input. The developmental transition to categorical signals is a gradual process during which the vocal output becomes differentiated and stable. But does it require categorical input? We trained juvenile zebra finches with playbacks of their own developing song, produced just a few moments earlier, updated continuously over development. Although the vocalizations of these self-tutored (ST) birds were initially broadly distributed, birds quickly developed categorical signals, as fast as birds that were trained with a categorical, adult song template. By contrast, siblings of those birds that received no training (isolates) developed phonological categories much more slowly and never reached the same level of category differentiation as their ST brothers. Therefore, instead of simply mirroring the statistical properties of their sensory input, songbirds actively transform it into distinct categories. We suggest that the early self-generation of phonological categories facilitates the establishment of vocal culture by making the song easier to transmit at the micro level, while promoting stability of shared vocabulary at the group level over generations. This article is part of the themed issue ‘New frontiers for statistical learning in the cognitive sciences’. PMID:27872371

  14. Ultrasonic vocalizations during intermittent swim stress forecasts resilience in subsequent forced swim and spatial learning tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drugan, Robert C; Warner, Timothy A; Papallo, Tristan A; Castracane, Laura L; Stafford, Nathaniel P

    2014-02-01

    The examination of stress resilience has substantially increased in recent years. However, current paradigms require multiple behavioral procedures, which themselves may serve as secondary stressors. Therefore, a novel predictor of stress resilience is needed to advance the field. Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) have been observed as a behavioral correlate of stress in various rodent species. It was recently reported that rats that emitted ultrasonic vocalizations during intermittent swim stress (ISS) later showed resilience when tested on an instrumental swim escape test. In the current study, we extend this earlier observation on two additional behavioral endpoints. Rats were subjected to ISS, and USVs were recorded. Twenty-four hours later, behavioral performance was evaluated in either the forced swim test or Morris water maze. Rats that emitted ultrasonic vocalizations were resilient to the effects of ISS as indicated by performance similar to controls on both measures. These results extend the original findings that ISS-induced USVs are associated with resilience and are related to subsequent aversively motivated behavior. Such a non-invasive forecast of stress responsivity will allow future work to utilize USVs to examine the neural correlates of initial stress resistance/resilience, thereby eliminating potential confounds of further behavioral testing. Future studies can utilize USVs to target potentially unappreciated neural systems to provide novel pharmacotherapeutic strategies for treatment-resistant depression.

  15. Automatic Segmentation and Deep Learning of Bird Sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koops, Hendrik Vincent; Van Balen, J.M.H.; Wiering, F.

    2015-01-01

    We present a study on automatic birdsong recognition with deep neural networks using the BIRDCLEF2014 dataset. Through deep learning, feature hierarchies are learned that represent the data on several levels of abstraction. Deep learning has been applied with success to problems in fields such as mu

  16. Automatic Segmentation and Deep Learning of Bird Sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koops, Hendrik Vincent; Van Balen, J.M.H.; Wiering, F.

    2015-01-01

    We present a study on automatic birdsong recognition with deep neural networks using the BIRDCLEF2014 dataset. Through deep learning, feature hierarchies are learned that represent the data on several levels of abstraction. Deep learning has been applied with success to problems in fields such as mu

  17. Automatic Segmentation and Deep Learning of Bird Sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koops, Hendrik Vincent; Van Balen, J.M.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/352221860; Wiering, F.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/141928034

    2015-01-01

    We present a study on automatic birdsong recognition with deep neural networks using the BIRDCLEF2014 dataset. Through deep learning, feature hierarchies are learned that represent the data on several levels of abstraction. Deep learning has been applied with success to problems in fields such as

  18. Conjunction of Vocal Production and Perception Regulates Expression of the Immediate Early Gene ZENK in a Novel Cortical Region of Songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alderete, Tanya L.; Chang, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    The cortical nucleus LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium) provides the output of a basal ganglia pathway that is necessary for acquisition of learned vocal behavior during development in songbirds. LMAN is composed of two subregions, a core and a surrounding shell, that give rise to independent pathways that traverse the forebrain in parallel. The LMANshell pathway forms a recurrent loop that includes a cortical region, the dorsal region of the caudolateral nidopallium (dNCL), hitherto unknown to be involved with learned vocal behavior. Here we show that vocal production strongly induces the IEG product ZENK in dNCL of zebra finches. Hearing tutor song while singing is more effective at inducing expression in dNCL of juvenile birds during the auditory–motor integration stage of vocal learning than is hearing conspecific song. In contrast, hearing conspecific song is relatively more effective at inducing expression in adult birds, regardless of whether they are producing song. Furthermore, ZENK+ neurons in dNCL include projection neurons that are part of the LMANshell recurrent loop and a high proportion of dNCL projection neurons express ZENK in singing juvenile birds that hear tutor song. Thus juvenile birds that are actively refining their vocal pattern to imitate a tutor song show high levels of ZENK induction in dNCL neurons when they are singing while hearing the song of their tutor and low levels when they hear a novel conspecific. This pattern indicates that dNCL is a novel brain region involved with vocal learning and that its function is developmentally regulated. PMID:20107119

  19. Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger K Moore

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Almost all animals exploit vocal signals for a range of ecologically-motivated purposes: detecting predators prey and marking territory, expressing emotions, establishing social relations and sharing information. Whether it is a bird raising an alarm, a whale calling to potential partners,a dog responding to human commands, a parent reading a story with a child, or a business-person accessing stock prices using emph{Siri}, vocalisation provides a valuable communication channel through which behaviour may be coordinated and controlled, and information may be distributed and acquired.Indeed, the ubiquity of vocal interaction has led to research across an extremely diverse array of fields, from assessing animal welfare, to understanding the precursors of human language, to developing voice-based human-machine interaction. Opportunities for cross-fertilisation between these fields abound; for example, using artificial cognitive agents to investigate contemporary theories of language grounding, using machine learning to analyse different habitats or adding vocal expressivity to the next generation of language-enabled autonomous social agents. However, much of the research is conducted within well-defined disciplinary boundaries, and many fundamental issues remain. This paper attempts to redress the balance by presenting a comparative review of vocal interaction within-and-between humans, animals and artificial agents (such as robots, and it identifies a rich set of open research questions that may benefit from an inter-disciplinary analysis.

  20. Common Features of Neural Activity during Singing and Sleep Periods in a Basal Ganglia Nucleus Critical for Vocal Learning in a Juvenile Songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagihara, Shin; Hessler, Neal A.

    2011-01-01

    Reactivations of waking experiences during sleep have been considered fundamental neural processes for memory consolidation. In songbirds, evidence suggests the importance of sleep-related neuronal activity in song system motor pathway nuclei for both juvenile vocal learning and maintenance of adult song. Like those in singing motor nuclei, neurons in the basal ganglia nucleus Area X, part of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit essential for vocal plasticity, exhibit singing-related activity. It is unclear, however, whether Area X neurons show any distinctive spiking activity during sleep similar to that during singing. Here we demonstrate that, during sleep, Area X pallidal neurons exhibit phasic spiking activity, which shares some firing properties with activity during singing. Shorter interspike intervals that almost exclusively occurred during singing in awake periods were also observed during sleep. The level of firing variability was consistently higher during singing and sleep than during awake non-singing states. Moreover, deceleration of firing rate, which is considered to be an important firing property for transmitting signals from Area X to the thalamic nucleus DLM, was observed mainly during sleep as well as during singing. These results suggest that songbird basal ganglia circuitry may be involved in the off-line processing potentially critical for vocal learning during sensorimotor learning phase. PMID:21991379

  1. Common features of neural activity during singing and sleep periods in a basal ganglia nucleus critical for vocal learning in a juvenile songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin Yanagihara

    Full Text Available Reactivations of waking experiences during sleep have been considered fundamental neural processes for memory consolidation. In songbirds, evidence suggests the importance of sleep-related neuronal activity in song system motor pathway nuclei for both juvenile vocal learning and maintenance of adult song. Like those in singing motor nuclei, neurons in the basal ganglia nucleus Area X, part of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit essential for vocal plasticity, exhibit singing-related activity. It is unclear, however, whether Area X neurons show any distinctive spiking activity during sleep similar to that during singing. Here we demonstrate that, during sleep, Area X pallidal neurons exhibit phasic spiking activity, which shares some firing properties with activity during singing. Shorter interspike intervals that almost exclusively occurred during singing in awake periods were also observed during sleep. The level of firing variability was consistently higher during singing and sleep than during awake non-singing states. Moreover, deceleration of firing rate, which is considered to be an important firing property for transmitting signals from Area X to the thalamic nucleus DLM, was observed mainly during sleep as well as during singing. These results suggest that songbird basal ganglia circuitry may be involved in the off-line processing potentially critical for vocal learning during sensorimotor learning phase.

  2. Elaborate Mimetic Vocal Displays by Female Superb Lyrebirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia H Dalziell

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Some of the most striking vocalizations in birds are made by males that incorporate vocal mimicry in their sexual displays. Mimetic vocalization in females is largely undescribed, but it is unclear whether this is because of a lack of selection for vocal mimicry in females, or whether the phenomenon has simply been overlooked. These issues are thrown into sharp relief in the superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, a basal oscine passerine with a lek-like mating system and female uniparental care. The spectacular mimetic song display produced by courting male lyrebirds is a textbook example of a sexually selected trait, but the vocalizations of female lyrebirds are largely unknown. Here, we provide the first analysis of the structure and context of the vocalizations of female lyrebirds. Female lyrebirds were completely silent during courtship; however, females regularly produced sophisticated vocal displays incorporating both lyrebird-specific vocalizations and imitations of sounds within their environment. The structure of female vocalizations varied significantly with context. While foraging, females mostly produced a complex lyrebird-specific song, whereas they gave lyrebird-specific alarm calls most often during nest defense. Within their vocal displays females also included a variety of mimetic vocalizations, including imitations of the calls of dangerous predators, and of alarm calls and song of harmless heterospecifics. Females gave more mimetic vocalizations during nest defense than while foraging, and the types of sounds they imitated varied between these contexts, suggesting that mimetic vocalizations have more than one function. These results are inconsistent with previous portrayals of vocalizations by female lyrebirds as rare, functionless by-products of sexual selection on males. Instead, our results support the hypotheses that complex female vocalizations play a role in nest defense and mediate female-female competition for

  3. Vocal matching by orange-fronted conures (Aratinga canicularis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balsby, Thorsten J S; Bradbury, Jack W

    2009-01-01

    The functions of vocal matching have been clarified in territorial songbirds, compositionally stable groups of birds and mammals, and species with multiple alarm or assembly signals. The functions of vocal matching are less well understood in fission/fusion species that are non-territorial, live...

  4. Vocal-tract filtering by lingual articulation in a parrot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckers, Gabriël J L; Nelson, Brian S; Suthers, Roderick A

    2004-09-07

    Human speech and bird vocalization are complex communicative behaviors with notable similarities in development and underlying mechanisms. However, there is an important difference between humans and birds in the way vocal complexity is generally produced. Human speech originates from independent modulatory actions of a sound source, e.g., the vibrating vocal folds, and an acoustic filter, formed by the resonances of the vocal tract (formants). Modulation in bird vocalization, in contrast, is thought to originate predominantly from the sound source, whereas the role of the resonance filter is only subsidiary in emphasizing the complex time-frequency patterns of the source (e.g., but see ). However, it has been suggested that, analogous to human speech production, tongue movements observed in parrot vocalizations modulate formant characteristics independently from the vocal source. As yet, direct evidence of such a causal relationship is lacking. In five Monk parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus, we replaced the vocal source, the syrinx, with a small speaker that generated a broad-band sound, and we measured the effects of tongue placement on the sound emitted from the beak. The results show that tongue movements cause significant frequency changes in two formants and cause amplitude changes in all four formants present between 0.5 and 10 kHz. We suggest that lingual articulation may thus in part explain the well-known ability of parrots to mimic human speech, and, even more intriguingly, may also underlie a speech-like formant system in natural parrot vocalizations.

  5. Reinforcement of vocalizations through contingent vocal imitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelaez, Martha; Virues-Ortega, Javier; Gewirtz, Jacob L

    2011-01-01

    Maternal vocal imitation of infant vocalizations is highly prevalent during face-to-face interactions of infants and their caregivers. Although maternal vocal imitation has been associated with later verbal development, its potentially reinforcing effect on infant vocalizations has not been explored experimentally. This study examined the reinforcing effect of maternal vocal imitation of infant vocalizations using a reversal probe BAB design. Eleven 3- to 8-month-old infants at high risk for developmental delays experienced contingent maternal vocal imitation during reinforcement conditions. Differential reinforcement of other behavior served as the control condition. The behavior of 10 infants showed evidence of a reinforcement effect. Results indicated that vocal imitations can serve to reinforce early infant vocalizations.

  6. What songbirds teach us about learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brainard, Michael S.; Doupe, Allison J.

    2002-05-01

    Bird fanciers have known for centuries that songbirds learn their songs. This learning has striking parallels to speech acquisition: like humans, birds must hear the sounds of adults during a sensitive period, and must hear their own voice while learning to vocalize. With the discovery and investigation of discrete brain structures required for singing, songbirds are now providing insights into neural mechanisms of learning. Aided by a wealth of behavioural observations and species diversity, studies in songbirds are addressing such basic issues in neuroscience as perceptual and sensorimotor learning, developmental regulation of plasticity, and the control and function of adult neurogenesis.

  7. Auditory–vocal mirroring in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory–vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory–vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory–vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain. PMID:24778375

  8. First Communion: The Emergence of Vocal Relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, John L.

    2001-01-01

    Proposes that vocal communion between infant and caregiver supports infants' language acquisition and connectedness with caregivers. Recommends research to determine whether social behaviors such as joint attention and vocal imitation are functionally related to language learning or are only symptomatic of a survival-centered caregiving…

  9. Universal mechanisms of sound production and control in birds and mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elemans, Coen; Rasmussen, Jeppe Have; Herbst, Christian T.

    2015-01-01

    As animals vocalize, their vocal organ transforms motor commands into vocalizations for social communication. In birds, the physical mechanisms by which vocalizations are produced and controlled remain unresolved because of the extreme difficulty in obtaining in vivo measurements. Here, we introd...

  10. Talking Birds

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    海文

    2005-01-01

    Many students of Englishthink thatlearning a new languageis very difficult.N ow think howdifficultitis to learn English whenyour brain is only the size of abird's brain。That is what som ebirds can do.M any different kinds of birdscan copy the sounds of lan-guage.A frican gray parrots are thebirds bestknown for this.Every D ecem ber in London,the N ationalCage and A viary BirdShow tries to find the best“talkbird in the world.O ne bird nam edPrudle stood outam ong the“talk-ing birds by winning this prizeevery...

  11. Birds of Mount Kisingiri, Nyanza Province, including a preliminary ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    production. ..... A single, vocal bird, was seen foraging from the tops of a tall dead forest tree near .... Birds were considerably more vocal in January and February .... recording revealed a note frequency centred at 3.48 kHz, with a duration of ...

  12. Embryonic learning of vocal passwords in superb fairy-wrens reveals intruder cuckoo nestlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombelli-Négrel, Diane; Hauber, Mark E; Robertson, Jeremy; Sulloway, Frank J; Hoi, Herbert; Griggio, Matteo; Kleindorfer, Sonia

    2012-11-20

    How do parents recognize their offspring when the cost of making a recognition error is high? Avian brood parasite-host systems have been used to address this question because of the high cost of parasitism to host fitness. We discovered that superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) females call to their eggs, and upon hatching, nestlings produce begging calls with key elements from their mother's "incubation call." Cross-fostering experiments showed highest similarity between foster mother and nestling calls, intermediate similarity with genetic mothers, and least similarity with parasitic Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis) nestlings. Playback experiments showed that adults respond to the begging calls of offspring hatched in their own nest and respond less to calls of other wren or cuckoo nestlings. We conclude that wrens use a parent-specific password learned embryonically to shape call similarity with their own young and thereby detect foreign cuckoo nestlings.

  13. The songbird as a percussionist: syntactic rules for non-vocal sound and song production in Java sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayo Soma

    Full Text Available Music and dance are two remarkable human characteristics that are closely related. Communication through integrated vocal and motional signals is also common in the courtship displays of birds. The contribution of songbird studies to our understanding of vocal learning has already shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of musical ability. Moreover, recent pioneering research has begun to show how animals can synchronize their behaviors with external stimuli, like metronome beats. However, few studies have applied such perspectives to unraveling how animals can integrate multimodal communicative signals that have natural functions. Additionally, studies have rarely asked how well these behaviors are learned. With this in mind, here we cast a spotlight on an unusual animal behavior: non-vocal sound production associated with singing in the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora, a songbird. We show that male Java sparrows coordinate their bill-click sounds with the syntax of their song-note sequences, similar to percussionists. Analysis showed that they produced clicks frequently toward the beginning of songs and before/after specific song notes. We also show that bill-clicking patterns are similar between social fathers and their sons, suggesting that these behaviors might be learned from models or linked to learning-based vocalizations. Individuals untutored by conspecifics also exhibited stereotypical bill-clicking patterns in relation to song-note sequence, indicating that while the production of bill clicking itself is intrinsic, its syncopation appears to develop with songs. This paints an intriguing picture in which non-vocal sounds are integrated with vocal courtship signals in a songbird, a model that we expect will contribute to the further understanding of multimodal communication.

  14. From bird to sparrow: Learning-induced modulations in fine-grained semantic discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Meo, Rosanna; Bourquin, Nathalie M-P; Knebel, Jean-François; Murray, Micah M; Clarke, Stephanie

    2015-09-01

    Recognition of environmental sounds is believed to proceed through discrimination steps from broad to more narrow categories. Very little is known about the neural processes that underlie fine-grained discrimination within narrow categories or about their plasticity in relation to newly acquired expertise. We investigated how the cortical representation of birdsongs is modulated by brief training to recognize individual species. During a 60-minute session, participants learned to recognize a set of birdsongs; they improved significantly their performance for trained (T) but not control species (C), which were counterbalanced across participants. Auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) were recorded during pre- and post-training sessions. Pre vs. post changes in AEPs were significantly different between T and C i) at 206-232ms post stimulus onset within a cluster on the anterior part of the left superior temporal gyrus; ii) at 246-291ms in the left middle frontal gyrus; and iii) 512-545ms in the left middle temporal gyrus as well as bilaterally in the cingulate cortex. All effects were driven by weaker activity for T than C species. Thus, expertise in discriminating T species modulated early stages of semantic processing, during and immediately after the time window that sustains the discrimination between human vs. animal vocalizations. Moreover, the training-induced plasticity is reflected by the sharpening of a left lateralized semantic network, including the anterior part of the temporal convexity and the frontal cortex. Training to identify birdsongs influenced, however, also the processing of C species, but at a much later stage. Correct discrimination of untrained sounds seems to require an additional step which results from lower-level features analysis such as apperception. We therefore suggest that the access to objects within an auditory semantic category is different and depends on subject's level of expertise. More specifically, correct intra

  15. On Music Identification in the Process of Vocal Music Learning%声乐学习过程中的读谱问题研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙志贤

    2012-01-01

    声乐学习过程中的读谱问题,对于拓展声乐学习的广度和深度,提高艺术表现力有着重要的意义。通过科学的读谱才能掌握音乐的表达规律,才能在尊重原作的基础上做细腻的艺术处理,并进行良好的二度创作,从而达到不同的艺术效果,揭示歌曲的丰富内涵。%Music identification in the process of vocal music learning is of great significance for expanding the depth and width of vocal music learning and for improving the artistic expressiveness. It is through scientific music identification can one grasp the rule of music expression and carry out one' s artistic creation for a second time by virtue of subtle exercise based on a strict adherence to the original piece so as to attain various artistic effects and to highlight the abundant connotation of songs involved.

  16. Interspecific hybridization as a tool to understand vocal divergence: the example of crowing in quail (Genus Coturnix.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Derégnaucourt

    Full Text Available Understanding the mechanisms that lead organisms to be separated into distinct species remains a challenge in evolutionary biology. Interspecific hybridization, which results from incomplete reproductive isolation, is a useful tool to investigate such mechanisms. In birds, interspecific hybridization is relatively frequent, despite the fact that closed species exhibit morphological and behavioural differences. Evolution of behaviour is difficult to investigate on a large timescale since it does not 'fossilize'. Here I propose that calls of hybrid non-songbirds that develop without the influence of learning may help in understanding the gradual process that leads to vocal divergence during speciation. I recorded crows produced by the European quail (Coturnix c. coturnix, the domestic Japanese quail (Coturnix c. japonica and their hybrids (F1, F2 and backcrosses. Most crowing patterns were intermediate to those of the parental species; some were similar to one or the other parental species, or not present in either parental species. I also observed vocal changes in hybrid crows during the breeding season and from one year to the other. This vocal variability resembles those observed during the ontogeny of the crow in quails. It is likely that similar mechanisms involved in vocal changes during ontogeny might have driven vocal divergence in the species of Palearctic quails. I suggest that hybrid crows might have resembled those produced by intermediary forms of quails during speciation.

  17. Molecular mapping of brain areas involved in parrot vocal communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, E D; Mello, C V

    2000-03-27

    Auditory and vocal regulation of gene expression occurs in separate discrete regions of the songbird brain. Here we demonstrate that regulated gene expression also occurs during vocal communication in a parrot, belonging to an order whose ability to learn vocalizations is thought to have evolved independently of songbirds. Adult male budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) were stimulated to vocalize with playbacks of conspecific vocalizations (warbles), and their brains were analyzed for expression of the transcriptional regulator ZENK. The results showed that there was distinct separation of brain areas that had hearing- or vocalizing-induced ZENK expression. Hearing warbles resulted in ZENK induction in large parts of the caudal medial forebrain and in 1 midbrain region, with a pattern highly reminiscent of that observed in songbirds. Vocalizing resulted in ZENK induction in nine brain structures, seven restricted to the lateral and anterior telencephalon, one in the thalamus, and one in the midbrain, with a pattern partially reminiscent of that observed in songbirds. Five of the telencephalic structures had been previously described as part of the budgerigar vocal control pathway. However, functional boundaries defined by the gene expression patterns for some of these structures were much larger and different in shape than previously reported anatomical boundaries. Our results provide the first functional demonstration of brain areas involved in vocalizing and auditory processing of conspecific sounds in budgerigars. They also indicate that, whether or not vocal learning evolved independently, some of the gene regulatory mechanisms that accompany learned vocal communication are similar in songbirds and parrots.

  18. Self-Organization of Early Vocal Development in Infants and Machines: The Role of Intrinsic Motivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clément eMoulin-Frier

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We bridge the gap between two issues in infant development: vocal development and intrinsic motivation. We propose and experimentally test the hypothesis that general mechanisms of intrinsically motivated spontaneous exploration, also called curiosity-driven learning, can self-organize developmental stages during early vocal learning. We introduce a computational model of intrinsically motivated vocal exploration, which allows the learner to autonomously structure its own vocal experiments, and thus its own learning schedule, through a drive to maximize competence progress. This model relies on a physical model of the vocal tract, the auditory system and the agent's motor control as well as vocalizations of social peers. We present computational experiments that show how such a mechanism can explain the adaptive transition from vocal self-exploration with little influence from the speech environment, to a later stage where vocal exploration becomes influenced by vocalizations of peers. Within the initial self-exploration phase, we show that a sequence of vocal production stages self-organizes, and shares properties with data from infant developmental psychology: the vocal learner first discovers how to control phonation, then focuses on vocal variations of unarticulated sounds, and finally automatically discovers and focuses on babbling with articulated proto-syllables. As the vocal learner becomes more proficient at producing complex sounds, imitating vocalizations of peers starts to provide high learning progress explaining an automatic shift from self-exploration to vocal imitation.

  19. Frequency modulation during song in a suboscine does not require vocal muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador, Ana; Goller, Franz; Mindlin, Gabriel B

    2008-05-01

    The physiology of sound production in suboscines is poorly investigated. Suboscines are thought to develop song innately unlike the closely related oscines. Comparing phonatory mechanisms might therefore provide interesting insight into the evolution of vocal learning. Here we investigate sound production and control of sound frequency in the Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulfuratus) by recording air sac pressure and vocalizations during spontaneously generated song. In all the songs and calls recorded, the modulations of the fundamental frequency are highly correlated to air sac pressure. To test whether this relationship reflects frequency control by changing respiratory activity or indicates synchronized vocal control, we denervated the syringeal muscles by bilateral resection of the tracheosyringeal nerve. After denervation, the strong correlation between fundamental frequency and air sac pressure patterns remained unchanged. A single linear regression relates sound frequency to air sac pressure in the intact and denervated birds. This surprising lack of control by syringeal muscles of frequency in Kiskadees, in strong contrast to songbirds, poses the question of how air sac pressure regulates sound frequency. To explore this question theoretically, we assume a nonlinear restitution force for the oscillating membrane folds in a two mass model of sound production. This nonlinear restitution force is essential to reproduce the frequency modulations of the observed vocalizations.

  20. Tracking Invasive Birds: A Programme for Implementing Dynamic Open Inquiry Learning and Conservation Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zion, Michal; Spektor-Levy, Ornit; Orchan, Yotam; Shwartz, Assaf; Sadeh, Irit; Kark, Salit

    2011-01-01

    Among potential topics in the new science of biodiversity, understanding the characteristics and impact of invasive birds is an attractive subject to include as part of junior high school biology studies. Birds are aesthetic and raise curiosity. Curiosity about birds, combined with field observations, can stimulate students to ask authentic…

  1. The Core of Vocal Music Teaching and Learning%试论声乐教与学的核心

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    秦伟

    2015-01-01

    Vocal music teaching is teaching the teachers and students to participate in financial technology and art together, in the process of teaching, teachers are teaching, plays the role of knowledge, students are receiving vocal music knowledge and skills, the main body to create the performance of music art. Therefore, the two in vocal music teaching are inseparable, only mutual support and cooperation, teaching to achieve the ideal effect.%声乐教学是师生共同参与的融技术性和艺术性于一体的教学,教学过程中,教师是教学的主导,起着传授知识的作用,学生是接受声乐知识技能,创造表现音乐艺术的主体。因此,声乐教学中二者密不可分,只有相互支持与合作,教学才能达到理想的效果。

  2. Determining the Learning Curve of Transcutaneous Laryngeal Ultrasound in Vocal Cord Assessment by CUSUM Analysis of Eight Surgical Residents: When to Abandon Laryngoscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Kai-Pun; Lang, Brian Hung-Hin; Lam, Shi; Au, Kin-Pan; Chan, Diane Toi-yin; Kotewall, Nicholas Clarence

    2016-03-01

    Transcutaneous laryngeal ultrasonography (TLUSG) is a promising alternative to laryngoscopy in vocal cords (VCs) assessment which might be challenging in the beginning. However, it remains unclear when an assessor can provide proficient TLUSG enough to abandon direct laryngoscopy . Eight surgical residents (SRs) without prior USG experience were recruited to determine the learning curve. After a standardized training program, SRs would perform 80 consecutive peri-operative VCs assessment using TLUSG. Performances of SRs were quantitatively evaluated by a composite performance score (lower score representing better performance) which comprised total examination time (in seconds), VCs visualization, and assessment accuracy. Cumulative sum (CUSUM) chart was then used to evaluate learning curve. Diagnostic accuracy and demographic data between every twentieth TLUSG were compared. 640 TLUSG examinations had been performed by 8 residents. 95.1% of VCs could be assessed by SRs. The CUSUM curve showed a rising pattern (learning phase) until 7th TLUSG and then flattened. The curve declined continuously after 42nd TLUSG (after reaching a plateau). Rates of assessable VCs were comparable in every twentieth cases performed. It took a longer time to complete TLUSG in 1st-20th than 21st-40th examinations. (45 vs. 32s, p = 0.001). Although statistically not significant, proportion of false-negative results was higher in 21st-40th (2.5%) than 1(st)-20th (0.6%), 41(st)-60th (0.7%), and 61(st)-80th (0.7%) TLUSG performed. After a short formal training, surgeons could master skill in TLUSG after seven examination and assess vocal cord function consistently and accurately after 40 TLUSG.

  3. Techniques for Vocal Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiest, Lori

    1997-01-01

    Outlines a series of simple yet effective practices, techniques, and tips for improving the singing voice and minimizing stress on the vocal chords. Describes the four components for producing vocal sound: respiration, phonation, resonation, and articulation. Provides exercises for each and lists symptoms of sickness and vocal strain. (MJP)

  4. Songbird: a unique animal model for studying the molecular basis of disorders of vocal development and communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Chihiro; Wada, Kazuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Like humans, songbirds are one of the few animal groups that learn vocalization. Vocal learning requires coordination of auditory input and vocal output using auditory feedback to guide one's own vocalizations during a specific developmental stage known as the critical period. Songbirds are good animal models for understand the neural basis of vocal learning, a complex form of imitation, because they have many parallels to humans with regard to the features of vocal behavior and neural circuits dedicated to vocal learning. In this review, we will summarize the behavioral, neural, and genetic traits of birdsong. We will also discuss how studies of birdsong can help us understand how the development of neural circuits for vocal learning and production is driven by sensory input (auditory information) and motor output (vocalization).

  5. Zebra finches can use positional and transitional cues to distinguish vocal element strings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiani; Ten Cate, Carel

    2015-08-01

    Learning sequences is of great importance to humans and non-human animals. Many motor and mental actions, such as singing in birds and speech processing in humans, rely on sequential learning. At least two mechanisms are considered to be involved in such learning. The chaining theory proposes that learning of sequences relies on memorizing the transitions between adjacent items, while the positional theory suggests that learners encode the items according to their ordinal position in the sequence. Positional learning is assumed to dominate sequential learning. However, human infants exposed to a string of speech sounds can learn transitional (chaining) cues. So far, it is not clear whether birds, an increasingly important model for examining vocal processing, can do this. In this study we use a Go-Nogo design to examine whether zebra finches can use transitional cues to distinguish artificially constructed strings of song elements. Zebra finches were trained with sequences differing in transitional and positional information and next tested with novel strings sharing positional and transitional similarities with the training strings. The results show that they can attend to both transitional and positional cues and that their sequential coding strategies can be biased toward transitional cues depending on the learning context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan.

  6. Beings of a Feather: Learning About the Lives of Birds with Amazonian Peoples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Jernigan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This article is a memoir of the author's fieldwork experiences studying traditional knowledge of bird species in the Peruvian Amazon. It describes his growth as a researcher, in light of the practical and methodological challenges of carrying out this kind of work. It also relates how the author's thinking has evolved on questions of current theoretical interest in ethnobiology. The first section outlines how the author came to be interested in this topic while pursuing an ethnobotanical dissertation project. Next, the discussion follows his work with the indigenous Aguaruna and Iquito peoples, learning about and documenting their understandings of the nesting, foraging and reproductive behavior of local avian species. On one hand, he found that local people provided details of these behaviors that match, in many ways, the counts of academic ornithologists. However, local interpretations of why these behaviors take place are often framed by some very different assumptions. The author uses Victor Toledo's tripartite framework of kosmos (overarching belief systems, corpus (cognitive categories, and praxis (set of practices to discuss similarities and differences in Aguaruna, Iquito, and academic ornithology. He also discusses his progression of views on the topic of perspectivism and eventual preference for a theoretical framework favoring a polyontological approach to understanding Amazonian ethnoecology.

  7. Stable producer-scrounger dynamics in wild birds: sociability and learning speed covary with scrounging behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aplin, L M; Morand-Ferron, J

    2017-04-12

    There has been extensive game-theoretic modelling of conditions leading to equilibria of producer-scrounger dichotomies in groups. However there is a surprising paucity of experimental evidence in wild populations. Here, we examine producer-scrounger games in five subpopulations of birds feeding at a socially learnt foraging task. Over four weeks, a bimodal distribution of producers and scroungers emerged in all areas, with pronounced and consistent individual tactic specialization persisting over 3 years. Tactics were unrelated to exploratory personality, but correlated with latency to contact and learn the foraging task, with the late arrivers and slower learners more likely to adopt the scrounging role. Additionally, the social environment was also important: at the broad scale, larger subpopulations with a higher social density contained proportionally more scroungers, while within subpopulations scroungers tended to be central in the social network and be observed in larger foraging flocks. This study thus provides a rare example of a stable, dimorphic distribution of producer-scrounger tactics in a wild population. It further gives support across multiple scales for a major prediction of social foraging theory; that the frequency of scroungers increases with group size. © 2017 The Authors.

  8. The role of vocal individuality in conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Terry, Andrew Mark Ryder; Peake, Thomas More; McGregor, Peter Kenneth

    2005-01-01

    Identifying the individuals within a population can generate information on life history parameters, generate input data for conservation models, and highlight behavioural traits that may affect management decisions and error or bias within census methods. Individual animals can be discriminated...... and techniques for using this to count and monitor populations over time. We present case studies in birds where vocal individuality has been applied to conservation and we discuss its role in mammals....

  9. Behavioral Correlates of 50-kHz Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Rats: Progressive Operant Discrimination Learning Reduces Frequency Modulation and Increases Overall Amplitude

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shoko Yuki

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs in rats are thought to contain ecological signals reflecting emotional states. These USVs are centered on 50-kHz, and frequency modulation (FM is hypothesized to indicate positive emotion; however, results from recent studies are inconsistent with this hypothesis. We suspected that such inconsistencies might result from ambiguity in defining frequency modulation, and problems with acoustic analyses and behavioral protocols. We addressed these problems by applying quantitative methods for USV analyses and using a food reward operant paradigm. Our results revealed that frequency modulation varied according to the degree of positive outcomes, but the direction of change was opposite to what had been observed in previous studies. The FM in 50-kHz USVs decreased as animals learned the task and obtained more reinforcement, while USV amplitude increased as learning progressed. To reconcile these results with those from prior studies, we suggest that FM in 50-kHz USVs should be taken as an index of reward prediction errors, and USV amplitude should be considered as an index of positive emotion.

  10. Virginia ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, and gulls...

  11. An automated technique for monitoring nocturnal avian vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    James B. Johnson; Daniel Saenz; D. Brent Burt; Richard N. Conner

    2002-01-01

    We used audio recording dataloggers known as Frogloggers to collect nocturnal bird vocalizations at eight different sites within the Davy Crockett National Forest and the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest in eastern Texas from 9 May 2000 to 31 June 2001. We programmed the dataloggers to record for one-minute intervals at the beginning of each hour starting at 2100...

  12. Reinforcement of Infant Vocalizations through Contingent Vocal Imitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelaez, Martha; Virues-Ortega, Javier; Gewirtz, Jacob L.

    2011-01-01

    Maternal vocal imitation of infant vocalizations is highly prevalent during face-to-face interactions of infants and their caregivers. Although maternal vocal imitation has been associated with later verbal development, its potentially reinforcing effect on infant vocalizations has not been explored experimentally. This study examined the…

  13. Spontaneous categorization of vocal imitations in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giret, Nicolas; Péron, Franck; Nagle, Laurent; Kreutzer, Michel; Bovet, Dalila

    2009-11-01

    The ability to categorize elements of the environment is a fundamental aspect of information processing. Many experiments demonstrate the ability of birds and non-human primates to classify items according to their perceptual similarities. Few data are available regarding spontaneous classification of items according to a non-perceptual account in non-human animals. Here, we report unexpected results obtained with African grey parrots learning the referential use of French labels. Parrots did not learn the correct labels but they spontaneously produced more labels corresponding to food when a food item was presented to them and more labels corresponding to an object when shown an object item, although they were never rewarded for doing so. These results demonstrate a form of spontaneous categorization by using vocal imitation of the human language.

  14. Cross-fostering alters advertisement vocalizations of grasshopper mice (Onychomys): Evidence for the developmental stress hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasch, Bret; Abbasi, Mustafa Z; Wilson, Macey; Zhao, Daniel; Searle, Jeremy B; Webster, Michael S; Rice, Aaron N

    2016-04-01

    Nutritional stress can have lasting impacts on the development of traits involved in vocal production. Cross-fostering experiments are often used to examine the propensity for vocal learning in a variety of taxa, but few studies assess the influence of malnourishment that can occur as a byproduct of this technique. In this study, we reciprocally cross-fostered sister taxa of voluble grasshopper mice (genus Onychomys) to explore their propensity for vocal learning. Vocalizations of Onychomys leucogaster did not differ between control and cross-fostered animals, but cross-fostered Onychomys arenicola produced vocalizations that were higher in frequency in a direction away from tutors. These same animals exhibited a transient reduction in body mass early in development, indicative of malnutrition. Our findings simultaneously refute vocal learning and support the developmental stress hypothesis to highlight the importance of early ontogeny on the production of vocalizations later in life.

  15. Experimental evidence of vocal recognition in young and adult black-legged kittiwakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulard, Hervé; Aubin, T.; White, J.F.; Hatch, Shyla A.; Danchin, E.

    2008-01-01

    Individual recognition is required in most social interactions, and its presence has been confirmed in many species. In birds, vocal cues appear to be a major component of recognition. Curiously, vocal recognition seems absent or limited in some highly social species such as the black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla. Using playback experiments, we found that kittiwake chicks recognized their parents vocally, this capacity being detectable as early as 20 days after hatching, the youngest age tested. Mates also recognized each other's long calls. Some birds reacted to their partner's voice when only a part of the long call was played back. Nevertheless, only about a third of the tested birds reacted to their mate's or parents' call and we were unable to detect recognition among neighbours. We discuss the low reactivity of kittiwakes in relation to their cliff-nesting habit and compare our results with evidence of vocal recognition in other larids. ?? 2008 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  16. Teaching and Learning about Birds in the Early Years--A Few Ideas for Getting Started

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ann

    2009-01-01

    This article supports teachers of lower primary and preschool children to introduce a study of local birds, the type of investigations considered to be part of wider environmental education. It is of a practical nature and incorporates resources and ideas that the author has found useful in her work with children and with pre-service student…

  17. Using Vocal and Silent Reading Approaches for the Enhancement ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nekky Umera

    of teaching reading skills in English Language through the use of vocal and silent reading ... Performance, English Language, Effective Teaching and Learning. Introduction. Language ..... Reflections on Nigeria's literacy culture. The. Guardian ...

  18. The song must go on: resilience of the songbird vocal motor pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barish Poole

    Full Text Available Stereotyped sequences of neural activity underlie learned vocal behavior in songbirds; principle neurons in the cortical motor nucleus HVC fire in stereotyped sequences with millisecond precision across multiple renditions of a song. The geometry of neural connections underlying these sequences is not known in detail though feed-forward chains are commonly assumed in theoretical models of sequential neural activity. In songbirds, a well-defined cortical-thalamic motor circuit exists but little is known the fine-grain structure of connections within each song nucleus. To examine whether the structure of song is critically dependent on long-range connections within HVC, we bilaterally transected the nucleus along the anterior-posterior axis in normal-hearing and deafened birds. The disruption leads to a slowing of song as well as an increase in acoustic variability. These effects are reversed on a time-scale of days even in deafened birds or in birds that are prevented from singing post-transection. The stereotyped song of zebra finches includes acoustic details that span from milliseconds to seconds--one of the most precise learned behaviors in the animal kingdom. This detailed motor pattern is resilient to disruption of connections at the cortical level, and the details of song variability and duration are maintained by offline homeostasis of the song circuit.

  19. Understanding sex differences in form and function of bird song: The importance of studying song learning processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina eRiebel

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Birdsong is a culturally transmitted mating signal. Due to historical and geographical biases, song (learning has been predominantly studied in the temperate zones, where female song is rare. Consequently, mechanisms and function of song learning have been almost exclusively studied in male birds and under the premise that inter- and intrasexual selection favoured larger repertoires and complex songs in males. However, female song is not rare outside the temperate zones and song in both sexes probably is the ancestral state in songbirds. Some song dimorphisms seen today might therefore be manifestations of secondary losses of female song. What selection pressures have favoured such losses and other sexual dimorphisms in song? Combined mapping of phylogenetic and ecological correlates of sex differences in song structure and function might provide important clues to the evolution of male and female song. This requires parameterization of the degree of sexual dimorphism. Simple comparison of male-female song might not provide enough resolution, because the same magnitude of difference (e.g. repertoire overlap could result from different processes: the sexes could differ in how well they learn (‘copying fidelity’ or from whom they learn (‘model selection’. Different learning mechanisms might provide important pointers towards different selection pressures. Investigating sex-specific learning could therefore help to identify the social and ecological selection pressures contributing to sex differences in adult song. The study of female song learning in particular could be crucial to our understanding of i song function in males and females and ii the evolution of sex-specific song.

  20. Alabama ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns...

  1. Maryland ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  2. Dynamical origin of spectrally rich vocalizations in birdsong

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitt, J. D.; Amador, A.; Goller, F.; Mindlin, G. B.

    2008-07-01

    Birdsong is a model system for learned vocal behavior with remarkable parallels to human vocal development and sound production mechanisms. Upper vocal tract filtering plays an important role in human speech, and its importance has recently also been recognized in birdsong. However, the mechanisms of how the avian sound source might contribute to spectral richness are largely unknown. Here we show in the most widely studied songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), that the broad range of upper harmonic content in different low-frequency song elements is the fingerprint of the dynamics displayed by its vocal apparatus, which can be captured by a two-dimensional dynamical model. As in human speech and singing, the varying harmonic content of birdsong is not only the result of vocal tract filtering but of a varying degree of tonality emerging from the sound source. The spectral content carries a strong signature of the intrinsic dynamics of the sound source.

  3. Impacto vocal de professores Teachers' vocal impact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Ricarte

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: analisar o impacto vocal nas atividades diárias em professores do ensino médio. Correlacionar os achado da auto-percepção do problema vocal com os aspectos: efeitos no trabalho, na comunicação diária, na comunicação social e na sua emoção. MÉTODOS: a amostra foi constituída por 107 professores, sendo 86 com queixa e 21 sem queixa, selecionados em escolas da rede particular de ensino de Maceió-AL. Cada professor respondeu individualmente o protocolo Perfil Participação em Atividades Vocais na presença da pesquisadora, assinalando suas respostas em uma escala visual que varia de 0 a 10. O protocolo é composto por 28 questões com a presença integrada em cinco aspectos englobados para avaliar a qualidade de vida e o resultado de tratamentos vocais. O protocolo oferece, ainda, dois escores adicionais: pontuação de limitação nas atividades (PLA e de restrição de participação (PRP. RESULTADOS: na comparação dos grupos com e sem queixa vocal foram verificados que todos os resultados foram estatisticamente significantes (pPURPOSE: to analyze the vocal impact in the daily activities on high-school teachers. Correlate the finding of the auto-perception on the vocal problem with the following aspects: effects in the work, daily communication, social communication and, its emotion METHODS: the sample consisted of 107 teachers, 86 with and 21 with no complaint, selected from private teaching schools in Maceió-AL. Each teacher answered individually the Protocol for Voice Activity Participation Profile in the presence of the researcher, noting their responses on a visual scale ranging from 0 to 10. The protocol is composed of 28 questions with the presence integrated in five aspects to evaluate the quality of life and the result of vocal treatments. The protocol offers, still, two additional scores: punctuation of limitation in the activities (PLA and restriction of participation (PRP. RESULTS: comparing the groups with

  4. Dynamic expression of cadherins regulates vocal development in a songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiji Matsunaga

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Since, similarly to humans, songbirds learn their vocalization through imitation during their juvenile stage, they have often been used as model animals to study the mechanisms of human verbal learning. Numerous anatomical and physiological studies have suggested that songbirds have a neural network called 'song system' specialized for vocal learning and production in their brain. However, it still remains unknown what molecular mechanisms regulate their vocal development. It has been suggested that type-II cadherins are involved in synapse formation and function. Previously, we found that type-II cadherin expressions are switched in the robust nucleus of arcopallium from cadherin-7-positive to cadherin-6B-positive during the phase from sensory to sensorimotor learning stage in a songbird, the Bengalese finch. Furthermore, in vitro analysis using cultured rat hippocampal neurons revealed that cadherin-6B enhanced and cadherin-7 suppressed the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents via regulating dendritic spine morphology. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To explore the role of cadherins in vocal development, we performed an in vivo behavioral analysis of cadherin function with lentiviral vectors. Overexpression of cadherin-7 in the juvenile and the adult stages resulted in severe defects in vocal production. In both cases, harmonic sounds typically seen in the adult Bengalese finch songs were particularly affected. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that cadherins control vocal production, particularly harmonic sounds, probably by modulating neuronal morphology of the RA nucleus. It appears that the switching of cadherin expressions from sensory to sensorimotor learning stage enhances vocal production ability to make various types of vocalization that is essential for sensorimotor learning in a trial and error manner.

  5. Exploring vocal recovery after cranial nerve injury in Bengalese finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Catherine M; Peterson, Jennifer R; Cooper, Brenton G

    2013-02-08

    Songbirds and humans use auditory feedback to acquire and maintain their vocalizations. The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) is a songbird species that rapidly modifies its vocal output to adhere to an internal song memory. In this species, the left side of the bipartite vocal organ is specialized for producing louder, higher frequencies (≥2.2kHz) and denervation of the left vocal muscles eliminates these notes. Thus, the return of higher frequency notes after cranial nerve injury can be used as a measure of vocal recovery. Either the left or right side of the syrinx was denervated by resection of the tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve. Histologic analyses of syringeal muscle tissue showed significant muscle atrophy in the denervated side. After left nerve resection, songs were mainly composed of lower frequency syllables, but three out of five birds recovered higher frequency syllables. Right nerve resection minimally affected phonology, but it did change song syntax; syllable sequence became abnormally stereotyped after right nerve resection. Therefore, damage to the neuromuscular control of sound production resulted in reduced motor variability, and Bengalese finches are a potential model for functional vocal recovery following cranial nerve injury.

  6. Audio-vocal interaction in single neurons of the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hage, Steffen R; Nieder, Andreas

    2015-05-06

    Complex audio-vocal integration systems depend on a strong interconnection between the auditory and the vocal motor system. To gain cognitive control over audio-vocal interaction during vocal motor control, the PFC needs to be involved. Neurons in the ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC) have been shown to separately encode the sensory perceptions and motor production of vocalizations. It is unknown, however, whether single neurons in the PFC reflect audio-vocal interactions. We therefore recorded single-unit activity in the VLPFC of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) while they produced vocalizations on command or passively listened to monkey calls. We found that 12% of randomly selected neurons in VLPFC modulated their discharge rate in response to acoustic stimulation with species-specific calls. Almost three-fourths of these auditory neurons showed an additional modulation of their discharge rates either before and/or during the monkeys' motor production of vocalization. Based on these audio-vocal interactions, the VLPFC might be well positioned to combine higher order auditory processing with cognitive control of the vocal motor output. Such audio-vocal integration processes in the VLPFC might constitute a precursor for the evolution of complex learned audio-vocal integration systems, ultimately giving rise to human speech.

  7. What can be learned from birds for achieving directional stability without a fin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachs, Gottfried

    2012-11-01

    Flight mechanics characteristics concerning static and dynamic directional stability in birds are subject of this treatment. It is shown how directional stability is influenced by the elements of the aerodynamic configuration (wing, body, horizontal tail) where issues of static stability in terms of a restoring moment capability are dealt with. A modern and efficient aerodynamic method for modeling the fluid flow around complex geometries and for computing forces and moments with high precision was used to obtain results on the stability characteristics. Concerning a quantitative as-sessment of directional stability characteristics, rotary dynamics with respect to the yaw axis are considered. For this purpose, the frequency of the dutch roll is regarded as an appropriate measure of dynamic directional stability. With ref-erence to aircraft experience, requirements on adequate restoring characteristics in the yaw axis are used. In an expanded treatment of dynamic directional stability, coupling effects between the yaw and roll axes are also considered. It turns out that these can yield a significant contribution to dynamic directional stability. Based on the derived results, it is shown that aerial vehicles the mass of which is comparable with that of birds can have adequate dynamic directional sta-bility characteristics in terms of an appropriate dutch roll frequency level without needing a fin.

  8. Problems in separating species with similar habits and vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, C.S.; Stallcup, R.W.; Ralph, C. John; Scott, J. Michael

    1981-01-01

    The possibilities for species misidentification based on vocalization or habitat association are high. However, the magnitude of the errors actually perpetrated is generally within an acceptable range in most types of bird survey work. Examples of problems discussed are: congeners that are similar in appearance or in song (such as Chimney and Vaux's Swifts, Chaetura pelagica, C. vauxi; Hammond's, Dusky and Gray Flycatchers, Empidonax hammondii, E. oberholseri, E. wrightii; Willow and Alder Flycatchers, E. traillii, E. alnorum; Common and Fish Crows, Corvus brachyrhynchos, C. ossifragus); birds that are misidentified because they are not expected by the observer (House Finches, Carpodacus mexicanus, invading new areas of eastern U.S.); birds that imitate other species (especially Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, and Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos); birds in mixed flocks; birds with geographic differences in vocalizations (Solitary Vireo, Vireo solitarius); woodpeckers that are only heard drumming; and nests or eggs that are misidentified. Equally serious problems are the errors resulting from undetected species and from careless recording or failure to check manuscripts against original data. The quality of published count work can be improved considerably by (1) recognizing the problems that exist, (2) standardizing techniques for dealing with situations where not all birds can be identified, and (3) routinely applying all appropriate safeguards such as verification by mist netting and measuring, photography, tape recording or playback, additional observations, and careful verification of all entries in the final manuscript.

  9. Is Twitter for the Birds? Using Twitter to Enhance Student Learning in a Marketing Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Ben; Laffey, Des

    2011-01-01

    Recent years have seen unprecedented possibilities for the use of different technologies to enhance learning in marketing courses. Given the rapid and widespread diffusion of these technologies, particularly within the demographic of the student population, it is pertinent to explore and examine how such technologies can benefit student learning.…

  10. Is Twitter for the Birds? Using Twitter to Enhance Student Learning in a Marketing Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Ben; Laffey, Des

    2011-01-01

    Recent years have seen unprecedented possibilities for the use of different technologies to enhance learning in marketing courses. Given the rapid and widespread diffusion of these technologies, particularly within the demographic of the student population, it is pertinent to explore and examine how such technologies can benefit student learning.…

  11. Vocal area-related expression of the androgen receptor in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Eiji; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2008-05-01

    The androgen receptor is a steroid hormone receptor widely expressed in the vocal control nuclei in songbirds. Here, we analysed androgen receptor expression in the brains of juvenile and adult budgerigars. With a species-specific probe for budgerigar androgen receptor mRNA, we found that the androgen receptor was expressed in the vocal areas, such as the central nucleus of the lateral nidopallium, the anterior arcopallium, the oval nucleus of the mesopallium, the oval nucleus of the anterior nidopallium and the tracheosyringeal hypoglossal nucleus. With the present data, together with previous reports, it turned out that the androgen receptor expression in telencephalic vocal control areas is similar amongst three groups of vocal learners--songbirds, hummingbirds and parrots, suggesting the possibility that the androgen receptor might play a role in vocal development and that the molecular mechanism regulating the androgen receptor expression in the vocal areas might be important in the evolution of vocal learning.

  12. Mesozoic retroposons reveal parrots as the closest living relatives of passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, Alexander; Paus, Martin; Kiefmann, Martin; Churakov, Gennady; Franke, Franziska Anni; Brosius, Jürgen; Kriegs, Jan Ole; Schmitz, Jürgen

    2011-08-23

    The relationships of passerines (such as the well-studied zebra finch) with non-passerine birds is one of the great enigmas of avian phylogenetic research, because decades of extensive morphological and molecular studies yielded highly inconsistent results between and within data sets. Here we show the first application of the virtually homoplasy-free retroposon insertions to this controversy. Our study examined ~200,000 retroposon-containing loci from various avian genomes and retrieved 51 markers resolving early bird phylogeny. Among these, we obtained statistically significant evidence that parrots are the closest and falcons the second-closest relatives of passerines, together constituting the Psittacopasserae and the Eufalconimorphae, respectively. Our new and robust phylogenetic framework has substantial implications for the interpretation of various conclusions drawn from passerines as model organisms. This includes insights of relevance to human neuroscience, as vocal learning (that is, birdsong) probably evolved in the psittacopasseran ancestor, >30 million years earlier than previously assumed.

  13. Altered Ultrasonic Vocalization and Impaired Learning and Memory in Angelman Syndrome Mouse Model with a Large Maternal Deletion from Ube3a to Gabrb3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yong-hui; Pan, Yanzhen; Zhu, Li; Landa, Luis; Yoo, Jong; Spencer, Corinne; Lorenzo, Isabel; Brilliant, Murray; Noebels, Jeffrey; Beaudet, Arthur L.

    2010-01-01

    Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurobehavioral disorder associated with mental retardation, absence of language development, characteristic electroencephalography (EEG) abnormalities and epilepsy, happy disposition, movement or balance disorders, and autistic behaviors. The molecular defects underlying AS are heterogeneous, including large maternal deletions of chromosome 15q11–q13 (70%), paternal uniparental disomy (UPD) of chromosome 15 (5%), imprinting mutations (rare), and mutations in the E6-AP ubiquitin ligase gene UBE3A (15%). Although patients with UBE3A mutations have a wide spectrum of neurological phenotypes, their features are usually milder than AS patients with deletions of 15q11–q13. Using a chromosomal engineering strategy, we generated mutant mice with a 1.6-Mb chromosomal deletion from Ube3a to Gabrb3, which inactivated the Ube3a and Gabrb3 genes and deleted the Atp10a gene. Homozygous deletion mutant mice died in the perinatal period due to a cleft palate resulting from the null mutation in Gabrb3 gene. Mice with a maternal deletion (m−/p+) were viable and did not have any obvious developmental defects. Expression analysis of the maternal and paternal deletion mice confirmed that the Ube3a gene is maternally expressed in brain, and showed that the Atp10a and Gabrb3 genes are biallelically expressed in all brain sub-regions studied. Maternal (m−/p+), but not paternal (m+/p−), deletion mice had increased spontaneous seizure activity and abnormal EEG. Extensive behavioral analyses revealed significant impairment in motor function, learning and memory tasks, and anxiety-related measures assayed in the light-dark box in maternal deletion but not paternal deletion mice. Ultrasonic vocalization (USV) recording in newborns revealed that maternal deletion pups emitted significantly more USVs than wild-type littermates. The increased USV in maternal deletion mice suggests abnormal signaling behavior between mothers and pups that may reflect abnormal

  14. Altered ultrasonic vocalization and impaired learning and memory in Angelman syndrome mouse model with a large maternal deletion from Ube3a to Gabrb3.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-Hui Jiang

    Full Text Available Angelman syndrome (AS is a neurobehavioral disorder associated with mental retardation, absence of language development, characteristic electroencephalography (EEG abnormalities and epilepsy, happy disposition, movement or balance disorders, and autistic behaviors. The molecular defects underlying AS are heterogeneous, including large maternal deletions of chromosome 15q11-q13 (70%, paternal uniparental disomy (UPD of chromosome 15 (5%, imprinting mutations (rare, and mutations in the E6-AP ubiquitin ligase gene UBE3A (15%. Although patients with UBE3A mutations have a wide spectrum of neurological phenotypes, their features are usually milder than AS patients with deletions of 15q11-q13. Using a chromosomal engineering strategy, we generated mutant mice with a 1.6-Mb chromosomal deletion from Ube3a to Gabrb3, which inactivated the Ube3a and Gabrb3 genes and deleted the Atp10a gene. Homozygous deletion mutant mice died in the perinatal period due to a cleft palate resulting from the null mutation in Gabrb3 gene. Mice with a maternal deletion (m-/p+ were viable and did not have any obvious developmental defects. Expression analysis of the maternal and paternal deletion mice confirmed that the Ube3a gene is maternally expressed in brain, and showed that the Atp10a and Gabrb3 genes are biallelically expressed in all brain sub-regions studied. Maternal (m-/p+, but not paternal (m+/p-, deletion mice had increased spontaneous seizure activity and abnormal EEG. Extensive behavioral analyses revealed significant impairment in motor function, learning and memory tasks, and anxiety-related measures assayed in the light-dark box in maternal deletion but not paternal deletion mice. Ultrasonic vocalization (USV recording in newborns revealed that maternal deletion pups emitted significantly more USVs than wild-type littermates. The increased USV in maternal deletion mice suggests abnormal signaling behavior between mothers and pups that may reflect abnormal

  15. Vocal Fold Collision Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Granados, Alba; Brunskog, Jonas; Misztal, M. K.

    2015-01-01

    When vocal folds vibrate at normal speaking frequencies, collisions occurs. The numerics and formulations behind a position-based continuum model of contact is an active field of research in the contact mechanics community. In this paper, a frictionless three-dimensional finite element model...... of the vocal fold collision is proposed, which incorporates different procedures used in contact mechanics and mathematical optimization theories. The penalty approach and the Lagrange multiplier method are investigated. The contact force solution obtained by the penalty formulation is highly dependent...

  16. Vocal tract motor patterns and resonance during constant frequency song: the white-throated sparrow

    OpenAIRE

    Riede, Tobias; Suthers, Roderick A.

    2008-01-01

    Bird song is a complex behavior that requires the coordination of several motor systems. Sound is produced in the syrinx and then modified by the upper vocal tract. Movements of the hyoid skeleton have been shown in the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) to be extensively involved in forming an oropharyngeal–esophageal cavity (OEC), which contributes a major resonance to the vocal tract transfer function. Here we report that a similar relationship exists between the volume of the OEC a...

  17. Screamy Bird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tarby, Sara; Cermak, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016.......Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016....

  18. Vocal Connections: How Voicework in Music Therapy Helped a Young Girl with Severe Learning Disabilities and Autism to Engage in her Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tina Warnock

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This article examines the use of the non-verbal voice in music therapy with children with severe learning disabilities, complex needs and autism. Recent literature on the use of the voice in music therapy is summarised and links are made between the aims of music therapy and those of special educational establishments. Theories regarding the voice and the self, and the important connection between body awareness and emotion as precursors to learning are referred to, particularly in relation to learning disability. Through a case study, I demonstrate how a young girl used voicework to build connections with herself and the music therapist, whereby consequently she became more motivated to interact with her surroundings. I argue hence that the use of the non-verbal voice in music therapy, through its intrinsic connection to identity and internal emotional states can contribute significantly towards the healthy developments necessary for a person to be able to learn. Therefore, by increasing our knowledge about the actual process of learning, and the significance of our work within that process, we can move towards demonstrating clearer outcomes of music therapy in the educational context and have a stronger ‘voice’ within the multi-disciplinary teams that serve this population.

  19. A comparative neurological approach to emotional expressions in primate vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Thibaud; Grandjean, Didier

    2017-02-01

    Different approaches from different research domains have crystallized debate over primate emotional processing and vocalizations in recent decades. On one side, researchers disagree about whether emotional states or processes in animals truly compare to those in humans. On the other, a long-held assumption is that primate vocalizations are innate communicative signals over which nonhuman primates have limited control and a mirror of the emotional state of the individuals producing them, despite growing evidence of intentional production for some vocalizations. Our goal is to connect both sides of the discussion in deciphering how the emotional content of primate calls compares with emotional vocal signals in humans. We focus particularly on neural bases of primate emotions and vocalizations to identify cerebral structures underlying emotion, vocal production, and comprehension in primates, and discuss whether particular structures or neuronal networks solely evolved for specific functions in the human brain. Finally, we propose a model to classify emotional vocalizations in primates according to four dimensions (learning, control, emotional, meaning) to allow comparing calls across species.

  20. Bird Species Diversity and Abundance in the Abiriw Sacred Grove in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    L. Kangah-Kesse1 , D. Attuquayefio1*, E. Owusu2, F. Gbogbo1

    human disturbances and wanton over-exploitation. ... health, and death. ... diversity of the bird species inhabiting the Abiriw Sacred Grove as an ... encountered (both visually and vocally) were systematically recorded with counts repeated six.

  1. Checklist of the birds of Kipini Conservancy, Lamu and Tana River ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    to 12 seen in former, and once two birds were feeding amid a group of baboons Papio sp. Crested .... Commonest small raptor, especially in thicket-clump savanna. Very vocal. ...... Distribution, habitat selection and behaviour of the East Coast.

  2. Vocally mediated social recognition in anurans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bee, Mark A.

    2005-09-01

    Anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) are among the most vocal of vertebrates and have long served as model systems for investigating the mechanisms and evolution of acoustic communication. Compared to higher vertebrates, however, the role of cognition in anuran communication has received less attention, at least in part due to the lack of evidence that juvenile anurans learn to produce signals or associate them with particular social contexts. Recent studies of social recognition in two anuran families indicate that territorial male frogs in some species are able to learn about and recognize the individually distinctive properties of the calls of nearby neighbors. For example, male bullfrogs (ranidae) learn about the pitch of a neighbor's vocalizations (an individually distinct voice property) and associate a familiar pitch with the location of the neighbor's territory. As in songbirds, this form of vocally mediated social recognition allows territory holders to direct low levels of aggression toward well-established neighbors, while maintaining a readiness to respond aggressively to more threatening strangers that may attempt a territory takeover. A brief review of currently available data will be used to illustrate how anurans can serve as model systems for investigating the role of cognition in acoustic communication.

  3. Vocal interaction between children with Down syndrome and their parents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiemann-Bourque, Kathy S; Warren, Steven F; Brady, Nancy; Gilkerson, Jill; Richards, Jeffrey A

    2014-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe differences in parent input and child vocal behaviors of children with Down syndrome (DS) compared with typically developing (TD) children. The goals were to describe the language learning environments at distinctly different ages in early childhood. Nine children with DS and 9 age-matched TD children participated; 4 children in each group were ages 9-11 months, and 5 were between 25 and 54 months. Measures were derived from automated vocal analysis. A digital language processor measured the richness of the child's language environment, including number of adult words, conversational turns, and child vocalizations. Analyses indicated no significant differences in words spoken by parents of younger versus older children with DS and significantly more words spoken by parents of TD children than parents of children with DS. Differences between the DS and TD groups were observed in rates of all vocal behaviors, with no differences noted between the younger versus older children with DS, and the younger TD children did not vocalize significantly more than the younger DS children. Parents of children with DS continue to provide consistent levels of input across the early language learning years; however, child vocal behaviors remain low after the age of 24 months, suggesting the need for additional and alternative intervention approaches.

  4. Vocal Interaction between Children with Down syndrome and their Parents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiemann-Bourque, Kathy S.; Warren, Steven F.; Brady, Nancy; Gilkerson, Jill; Richards, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe differences in parent input and child vocal behaviors of children with Down syndrome (DS) compared to typically developing (TD) children. The goals were to describe the language learning environments at distinctly different ages in early childhood. Method Nine children with DS and 9 age-matched TD children participated; four children in each group were ages 9–11 months and five were between 25–54 months. Measures were derived from automated vocal analysis. A digital language processer measured the richness of the child’s language environment, including number of adult words, conversational turns, and child vocalizations. Results Analyses indicated no significant differences in words spoken by parents of younger vs. older children with DS, and significantly more words spoken by parents of TD children than parents of children with DS. Differences between the DS and TD groups were observed in rates of all vocal behaviors; with no differences noted between the younger vs. older children with DS, and the younger TD children did not vocalize significantly more than the younger DS children. Conclusions Parents of children with DS continue to provide consistent levels of input across the early language learning years; however, child vocal behaviors remain low after the age of 24 months suggesting the need for additional and alternative intervention approaches. PMID:24686777

  5. Effects of familiar contingencies on infants' vocal behavior in new communicative contexts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer L

    2014-11-01

    Recently, there has been a growing interest in understanding the mechanisms underlying vocal learning in songbirds and human infants. Research has demonstrated how contingent social feedback from social partners to immature vocalizations can play a role during vocal learning in both brown-headed cowbirds and prelinguistic infants. Contingencies in social interactions, particularly familiar contingencies, are important in developing preferences for social partners and shaping social exchanges Bigelow and Birch [1999]. Infant Behavior & Development 22:367-382]; however, little is known about how familiar contingencies that individuals experience during communicative exchanges play a role in new contexts. The current study examined differences in caregiver response patterns to infant vocal behavior and assessed how familiar contingencies influenced infant vocal behavior in novel communicative exchanges with caregivers. Infants were systematically exposed to high and low social feedback schedules during a play session. Results revealed the frequency of caregiver responsiveness to which infants were accustomed to affected infant vocal production during novel communicative situations. Infants with high responding caregivers vocalized with more mature vocalizations and used their vocalizations differently than infants with low responding caregivers during the high, but not low, response period. Specifically, infants with high responding caregivers directed more of their vocalizations at their caregiver and looked more at their caregiver after vocalizing, an indication of anticipating contingent responding. These results suggest that infants with high responding caregivers learned the association between vocalizing and contingent responses during the novel communicative interaction. This study demonstrates the need to understand how infants who experience a variety of contingencies in everyday interactions with caregivers carry over to other interactive situations.

  6. Acetylcholinesterase in central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Monika Sadananda

    2004-06-01

    The distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch was studied using enzyme histochemistry. AChE fibres and cells are intensely labelled in the forebrain nucleus area X, strongly labelled in high vocal centre (HVC) perikarya, and moderately to lightly labelled in the somata and neuropil of vocal control nuclei robust nucleus of arcopallium (RA), medial magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (MMAN) and lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN). The identified sites of cholinergic and/or cholinoceptive neurons are similar to the cholinergic presence in vocal control regions of other songbirds such as the song sparrow, starling and another genus of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), and to a certain extent in parallel vocal control regions in vocalizing birds such as the budgerigar. AChE presence in the vocal control system suggests innervation by either afferent projecting cholinergic systems and/or local circuit cholinergic neurons. Co-occurrence with choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) indicates efferent cholinergic projections. The cholinergic presence in parts of the zebra finch vocal control system, such as the area X, that is also intricately wired with parts of the basal ganglia, the descending fibre tracts and brain stem nuclei could underlie this circuitry’s involvement in sensory processing and motor control of song.

  7. Classification of laryngeal disorders based on shape and vascular defects of vocal folds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irem Turkmen, H; Elif Karsligil, M; Kocak, Ismail

    2015-07-01

    Vocal fold disorders such as laryngitis, vocal nodules, and vocal polyps may cause hoarseness, breathing and swallowing difficulties due to vocal fold malfunction. Despite the fact that state of the art medical imaging techniques help physicians to obtain more detailed information, difficulty in differentiating minor anomalies of vocal folds encourages physicians to research new strategies and technologies to aid the diagnostic process. Recent studies on vocal fold disorders note the potential role of the vascular structure of vocal folds in differential diagnosis of anomalies. However, standards of clinical usage of the blood vessels have not been well established yet due to the lack of objective and comprehensive evaluation of the vascular structure. In this paper, we present a novel approach that categorizes vocal folds into healthy, nodule, polyp, sulcus vocalis, and laryngitis classes exploiting visible blood vessels on the superior surface of vocal folds and shapes of vocal fold edges by using image processing techniques and machine learning methods. We first detected the vocal folds on videolaryngostroboscopy images by using Histogram of Oriented Gradients (HOG) descriptors. Then we examined the shape of vocal fold edges in order to provide features such as size and splay portion of mass lesions. We developed a new vessel centerline extraction procedure that is specialized to the vascular structure of vocal folds. Extracted vessel centerlines were evaluated in order to get vascular features of vocal folds, such as the amount of vessels in the longitudinal and transverse form. During the last step, categorization of vocal folds was performed by a novel binary decision tree architecture, which evaluates features of the vocal fold edge shape and vascular structure. The performance of the proposed system was evaluated by using laryngeal images of 70 patients. Sensitivity of 86%, 94%, 80%, 73%, and 76% were obtained for healthy, polyp, nodule, laryngitis, and

  8. Frequent vocalizing is negatively associated with brood parasitism in a host of the brown-headed cowbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckler, Sonya E.; Conway, Courtney J.

    2012-01-01

    Brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) can substantially affect host species' reproductive success. The "host-activity" hypothesis suggests that parasites eavesdrop on conspicuous behaviors to locate and parasitize hosts, and several studies of cowbird hosts support this hypothesis. In contrast, a recent study of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) reported a negative association between the host's vocalization rate near the nest and brood parasitism. This contradictory pattern is intriguing because Bell's Vireo is a common cowbird host and vocalizes near and on its nests. We tested a key assumption of the host-activity hypothesis in a different subspecies (V. b. arizonae) to determine whether the contradictory pattern reported in V. b. pusillus is an anomaly or could be generalized to other subspecies. Unparasitized vireos vocalized more frequently than parasitized birds, confirming that the pattern in Bell's Vireos is the opposite of that reported for other cowbird hosts. Nesting stage played a role: unparasitized birds vocalized more than parasitized birds only during the nest-building and incubation stages. Given that vocalization rate and other behaviors change through the breeding season, future tests of the host-activity hypothesis should control for nesting stage. Moreover, future efforts to identify the underlying cause for the association between vocalization rate and probability of parasitism should consider the possibility of reciprocal causal relationships between them. We propose five additional hypotheses to explain why in Bell's Vireo the pattern between these two traits is opposite of what has been reported in other birds.

  9. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia

    OpenAIRE

    Mumović Gordana; Veselinović Mila; Arbutina Tanja; Škrbić Renata

    2014-01-01

    Introduction. Hyperkinetic (hyperfunctional) dysphonia is a common pathology. The disorder is often found in vocal professionals faced with high vocal requirements. Objective. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of vocal therapy on voice condition characterized by hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. Methods. The study included 100 adult patients and 27 children aged 4-16 years with prenodular lesions and soft...

  10. Causes and consequences of song amplitude adjustment in a territorial bird: a case study in nightingales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brumm Henrik

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Vocal amplitude, one of the crucial factors for the exchange of acoustic signals, has been neglected in studies of animal communication, but recent studies on song variation in Common Nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos have revealed new insights into its importance in the singing behavior of territorial birds. In nightingales song amplitude is not maximized per se, but is individually regulated according to the level of masking background noise. Also, birds adjust their vocal intensity according to social variables, as in male-male interactions. Moreover, during such interactions, males exploited the directionality of their songs to broadcast them in the direction of the intended receivers ensuring the most effective signal transmission. Studies of the development of this typical long-range signaling suggest that sound level is highly interrelated with overall developmental progression and learning, and thus should be viewed as an integral part of song ontogeny. I conclude that song amplitude is a dynamic feature of the avian signal system, which is individually regulated according to the ecological demands of signal transmission and the social context of communication.

  11. Pretty Bird by Bob Sinclair

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Recently I was reminded of a story which my mother swears is trus (though she doesn t call me Bobby muchanymore):Back in 1958,when I was just past four years old,my parents gave me a young parakeet.My mother determinedthat our parakeet would learn to talk,and to this end sat at the microphone of a borrowed tape recorder for a full 1/2hour,saying over and over again:“Pretty bird!Pretty bird!Pretty bird!Pretty bird!...”and so on.The resultingtaped message was played for our parakeet at least once pe...

  12. Social ultrasonic vocalization in awake head-restrained mouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Weiner

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Numerous animal species emit vocalizations in response to various social stimuli. The neural basis of vocal communication has been investigated in monkeys, songbirds, rats, bats and invertebrates resulting in deep insights into motor control, neural coding and learning. Mice, which recently became very popular as a model system for mammalian neuroscience, also utilize ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs during mating behavior. However, our knowledge is lacking of both the behavior and its underlying neural mechanism. We developed a novel method for head-restrained male mice (HRMM to interact with non-restrained female mice (NRFM and show that mice can emit USVs in this context. We first recorded USVs in free arena with non-restrained male mice (NRMM and NRFM. Of the NRMM, which vocalized in the free arena, the majority could be habituated to also vocalize while head-restrained but only when a female mouse was present in proximity. The USVs emitted by HRMM are similar to the USVs of NRMM in the presence of a female mouse in their spectral structure, inter syllable interval distribution and USV sequence length, and therefore are interpreted as social USVs. By analyzing vocalizations of NRMM, we established criteria to predict which individuals are likely to vocalize while head fixed based on the USV rate and average syllable duration. To characterize the USVs emitted by HRMM, we analyzed the syllable composition of HRMM and NRMM and found that USVs emitted by HRMM have higher proportions of USVs with complex spectral representation, supporting previous studies showing that mice social USVs are context dependent. Our results suggest a way to study the neural mechanisms of production and control of social vocalization in mice using advanced methods requiring head fixation.

  13. Bird guard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Dana M.

    2010-03-02

    The bird guard provides a device to protect electrical insulators comprising a central shaft; a clamp attached to an end of the shaft to secure the device to a transmission tower; a top and bottom cover to shield transmission tower insulators; and bearings to allow the guard to rotate in order to frighten birds away from the insulators.

  14. Bird guard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Dana M.

    2010-03-02

    The bird guard provides a device to protect electrical insulators comprising a central shaft; a clamp attached to an end of the shaft to secure the device to a transmission tower; a top and bottom cover to shield transmission tower insulators; and bearings to allow the guard to rotate in order to frighten birds away from the insulators.

  15. Individual differences and repeatability in vocal production: stress-induced calling exposes a songbird's personality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M.; Sturdy, Christopher B.

    2011-11-01

    Recent research in songbirds has demonstrated that male singing behavior varies systematically with personality traits such as exploration and risk taking. Here we examine whether the production of bird calls, in addition to bird songs, is repeatable and related to exploratory behavior, using the black-capped chickadee ( Poecile atricapillus) as a model. We assessed the exploratory behavior of individual birds in a novel environment task. We then recorded the vocalizations and accompanying motor behavior of both male and female chickadees, over the course of several days, in two different contexts: a control condition with no playback and a stressful condition where chick-a-dee mobbing calls were played to individual birds. We found that several vocalizations and behaviors were repeatable within both a control and a stressful context, and across contexts. While there was no relationship between vocal output and exploratory behavior in the control context, production of alarm and chick-a-dee calls in the stressful condition was positively associated with exploratory behavior. These findings are important because they show that bird calls, in addition to bird song, are an aspect of personality, in that calls are consistent both within and across contexts, and covary with other personality measures (exploration).

  16. Animal Models of Speech and Vocal Communication Deficits Associated With Psychiatric Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Genevieve; Roberts, Todd F

    2016-01-01

    Disruptions in speech, language, and vocal communication are hallmarks of several neuropsychiatric disorders, most notably autism spectrum disorders. Historically, the use of animal models to dissect molecular pathways and connect them to behavioral endophenotypes in cognitive disorders has proven to be an effective approach for developing and testing disease-relevant therapeutics. The unique aspects of human language compared with vocal behaviors in other animals make such an approach potentially more challenging. However, the study of vocal learning in species with analogous brain circuits to humans may provide entry points for understanding this human-specific phenotype and diseases. We review animal models of vocal learning and vocal communication and specifically link phenotypes of psychiatric disorders to relevant model systems. Evolutionary constraints in the organization of neural circuits and synaptic plasticity result in similarities in the brain mechanisms for vocal learning and vocal communication. Comparative approaches and careful consideration of the behavioral limitations among different animal models can provide critical avenues for dissecting the molecular pathways underlying cognitive disorders that disrupt speech, language, and vocal communication. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Vocal cord dysfunction in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noyes, Blakeslee E; Kemp, James S

    2007-06-01

    Vocal cord dysfunction is characterised by paradoxical vocal cord adduction that occurs during inspiration, resulting in symptoms of dyspnoea, wheeze, chest or throat tightness and cough. Although the condition is well described in children and adults, confusion with asthma often triggers the use of an aggressive treatment regimen directed against asthma. The laryngoscopic demonstration of vocal cord adduction during inspiration has been considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction, but historical factors and pulmonary function findings may provide adequate clues to the correct diagnosis. Speech therapy, and in some cases psychological counselling, is often beneficial in this disorder. The natural course and prognosis of vocal cord dysfunction are still not well described in adults or children.

  18. A Bayesian Account of Vocal Adaptation to Pitch-Shifted Auditory Feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahnloser, Richard H. R.

    2017-01-01

    Motor systems are highly adaptive. Both birds and humans compensate for synthetically induced shifts in the pitch (fundamental frequency) of auditory feedback stemming from their vocalizations. Pitch-shift compensation is partial in the sense that large shifts lead to smaller relative compensatory adjustments of vocal pitch than small shifts. Also, compensation is larger in subjects with high motor variability. To formulate a mechanistic description of these findings, we adapt a Bayesian model of error relevance. We assume that vocal-auditory feedback loops in the brain cope optimally with known sensory and motor variability. Based on measurements of motor variability, optimal compensatory responses in our model provide accurate fits to published experimental data. Optimal compensation correctly predicts sensory acuity, which has been estimated in psychophysical experiments as just-noticeable pitch differences. Our model extends the utility of Bayesian approaches to adaptive vocal behaviors. PMID:28135267

  19. Testing the evolutionary conservation of vocal motoneurons in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albersheim-Carter, Jacob; Blubaum, Aleksandar; Ballagh, Irene H; Missaghi, Kianoush; Siuda, Edward R; McMurray, George; Bass, Andrew H; Dubuc, Réjean; Kelley, Darcy B; Schmidt, Marc F; Wilson, Richard J A; Gray, Paul A

    2016-04-01

    Medullary motoneurons drive vocalization in many vertebrate lineages including fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals. The developmental history of vocal motoneuron populations in each of these lineages remains largely unknown. The highly conserved transcription factor Paired-like Homeobox 2b (Phox2b) is presumed to be expressed in all vertebrate hindbrain branchial motoneurons, including laryngeal motoneurons essential for vocalization in humans. We used immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to examine Phox2b protein and mRNA expression in caudal hindbrain and rostral spinal cord motoneuron populations in seven species across five chordate classes. Phox2b was present in motoneurons dedicated to sound production in mice and frogs (bullfrog, African clawed frog), but not those in bird (zebra finch) or bony fish (midshipman, channel catfish). Overall, the pattern of caudal medullary motoneuron Phox2b expression was conserved across vertebrates and similar to expression in sea lamprey. These observations suggest that motoneurons dedicated to sound production in vertebrates are not derived from a single developmentally or evolutionarily conserved progenitor pool.

  20. Biomechanical control of vocal plasticity in an echolocating bat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Jinhong; Wiegrebe, Lutz

    2016-03-01

    Many animal species adjust the spectral composition of their acoustic signals to variable environments. However, the physiological foundation of such spectral plasticity is often unclear. The source-filter theory of sound production, initially established for human speech, applies to vocalizations in birds and mammals. According to this theory, adjusting the spectral structure of vocalizations could be achieved by modifying either the laryngeal/syringeal source signal or the vocal tract, which filters the source signal. Here, we show that in pale spear-nosed bats, spectral plasticity induced by moderate level background noise is dominated by the vocal tract rather than the laryngeal source signal. Specifically, we found that with increasing background noise levels, bats consistently decreased the spectral centroid of their echolocation calls up to 3.2 kHz, together with other spectral parameters. In contrast, noise-induced changes in fundamental frequency were small (maximally 0.1 kHz) and were inconsistent across individuals. Changes in spectral centroid did not correlate with changes in fundamental frequency, whereas they correlated negatively with changes in call amplitude. Furthermore, while bats consistently increased call amplitude with increasing noise levels (the Lombard effect), increases in call amplitude typically did not lead to increases in fundamental frequency. In summary, our results suggest that at least to a certain degree echolocating bats are capable of adjusting call amplitude, fundamental frequency and spectral parameters independently. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. A bond graph approach to modeling the anuran vocal production system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kime, Nicole M; Ryan, Michael J; Wilson, Preston S

    2013-06-01

    Air-driven vocal production systems such as those found in mammals, birds, and anurans (frogs and toads) combine pneumatic and mechanical elements in species-specific ways to produce a diversity of communication signals. This study uses bond graphs to model a generalized anuran vocal production system. Bond graphs allow an incremental approach to modeling dynamic physical systems involving different domains. Anurans provide an example of how signal diversity results from variation in the structure and behavior of vocal system elements. This paper first proposes a bond graph model of the integrated anuran vocal system as a framework for future study. It then presents a simulated submodel of the anuran sound source that produces sustained oscillations in vocal fold displacement and air flow through the larynx. The modeling approach illustrated here should prove of general applicability to other biological sound production systems, and will allow researchers to study the biomechanics of vocal production as well as the functional congruence and evolution of groups of traits within integrated vocal systems.

  2. Primate vocal communication: a useful tool for understanding human speech and language evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedurek, Pawel; Slocombe, Katie E

    2011-04-01

    Language is a uniquely human trait, and questions of how and why it evolved have been intriguing scientists for years. Nonhuman primates (primates) are our closest living relatives, and their behavior can be used to estimate the capacities of our extinct ancestors. As humans and many primate species rely on vocalizations as their primary mode of communication, the vocal behavior of primates has been an obvious target for studies investigating the evolutionary roots of human speech and language. By studying the similarities and differences between human and primate vocalizations, comparative research has the potential to clarify the evolutionary processes that shaped human speech and language. This review examines some of the seminal and recent studies that contribute to our knowledge regarding the link between primate calls and human language and speech. We focus on three main aspects of primate vocal behavior: functional reference, call combinations, and vocal learning. Studies in these areas indicate that despite important differences, primate vocal communication exhibits some key features characterizing human language. They also indicate, however, that some critical aspects of speech, such as vocal plasticity, are not shared with our primate cousins. We conclude that comparative research on primate vocal behavior is a very promising tool for deepening our understanding of the evolution of human speech and language, but much is still to be done as many aspects of monkey and ape vocalizations remain largely unexplored.

  3. Ornithologists by Design: Kindergarteners Design, Construct, and Evaluate Bird Feeders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shorter, Angela; Segers, Marcia

    2016-01-01

    How can an engineer design a bird feeder that attracts many birds? This question resulted from kindergarten students' observations of the bird feeders in their school's bird sanctuary. The challenging question is the heart of project-based learning (PBL), a teaching strategy in which students tackle real-world problems and design projects to solve…

  4. Ornithologists by Design: Kindergarteners Design, Construct, and Evaluate Bird Feeders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shorter, Angela; Segers, Marcia

    2016-01-01

    How can an engineer design a bird feeder that attracts many birds? This question resulted from kindergarten students' observations of the bird feeders in their school's bird sanctuary. The challenging question is the heart of project-based learning (PBL), a teaching strategy in which students tackle real-world problems and design projects to solve…

  5. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mumović Gordana

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Hyperkinetic (hyperfunctional dysphonia is a common pathology. The disorder is often found in vocal professionals faced with high vocal requirements. Objective. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of vocal therapy on voice condition characterized by hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. Methods. The study included 100 adult patients and 27 children aged 4-16 years with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. A subjective acoustic analysis using the GIRBAS scale was performed prior to and after vocal therapy. Twenty adult patients and 10 children underwent objective acoustic analysis including several acoustic parameters. Pathological vocal qualities (hoarse, harsh and breathy voice were also obtained by computer analysis. Results. The subjective acoustic analysis revealed a significant (p<0.01 reduction in all dysphonia parameters after vocal treatment in adults and children. After treatment, all levels of dysphonia were lowered in 85% (85/100 of adult patients and 29% (29/100 had a normal voice. Before vocal therapy 9 children had severe, 13 had moderate and 8 slight dysphonia. After vocal therapy only 1 child had severe dysphonia, 7 had moderate, 10 had slight levels of dysphonia and 9 were without voice disorder. The objective acoustic analysis in adults revealed a significant improvement (p≤0.025 in all dysphonia parameters except SD F0 and jitter %. In children, the acoustic parameters SD F0, jitter % and NNE (normal noise energy were significantly improved (p=0.003-0.03. Pathological voice qualities were also improved in adults and children (p<0.05. Conclusion. Vocal therapy effectively improves the voice in hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules in both adults and children, affecting diverse acoustic parameters.

  6. Physiologically driven avian vocal synthesizer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitt, Jacobo D.; Arneodo, Ezequiel M.; Goller, Franz; Mindlin, Gabriel B.

    2010-03-01

    In this work, we build an electronic syrinx, i.e., a programmable electronic device capable of integrating biomechanical model equations for the avian vocal organ in order to synthesize song. This vocal prosthesis is controlled by the bird’s neural instructions to respiratory and the syringeal motor systems, thus opening great potential for studying motor control and its modification by sensory feedback mechanisms. Furthermore, a well-functioning subject-controlled vocal prosthesis can lay the foundation for similar devices in humans and thus provide directly health-related data and procedures.

  7. Hawaii ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for endangered waterbirds and passerine birds, migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, gulls and terns,...

  8. Modal locking between vocal fold and vocal tract oscillations

    CERN Document Server

    Aalto, Atte; Malinen, Jarmo; Vainio, Martti

    2012-01-01

    The human vocal folds are known to interact with the vocal tract acoustics during voiced speech production; namely a nonlinear source-filter coupling has been observed both by using models and in \\emph{in vivo} phonation. These phenomena are approached from two directions in this article. We first present a computational dynamical model of the speech apparatus that contains an explicit filter-source feedback mechanism from the vocal tract acoustics back to the vocal folds oscillations. The model was used to simulate vocal pitch glideswhere the trajectory was forced to cross the lowest vocal tract resonance, i.e., the lowest formant $F_1$. Similar patterns produced by human participants were then studied. Both the simulations and the experimental results reveal an effect when the glides cross the first formant (as may happen in \\textipa{[i]}). Conversely, this effect is not observed if there is no formant within the glide range (as is the case in \\textipa{[\\textscripta]}). The experiments show smaller effect c...

  9. Perceptual fluency and judgments of vocal aesthetics and stereotypicality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babel, Molly; McGuire, Grant

    2015-05-01

    Research has shown that processing dynamics on the perceiver's end determine aesthetic pleasure. Specifically, typical objects, which are processed more fluently, are perceived as more attractive. We extend this notion of perceptual fluency to judgments of vocal aesthetics. Vocal attractiveness has traditionally been examined with respect to sexual dimorphism and the apparent size of a talker, as reconstructed from the acoustic signal, despite evidence that gender-specific speech patterns are learned social behaviors. In this study, we report on a series of three experiments using 60 voices (30 females) to compare the relationship between judgments of vocal attractiveness, stereotypicality, and gender categorization fluency. Our results indicate that attractiveness and stereotypicality are highly correlated for female and male voices. Stereotypicality and categorization fluency were also correlated for male voices, but not female voices. Crucially, stereotypicality and categorization fluency interacted to predict attractiveness, suggesting the role of perceptual fluency is present, but nuanced, in judgments of human voices.

  10. Vocal Improvisation for Elementary Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Keith P.

    1980-01-01

    The author describes the three-phase process of musical creativity (exploratory, invention, organizational), identifying activities in each of the creative phases. Included are vocal impression, picture sounds, chord tones, and name improvisation. Selected readings and recordings are included. (KC)

  11. Vocal therapy of hyperkinetic dysphonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumović, Gordana; Veselinović, Mila; Arbutina, Tanja; Škrbić, Renata

    2014-01-01

    Hyperkinetic (hyperfunctional) dysphonia is a common pathology. The disorder is often found in vocal professionals faced with high vocal requirements. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of vocal therapy on voice condition characterized by hyperkinetic dysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. The study included 100 adult patients and 27 children aged 4-16 years with prenodular lesions and soft nodules. A subjective acoustic analysis using the GIRBAS scale was performed prior to and after vocal therapy. Twenty adult patients and 10 children underwent objective acoustic analysis including several acoustic parameters. Pathological vocal qualities (hoarse, harsh and breathy voice) were also obtained by computer analysis. The subjective acoustic analysis revealed a significant (pdysphonia parameters after vocal treatment in adults and children. After treatment, all levels of dysphonia were lowered in 85% (85/100) of adult patients and 29% (29/100) had a normal voice. Before vocal therapy 9 children had severe, 13 had moderate and 8 slight dysphonia. After vocal therapy only 1 child had severe dysphonia, 7 had moderate, 10 had slight levels of dysphonia and 9 were without voice disorder. The objective acoustic analysis in adults revealed a significant improvement (p≤0.025) in all dysphonia parameters except SD FO and jitter %. In children, the acoustic parameters SD FO, jitter % and NNE (normal noise energy) were significantly improved (p=0.003-0.03). Pathological voice qualities were also improved in adults and children (pdysphonia with prenodular lesions and soft nodules in both adults and children, affectinq diverse acoustic parameters.

  12. Sleep and Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margoliash, Daniel

    2010-03-01

    The neural basis of cognition represents a grand challenge problem involving multiple disciplines and approaches to the analysis of behavior. Song learning by juvenile songbirds such as zebra finches has proven to have considerable utility for exploring how behavior is represented at multiple levels of brain function. As classically described, young birds are exposed to a ``tutor'' (adult) song and commit that song to memory early in life, then engage in an extended period (weeks) of plastic singing as they slowly learn to match vocal output to the tutor song memory via auditory feedback. In recent years, the role of sleep in learning processes has been actively explored. Young birds isolated from adult songs, then suddenly given access to such songs at circa 40 days of age, show a sudden change in their singing behavior starting on the day following first exposure. Such birds sing songs that have less structure in the mornings than do the songs sung in the afternoons before or after that morning. This fluctuation is directly the result of sleep (not circadian rhythm), and the magnitude of fluctuation is positively correlated with the ultimate similarity to the tutor song. Examining spontaneous neuronal activity in certain brain structures during the night in sleeping adults shows ``replay'' of the patterns of activity the same neurons exhibit during daytime singing, and ``preplay'' of new patterns that will first be incorporated into daytime singing the following day. In experiments on juveniles, nighttime neuronal activity shows dramatic changes associated with song learning, even on the night after the first day of tutor song exposure (preceding changes in singing behavior). Offline processing, especially sleep, has been well documented to participate in memory consolidation in a very broad range of behaviors including in humans. Placing the bird song results in a theoretical framework thereby helps to inform a very broad range of phenomena.

  13. Orientation and navigation in birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Bouwman

    1998-07-01

    Full Text Available How birds orientate and navigate over long distances, remains one of the subjects of ornithology eliciting much interest. Birds use combinations of different sources of information to find direction and position. Some of these are the geomagnetic field, celestial bodies, mosaic and gradient maps, sound, smell, idiotetic information and others. Different species use different combinations of sources. This ability is partially inherent and partially learned.

  14. A sonic net excludes birds from an airfield: implications for reducing bird strike and crop losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swaddle, John P; Moseley, Dana L; Hinders, Mark K; Smith, Elizabeth P

    2016-03-01

    Collisions between birds and aircraft cause billions of dollars of damages annually to civil, commercial, and military aviation. Yet technology to reduce bird strike is not generally effective, especially over longer time periods. Previous information from our lab indicated that filling an area with acoustic noise, which masks important communication channels for birds, can displace European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from food sources. Here we deployed a spatially controlled noise (termed a "sonic net"), designed to overlap with the frequency range of bird vocalizations, at an airfield. By conducting point counts, we monitored the presence of birds for four weeks before deployment of our sonic net, and for four weeks during deployment. We found an 82% reduction in bird presence in the sonic net area compared with change in the reference areas. This effect was as strong in the fourth week of exposure as in the first week. We also calculated the potential costs avoided resulting from this exclusion. We propose that spatially controlled acoustic manipulations that mask auditory communication for birds may be an effective long term and fairly benign way of excluding problem birds from areas of socioeconomic importance, such as airfields, agricultural sites, and commercial properties.

  15. How cooperatively breeding birds identify relatives and avoid incest: New insights into dispersal and kin recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riehl, Christina; Stern, Caitlin A

    2015-12-01

    Cooperative breeding in birds typically occurs when offspring - usually males - delay dispersal from their natal group, remaining with the family to help rear younger kin. Sex-biased dispersal is thought to have evolved in order to reduce the risk of inbreeding, resulting in low relatedness between mates and the loss of indirect fitness benefits for the dispersing sex. In this review, we discuss several recent studies showing that dispersal patterns are more variable than previously thought, often leading to complex genetic structure within cooperative avian societies. These empirical findings accord with recent theoretical models suggesting that sex- biased dispersal is neither necessary, nor always sufficient, to prevent inbreeding. The ability to recognize relatives, primarily by learning individual or group-specific vocalizations, may play a more important role in incest avoidance than currently appreciated.

  16. Columbia River ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns in...

  17. Western Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  18. Native language factors affecting use of vocalic cues to final consonant voicing in English.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, C S; Mann, V

    1992-08-01

    Preceding vocalic information can cue final consonant voicing for native English speakers. This study examines subjects' use of two vocalic cues, vocalic duration, and F1 offset frequency, as a function of two native language factors, experience with final stop consonants, and experience with phonemic vowel length. Native speakers of English are compared to native speakers of Japanese and Mandarin Chinese who are learning English as a second language. Experiment 1 measured the F1 offset frequency and vocalic duration in productions of "pod" and "pot." Experiment 2 assessed identification of natural tokens of "pod" and "pot" with and without closure segments and bursts. Experiment 3 assessed categorization of synthetic "pod"-"pot" stimuli that systematically manipulated vocalic duration and F1 offset frequency. Native speakers of English showed the strongest implementation of and sensitivity to vocalic duration, Mandarin speakers showed significantly weaker effects, and Japanese speakers fell in between. Group-related differences in use of F1 offset frequency were smaller, and much clearer in the case of production than perception. It is hypothesized that a lack of experience with final consonants penalizes use of vocalic cues among the Japanese and Mandarin subjects, in general. The advantage of the Japanese subjects for use of vocalic duration further suggests a facilitation effect of experience with phonemic vowel length.

  19. Sexual selection and natural selection in bird speciation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Trevor Price

    1998-01-01

    .... I evaluate premating isolating mechanisms in one group, the birds. In this group premating isolation is often a consequence of sexual imprinting, whereby young birds learn features of their parents and use these features in mate choice...

  20. Drinking songs: alcohol effects on learned song of zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher R Olson

    Full Text Available Speech impairment is one of the most intriguing and least understood effects of alcohol on cognitive function, largely due to the lack of data on alcohol effects on vocalizations in the context of an appropriate experimental model organism. Zebra finches, a representative songbird and a premier model for understanding the neurobiology of vocal production and learning, learn song in a manner analogous to how humans learn speech. Here we show that when allowed access, finches readily drink alcohol, increase their blood ethanol concentrations (BEC significantly, and sing a song with altered acoustic structure. The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds' ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol. Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production. Remarkably, these effects on vocalizations occurred without overt effects on general behavioral measures, and importantly, they occurred within a range of BEC that can be considered risky for humans. Our results suggest that the variable effects of alcohol on finch song reflect differential alcohol sensitivity of the brain circuitry elements that control different aspects of song production. They also point to finches as an informative model for understanding how alcohol affects the neuronal circuits that control the production of learned motor behaviors.

  1. Comparisons of different methods to train a young zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to learn a song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derégnaucourt, Sébastien; Poirier, Colline; Kant, Anne Van der; Linden, Annemie Van der; Gahr, Manfred

    2013-06-01

    Like humans, oscine songbirds exhibit vocal learning. They learn their song by imitating conspecifics, mainly adults. Among them, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) has been widely used as a model species to study the behavioral, cellular and molecular substrates of vocal learning. Various methods using taped song playback have been used in the laboratory to train young male finches to learn a song. Since different protocols have been applied by different research groups, the efficiency of the studies cannot be directly compared. The purpose of our study was to address this problem. Young finches were raised by their mother alone from day post hatching (dph) 10 and singly isolated from dph 35. One week later, exposure to a song model began, either using a live tutor or taped playback (passive or self-elicited). At dph 100, the birds were transferred to a common aviary. We observed that one-to-one live tutoring is the best method to get a fairly complete imitation. Using self-elicited playback we observed high inter-individual variability; while some finches learned well (including good copying of the song model), others exhibited poor copying. Passive playback resulted in poor imitation of the model. We also observed that finches exhibited vocal changes after dph 100 and that the range of these changes was negatively related to their imitation of the song model. Taken together, these results suggest that social aspects are predominant in the success outcome of song learning in the zebra finch.

  2. Simulated birdwatchers' playback affects the behavior of two tropical birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J Berton C; Haskell, David G

    2013-01-01

    Although recreational birdwatchers may benefit conservation by generating interest in birds, they may also have negative effects. One such potentially negative impact is the widespread use of recorded vocalizations, or "playback," to attract birds of interest, including range-restricted and threatened species. Although playback has been widely used to test hypotheses about the evolution of behavior, no peer-reviewed study has examined the impacts of playback in a birdwatching context on avian behavior. We studied the effects of simulated birdwatchers' playback on the vocal behavior of Plain-tailed Wrens Thryothorus euophrys and Rufous Antpittas Grallaria rufula in Ecuador. Study species' vocal behavior was monitored for an hour after playing either a single bout of five minutes of song or a control treatment of background noise. We also studied the effects of daily five minute playback on five groups of wrens over 20 days. In single bout experiments, antpittas made more vocalizations of all types, except for trills, after playback compared to controls. Wrens sang more duets after playback, but did not produce more contact calls. In repeated playback experiments, wren responses were strong at first, but hardly detectable by day 12. During the study, one study group built a nest, apparently unperturbed, near a playback site. The playback-induced habituation and changes in vocal behavior we observed suggest that scientists should consider birdwatching activity when selecting research sites so that results are not biased by birdwatchers' playback. Increased vocalizations after playback could be interpreted as a negative effect of playback if birds expend energy, become stressed, or divert time from other activities. In contrast, the habituation we documented suggests that frequent, regular birdwatchers' playback may have minor effects on wren behavior.

  3. Simulated birdwatchers' playback affects the behavior of two tropical birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Berton C Harris

    Full Text Available Although recreational birdwatchers may benefit conservation by generating interest in birds, they may also have negative effects. One such potentially negative impact is the widespread use of recorded vocalizations, or "playback," to attract birds of interest, including range-restricted and threatened species. Although playback has been widely used to test hypotheses about the evolution of behavior, no peer-reviewed study has examined the impacts of playback in a birdwatching context on avian behavior. We studied the effects of simulated birdwatchers' playback on the vocal behavior of Plain-tailed Wrens Thryothorus euophrys and Rufous Antpittas Grallaria rufula in Ecuador. Study species' vocal behavior was monitored for an hour after playing either a single bout of five minutes of song or a control treatment of background noise. We also studied the effects of daily five minute playback on five groups of wrens over 20 days. In single bout experiments, antpittas made more vocalizations of all types, except for trills, after playback compared to controls. Wrens sang more duets after playback, but did not produce more contact calls. In repeated playback experiments, wren responses were strong at first, but hardly detectable by day 12. During the study, one study group built a nest, apparently unperturbed, near a playback site. The playback-induced habituation and changes in vocal behavior we observed suggest that scientists should consider birdwatching activity when selecting research sites so that results are not biased by birdwatchers' playback. Increased vocalizations after playback could be interpreted as a negative effect of playback if birds expend energy, become stressed, or divert time from other activities. In contrast, the habituation we documented suggests that frequent, regular birdwatchers' playback may have minor effects on wren behavior.

  4. University Vocal Training and Vocal Health of Music Educators and Music Therapists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Vicki D.; Cohen, Nicki

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe the university vocal training and vocal health of music educators and music therapists. The participants (N = 426), music educators (n = 351) and music therapists (n = 75), completed a survey addressing demographics, vocal training, voice usage, and vocal health. Both groups reported singing at least 50%…

  5. The vocal monotony of monogamy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jeanette

    2003-04-01

    There are four phocids in waters around Antarctica: Weddell, leopard, crabeater, and Ross seals. These four species provide a unique opportunity to examine underwater vocal behavior in species sharing the same ecosystem. Some species live in pack ice, others in factice, but all are restricted to the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic islands. All breed and produce vocalizations under water. Social systems range from polygyny in large breeding colonies, to serial monogamy, to solitary species. The type of mating system influences the number of underwater vocalizations in the repertoire, with monogamous seals producing only a single call, polygynous species producing up to 35 calls, and solitary species an intermediate number of about 10 calls. Breeding occurs during the austral spring and each species carves-out an acoustic niche for communicating, with species using different frequency ranges, temporal patterns, and amplitude changes to convey their species-specific calls and presumably reduce acoustic competition. Some species exhibit geographic variations in their vocalizations around the continent, which may reflect discrete breeding populations. Some seals become silent during a vulnerable time of predation by killer whales, perhaps to avoid detection. Overall, vocalizations of these seals exhibit adaptive characteristics that reflect the co-evolution among species in the same ecosystem.

  6. The effect of vocal tract impedance on the vocal folds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agerkvist, Finn T.; Selamtzis, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    , which is the mode that is most limited in pitch range, was tested at its pitch limit C5 (523 Hz) under normal conditions and when the singer has inhaled Helium. When inhaling Helium the acoustic impedance of the vocal tract is reduced in magnitude and the resonances are scaled upwards in frequency due...... to different density and speed of sound in Helium. The electroglottograph shows a change in waveform when the singer inhales helium. The percentage of the glottal cycle when the vocal cords are open, the so-called open quotient, increases from 40 to 55%. When inhaling helium the male singer was able reach Eb5...

  7. 高中音乐教学中如何指导学生声乐学习%How to Guide Students to Learn Vocal Music in High School

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨艳

    2014-01-01

    高中音乐教学中声乐教学是其不可缺少的重要部分。声乐教学有着丰富的社会内容,现代声乐艺术的范围也是很广泛的,包括语言、旋律、声腔、动作等。因此,在高中音乐教学中我们要重视声乐教学。%The teaching of vocal music occupies the important position in the music education of high school. Vocal music teaching has a rich social content, the scope of modern vocal music also is very broad, including language, melody, spoke, movements and so on. Therefore, we should attach importance to vocal music teaching in high school music teaching.

  8. An Investigation of Extinction-Induced Vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentino, Amber L.; Shillingsburg, M. Alice; Call, Nathan A.; Burton, Britney; Bowen, Crystal N.

    2011-01-01

    Children with autism have significant communication delays. Although some children develop vocalizations through shaping and differential reinforcement, others rarely exhibit vocalizations, and alternative methods are targeted in intervention. However, vocal language often remains a goal for caregivers and clinicians. Thus, strategies to increase…

  9. The evolution of learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Bruce R

    2004-05-01

    Most processes or forms of learning have been treated almost as special creations, each as an independent process unrelated to others. This review offers an evolutionary cladogram linking nearly one hundred forms of learning and showing the paths through which they evolved. Many processes have multiple forms. There are at least five imprinting processes, eleven varieties of Pavlovian conditioning, ten of instrumental conditioning, and eight forms of mimicry and imitation. Song learning evolved independently in at least six groups of animals, and movement imitation in three (great apes, cetaceans and psittacine birds). The cladogram also involves at least eight new processes: abstract concept formation, percussive mimicry, cross-modal imitation, apo-conditioning, hybrid conditioning, proto-pantomime, prosodic mimicry, and image-mediated learning. At least eight of the processes evolved from more than one source. Multiple sources are of course consistent with modern evolutionary theory, as seen in some obligate symbionts, and gene-swapping organisms. Song learning is believed to have evolved from two processes: auditory imprinting and skill learning. Many single words evolved from three sources: vocal mimicry, discrimination learning, and abstract concept formation.

  10. Vocal similarity and familiarity determine response to potential flockmates in orange-fronted conures (Psittacidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balsby, Thorsten Johannes Skovbjerg; Adams, Danielle M.

    2011-01-01

    to discriminate others based on their vocalizations and associate knowledge with their vocal identity. Alternatively, this decision may be determined solely by the current interaction. In a playback experiment, we tested the ability of orange-fronted conures, Aratinga canicularis to discriminate between calls...... of familiar and unfamiliar females. Males were able to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar calls from different females. Furthermore, test birds seemed to associate experience from the previous interaction with the vocal characteristics of the familiar call, but this result was marginally...... nonsignificant. The success of the playback in imitating the test bird’s contact call in the current interaction proved important, as high similarity between playback and the test bird’s contact calls elicited a stronger response from it. The importance of call imitation during current interactions probably...

  11. Vocal signals in a tropical avian species, the redvented bulbul Pycnonotus cafer: their characteristics and importance

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Anil Kumar; Dinesh Bhatt

    2000-12-01

    Acoustic signals play an important role in the lives of birds. Almost all avian species produce vocal signals in a variety of contexts either in the form of calls or songs or both. In the present study different types of vocal signals of the tropical avian species Pycnonotus cafer were characterized on the basis of their physical characteristics and context of production. This species used six types of vocal signals: contact signals, roosting signals, alarm signals, twittering signals, distress signals and begging signals. Two types of alarm signals are produced based on predation pressure. These signals are dissimilar in all physical characteristics except for dominant frequency. Although alarm signal type I and roosting signals are phonetically similar, they have completely different sonogram characteristics.

  12. Vocal similarity and familiarity determine response to potential flockmates in orange-fronted conures (Psittacidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balsby, Thorsten Johannes Skovbjerg; Adams, Danielle M.

    2011-01-01

    to discriminate others based on their vocalizations and associate knowledge with their vocal identity. Alternatively, this decision may be determined solely by the current interaction. In a playback experiment, we tested the ability of orange-fronted conures, Aratinga canicularis to discriminate between calls...... of familiar and unfamiliar females. Males were able to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar calls from different females. Furthermore, test birds seemed to associate experience from the previous interaction with the vocal characteristics of the familiar call, but this result was marginally...... nonsignificant. The success of the playback in imitating the test bird’s contact call in the current interaction proved important, as high similarity between playback and the test bird’s contact calls elicited a stronger response from it. The importance of call imitation during current interactions probably...

  13. BIRD FLU (AVIAN INFLUENZA)

    OpenAIRE

    Ali ACAR; Bulent BESIRBELLIOÐLU

    2005-01-01

    Avian influenza (bird flu) is a contagious disease of animals caused by influenza A viruses. These flu viruses occur naturally among birds. Actually, humans are not infected by bird flu viruses.. However, during an outbreak of bird flu among poultry, there is a possible risk to people who have contact infect birds or surface that have been contaminated with excreations from infected birds. Symptoms of bird flu in humans have ranged from typical flu-like symptoms to eye infections, pneumonia, ...

  14. Dead Wolves, Dead Birds, and Dead Trees: Catalysts for Transformative Learning in the Making of Scientist-Environmentalists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    This historical study identifies catalysts for transformative learning in the lives of three scientist-environmentalists important to the 20th-century environmental movement: Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and David Suzuki. Following a brief review of theoretical perspectives on transformative learning, the article argues that transformative…

  15. Dead Wolves, Dead Birds, and Dead Trees: Catalysts for Transformative Learning in the Making of Scientist-Environmentalists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    This historical study identifies catalysts for transformative learning in the lives of three scientist-environmentalists important to the 20th-century environmental movement: Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and David Suzuki. Following a brief review of theoretical perspectives on transformative learning, the article argues that transformative…

  16. The Effects of Pitch Shifts on Delay-Induced Changes in Vocal Sequencing in a Songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Conor W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Like human speech, vocal behavior in songbirds depends critically on auditory feedback. In both humans and songbirds, vocal skills are acquired by a process of imitation whereby current vocal production is compared to an acoustic target. Similarly, performance in adulthood relies strongly on auditory feedback, and online manipulations of auditory signals can dramatically alter acoustic production even after vocalizations have been well learned. Artificially delaying auditory feedback can disrupt both speech and birdsong, and internal delays in auditory feedback have been hypothesized as a cause of vocal dysfluency in persons who stutter. Furthermore, in both song and speech, online shifts of the pitch (fundamental frequency) of auditory feedback lead to compensatory changes in vocal pitch for small perturbations, but larger pitch shifts produce smaller changes in vocal output. Intriguingly, large pitch shifts can partially restore normal speech in some dysfluent speakers, suggesting that the effects of auditory feedback delays might be ameliorated by online pitch manipulations. Although birdsong provides a promising model system for understanding speech production, the interactions between sensory feedback delays and pitch shifts have not yet been assessed in songbirds. To investigate this, we asked whether the addition of a pitch shift modulates delay-induced changes in Bengalese finch song, hypothesizing that pitch shifts would reduce the effects of feedback delays. Compared with the effects of delays alone, combined delays and pitch shifts resulted in a significant reduction in behavioral changes in one type of sequencing (branch points) but not another (distribution of repeated syllables). PMID:28144622

  17. The Effects of Pitch Shifts on Delay-Induced Changes in Vocal Sequencing in a Songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, MacKenzie; Berthiaume, Emily A; Kelly, Conor W; Sober, Samuel J

    2017-01-01

    Like human speech, vocal behavior in songbirds depends critically on auditory feedback. In both humans and songbirds, vocal skills are acquired by a process of imitation whereby current vocal production is compared to an acoustic target. Similarly, performance in adulthood relies strongly on auditory feedback, and online manipulations of auditory signals can dramatically alter acoustic production even after vocalizations have been well learned. Artificially delaying auditory feedback can disrupt both speech and birdsong, and internal delays in auditory feedback have been hypothesized as a cause of vocal dysfluency in persons who stutter. Furthermore, in both song and speech, online shifts of the pitch (fundamental frequency) of auditory feedback lead to compensatory changes in vocal pitch for small perturbations, but larger pitch shifts produce smaller changes in vocal output. Intriguingly, large pitch shifts can partially restore normal speech in some dysfluent speakers, suggesting that the effects of auditory feedback delays might be ameliorated by online pitch manipulations. Although birdsong provides a promising model system for understanding speech production, the interactions between sensory feedback delays and pitch shifts have not yet been assessed in songbirds. To investigate this, we asked whether the addition of a pitch shift modulates delay-induced changes in Bengalese finch song, hypothesizing that pitch shifts would reduce the effects of feedback delays. Compared with the effects of delays alone, combined delays and pitch shifts resulted in a significant reduction in behavioral changes in one type of sequencing (branch points) but not another (distribution of repeated syllables).

  18. Vocal Health for Physical Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trout, Josh; McColl, Douglas

    2007-01-01

    Evidence suggests that teachers are often at risk for vocal disease and are more likely to change occupations because of their voice problems compared to non-teachers. Physical educators are especially at risk for voice problems due to the intense daily demands of voice projection. Chronic abuse can cause swelling and inflammation of the…

  19. Game Birds of Colorado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colorado State Div. of Wildlife, Denver.

    This booklet is intended to familiarize the reader with game birds typical of Colorado. Discussions in English and Spanish are presented. Discussions cover the management of game birds, individual game bird species, and endangered species of birds related to game birds. (RE)

  20. Reelin signaling in the basal ganglia: comparative neuroanatomy and implications for vocal behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Fraley, Elizabeth Ross

    2017-01-01

    Vocal learning is a complex motor activity that relies on the coordination of different brain regions including the basal ganglia. By studying the vocal learning zebra finch, this work has uncovered a novel pathway that is regulated by singing behavior. The Reelin-signaling pathway like the human language transcription factor, FoxP2, is regulated in a basal ganglia region, Area X. The pathway was found to be regulated during the sensorimotor phase of song learning in finches as well as in adu...

  1. Diving birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clanet, Christophe; Masson, Lucien; McKinley, Gareth; Cohen, Robert; Ecole polytechnique Collaboration; MIT Collaboration

    2015-11-01

    Many seabirds (gannets, pelicans, gulls, albatrosses) dive into water at high speeds (25 m/s) in order to capture underwater preys. Diving depths of 20 body lengths are reported in the literature. This value is much larger than the one achieved by men, which is of the order of 5. We study this difference by comparing the impact of slender vs bluff bodies. We show that, contrary to bluff bodies, the penetration depth of slender bodies presents a maximum value for a specific impact velocity that we connect to the velocity of diving birds.

  2. Decomposition of vocal cycle length perturbations into vocal jitter and vocal microtremor, and comparison of their size in normophonic speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoentgen, J

    2003-06-01

    A statistical method that enables raw vocal cycle length perturbations to be decomposed into perturbations ascribed to vocal jitter and vocal tremor is presented, together with a comparison of the size of jitter and tremor. The method is based on a time series model that splits the vocal cycle length perturbations into uncorrelated cycle-to-cycle perturbations ascribed to vocal jitter and supra-cycle perturbations ascribed to vocal tremor. The corpus was composed of 114 vocal cycle length time series for sustained vowels [a], [i], and [u] produced by 22 male and 16 female normophonic speakers. The results were the following. First, 100 out of 114 time series were decomposed successfully by means of the time series model. Second, vocal perturbations ascribed to tremor were significantly larger than perturbations ascribed to jitter. Third, the correlation between vocal jitter and vocal tremor was moderate, but statistically significant. Fourth, small but statistically significant differences were observed among the three vowel timbres in the relative jitter and the arithmetic difference of jitter and tremor. Fifth, the differences between male and female speakers were not statistically significant in the relative raw perturbations, the relative jitter, or the modulation level owing to tremor.

  3. Songbirds tune their vocal tract to the fundamental frequency of their song

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Tobias; Suthers, Roderick A.; Fletcher, Neville H.; Blevins, William E.

    2006-01-01

    In human speech, the sound generated by the larynx is modified by articulatory movements of the upper vocal tract, which acts as a variable resonant filter concentrating energy near particular frequencies, or formants, essential in speech recognition. Despite its potential importance in vocal communication, little is known about the presence of tunable vocal tract filters in other vertebrates. The tonal quality of much birdsong, in which upper harmonics have relatively little energy, depends on filtering of the vocal source, but the nature of this filter is controversial. Current hypotheses treat the songbird vocal tract as a rigid tube with a resonance that is modulated by the end-correction of a variable beak opening. Through x-ray cinematography of singing birds, we show that birdsong is accompanied by cyclical movements of the hyoid skeleton and changes in the diameter of the cranial end of the esophagus that maintain an inverse relationship between the volume of the oropharyngeal cavity and esophagus and the song’s fundamental frequency. A computational acoustic model indicates that this song-related motor pattern tunes the major resonance of the oropharyngeal–esophageal cavity to actively track the song’s fundamental frequency. PMID:16567614

  4. Vocal tract motor patterns and resonance during constant frequency song: the white-throated sparrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Tobias; Suthers, Roderick A

    2009-02-01

    Bird song is a complex behavior that requires the coordination of several motor systems. Sound is produced in the syrinx and then modified by the upper vocal tract. Movements of the hyoid skeleton have been shown in the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) to be extensively involved in forming an oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity (OEC), which contributes a major resonance to the vocal tract transfer function. Here we report that a similar relationship exists between the volume of the OEC and the fundamental frequency in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) whose song, unlike that of the cardinal, consists of a series of almost constant frequency notes. Cineradiography of singing sparrows shows that the oropharyngeal cavity and cranial end of the esophagus expand abruptly at the start of each note and maintain a relatively constant volume until the end of the note. Computation of the vocal tract transfer function suggests a major resonance of the OEC follows the fundamental frequency, making sound transmission more efficient. The presence of similar prominent song-related vocal tract motor patterns in two Oscine families suggests that the active control of the vocal tract resonance by varying the volume of the OEC may be widespread in songbirds.

  5. High-pitched notes during vocal contests signal genetic diversity in ocellated antbirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi-Men Araya-Ajoy

    Full Text Available Animals use honest signals to assess the quality of competitors during aggressive interactions. Current theory predicts that honest signals should be costly to produce and thus reveal some aspects of the phenotypic or genetic quality of the sender. In songbirds, research indicates that biomechanical constraints make the production of some acoustic features costly. Furthermore, recent studies have found that vocal features are related to genetic diversity. We linked these two lines of research by evaluating if constrained acoustic features reveal male genetic diversity during aggressive interactions in ocellated antbirds (Phaenostictus mcleannani. We recorded the aggressive vocalizations of radiotagged males at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica, and found significant variation in the highest frequency produced among individuals. Moreover, we detected a negative relationship between the frequency of the highest pitched note and vocalization duration, suggesting that high pitched notes might constrain the duration of vocalizations through biomechanical and/or energetic limitations. When we experimentally exposed wild radiotagged males to simulated acoustic challenges, the birds increased the pitch of their vocalization. We also found that individuals with higher genetic diversity (as measured by zygosity across 9 microsatellite loci produced notes of higher pitch during aggressive interactions. Overall, our results suggest that the ability to produce high pitched notes is an honest indicator of male genetic diversity in male-male aggressive interactions.

  6. Music for the birds: effects of auditory enrichment on captive bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Lindsey; Margulis, Susan W

    2016-01-01

    With the increase of mixed species exhibits in zoos, targeting enrichment for individual species may be problematic. Often, mammals may be the primary targets of enrichment, yet other species that share their environment (such as birds) will unavoidably be exposed to the enrichment as well. The purpose of this study was to determine if (1) auditory stimuli designed for enrichment of primates influenced the behavior of captive birds in the zoo setting, and (2) if the specific type of auditory enrichment impacted bird behavior. Three different African bird species were observed at the Buffalo Zoo during exposure to natural sounds, classical music and rock music. The results revealed that the average frequency of flying in all three bird species increased with naturalistic sounds and decreased with rock music (F = 7.63, df = 3,6, P = 0.018); vocalizations for two of the three species (Superb Starlings and Mousebirds) increased (F = 18.61, df = 2,6, P = 0.0027) in response to all auditory stimuli, however one species (Lady Ross's Turacos) increased frequency of duetting only in response to rock music (X(2) = 18.5, df = 2, P behavior in non-target species as well, in this case leading to increased activity by birds.

  7. Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... for the treatment of H7N9 bird flu. Bird flu vaccine The Food and Drug Administration has approved one ... continue to work on other types of bird flu vaccines. Recommendations for travelers If you're traveling to ...

  8. Migration of birds

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers the migration of birds. Topics covered include why birds migrate, when birds migrate, speed, altitude, courses, distance, major flyways and...

  9. Vocal Modification Abilities and Brain Structures in Parrots – how do they Correlate?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpøth, Solveig Walløe

    -­fronted conure and the budgerigar. Article 2: It has been suggested that the size of various brain regions is important for behavioral capability and also the number of neurons have been suggested to be important. Here we correlate the vocal modification ability of the peach-­fronted conure, the budgerigar......Behavioral capability and related brain structures has been linked many times. It is a relationship that may vary between individuals and species, depending on for example the level of sociality. This PhD-­thesis investigates this relationship using parrots as experimental subjects. Parrots...... independent studies where I 1) compare the level of vocal complexity (i.e. modification of the contact call in response to playback stimuli) with the social complexity of four different parrot species, 2) correlate the vocal modification ability of parrots with a brain region involved in vocal learning, i...

  10. Effects of traffic noise on occupancy patterns of forest birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Sarah E; Shriver, W Gregory

    2011-04-01

    Noise may drive changes in the composition and abundance of animals that communicate vocally. Traffic produces low-frequency noise (birds that sing within the frequency range of traffic noise are affected by acoustic masking (i.e., increased background noise levels at the same frequency of vocalizations reduce detection of vocalization) and are less abundant in areas where traffic noise is loud (44-57 dB). We estimated occupancy, the expected probability that a given site is occupied by a species, and detection probabilities of eight forest-breeding birds in areas with and without traffic noise as a function of noise and three measures of habitat quality: percent forest cover, distance from plot center to the edge of forest, and the number of standing dead trees or snags. For the two species that vocalize at the lowest peak frequency (the frequency with the most energy) and the lowest overall frequency (Yellow-billed Cuckoo [Coccyzus americanus] and White-breasted Nuthatch [Sitta carolinensis]), the presence of traffic noise explained the greatest proportion of variance in occupancy, and these species were 10 times less likely to be found in noisy than in quiet plots. For species that had only portions of their vocalizations overlapped by traffic noise, either forest cover or distance to forest edge explained more variation in occupancy than noise or no single variable explained occupancy. Our results suggest that the effects of traffic noise may be especially pronounced for species that vocalize at low frequencies. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Some aspects of vocal fold bowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, S; Hirano, M; Chijiwa, K

    1994-05-01

    Bowing of the vocal fold frequently occurs in patients with vocal fold paralysis (VFP), those with sulcus vocalis, and those who have had laser surgery. Additionally, there are vocal folds that present bowing with no noticeable organic lesion. For the purpose of investigating the causes and mechanisms of vocal fold bowing, consecutive fiberscopic videorecordings of 127 patients with VFP, 33 with sulcus vocalis, 33 with laser surgery, and 33 with dysphonia having no clinically noticeable organic lesion were reviewed. Sixty-nine percent of the paralyzed vocal folds had bowing, and the occurrence of bowing was significantly related to the activity of the thyroarytenoid muscle as measured by electromyography. The cricothyroid activity had no significant relationship to vocal fold bowing. All vocal folds with sulcus presented with bowing. Thirty-five percent of the vocal folds that had had laser surgery had bowing. The extent of tissue removal was closely related to the occurrence of bowing. Twelve cases with no organic lesion had vocal fold bowing. Of these 12 patients, 8 were male and 9 were older than 60 years. Some aging process in the mucosa was presumed to be the cause of the bowing in this age group of patients without clinically noticeable organic lesions. Causes of vocal fold bowing in the younger group of patients without organic lesions were not determined in this study.

  12. Teacher's voice: vocal tract discomfort symptoms, vocal intensity and noise in the classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Amanda Louize Félix; Lucena, Brunna Thaís Luckwu de; De Araújo, Aline Menezes Guedes Dias; Melo, Luciana Pimentel Fernandes de; Lopes, Leonardo Wanderley; Silva, Maria Fabiana Bonfim de Lima

    2016-04-01

    To identify a possible correlation between teachers vocal intensity and the noise in the classroom, as well as between vocal intensity and the symptoms of vocal tract discomfort before and after classes. 27 Elementary School I teachers participated in the study. We used the questionnaires "Vocal Production Condition of the Teacher" and "Vocal Tract Discomfort Scale - VTD" which were applied before and after the class. A properly calibrated noise meter was used for measuring noise in the classroom and the teachers' vocal intensity. There was a moderate positive correlation between vocal intensity and noise and also a significant difference between the VTD scale and the teachers with and without vocal complaint before and after classes. When compared separately on both occasions, there was an increase in the group's scores for both groups and with and without complaints. We found association of the vocal tract symptoms before and after classes, frequency of burning, itching, sore throat and sensitive throat were observed. The intensity of symptoms was significant for sore throat, itching and feeling of lump in the throat. We observed significant values of vocal intensity and frequency and intensity of symptoms for sensitive throat and lump in the throat before the class, and sore throat and lump in the throat after the. The increase in teacher's vocal intensity correlates to high noise levels in the classroom. The evidence suggests correlation between vocal intensity and discomfort of the vocal tract, with most of the symptoms reported in greater frequency and intensity after the class.

  13. VOCALS-UK: An overview of UK VOCALS science (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coe, H.; Vocals-Uk Science Team

    2010-12-01

    This paper will highlight a variety of process studies, observationally led studies and modelling studies, both completed and in progress, conducted by groups in the United Kingdom, working in collaboration with international partners on the VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx). The VOCALS field experiment was conducted out of Arica, Chile, between October and November, 2008. The study aims to better understand the nature and variability of interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and steep topography, as well as local and long-range transport of pollutants and aerosol, in the context of their role in controlling the climate of the South East Pacific - an important region in terms of the global energy budget and which is currently poorly characterised in global climate models. Specific highlights will include a statistical representation of the SEP marine boundary layer during VOCALS-Rex to inform future modelling; an analysis of the synoptic and large-scale dynamical influences on cloud in the SEP; results from improved Met Office Unified Model forecast runs which examine aerosol-cloud interactions with a comparison to results from WRF-CHEM; and large eddy modelling of simulated gravity waves and their potential to induce open cellular convection (create pockets of open cells). In addition, early results from a number of further studies will be presented.

  14. Comportamento vocal de cantores populares Vocal behavior of popular singers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valquíria Zimmer

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: investigar aspectos do histórico, hábitos e comportamentos vocais de cantores populares, conforme o sexo e as categorias profissional e amador. MÉTODO: entrevista com 47 cantores, 25 homens e 22 mulheres. RESULTADOS: significância estatística nos seguintes achados: MASCULINO - microfone nos ensaios, ausência de problemas vocais diagnosticados, ausência de orientações sobre higiene vocal, dor ou desconforto após cantar, ausência de alergias e problemas respiratórios; FEMININO - aulas de canto e conhecimento sobre postura; AMADOR - não cantar dançando, não imitar vozes, ausência de avaliação otorrinolaringológica, ausência de problemas vocais diagnosticados, ausência de terapia fonoaudiológica, ausência de orientações de anatomofisiologia vocal e não utilização de álcool nos ensaios; PROFISSIONAL - rouquidão, conhecimento sobre articulação, álcool durante os shows, "garganta suja" ou pigarro, dor após cantar. CONCLUSÕES: a comparação entre os sexos evidenciou que os homens utilizavam microfone no ensaio, não apresentavam problemas alérgicos ou respiratórios, nem problemas vocais diagnosticados, mas apresentavam sensação de dor ou desconforto após o canto e não possuíam noções sobre higiene vocal; e que as mulheres realizavam aulas de canto e possuíam orientações de postura. A comparação entre amadores e profissionais mostrou que os amadores não cantavam dançando, não imitavam vozes, não utilizavam álcool nos ensaios, e não apresentavam problemas vocais diagnosticados, mas não possuíam avaliação otorrinolaringológica, não realizavam terapia fonoaudiológica, e não possuíam conhecimento sobre anatomofisiologia vocal; e os profissionais apresentavam queixa de rouquidão, de "garganta suja" ou pigarro e de dor após cantar, e usavam álcool durante os shows, apesar de possuir conhecimento sobre articulação.PURPOSE: to investigate aspects of vocal history, vocal habits and

  15. From a Bird's Eye View: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Juliann

    2007-01-01

    Inspiring students to learn about birds can be a daunting task--students see birds just about every day and often don't think twice about them. The activity described here is designed to excite students to "become" birds. Students are asked to create a model and tell the life story of a bird by mapping its migration pattern. (Contains 6 figures, 6…

  16. Acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niezrecki, Christopher; Phillips, Richard; Meyer, Michael; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2003-09-01

    The West Indian manatee (trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, that can signal to boaters that manatees are present in the immediate vicinity, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. In order to identify the presence of manatees, acoustic methods are employed. Within this paper, three different detection algorithms are used to detect the calls of the West Indian manatee. The detection systems are tested in the laboratory using simulated manatee vocalizations from an audio compact disk. The detection method that provides the best overall performance is able to correctly identify ~96% of the manatee vocalizations. However, the system also results in a false alarm rate of ~16%. The results of this work may ultimately lead to the development of a manatee warning system that can warn boaters of the presence of manatees.

  17. Recording vocalizations with Bluetooth technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaona-González, Andrés; Santillán-Doherty, Ana María; Arenas-Rosas, Rita Virginia; Muñoz-Delgado, Jairo; Aguillón-Pantaleón, Miguel Angel; Ordoñez-Gómez, José Domingo; Márquez-Arias, Alejandra

    2011-06-01

    We propose a method for capturing vocalizations that is designed to avoid some of the limiting factors found in traditional bioacoustical methods, such as the impossibility of obtaining continuous long-term registers or analyzing amplitude due to the continuous change of distance between the subject and the position of the recording system. Using Bluetooth technology, vocalizations are captured and transmitted wirelessly into a receiving system without affecting the quality of the signal. The recordings of the proposed system were compared to those obtained as a reference, which were based on the coding of the signal with the so-called pulse-code modulation technique in WAV audio format without any compressing process. The evaluation showed p < .05 for the measured quantitative and qualitative parameters. We also describe how the transmitting system is encapsulated and fixed on the animal and a way to video record a spider monkey's behavior simultaneously with the audio recordings.

  18. Ultrasonic vocalizations emitted by flying squirrels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan N Murrant

    Full Text Available Anecdotal reports of ultrasound use by flying squirrels have existed for decades, yet there has been little detailed analysis of their vocalizations. Here we demonstrate that two species of flying squirrel emit ultrasonic vocalizations. We recorded vocalizations from northern (Glaucomys sabrinus and southern (G. volans flying squirrels calling in both the laboratory and at a field site in central Ontario, Canada. We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic. Squirrels emitted three types of ultrasonic calls in laboratory recordings and one type in the field. The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information. Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology.

  19. Universal vocal signals of emotion

    OpenAIRE

    Sauter, D.; Eisner, F.; Ekman, P.; Scott, S.

    2009-01-01

    Emotional signals allow for the sharing of important information with conspecifics, for example to warn them of danger. Humans use a range of different cues to communicate to others how they feel, including facial, vocal, and gestural signals. Although much is known about facial expressions of emotion, less research has focused on affect in the voice. We compare British listeners to individuals from remote Namibian villages who have had no exposure to Western culture, and examine recognition ...

  20. Vocal improvement after voice therapy in the treatment of benign vocal fold lesions

    OpenAIRE

    Schindler, A; MOZZANICA, F.; Ginocchio, D.; MARUZZI, P.; Atac, M.; OTTAVIANI, F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Benign vocal fold lesions are common in the general population, and have important public health implications and impact on patient quality of life. Nowadays, phonomicrosurgery is the most common treatment of these lesions. Voice therapy is generally associated in order to minimize detrimental vocal behaviours that increase the stress at the mid-membranous vocal folds. Nonetheless, the most appropriate standard of care for treating benign vocal fold lesion has not been established. Th...

  1. Vocal attractiveness increases by averaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckert, Laetitia; Bestelmeyer, Patricia; Latinus, Marianne; Rouger, Julien; Charest, Ian; Rousselet, Guillaume A; Kawahara, Hideki; Belin, Pascal

    2010-01-26

    Vocal attractiveness has a profound influence on listeners-a bias known as the "what sounds beautiful is good" vocal attractiveness stereotype [1]-with tangible impact on a voice owner's success at mating, job applications, and/or elections. The prevailing view holds that attractive voices are those that signal desirable attributes in a potential mate [2-4]-e.g., lower pitch in male voices. However, this account does not explain our preferences in more general social contexts in which voices of both genders are evaluated. Here we show that averaging voices via auditory morphing [5] results in more attractive voices, irrespective of the speaker's or listener's gender. Moreover, we show that this phenomenon is largely explained by two independent by-products of averaging: a smoother voice texture (reduced aperiodicities) and a greater similarity in pitch and timbre with the average of all voices (reduced "distance to mean"). These results provide the first evidence for a phenomenon of vocal attractiveness increases by averaging, analogous to a well-established effect of facial averaging [6, 7]. They highlight prototype-based coding [8] as a central feature of voice perception, emphasizing the similarity in the mechanisms of face and voice perception.

  2. Aesthetic and Culture Origin of Vocal Art

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张延春

    2010-01-01

    As one of the most commonly and widely adopted art forms, vocal art has been closely related with national culture and the aesthetics trend. Traditional Chinese vocal art rooted from China' s long history and distinctive culture. On the contrary, Italian bel canto stems from the prospect of Italian Opera Art during the Renaissance period. This essay discusses the differences between East and West vocal art, from its aesthetic and culture origin.

  3. The Comparison of the Effect of Block Flute Accompanied Song Teaching with Multi-Sound Notation and Vocalization Program Accompanied Song Teaching on the Success of Students' Song Learning Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saktanli, S. Cem

    2011-01-01

    This experimental study was done to see if using computer supported notation and vocalization program for teaching songs instead of using block flute accompanied song teaching has any significant effect on students' singing behavior. The study group is composed of the 5th, 6th and 7th graders of 2008-2009 educational term in T.O.K.I. Yahya Kemal…

  4. Two-voice complexity from a single side of the syrinx in northern mockingbird Mimus polyglottos vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zollinger, Sue Anne; Riede, Tobias; Suthers, Roderick A

    2008-06-01

    The diverse vocal signals of songbirds are produced by highly coordinated motor patterns of syringeal and respiratory muscles. These muscles control separate sound generators on the right and left side of the duplex vocal organ, the syrinx. Whereas most song is under active neural control, there has been a growing interest in a different class of nonlinear vocalizations consisting of frequency jumps, subharmonics, biphonation and deterministic chaos that are also present in the vocal repertoires of many vertebrates, including many birds. These nonlinear phenomena may not require active neural control, depending instead on the intrinsic nonlinear dynamics of the oscillators housed within each side of the syrinx. This study investigates the occurrence of these phenomena in the vocalizations of intact northern mockingbirds Mimus polyglottos. By monitoring respiratory pressure and airflow on each side of the syrinx, we provide the first analysis of the contribution made by each side of the syrinx to the production of nonlinear phenomena and are able to reliably discriminate two-voice vocalizations from potentially similar appearing, unilaterally produced, nonlinear events. We present the first evidence of syringeal lateralization of nonlinear dynamics during bilaterally produced chaotic calls. The occurrence of unilateral nonlinear events was not consistently correlated with fluctuations in air sac pressure or the rate of syringeal airflow. Our data support previous hypotheses for mechanical and acoustic coupling between the two sides of the syrinx. These results help lay a foundation upon which to understand the communicative functions of nonlinear phenomena.

  5. Vocal mechanics in Darwin's finches: correlation of beak gape and song frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podos, Jeffrey; Southall, Joel A; Rossi-Santos, Marcos R

    2004-02-01

    Recent studies of vocal mechanics in songbirds have identified a functional role for the beak in sound production. The vocal tract (trachea and beak) filters harmonic overtones from sounds produced by the syrinx, and birds can fine-tune vocal tract resonance properties through changes in beak gape. In this study, we examine patterns of beak gape during song production in seven species of Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands. Our principal goals were to characterize the relationship between beak gape and vocal frequency during song production and to explore the possible influence therein of diversity in beak morphology and body size. Birds were audio and video recorded (at 30 frames s(-1)) as they sang in the field, and 164 song sequences were analyzed. We found that song frequency regressed significantly and positively on beak gape for 38 of 56 individuals and for all seven species examined. This finding provides broad support for a resonance model of vocal tract function in Darwin's finches. Comparison among species revealed significant variation in regression y-intercept values. Body size correlated negatively with y-intercept values, although not at a statistically significant level. We failed to detect variation in regression slopes among finch species, although the regression slopes of Darwin's finch and two North American sparrow species were found to differ. Analysis within one species (Geospiza fortis) revealed significant inter-individual variation in regression parameters; these parameters did not correlate with song frequency features or plumage scores. Our results suggest that patterns of beak use during song production were conserved during the Darwin's finch adaptive radiation, despite the evolution of substantial variation in beak morphology and body size.

  6. A Thankful Bird

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    颜巧玲

    2002-01-01

    One day, I was playing in the woods when I saw a bird standing on a tree branch in the rain. “Poor bird, I thought, ”He has no home. “When I got home, I set down to make a house for the bird so that the bird would not catch rain any longer.

  7. Birds Kept as Pets

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Bird Importation website . Choosing a bird Match a bird's attitude, temperament, size, and activity level with your family, ... 2009;135:68-77 Compendium of Measures To Control Chlamydophila psittaci ... Pet Birds (Avian Chlamydiosis), 2010 [PDF – 17 pages] National Association ...

  8. 界面核和高级发声中枢与鸣禽鸣曲的学习和维持%Connections of NIf-HVC and Vocal Learning and Maintenance in Songbirds

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李东风; 冯理; 刘少艺; 张萌

    2013-01-01

    Birdsong and human languages are both acquired by learning .During sensory period , templates are formed in the brain after juveniles heard tutor songs and stored in the related areas and in the motor-learning phase , juveniles compare their own songs to the templates and modify them to match the templates in their memories . When the songs are crystallized in the adult stage , auditory feedback is required to maintain the features and stabili-ty of their own songs.Hence, the sensory-motor integration of auditory and motor systems is vitally important to the formation of templates and the maintenance of crystallized songs .In the recent years , it is found that NIf-HVC syn-apses are related with the formation of templates memory and the maintenance of spatial features of plastic songs in the juveniles while this projection is crucial for the grammar structure of crystallized songs in the Bengalese finches . In songbirds , HVC if homologous to human Broca's Area and NIf has many similarities with Area Spt in the human speech processing circuit .Therefore the research on the function of NIf-HVC synapses in the speech circuit is not only helpful for the study of Area Broca and Spt of human but also advantageous for exploring the mechanism con -cerning sense and motion information integration involved in vocal learning .%鸣禽鸣唱和人类语言都是经过后天学习而获得的.幼鸟在学习鸣唱时先记住教习曲模板,再通过发声反馈比较自鸣曲和模板并调整发声输出,成年后同样需要听觉反馈来维持自鸣曲的特征和稳定.因此,鸣禽听觉系统和运动系统对刺激的感觉运动整合非常重要.近年研究发现,感觉期幼鸟编码并记忆模板的过程需要NIf-HVC投射的参与;这一突触联系与维持成年鸣禽可塑性鸣曲空间特征和鸣曲节律至关重要.其中,NMDAR、AchR和NE可能参与调节NIf-HVC突触的效能.HVC类似于人类的Broca's Area,而NIf类似

  9. Audio-vocal responses of vocal fundamental frequency and formant during sustained vowel vocalizations in different noises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Shao-Hsuan; Hsiao, Tzu-Yu; Lee, Guo-She

    2015-06-01

    Sustained vocalizations of vowels [a], [i], and syllable [mə] were collected in twenty normal-hearing individuals. On vocalizations, five conditions of different audio-vocal feedback were introduced separately to the speakers including no masking, wearing supra-aural headphones only, speech-noise masking, high-pass noise masking, and broad-band-noise masking. Power spectral analysis of vocal fundamental frequency (F0) was used to evaluate the modulations of F0 and linear-predictive-coding was used to acquire first two formants. The results showed that while the formant frequencies were not significantly shifted, low-frequency modulations (production, the motor speech controls on F0 may depend on a feedback mechanism while articulation should rely more on a feedforward mechanism. Power spectral analysis of F0 might be applied to evaluate audio-vocal control for various hearing and neurological disorders in the future. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Brain size in birds is related to traffic accidents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, Anders Pape; Erritzøe, Johannes

    2017-03-01

    Estimates suggest that perhaps a quarter of a billion birds are killed by traffic annually across the world. This is surprising because birds have been shown to learn speed limits. Birds have also been shown to adapt to the direction of traffic and lane use, and this apparently results in reduced risks of fatal traffic accidents. Such behavioural differences suggest that individual birds that are not killed in traffic should have larger brains for their body size. We analysed the link between being killed by traffic and relative brain mass in 3521 birds belonging to 251 species brought to a taxidermist. Birds that were killed in traffic indeed had relatively smaller brains, while there was no similar difference for liver mass, heart mass or lung mass. These findings suggest that birds learn the behaviour of car drivers, and that they use their brains to adjust behaviour in an attempt to avoid mortality caused by rapidly and predictably moving objects.

  11. Brain size in birds is related to traffic accidents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erritzøe, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    Estimates suggest that perhaps a quarter of a billion birds are killed by traffic annually across the world. This is surprising because birds have been shown to learn speed limits. Birds have also been shown to adapt to the direction of traffic and lane use, and this apparently results in reduced risks of fatal traffic accidents. Such behavioural differences suggest that individual birds that are not killed in traffic should have larger brains for their body size. We analysed the link between being killed by traffic and relative brain mass in 3521 birds belonging to 251 species brought to a taxidermist. Birds that were killed in traffic indeed had relatively smaller brains, while there was no similar difference for liver mass, heart mass or lung mass. These findings suggest that birds learn the behaviour of car drivers, and that they use their brains to adjust behaviour in an attempt to avoid mortality caused by rapidly and predictably moving objects.

  12. Pulmonary mucormycosis presenting with vocal cord paralysis

    OpenAIRE

    Gayathri Devi, H. J.; Mohan Rao, K.N.; K M Prathima; Moideen, Riyaz

    2013-01-01

    Pulmonary mucormycosis is a relatively uncommon infection. It can present in various forms. Very few cases of pulmonary mucormycosis presenting as vocal cord paralysis have been described in the literature. We report a case of pulmonary mucormycosis presenting as vocal cord paralysis in an uncontrolled diabetic patient.

  13. Phonetic characteristics of vocalizations during pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Lautenbacher

    2017-06-01

    Conclusion:. Vocalization characteristics of pain seem to be best described by an increase in pitch and in loudness. Future studies using more specific and comprehensive phonetic analyses will surely help to provide an even more precise characterization of vocalizations because of pain.

  14. Comportamento vocal de cantores populares

    OpenAIRE

    Zimmer,Valquíria; Cielo,Carla Aparecida; Ferreira,Fernanda Mariotto

    2012-01-01

    OBJETIVO: investigar aspectos do histórico, hábitos e comportamentos vocais de cantores populares, conforme o sexo e as categorias profissional e amador. MÉTODO: entrevista com 47 cantores, 25 homens e 22 mulheres. RESULTADOS: significância estatística nos seguintes achados: MASCULINO - microfone nos ensaios, ausência de problemas vocais diagnosticados, ausência de orientações sobre higiene vocal, dor ou desconforto após cantar, ausência de alergias e problemas respiratórios; FEMININO - aulas...

  15. Child vocalization composition as discriminant information for automatic autism detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dongxin; Gilkerson, Jill; Richards, Jeffrey; Yapanel, Umit; Gray, Sharmi

    2009-01-01

    Early identification is crucial for young children with autism to access early intervention. The existing screens require either a parent-report questionnaire and/or direct observation by a trained practitioner. Although an automatic tool would benefit parents, clinicians and children, there is no automatic screening tool in clinical use. This study reports a fully automatic mechanism for autism detection/screening for young children. This is a direct extension of the LENA (Language ENvironment Analysis) system, which utilizes speech signal processing technology to analyze and monitor a child's natural language environment and the vocalizations/speech of the child. It is discovered that child vocalization composition contains rich discriminant information for autism detection. By applying pattern recognition and machine learning approaches to child vocalization composition data, accuracy rates of 85% to 90% in cross-validation tests for autism detection have been achieved at the equal-error-rate (EER) point on a data set with 34 children with autism, 30 language delayed children and 76 typically developing children. Due to its easy and automatic procedure, it is believed that this new tool can serve a significant role in childhood autism screening, especially in regards to population-based or universal screening.

  16. Vocal imitation in parrots allows addressing of specific individuals in a dynamic communication network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsten J S Balsby

    Full Text Available Parrots in captivity are known for their ability to vocally imitate humans and recently it has been shown that wild-living orange-fronted conures are able to immediately imitate other individuals' contact calls. The function of this exceptional ability to imitate remains unclear. However, orange-fronted conures live in fission-fusion flocks where they encounter many different individuals every day, and it is possible that their vocal imitation ability is a flexible means to address a specific individual within a flock. We tested this via playback to short-term captive wild conures. Test birds were placed together in pairs in outdoor aviaries to form simple flocks. To simulate imitation of a specific individual these pairs received playback of contact calls that primarily imitate one of the two birds. Overall, individuals that received simulated vocal imitations of its calls responded more frequently and faster than the other individual. This suggests that orange-fronted conures can use imitations of contact calls to address specific individuals of a flock. In the discussion we argue that the fission-fusion flock dynamics of many parrot species has been an important factor in evolving conures' and other parrots' exceptional ability to imitate.

  17. Vocal imitation in parrots allows addressing of specific individuals in a dynamic communication network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balsby, Thorsten J S; Momberg, Jane Vestergaard; Dabelsteen, Torben

    2012-01-01

    Parrots in captivity are known for their ability to vocally imitate humans and recently it has been shown that wild-living orange-fronted conures are able to immediately imitate other individuals' contact calls. The function of this exceptional ability to imitate remains unclear. However, orange-fronted conures live in fission-fusion flocks where they encounter many different individuals every day, and it is possible that their vocal imitation ability is a flexible means to address a specific individual within a flock. We tested this via playback to short-term captive wild conures. Test birds were placed together in pairs in outdoor aviaries to form simple flocks. To simulate imitation of a specific individual these pairs received playback of contact calls that primarily imitate one of the two birds. Overall, individuals that received simulated vocal imitations of its calls responded more frequently and faster than the other individual. This suggests that orange-fronted conures can use imitations of contact calls to address specific individuals of a flock. In the discussion we argue that the fission-fusion flock dynamics of many parrot species has been an important factor in evolving conures' and other parrots' exceptional ability to imitate.

  18. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses across diving bird species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Sara E.; Berlin, Alicia; Carr, Catherine E; Olsen, Glenn H.; Therrien, Ronald E; Yannuzzi, Sally E; Ketten, Darlene R

    2015-01-01

    There is little biological data available for diving birds because many live in hard-to-study, remote habitats. Only one species of diving bird, the black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus), has been studied in respect to auditory capabilities (Wever et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 63:676–680, 1969). We, therefore, measured in-air auditory threshold in ten species of diving birds, using the auditory brainstem response (ABR). The average audiogram obtained for each species followed the U-shape typical of birds and many other animals. All species tested shared a common region of the greatest sensitivity, from 1000 to 3000 Hz, although audiograms differed significantly across species. Thresholds of all duck species tested were more similar to each other than to the two non-duck species tested. The red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) and northern gannet (Morus bassanus) exhibited the highest thresholds while the lowest thresholds belonged to the duck species, specifically the lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). Vocalization parameters were also measured for each species, and showed that with the exception of the common eider (Somateria mollisima), the peak frequency, i.e., frequency at the greatest intensity, of all species' vocalizations measured here fell between 1000 and 3000 Hz, matching the bandwidth of the most sensitive hearing range.

  19. Can vocal conditioning trigger a semiotic ratchet in marmosets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turesson, Hjalmar K; Ribeiro, Sidarta

    2015-01-01

    The complexity of human communication has often been taken as evidence that our language reflects a true evolutionary leap, bearing little resemblance to any other animal communication system. The putative uniqueness of the human language poses serious evolutionary and ethological challenges to a rational explanation of human communication. Here we review ethological, anatomical, molecular, and computational results across several species to set boundaries for these challenges. Results from animal behavior, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and semiotics indicate that human language shares multiple features with other primate communication systems, such as specialized brain circuits for sensorimotor processing, the capability for indexical (pointing) and symbolic (referential) signaling, the importance of shared intentionality for associative learning, affective conditioning and parental scaffolding of vocal production. The most substantial differences lie in the higher human capacity for symbolic compositionality, fast vertical transmission of new symbols across generations, and irreversible accumulation of novel adaptive behaviors (cultural ratchet). We hypothesize that increasingly-complex vocal conditioning of an appropriate animal model may be sufficient to trigger a semiotic ratchet, evidenced by progressive sign complexification, as spontaneous contact calls become indexes, then symbols and finally arguments (strings of symbols). To test this hypothesis, we outline a series of conditioning experiments in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). The experiments are designed to probe the limits of vocal communication in a prosocial, highly vocal primate 35 million years far from the human lineage, so as to shed light on the mechanisms of semiotic complexification and cultural transmission, and serve as a naturalistic behavioral setting for the investigation of language disorders.

  20. Can vocal conditioning trigger a semiotic ratchet in marmosets?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hjalmar Kosmos Turesson

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The complexity of human communication has often been taken as evidence that our language reflects a true evolutionary leap, bearing little resemblance to any other animal communication system. The putative uniqueness of the human language poses serious evolutionary and ethological challenges to a rational explanation of human communication. Here we review ethological, anatomical, molecular and computational results across several species to set boundaries for these challenges. Results from animal behavior, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and semiotics indicate that human language shares multiple features with other primate communication systems, such as specialized brain circuits for sensorimotor processing, the capability for indexical (pointing and symbolic (referential signaling, the importance of shared intentionality for associative learning, affective conditioning and parental scaffolding of vocal production. The most substantial differences lie in the higher human capacity for symbolic compositionality, fast vertical transmission of new symbols across generations, and irreversible accumulation of novel adaptive behaviors (cultural ratchet. We hypothesize that increasingly-complex vocal conditioning of an appropriate animal model may be sufficient to trigger a semiotic ratchet, evidenced by progressive sign complexification, as spontaneous contact calls become indexes, then symbols and finally arguments (strings of symbols. To test this hypothesis, we outline a series of conditioning experiments in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus. The experiments are designed to probe the limits of vocal communication in a prosocial, highly vocal primate 35 million years far from the human lineage, so as to shed light on the mechanisms of semiotic complexification and cultural transmission, and serve as a naturalistic behavioral setting for the investigation of language disorders.

  1. Real estate ads in Emei music frog vocalizations: female preference for calls emanating from burrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jianguo; Tang, Yezhong; Narins, Peter M

    2012-06-23

    During female mate choice, both the male's phenotype and resources (e.g. his nest) contribute to the chooser's fitness. Animals other than humans are not known to advertise resource characteristics to potential mates through vocal communication; although in some species of anurans and birds, females do evaluate male qualities through vocal communication. Here, we demonstrate that calls of the male Emei music frog (Babina dauchina), vocalizing from male-built nests, reflect nest structure information that can be recognized by females. Inside-nest calls consisted of notes with energy concentrated at lower frequency ranges and longer note durations when compared with outside-nest calls. Centre frequencies and note durations of the inside calls positively correlate with the area of the burrow entrance and the depth of the burrow, respectively. When given a choice between outside and inside calls played back alternately, more than 70 per cent of the females (33/47) chose inside calls. These results demonstrate that males of this species faithfully advertise whether or not they possess a nest to potential mates by vocal communication, which probably facilitates optimal mate selection by females. These results revealed a novel function of advertisement calls, which is consistent with the wide variation in both call complexity and social behaviour within amphibians.

  2. The Risk of Vocal Fold Atrophy after Serial Corticosteroid Injections of the Vocal Fold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lucy L; Giraldez-Rodriguez, Laureano A; Johns, Michael M

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to illustrate the risk of vocal fold atrophy in patients who receive serial subepithelial steroid injections for vocal fold scar. This study is a retrospective case report of two patients who underwent a series of weekly subepithelial infusions of 10 mg/mL dexamethasone for benign vocal fold lesion. Shortly after the procedures, both patients developed a weak and breathy voice. The first patient was a 53-year-old man with radiation-induced vocal fold stiffness. Six injections were performed unilaterally, and 1 week later, he developed unilateral vocal fold atrophy with new glottal insufficiency. The second patient was a 67-year-old woman with severe vocal fold inflammation related to laryngitis and calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophagean dysmotility, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia (CREST) syndrome. Five injections were performed bilaterally, and 1 week later, she developed bilateral vocal fold atrophy with a large midline glottal gap during phonation. In both cases, the steroid-induced vocal atrophy resolved spontaneously after 4 months. Serial subepithelial steroid infusions of the vocal folds, although safe in the majority of patients, carry the risk of causing temporary vocal fold atrophy when given at short intervals. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A Rat Excised Larynx Model of Vocal Fold Scar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welham, Nathan V.; Montequin, Douglas W.; Tateya, Ichiro; Tateya, Tomoko; Choi, Seong Hee; Bless, Diane M.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To develop and evaluate a rat excised larynx model for the measurement of acoustic, aerodynamic, and vocal fold vibratory changes resulting from vocal fold scar. Method: Twenty-four 4-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to 1 of 4 experimental groups: chronic vocal fold scar, chronic vocal fold scar treated with 100-ng basic…

  4. Acoustic communication in the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) an examination into vocal sacs, sound propagation, and signal directionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantzker, Marc Steven

    The thesis is an inquiry into the acoustic communication of a very unusual avian species, the Greater Sage-Grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus. One of the most outstanding features of this animal's dynamic mating display is its use of paired air sacs that emerge explosively from an esophageal pouch. My first line of inquiry into this system is a review of the form and function of similar vocal apparatuses, collectively called vocal sacs, in birds. Next, with a combination of mathematical models and field measurements, My collaborator and I investigate the acoustic environment where the Greater Sage-Grouse display. The complexities of this acoustic environment are relevant both to the birds and to the subsequent examinations of the display's properties. Finally, my collaborators and I examine a cryptic component of the acoustic display --- directionality --- which we measured simultaneously from multiple locations around free moving grouse on their mating grounds.

  5. Speech across species : on the mechanistic fundamentals of vocal production and perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ohms, Verena Regina

    2011-01-01

    Birdsong and human speech are both complex behaviours which show striking similarities mainly thought to be present in the area of development and learning. The most important parameters in human speech are vocal tract resonances, called formants. Different formant patterns characterize different vo

  6. Bird Avoidance Model

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is an unpublished report on the bird avoidance model to predict bird strike hazards with low flying aircraft. Included is peak periods for different species of...

  7. BIRD FLU (AVIAN INFLUENZA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali ACAR

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Avian influenza (bird flu is a contagious disease of animals caused by influenza A viruses. These flu viruses occur naturally among birds. Actually, humans are not infected by bird flu viruses.. However, during an outbreak of bird flu among poultry, there is a possible risk to people who have contact infect birds or surface that have been contaminated with excreations from infected birds. Symptoms of bird flu in humans have ranged from typical flu-like symptoms to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases and other severe and life-threatening complications. In such situation, people should avoid contact with infected birds or contaminated surface, and should be careful when handling and cooking poultry. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2005; 4(6.000: 345-353

  8. Vocal Loading in Speaking a Foreign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Järvinen, Kati; Laukkanen, Anne-Maria

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether speaking a foreign language affects the subjective notions of vocal fatigue, and whether acoustic measurements reveal a higher vocal loading. The speech samples of 20 native Finnish-speaking and 23 native English-speaking subjects were recorded in Finnish and in English. From the speech samples, fundamental frequency, equivalent sound level, total duration of voiced speech, speech rate, alpha ratio and L1-L0 level difference were analyzed. Vocal doses were calculated. According to subjective notions, the voice gets tired more quickly when speaking a foreign language. The mean fundamental frequency increased but the speech rate and total duration of voiced speech decreased significantly when speaking a foreign language. Thus, the vocal doses decreased. The subjective sensations of increased vocal fatigue may be due to increased mental stress rather than to higher vocal loading. However, a trend that speaking a foreign language may involve more loading was found in L1-L0 level difference and in the doses normalized to time dose. Longer speech samples should be studied. Voice quality-based indicators of vocal loading are worth testing in addition to the measures based on the amount of voicing in speech. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Summary of intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting detection probability of marsh birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, C.J.; Gibbs, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    Many species of marsh birds (rails, bitterns, grebes, etc.) rely exclusively on emergent marsh vegetation for all phases of their life cycle, and many organizations have become concerned about the status and persistence of this group of birds. Yet, marsh birds are notoriously difficult to monitor due to their secretive habits. We synthesized the published and unpublished literature and summarized the factors that influence detection probability of secretive marsh birds in North America. Marsh birds are more likely to respond to conspecific than heterospecific calls, and seasonal peak in vocalization probability varies among co-existing species. The effectiveness of morning versus evening surveys varies among species and locations. Vocalization probability appears to be positively correlated with density in breeding Virginia Rails (Rallus limicola), Soras (Porzana carolina), and Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris). Movement of birds toward the broadcast source creates biases when using count data from callbroadcast surveys to estimate population density. Ambient temperature, wind speed, cloud cover, and moon phase affected detection probability in some, but not all, studies. Better estimates of detection probability are needed. We provide recommendations that would help improve future marsh bird survey efforts and a list of 14 priority information and research needs that represent gaps in our current knowledge where future resources are best directed. ?? Society of Wetland Scientists 2011.

  10. Vocal ontogeny in neotropical singing mice (Scotinomys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polly Campbell

    Full Text Available Isolation calls produced by dependent young are a fundamental form of communication. For species in which vocal signals remain important to adult communication, the function and social context of vocal behavior changes dramatically with the onset of sexual maturity. The ontogenetic relationship between these distinct forms of acoustic communication is surprisingly under-studied. We conducted a detailed analysis of vocal development in sister species of Neotropical singing mice, Scotinomys teguina and S. xerampelinus. Adult singing mice are remarkable for their advertisement songs, rapidly articulated trills used in long-distance communication; the vocal behavior of pups was previously undescribed. We recorded 30 S. teguina and 15 S. xerampelinus pups daily, from birth to weaning; 23 S. teguina and 11 S. xerampelinus were recorded until sexual maturity. Like other rodent species with poikilothermic young, singing mice were highly vocal during the first weeks of life and stopped vocalizing before weaning. Production of first advertisement songs coincided with the onset of sexual maturity after a silent period of ≧2 weeks. Species differences in vocal behavior emerged early in ontogeny and notes that comprise adult song were produced from birth. However, the organization and relative abundance of distinct note types was very different between pups and adults. Notably, the structure, note repetition rate, and intra-individual repeatability of pup vocalizations did not become more adult-like with age; the highly stereotyped structure of adult song appeared de novo in the first songs of young adults. We conclude that, while the basic elements of adult song are available from birth, distinct selection pressures during maternal dependency, dispersal, and territorial establishment favor major shifts in the structure and prevalence of acoustic signals. This study provides insight into how an evolutionarily conserved form of acoustic signaling provides

  11. Team of rivals: alliance formation in territorial songbirds is predicted by vocal signal structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Sarah E; Podos, Jeffrey

    2014-02-01

    Cooperation and conflict are regarded as diametric extremes of animal social behaviour, yet the two may intersect under rare circumstances. We here report that territorial competitors in a common North American songbird species, the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), sometimes form temporary coalitions in the presence of simulated territorial intruders. Moreover, analysis of birds' vocal mating signals (songs) reveals that coalitions occur nearly exclusively under specific triadic relationships, in which vocal performances of allies and simulated intruders exceed those of residents. Our results provide the first evidence that animals like chipping sparrows rely on precise assessments of mating signal features, as well as relative comparisons of signal properties among multiple animals in communication networks, when deciding when and with whom to form temporary alliances against a backdrop of competition and rivalry.

  12. Real-time system for studies of the effects of acoustic feedback on animal vocalizations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike eSkocik

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies of behavioral and neural responses to distorted auditory feedback can help shed light on the neural mechanisms of animal vocalizations. We describe an apparatus for generating real-time acoustic feedback. The system can very rapidly detect acoustic features in a song and output acoustic signals if the detected features match the desired acoustic template. The system uses spectrogram-based detection of acoustic elements. It is low-cost and can be programmed for a variety of behavioral experiments requiring acoustic feedback or neural stimulation. We use the system to study the effects of acoustic feedback on birds' vocalizations and demonstrate that such an acoustic feedback can cause both immediate and long-term changes to birds’ songs.

  13. Vocal Imitation in Parrots Allows Addressing of Specific Individuals in a Dynamic Communication Network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balsby, T.J.S.; Momberg, J.V.; Dabelsteen, T.

    2012-01-01

    and faster than the other individual. This suggests that orange-fronted conures can use imitations of contact calls to address specific individuals of a flock. In the discussion we argue that the fission-fusion flock dynamics of many parrot species has been an important factor in evolving conures´ and other......Parrots in captivity are known for their ability to vocally imitate humans and recently it has been shown that wild-living orange-fronted conures are able to immediately imitate other individuals´ contact calls. The function of this exceptional ability to imitate remains unclear. However, orangeâ......€“fronted conures live in fission-fusion flocks where they encounter many different individuals every day, and it is possible that their vocal imitation ability is a flexible means to address a specific individual within a flock. We tested this via playback to short-term captive wild conures. Test birds were placed...

  14. Audubon Bird Study Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    Included are a student reader, "The Story of Birds," a leaders' guide, a large colored Audubon bird chart, and a separate guide for the chart. The student reader is divided into eleven sections which relate to the various physical and behavioral features of birds such as feathers, feeding habits as related to the shape of bills and feet, nests,…

  15. A Clever Bird

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张仰清

    2000-01-01

    A man in Australia had a wonderful bird. There was no other bird like it . It was very,very clever. The bird could say any word --except one. It could not say the name of the town where it was born. The name of that town was Catano.

  16. Vocal cord paralysis caused by stingray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Oh Jin; Park, Jung Je; Kim, Jin Pyeong; Woo, Seung Hoon

    2013-11-01

    Foreign bodies in the oral cavity and pharynx are commonly encountered in the emergency room and outpatient departments, and the most frequently observed of these foreign bodies are fish bones. Among the possible complications resulting from a pharyngeal foreign body, vocal cord fixation is extremely rare, with only three cases previously reported in the English literature. The mechanisms of vocal cord fixation can be classified into mechanical articular fixation, direct injury of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, or recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis secondary to inflammation. The case discussed here is different from previous cases. We report a rare case of vocal cord paralysis caused by the venom of a stingray tail in the hypopharynx.

  17. Vocal cord paralysis in a fighter pilot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maturo, Stephen; Brennan, Joseph

    2006-01-01

    We present in this case report the return to flying duty of a pilot with vocal cord paralysis secondary to removal of a thymoma. We discuss the importance of glottic function as it pertains to the unique aviation environment. We also discuss the anatomy and physiology of the glottis, the evaluation for vocal cord paralysis, and surgical approaches for paralyzed vocal cords. Although the incidence of recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis is low in the military aviation community, it is important to recognize that its sequelae can be managed so that the aviator may return to flight duties.

  18. Learning to cope with degraded sounds: female zebra finches can improve their expertise in discriminating between male voices at long distances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouterde, Solveig C; Elie, Julie E; Theunissen, Frédéric E; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2014-09-01

    Reliable transmission of acoustic information about individual identity is of critical importance for pair bond maintenance in numerous monogamous songbirds. However, information transfer can be impaired by environmental constraints such as external noise or propagation-induced degradation. Birds have been shown to use several adaptive strategies to deal with difficult signal transmission contexts. Specifically, a number of studies have suggested that vocal plasticity at the emitter's level allows birds to counteract the deleterious effects of sound degradation. Although the communication process involves both the emitter and the receiver, perceptual plasticity at the receiver's level has received little attention. Here, we explored the reliability of individual recognition by female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), testing whether perceptual training can improve discrimination of degraded individual vocal signatures. We found that female zebra finches are proficient in discriminating between calls of individual males at long distances, and even more so when they can train themselves with increasingly degraded signals over time. In this latter context, females succeed in discriminating between males as far as 250 m. This result emphasizes that adaptation to adverse communication conditions may involve not only the emitter's vocal plasticity but also the receptor's decoding process through on-going learning. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Common Vocal Effects and Partial Glottal Vibration in Professional Nonclassical Singers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffier, Philipp P; Ibrahim Nasr, Ahmed; Ropero Rendon, Maria Del Mar; Wienhausen, Sascha; Forbes, Eleanor; Seidner, Wolfram; Nawka, Tadeus

    2017-07-12

    To multidimensionally investigate common vocal effects in experienced professional nonclassical singers, to examine their mechanism of production and reproducibility, to demonstrate the existence of partial glottal vibration, and to assess the potential of damage to the voice from nonclassical singing. Individual cohort study. Ten male singers aged between 25 and 46 years (34 ± 7 years [mean ± SD]) with different stylistic backgrounds were recruited (five pop/rock/metal, five musical theater). Participants repeatedly presented the usual nonclassical vocal effects and techniques in their repertoire. All performances were documented and analyzed using established instruments (eg, auditory-perceptual assessment, videolaryngostroboscopy, electroglottography, voice function diagnostics). The vocal apparatus of all singers was healthy and capable of high performance. Typical nonclassical vocal effects were breathy voice, creaky voice, vocal fry, grunting, distortion, rattle, belt, and twang. All effects could be easily differentiated from each other. They were intraindividually consistently repeatable and also interindividually produced in a similar manner. A special feature in one singer was the first evidence of partial glottal vibration when belting in the high register. The unintended transition to this reduced voice quality was accompanied by physical fatigue and inflexible respiratory support. The long-lasting use of the investigated nonclassical vocal effects had no negative impact on trained singers. The possibility of long-term damage depends on the individual constitution, specific use, duration, and extent of the hyperfunction. The incidence of partial glottal vibration and its consequences require continuing research to learn more about efficient and healthy vocal function in nonclassical singing. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A retrospective study of long-term treatment outcomes for reduced vocal intensity in hypokinetic dysarthria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Christopher R

    2016-01-01

    Reduced vocal intensity is a core impairment of hypokinetic dysarthria in Parkinson's disease (PD). Speech treatments have been developed to rehabilitate the vocal subsystems underlying this impairment. Intensive treatment programs requiring high-intensity voice and speech exercises with clinician-guided prompting and feedback have been established as effective for improving vocal function. Less is known, however, regarding long-term outcomes of clinical benefit in speakers with PD who receive these treatments. A retrospective cohort design was utilized. Data from 78 patient files across a three year period were analyzed. All patients received a structured, intensive program of voice therapy focusing on speaking intent and loudness. The dependent variable for all analyses was vocal intensity in decibels (dBSPL). Vocal intensity during sustained vowel production, reading, and novel conversational speech was compared at pre-treatment, post-treatment, six month follow-up, and twelve month follow-up periods. Statistically significant increases in vocal intensity were found at post-treatment, 6 months, and 12 month follow-up periods with intensity gains ranging from 5 to 17 dB depending on speaking condition and measurement period. Significant treatment effects were found in all three speaking conditions. Effect sizes for all outcome measures were large, suggesting a strong degree of practical significance. Significant increases in vocal intensity measured at 6 and 12 moth follow-up periods suggested that the sample of patients maintained treatment benefit for up to a year. These findings are supported by outcome studies reporting treatment outcomes within a few months post-treatment, in addition to prior studies that have reported long-term outcome results. The positive treatment outcomes experienced by the PD cohort in this study are consistent with treatment responses subsequent to other treatment approaches which focus on high-intensity, clinician guided motor

  1. Archaeopteryx: Dinosaur or Bird?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SONG Jianlan

    2011-01-01

    @@ An Archaeopteryx-like theropod dinosaur newly found from western Liaoning Province in northeastern China would make an unusual, if not unwelcome, gift for the 150th birthday of Archaeopteryx, the oldest bird as long-believed by paleontologists: Named as Xiaotingia zhengiis, the new species carries some critical traits suggesting that Archaeopteryx might have actually been a dinosaur.Naturally this breaking news stirred intense controversies.Was "The Oldest Bird" a bird? If not, what makes a bird? With these questions in mind, the author joined an exploration in search of "the real first bird" along with the paleontologists at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) under CAS.

  2. Detailed vocalic information in Danish 20-month-olds' novel words

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    results were found at 16 months with a simplified word-learning task (Havy & Nazzi, 2009). This indicated that vocalic information is given less weight than consonantal information when learning novel words. On the other hand, English 14- or 18-month-olds were sensitive to vowel mispronunciations of three......-olds' degree of phonetic specificity for vowels when learning novel words, given that Danish has a comparatively much richer vocalic system than both French and English. On each trial, infants were taught two new word-object correspondences differing in the vowel by two phonetic features (e.g. kis vs. kus...... representations with fully specified vowels. In a recent study, French 20-month-olds were able to learn two new words that differed by a single consonant but not words that differed by a single vowel, even when changing two or more phonetic features, in a name-based categorization task (Nazzi, 2005); similar...

  3. A Neural Code That Is Isometric to Vocal Output and Correlates with Its Sensory Consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyssotski, Alexei L.; Stepien, Anna E.; Keller, Georg B.; Hahnloser, Richard H. R.

    2016-01-01

    What cortical inputs are provided to motor control areas while they drive complex learned behaviors? We study this question in the nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf), which is required for normal birdsong production and provides the main source of auditory input to HVC, the driver of adult song. In juvenile and adult zebra finches, we find that spikes in NIf projection neurons precede vocalizations by several tens of milliseconds and are insensitive to distortions of auditory feedback. We identify a local isometry between NIf output and vocalizations: quasi-identical notes produced in different syllables are preceded by highly similar NIf spike patterns. NIf multiunit firing during song precedes responses in auditory cortical neurons by about 50 ms, revealing delayed congruence between NIf spiking and a neural representation of auditory feedback. Our findings suggest that NIf codes for imminent acoustic events within vocal performance. PMID:27723764

  4. A Neural Code That Is Isometric to Vocal Output and Correlates with Its Sensory Consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyssotski, Alexei L; Stepien, Anna E; Keller, Georg B; Hahnloser, Richard H R

    2016-10-01

    What cortical inputs are provided to motor control areas while they drive complex learned behaviors? We study this question in the nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf), which is required for normal birdsong production and provides the main source of auditory input to HVC, the driver of adult song. In juvenile and adult zebra finches, we find that spikes in NIf projection neurons precede vocalizations by several tens of milliseconds and are insensitive to distortions of auditory feedback. We identify a local isometry between NIf output and vocalizations: quasi-identical notes produced in different syllables are preceded by highly similar NIf spike patterns. NIf multiunit firing during song precedes responses in auditory cortical neurons by about 50 ms, revealing delayed congruence between NIf spiking and a neural representation of auditory feedback. Our findings suggest that NIf codes for imminent acoustic events within vocal performance.

  5. High-intensity urban light installation dramatically alters nocturnal bird migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Doren, Benjamin M; Horton, Kyle G; Dokter, Adriaan M; Klinck, Holger; Elbin, Susan B; Farnsworth, Andrew

    2017-10-02

    Billions of nocturnally migrating birds move through increasingly photopolluted skies, relying on cues for navigation and orientation that artificial light at night (ALAN) can impair. However, no studies have quantified avian responses to powerful ground-based light sources in urban areas. We studied effects of ALAN on migrating birds by monitoring the beams of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's "Tribute in Light" in New York, quantifying behavioral responses with radar and acoustic sensors and modeling disorientation and attraction with simulations. This single light source induced significant behavioral alterations in birds, even in good visibility conditions, in this heavily photopolluted environment, and to altitudes up to 4 km. We estimate that the installation influenced ≈1.1 million birds during our study period of 7 d over 7 y. When the installation was illuminated, birds aggregated in high densities, decreased flight speeds, followed circular flight paths, and vocalized frequently. Simulations revealed a high probability of disorientation and subsequent attraction for nearby birds, and bird densities near the installation exceeded magnitudes 20 times greater than surrounding baseline densities during each year's observations. However, behavioral disruptions disappeared when lights were extinguished, suggesting that selective removal of light during nights with substantial bird migration is a viable strategy for minimizing potentially fatal interactions among ALAN, structures, and birds. Our results also highlight the value of additional studies describing behavioral patterns of nocturnally migrating birds in powerful lights in urban areas as well as conservation implications for such lighting installations.

  6. Human cerebral response to animal affective vocalizations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pascal Belin; Shirley Fecteau; Ian Charest; Nicholas Nicastro; Marc D Hauser; Jorge L Armony

    2008-01-01

    .... Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging in normal participants to measure cerebral activity during auditory stimulation with affectively valenced animal vocalizations, some familiar (cats) and others not (rhesus monkeys...

  7. Improvement of a Vocal Fold Imaging System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krauter, K. G. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-02-01

    Medical professionals can better serve their patients through continual update of their imaging tools. A wide range of pathologies and disease may afflict human vocal cords or, as they’re also known, vocal folds. These diseases can affect human speech hampering the ability of the patient to communicate. Vocal folds must be opened for breathing and the closed to produce speech. Currently methodologies to image markers of potential pathologies are difficult to use and often fail to detect early signs of disease. These current methodologies rely on a strobe light and slower frame rate camera in an attempt to obtain images as the vocal folds travel over the full extent of their motion.

  8. Terrestrial predator alarm vocalizations are a valid monitor of stress in captive brown capuchins (Cebus apella)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boinski, S.; Gross, T.S.; Davis, J.K.

    1999-01-01

    The vocal behavior of captive animals is increasingly exploited as an index of well-being. Here we show that the terrestrial predator alarm (TPA) vocalization, a robust and acoustically distinctive anti-predation vocal response present in many mammal and bird species, offers useful information on the relative well-being and stress levels of captive animals. In a 16-week experiment evaluating the effects of varying levels of physical environmental enrichment (control cages of eight singly housed adult male brown capuchins, we quantified the 1) emission rate of TPAs, 2) proportions of normal and abnormal behavior sample intervals, and 3) fecal and plasma cortisol levels. Variation in TPA emission across the experimental conditions was significant. We found significant reductions in the mean TPA production rate by the group in the enriched (toys, foraging box, and foraging box and toys) compared to the control condition; pre-and post-experimental conditions, however, did not differ from the control condition. Mean TPA production by the group was also significantly positively correlated to mean group levels of fecal cortisol and proportion of abnormal behavior sample intervals, and significantly negatively correlated to the average proportion of normal behavior sample intervals in the group. Based on group means, plasma cortisol levels were positively, but not significantly, related to increasing TPA rate. At the level of the responses of an individual subject, however, the covariation between the vocal and non-vocal behavioral measures and the cortisol assays seldom attained significance. Nevertheless, the direction of the relationships among these parameters within individual subjects typically mirrored those correlations based on group means. At both the group mean and individual levels, our results are consistent with the.

  9. The evolution of coordinated vocalizations before language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Gregory A

    2014-12-01

    Ackermann et al. briefly point out the potential significance of coordinated vocal behavior in the dual pathway model of acoustic communication. Rhythmically entrained and articulated pre-linguistic vocal activity in early hominins might have set the evolutionary stage for later refinements that manifest in modern humans as language-based conversational turn-taking, joint music-making, and other behaviors associated with prosociality.

  10. Ultrasonic Vocalizations by Adult Rats (Rattus norvegicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-12-01

    begun. Diazepam , chlordiazepoxide , morphine, or naloxone was administered I.P. prior to placing the rat in the tailshock apparatus. Four different...by chlordiazepoxide and diazepam . Drug Dev. Res., 5, 185-193 (1985). Gardner, C.R., and Budhram, P. Effects of agents which interact with central... diazepam , and chlorpromazine, attenuate these vocalizations. Recent work by Kaltwasser (1990) examined the occurrence of vocalizations in response to

  11. VOCAL SEGMENT CLASSIFICATION IN POPULAR MUSIC

    OpenAIRE

    Feng, Ling; Nielsen, Andreas Brinch; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2008-01-01

    This paper explores the vocal and non-vocal music classification problem within popular songs. A newly built labeled database covering 147 popular songs is announced. It is designed for classifying signals from 1sec time windows. Features are selected for this particular task, in order to capture both the temporal correlations and the dependencies among the feature dimensions. We systematically study the performance of a set of classifiers, including linear regression, generalized linear mode...

  12. DNA barcoding of Dutch birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansour Aliabadian

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The mitochondrial cytochrome c-oxidase subunit I (COI can serve as a fast and accurate marker for the identification of animal species, and has been applied in a number of studies on birds. We here sequenced the COI gene for 387 individuals of 147 species of birds from the Netherlands, with 83 species being represented by >2 sequences. The Netherlands occupies a small geographic area and 95% of all samples were collected within a 50 km radius from one another. The intraspecific divergences averaged 0.29% among this assemblage, but most values were lower; the interspecific divergences averaged 9.54%. In all, 95% of species were represented by a unique barcode, with 6 species of gulls and skua (Larus and Stercorariusat least one shared barcode. This is best explained by these species representing recent radiations with ongoing hybridization. In contrast, one species, the Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca showed deep divergences, averaging 5.76% and up to 8.68% between individuals. These possibly represent two distinct taxa, S. curruca and S. blythi, both clearly separated in a haplotype network analysis. Our study adds to a growing body of DNA barcodes that have become available for birds, and shows that a DNA barcoding approach enables to identify known Dutch bird species with a very high resolution. In addition some species were flagged up for further detailed taxonomic investigation, illustrating that even in ornithologically well-known areas such as the Netherlands, more is to be learned about the birds that are present.

  13. The role of the pineal gland in the photoperiodic control of bird song frequency and repertoire in the house sparrow, Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gang; Harpole, Clifford E; Paulose, Jiffin; Cassone, Vincent M

    2014-04-01

    Temperate zone birds are highly seasonal in many aspects of their physiology. In mammals, but not in birds, the pineal gland is an important component regulating seasonal patterns of primary gonadal functions. Pineal melatonin in birds instead affects seasonal changes in brain song control structures, suggesting the pineal gland regulates seasonal song behavior. The present study tests the hypothesis that the pineal gland transduces photoperiodic information to the control of seasonal song behavior to synchronize this important behavior to the appropriate phenology. House sparrows, Passer domesticus, expressed a rich array of vocalizations ranging from calls to multisyllabic songs and motifs of songs that varied under a regimen of different photoperiodic conditions that were simulated at different times of year. Control (SHAM) birds exhibited increases in song behavior when they were experimentally transferred from short days, simulating winter, to equinoctial and long days, simulating summer, and decreased vocalization when they were transferred back to short days. When maintained in long days for longer periods, the birds became reproductively photorefractory as measured by the yellowing of the birds' bills; however, song behavior persisted in the SHAM birds, suggesting a dissociation of reproduction from the song functions. Pinealectomized (PINX) birds expressed larger, more rapid increases in daily vocal rate and song repertoire size than did the SHAM birds during the long summer days. These increases gradually declined upon the extension of the long days and did not respond to the transfer to short days as was observed in the SHAM birds, suggesting that the pineal gland conveys photoperiodic information to the vocal control system, which in turn regulates song behavior.

  14. Vocal health fitness to different music styles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cláudia Mendes Caminha Muniz

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To present genres and styles currently running on western music scene, focusing on the practice of singing voice. Methods: An observational and documental study for which were selected sound sources presenting musical genres and styles that are part of the experience of the researchers, which were analyzed considering origins, formative elements and vocal features. Alongside we carried out a review of literature grounded in databases research and free review of websites and classical books of the area. Results: The selected styles (Rock and Roll, Heavy Metal, Trash Metal, Grunge, Gothic Metal, Rap, Funk, Blues, R&B – Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Gospel, MPB, Samba, Forro, Sertanejo, Bossa Nova, Opera and Chamber Music were described, pointing the reasons for the speech therapist to be informed about them and about singing voice aspects. His guidance may minimize possible vocal damage caused by each style, since each of them carries its own patterns to which the interpreter must submit. Conclusions: We conclude that the singer will use a specific vocal pattern that resembles the musical style he intends to sing, regardless of any harm it may or may not cause to vocal health. When choosing a musical style, it is important that the singer has the knowledge and understanding of how the use of his vocal apparatus will cause or not cause injury to his voice. Also be aware that the technique in singing is necessary for vocal longevity.

  15. American Samoa ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for seabirds, wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and gulls and terns in American Samoa. Vector polygons...

  16. Voice analysis before and after vocal rehabilitation in patients following open surgery on vocal cords

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bunijevac Mila

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. The major role of larynx in speech, respiration and swallowing makes carcinomas of this region and their treatment very influential for patients’ life quality. The aim of this study was to assess the importance of voice therapy in patients after open surgery on vocal cords. Methods. This study included 21 male patients and the control group of 19 subjects. The vowel (A was recorded and analyzed for each examinee. All the patients were recorded twice: firstly, when they contacted the clinic and secondly, after a three-month vocal therapy, which was held twice per week on an outpatient basis. The voice analysis was carried out in the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT Clinic, Clinical Hospital Center “Zvezdara” in Belgrade. Results. The values of the acoustic parameters in the patients submitted to open surgery on the vocal cords before vocal rehabilitation and the control group subjects were significantly different in all specified parameters. These results suggest that the voice of the patients was damaged before vocal rehabilitation. The results of the acoustic parameters of the vowel (A before and after vocal rehabilitation of the patients with open surgery on vocal cords were statistically significantly different. Among the parameters - Jitter (%, Shimmer (% - the observed difference was highly statistically significant (p 0.05 . Conclusion. There was a significant improvement of the acoustic parameters of the vowel (A in the study subjects three months following vocal therapy. Only one out of five representative parameters showed no significant improvement.

  17. High speed digital phonoscopy of selected extreme vocalization (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izdebski, Krzysztof; Blanco, Matthew; Di Lorenzo, Enrico; Yan, Yuling

    2017-02-01

    We used HSDP (KayPENTAX Model 9710, NJ, USA) to capture the kinematics of vocal folds in the production of extreme vocalization used by heavy metal performers. The vibrations of the VF were captured at 4000 f/s using transoral rigid scope. Growl, scream and inhalatory phonations were recoded. Results showed that these extreme sounds are produced predominantly by supraglottic tissues rather than by the true vocal folds, which explains while these sounds do not injure the mucosa of the true vocal folds. In addition, the HSDI were processed using custom software (Vocalizer®) that clearly demonstrated the contribution of each vocal fold to the generation of the sound.

  18. Correlation between vocal functions and glottal measurements in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagi, K; Khidr, A A; Ford, C N; Bless, D M; Heisey, D M

    1997-06-01

    Observations and analysis of glottal characteristics are critical in choosing the best modality for surgery in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVP). This study suggests that multiple glottal characteristics influence the vocal product in patients with UVP. In addition to the horizontal position of the paralyzed vocal fold (deviation from the midline), the glottal area, degree of bowing of the paralyzed and contralateral vocal folds, maximum separation between vocal folds, compensatory glottal maneuvers, and the vertical glottic closure plane significantly influenced the quality of the voice. Clinicians should be aware of these observations to facilitate treatment planning and assessment of the results of surgical procedures used to improve voice quality in cases of UVP.

  19. Thoughts about the Songs for Vocalizing in Vocal Music Teaching%声乐教学时练声曲的框架思考

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    柴伦党

    2012-01-01

    In vocal music teaching the songs for vocalizing must be designed to conform to the scientific sound state, the macro law of musical works and correct aesthetic ideas, which can maximize the role of the songs and help the students learn how to vocalize scientifically in order to effectively improve the quality of their music. Through the reflections on ten years of his experience in vocal music teaching, the author analyzes the function and role of the songs commonly used at present and summarizes the general problems in designing the songs.%在声乐教学过程中练声曲的设计必须符合科学的发声状态,符合音乐作品的宏观规律以及正确的审美观念。这样就能最大限度地发挥声乐练声曲的作用,使学生不仅学会了如何科学的发声,更切实地提高了学生的音乐素质。笔者通过对十几年声乐教学经验的思考,分析了现阶段普遍所采用的声乐练声曲的功能和作用,并对设计练声曲时注意的一般问题进行了总结。

  20. Vocal control area-related expression of neuropilin-1, plexin-A4, and the ligand semaphorin-3A has implications for the evolution of the avian vocal system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Eiji; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2009-01-01

    The avian vocal system is a good model for exploring the molecular basis of neural circuit evolution related to behavioral diversity. Previously, we conducted a comparative gene expression analysis among two different families of vocal learner, the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica), a songbird, and the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), a parrot; and a non-learner, the quail (Coturnix coturnix), to identify various axon guidance molecules such as cadherin and neuropilin-1 as vocal control area-related genes. Here, we continue with this study and examine the expression of neuropilin and related genes in these species in more detail. We found that neuropilin-1 and its coreceptor, plexin-A4, were expressed in several vocal control areas in both Bengalese finch and budgerigar brains. In addition, semaphorin-3A, the ligand of neuropilin-1, expression was not detected in vocal control areas in both species. Furthermore, there was some similar gene expression in the quail brain. These results suggest the possibility that a change in the expression of a combination of semaphorin/neuropilin/plexin was involved in the acquisition of vocal learning ability during evolution.

  1. Stuttering: A novel bullfrog vocalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Andrea; Suggs, Dianne

    2004-05-01

    The advertisement call of male bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) consists of a series of individual croaks, each of which contains multiple harmonics with a missing or attenuated fundamental frequency of approximately 100 Hz. The envelope of individual croaks has typically been represented in the literature as smooth and unmodulated. From an analysis of 5251 advertisement calls from 17 different choruses over two mating seasons, we show that males add an extra modulation (around 4 Hz) to the envelope of individual croaks, following specific rules. We term these extra modulations stutters. Neither single croak calls nor the first croak in multiple croak calls contains stutters. When stuttering begins, it does so with a croak containing a single stutter, and the number of stutters increases linearly (plus or minus 1 stutter, up to 4 stutters) with the number of croaks. This pattern is stable across individual males (N=10). Playback experiments reveal that vocal responses to stuttered and nonstuttered calls vary with proximity to the stimulus. Close males respond with nonstuttered calls, while far males respond with stuttered calls. The data suggest that nonstuttered calls are used for aggressive or territorial purposes, while stuttered calls are used to attract females.

  2. Vocal cord paralysis in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ericka F; Blumin, Joel H

    2009-12-01

    Vocal fold paralysis (VFP) is an increasingly commonly identified problem in the pediatric patient. Diagnostic and management techniques honed in adult laryngologic practice have been successfully applied to children. Iatrogenic causes, including cardiothoracic procedures, remain a common cause of unilateral VFP. Neurologic disorders predominate in the cause of bilateral VFP. Diagnosis with electromyography is currently being evaluated in children. Treatment of VFP is centered around symptomology, which is commonly divided between voice and airway concerns. Speech therapy shows promise in older children. Surgical management for unilateral VFP with injection laryngoplasty is commonly performed and well tolerated. Laryngeal reinnervation is currently being applied to the pediatric population as a permanent treatment and offers several advantages over laryngeal framework procedures. For bilateral VFP, tracheotomy is still commonly performed. Glottic dilation procedures are performed both openly and endoscopically with a high degree of success. VFP is a well recognized problem in pediatric patients with disordered voice and breathing. Some patients will spontaneously recover their laryngeal function. For those who do not, a variety of reliable techniques are available for rehabilitative treatment.

  3. Dosage compensation in birds

    OpenAIRE

    McQueen, H A; McBride, D; Miele, G; Bird, A.P.; Clinton, M

    2001-01-01

    The Z and W sex chromosomes of birds have evolved independently from the mammalian X and Y chromosomes [1]. Unlike mammals, female birds are heterogametic (ZW), while males are homogametic (ZZ). Therefore male birds, like female mammals, carry a double dose of sex-linked genes relative to the other sex. Other animals with nonhomologous sex chromosomes possess "dosage compensation" systems to equalize the expression of sex-linked genes. Dosage compensation occurs in animals as diverse as mamma...

  4. Bird population density estimated from acoustic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, D.K.; Efford, M.G.

    2009-01-01

    Many animal species are detected primarily by sound. Although songs, calls and other sounds are often used for population assessment, as in bird point counts and hydrophone surveys of cetaceans, there are few rigorous methods for estimating population density from acoustic data. 2. The problem has several parts - distinguishing individuals, adjusting for individuals that are missed, and adjusting for the area sampled. Spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) is a statistical methodology that addresses jointly the second and third parts of the problem. We have extended SECR to use uncalibrated information from acoustic signals on the distance to each source. 3. We applied this extension of SECR to data from an acoustic survey of ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla density in an eastern US deciduous forest with multiple four-microphone arrays. We modelled average power from spectrograms of ovenbird songs measured within a window of 0??7 s duration and frequencies between 4200 and 5200 Hz. 4. The resulting estimates of the density of singing males (0??19 ha -1 SE 0??03 ha-1) were consistent with estimates of the adult male population density from mist-netting (0??36 ha-1 SE 0??12 ha-1). The fitted model predicts sound attenuation of 0??11 dB m-1 (SE 0??01 dB m-1) in excess of losses from spherical spreading. 5.Synthesis and applications. Our method for estimating animal population density from acoustic signals fills a gap in the census methods available for visually cryptic but vocal taxa, including many species of bird and cetacean. The necessary equipment is simple and readily available; as few as two microphones may provide adequate estimates, given spatial replication. The method requires that individuals detected at the same place are acoustically distinguishable and all individuals vocalize during the recording interval, or that the per capita rate of vocalization is known. We believe these requirements can be met, with suitable field methods, for a significant

  5. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for pelagic birds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gulls, terns, and passerine birds in Guam and the...

  6. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  7. Localized brain activation related to the strength of auditory learning in a parrot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eda-Fujiwara, Hiroko; Imagawa, Takuya; Matsushita, Masanori; Matsuda, Yasushi; Takeuchi, Hiro-Aki; Satoh, Ryohei; Watanabe, Aiko; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Manabe, Kazuchika; Kawashima, Takashi; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-01-01

    Parrots and songbirds learn their vocalizations from a conspecific tutor, much like human infants acquire spoken language. Parrots can learn human words and it has been suggested that they can use them to communicate with humans. The caudomedial pallium in the parrot brain is homologous with that of songbirds, and analogous to the human auditory association cortex, involved in speech processing. Here we investigated neuronal activation, measured as expression of the protein product of the immediate early gene ZENK, in relation to auditory learning in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), a parrot. Budgerigar males successfully learned to discriminate two Japanese words spoken by another male conspecific. Re-exposure to the two discriminanda led to increased neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium, but not in the hippocampus, compared to untrained birds that were exposed to the same words, or were not exposed to words. Neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium of the experimental birds was correlated significantly and positively with the percentage of correct responses in the discrimination task. These results suggest that in a parrot, the caudomedial pallium is involved in auditory learning. Thus, in parrots, songbirds and humans, analogous brain regions may contain the neural substrate for auditory learning and memory.

  8. Localized brain activation related to the strength of auditory learning in a parrot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroko Eda-Fujiwara

    Full Text Available Parrots and songbirds learn their vocalizations from a conspecific tutor, much like human infants acquire spoken language. Parrots can learn human words and it has been suggested that they can use them to communicate with humans. The caudomedial pallium in the parrot brain is homologous with that of songbirds, and analogous to the human auditory association cortex, involved in speech processing. Here we investigated neuronal activation, measured as expression of the protein product of the immediate early gene ZENK, in relation to auditory learning in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus, a parrot. Budgerigar males successfully learned to discriminate two Japanese words spoken by another male conspecific. Re-exposure to the two discriminanda led to increased neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium, but not in the hippocampus, compared to untrained birds that were exposed to the same words, or were not exposed to words. Neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium of the experimental birds was correlated significantly and positively with the percentage of correct responses in the discrimination task. These results suggest that in a parrot, the caudomedial pallium is involved in auditory learning. Thus, in parrots, songbirds and humans, analogous brain regions may contain the neural substrate for auditory learning and memory.

  9. Viscoelastic properties of the false vocal fold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Roger W.

    2004-05-01

    The biomechanical properties of vocal fold tissues have been the focus of many previous studies, as vocal fold viscoelasticity critically dictates the acoustics and biomechanics of phonation. However, not much is known about the viscoelastic response of the ventricular fold or false vocal fold. It has been shown both clinically and in computer simulations that the false vocal fold may contribute significantly to the aerodynamics and sound generation processes of human voice production, with or without flow-induced oscillation of the false fold. To better understand the potential role of the false fold in phonation, this paper reports some preliminary measurements on the linear and nonlinear viscoelastic behavior of false vocal fold tissues. Linear viscoelastic shear properties of human false fold tissue samples were measured by a high-frequency controlled-strain rheometer as a function of frequency, and passive uniaxial tensile stress-strain response of the tissue samples was measured by a muscle lever system as a function of strain and loading rate. Elastic moduli (Young's modulus and shear modulus) of the false fold tissues were calculated from the measured data. [Work supported by NIH.

  10. Vocal effort and voice handicap among teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampaio, Márcio Cardoso; dos Reis, Eduardo José Farias Borges; Carvalho, Fernando Martins; Porto, Lauro Antonio; Araújo, Tânia Maria

    2012-11-01

    The relationship between voice handicap and professional vocal effort was investigated among teachers in a cross-sectional study of census nature on 4496 teachers within the public elementary education network in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Voice handicap (the outcome of interest) was evaluated using the Voice Handicap Index 10. The main exposure, the lifetime vocal effort index, was obtained as the product of the number of years working as a teacher multiplied by the mean weekly working hours. The prevalence of voice handicap was 28.8% among teachers with high professional vocal effort and 21.3% among those with acceptable vocal effort, thus yielding a crude prevalence ratio (PR) of 1.36 (95% confidence interval [CI]=1.14-1.61). In the final logistic model, the prevalence of voice handicap was statistically associated with the professional vocal effort index (PR=1.47; 95% CI=1.19-1.82), adjusted according to sex, microphone availability in the classroom, excessive noise, pressure from the school management, heartburn, and rhinitis.

  11. Wavelet based detection of manatee vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gur, Berke M.; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2005-04-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of watercraft collisions in Florida's coastal waterways. Several boater warning systems, based upon manatee vocalizations, have been proposed to reduce the number of collisions. Three detection methods based on the Fourier transform (threshold, harmonic content and autocorrelation methods) were previously suggested and tested. In the last decade, the wavelet transform has emerged as an alternative to the Fourier transform and has been successfully applied in various fields of science and engineering including the acoustic detection of dolphin vocalizations. As of yet, no prior research has been conducted in analyzing manatee vocalizations using the wavelet transform. Within this study, the wavelet transform is used as an alternative to the Fourier transform in detecting manatee vocalizations. The wavelet coefficients are analyzed and tested against a specified criterion to determine the existence of a manatee call. The performance of the method presented is tested on the same data previously used in the prior studies, and the results are compared. Preliminary results indicate that using the wavelet transform as a signal processing technique to detect manatee vocalizations shows great promise.

  12. Impact of Vocal Tract Resonance on the Perception of Voice Quality Changes Caused by Varying Vocal Fold Stiffness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Signorello, Rosario; Zhang, Zhaoyan; Gerratt, Bruce; Kreiman, Jody

    2016-01-01

    Summary Experiments using animal and human larynx models are often conducted without a vocal tract. While it is often assumed that the absence of a vocal tract has only small effects on vocal fold vibration, it is not actually known how sound production and quality are affected. In this study, the validity of using data obtained in the absence of a vocal tract for voice perception studies was investigated. Using a two-layer self-oscillating physical model, three series of voice stimuli were created: one produced with conditions of left-right symmetric vocal fold stiffness, and two with left-right asymmetries in vocal fold body stiffness. Each series included a set of stimuli created with a physical vocal tract, and a second set created without a physical vocal tract. Stimuli were re-synthesized to equalize the mean F0 for each series and normalized for amplitude. Listeners were asked to evaluate the three series in a sort-and-rate task. Multidimensional scaling analysis was applied to examine the perceptual interaction between the voice source and the vocal tract resonances. The results showed that the presence or absence of a vocal tract can significantly affect perception of voice quality changes due to parametric changes in vocal fold properties, except when the parametric changes in vocal fold properties produced an abrupt shift in vocal fold vibratory pattern resulting in a salient quality change. PMID:27134616

  13. Vocal responses of austral forest frogs to amplitude and degradation patterns of advertisement calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, Mario; Moreno-Gómez, Felipe N; Muñoz, Matías I; Cisternas, Javiera

    2017-07-01

    Degradation phenomena affecting animal acoustic signals may provide cues to assess the distance of emitters. Recognition of degraded signals has been extensively demonstrated in birds, and recently studies have also reported detection of degraded patterns in anurans that call at or above ground level. In the current study we explore the vocal responses of the syntopic burrowing male frogs Eupsophus emiliopugini and E. calcaratus from the South American temperate forest to synthetic conspecific calls differing in amplitude and emulating degraded and non-degraded signal patterns. The results show a strong dependence of vocal responses on signal amplitude, and a general lack of differential responses to signals with different pulse amplitude modulation depths in E. emiliopugini and no effect of relative amplitude of harmonics in E. calcaratus. Such limited discrimination of signal degradation patterns from non-degraded signals is likely related to the burrowing habits of these species. Shelters amplify outgoing and incoming conspecific vocalizations, but do not counteract signal degradation to an extent comparable to calling strategies used by other frogs. The limited detection abilities and resultant response permissiveness to degraded calls in these syntopic burrowing species would be advantageous for animals communicating in circumstances in which signal alteration prevails. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Vocal Hygiene Habits and Vocal Handicap Among Conservatory Students of Classical Singing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achey, Meredith A; He, Mike Z; Akst, Lee M

    2016-03-01

    This study sought to assess classical singing students' compliance with vocal hygiene practices identified in the literature and to explore the relationship between self-reported vocal hygiene practice and self-reported singing voice handicap in this population. The primary hypothesis was that increased attention to commonly recommended vocal hygiene practices would correlate with reduced singing voice handicap. This is a cross-sectional, survey-based study. An anonymous survey assessing demographics, attention to 11 common vocal hygiene recommendations in both performance and nonperformance periods, and the Singing Voice Handicap Index 10 (SVHI-10) was distributed to classical singing teachers to be administered to their students at two major schools of music. Of the 215 surveys distributed, 108 were returned (50.2%), of which 4 were incomplete and discarded from analysis. Conservatory students of classical singing reported a moderate degree of vocal handicap (mean SVHI-10, 12; range, 0-29). Singers reported considering all 11 vocal hygiene factors more frequently when preparing for performances than when not preparing for performances. Of these, significant correlations with increased handicap were identified for consideration of stress reduction in nonperformance (P = 0.01) and performance periods (P = 0.02) and with decreased handicap for consideration of singing voice use in performance periods alone (P = 0.02). Conservatory students of classical singing report more assiduous attention to vocal hygiene practices when preparing for performances and report moderate degrees of vocal handicap overall. These students may have elevated risk for dysphonia and voice disorders which is not effectively addressed through common vocal hygiene recommendations alone. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Understanding how birds navigate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Schulten, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye.......A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye....

  16. Urban bird conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snep, Robbert P.H.; Kooijmans, Jip Louwe; Kwak, Robert G.M.; Foppen, Ruud P.B.; Parsons, Holly; Awasthy, Monica; Sierdsema, Henk L.K.; Marzluff, John M.; Fernandez-Juricic, Esteban; Laet, de Jenny

    2016-01-01

    Following the call from the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity “Cities & Biodiversity Outlook” project to better preserve urban biodiversity, this paper presents stakeholder-specific statements for bird conservation in city environments. Based upon the current urban bird

  17. What Is Bird Flu?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邢连香

    2004-01-01

    What is bird flu? It's a form of influenza believed to strike all birds. Though poultry (家禽)are believed to be especially prone to (倾向于)humans, no human-to-human transmission(传播) has been reported.

  18. Nanoscale magnetoreceptors in birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Greiner, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Earth's magnetic field provides an important source of directional information for many living organisms, especially birds, but the sensory receptor responsible for magnetic field detection still has to be identified. Recently, magnetic iron oxide particles were detected in dendritic endings...... field, by a bird....

  19. VOCAL: Voice Oriented Curriculum Author Language. Technical Report No. 291.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinckley, Michael; And Others

    VOCAL (Voice Oriented Curriculum Author Language) is designed to facilitate the authoring of computer assisted curricula which incorporate highly interactive audio and text presentations. Lessons written in VOCAL are intended to be patterned after the style of informal classroom lectures. VOCAL contains features that allow the author to specify…

  20. Oral Breathing Challenge in Participants with Vocal Attrition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivasankar, Mahalakshmi; Fisher, Kimberly V.

    2003-01-01

    Vocal folds undergo osmotic challenge by mouth breathing during singing, exercising, and loud speaking. Just 15 min of obligatory oral breathing, to dry the vocal folds, increases phonation threshold pressure (P[subscript th]) and expiratory vocal effort in healthy speakers (M. Sivasankar & K. Fisher, 2002). We questioned whether oral breathing is…

  1. The Development and Validation of the Vocalic Sensitivity Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villaume, William A.; Brown, Mary Helen

    1999-01-01

    Notes that presbycusis, hearing loss associated with aging, may be marked by a second dimension of hearing loss, a loss in vocalic sensitivity. Reports on the development of the Vocalic Sensitivity Test, which controls for the verbal elements in speech while also allowing for the vocalics to exercise their normal metacommunicative function of…

  2. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... appeal. However, some studies have found birds to perform relatively poorly as indicators. We therefore ask how the effectiveness of this approach can be improved by supplementing data on birds with information on other taxa. 2. Here, we explore two strategies using (i) species data for other taxa...... areas identified on the basis of birds alone performed well in representing overall species diversity where birds were relatively speciose compared to the other taxa in the data sets. Adding species data for one taxon increased surrogate effectiveness better than adding genus- and family-level data...

  3. Gestures, vocalizations and memory in language origins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco eAboitiz

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the possible homologies between the human language networks and comparable auditory projection systems in the macaque brain, in an attempt to conciliate two existing views on language evolution: one that makes emphasis on hand control and gestures, and the other that makes emphasis on auditory-vocal mechanisms. The capacity for language is based on relatively well defined neural substrates whose rudiments have been traced into the non-human primate brain. In its core, this circuit makes up an auditory-vocal sensorimotor circuit with two main components, a ventral pathway connecting anterior auditory regions with anterior ventrolateral prefrontal areas, and a dorsal pathway connecting auditory areas with parietal areas and with posterior ventrolateral prefrontal areas via the arcuate fasciculus and the superior longitudinal fasciculus. In humans, the dorsal circuit is especially important for phonological processing and phonological working memory, capacities that are critical for language acquisition and for complex syntax processing. In the macaque, the homologue to the dorsal circuit overlaps with an inferior parietal-ventrolateral prefrontal network for hand and gestural action selection that is under voluntary control, while vocalizations are largely fixed and involuntary. The recruitment of this dorsal component for vocalization behavior in the human lineage, together with a direct cortical control of the subcortical vocalizing system, are proposed to have marked a fundamental innovation in human evolution, generating an inflection point that permitted the explosion of language and human communication. In this context, vocal communication and gesturing have a common history in primate communication.

  4. An Intelligent Procedure for the Detection and Classification of Chickens Infected by Clostridium Perfringens Based on their Vocalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Sadeghi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In this study, an intelligent method was implemented for the detection and classification of chickens by infected Clostridium perfringens type A based on their vocalization. To this aim, the birds were first divided into two groups that were placed in separate cages with 15 chickens each. Chickens were inoculated with Clostridium perfringens type A on day 14. In order to ensure the absence of secondary diseases and their probable effect on bird vocalization, vaccines for common diseases were administered. During 30 days of the experiment, chicken vocalization was recorded every morning at 8 a.m. using a microphone and a data collection card under equal and controlled conditions. Sound signals were investigated in time domains, and 23 features were selected. Using Fisher Discriminate Analysis (FDA, five of the most important and effective features were chosen. Neural Network Pattern Recognition (NNPR structure with one hidden layer was applied to detect signals and classifying healthy and unhealthy chickens. Firstly, this neural network was trained with 34 samples, after which eight samples were tested for accuracy. Classification accuracy was 66.6 and 100% for days 16 and 22; i.e., two and eight days after the disease, respectively. The results of this study demonstrated the usefulness and effectiveness of intelligent methods for diagnosing diseases in chickens.

  5. Angyomatous vocal polypus: a complete spontaneous regression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmir Américo Lourenço

    Full Text Available The authors describe a male patient who had malignant lymphoma seven years ago which remitted with chemotherapy.Two years ago he developed dysphonia. An unilateral, pediculate smooth red lesion on the right vocal fold was later discovered. Even without benefit of medicamentosus treatment, the patient refused surgery. In a reevaluation using rigid telescopy of the larynx two years later, the lesion had disappeared, completely and spontaneously. As there are no existing publications on this topic, this case report is an alert that surgery should be recommended with extreme caution in this type of vocal disease.

  6. MARATHON DESPITE UNILATERAL VOCAL FOLD PARALYSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Echternach

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The principal symptoms of unilateral vocal fold paralysis are hoarseness and difficulty in swallowing. Dyspnea is comparatively rare (Laccourreye et al., 2003. The extent to which unilateral vocal fold paralysis may lead to respiratory problems at all - in contrast to bilateral vocal fold paralysis- has not yet well been determined. On the one hand, inspiration is impaired with unilateral vocal fold paralysis; on the other hand, neither the position of the vocal fold paralysis nor the degree of breathiness correlates with respiratory parameters (Cantarella et al., 2003; 2005. The question of what respiratory stress a patient with a vocal fold paresis can endure has not yet been dealt with.A 43 year-old female patient was suffering from recurrent unspecific respiratory complaints for four months after physical activity. During training for a marathon, she experienced no difficulty in breathing. These unspecific respiratory complaints occurred only after athletic activity and persisted for hours. The patient observed neither an increased coughing nor a stridor. Her voice remained unaltered during the attacks, nor were there any signs of a symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux or infectious disease. A cardio-pulmonary and a radiological examination by means of an X-ray of the thorax also revealed no pathological phenomena. As antiallergic and antiobstructive therapy remained unsuccessful, a laryngological examination was performed in order to exclude a vocal cord dysfunction.Surprisingly enough, the laryngostroboscopy showed, as an initial description, a vocal fold paralysis of the left vocal fold in median position (Figure 1. The anamnestic background for the cause was unclear. The only clue was a thoracotomy on the left side due to a pleuritis in childhood. A subsequent laryngoscopic examination had never been performed. Good mucosa waves and amplitudes were shown bilateral with complete glottal closure. Neither in the acoustic analysis, nor in the

  7. VOCAL SEGMENT CLASSIFICATION IN POPULAR MUSIC

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Ling; Nielsen, Andreas Brinch; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2008-01-01

    This paper explores the vocal and non-vocal music classification problem within popular songs. A newly built labeled database covering 147 popular songs is announced. It is designed for classifying signals from 1sec time windows. Features are selected for this particular task, in order to capture......-validated training and test setup. The database is divided in two different ways: with/without artist overlap between training and test sets, so as to study the so called ‘artist effect’. The performance and results are analyzed in depth: from error rates to sample-to-sample error correlation. A voting scheme...

  8. The Importance of Vocal Parameters Correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Ghisa

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To analyze communication we need to study the main parameters that describe the vocal sounds from the point of view of information content transfer efficiency. In this paper we analyze the physical quality of the “on air" information transfer, according to the audio streaming parameters and from the particular phonetic nature of the human factor. Applying this statistical analysis we aim to identify and record the correlation level of the acoustical parameters with the vocal ones and the impact which the presence of this cross-correlation can have on communication structures’ improvement.

  9. Automating identification of avian vocalizations using time-frequency information extracted from the Gabor transform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Edward F; Li, Shidong; Li, Steven

    2012-07-01

    Based on the Gabor transform, a metric is developed and applied to automatically identify bird species from a sample of 568 digital recordings of songs/calls from 67 species of birds. The Gabor frequency-amplitude spectrum and the Gabor time-amplitude profile are proposed as a means to characterize the frequency and time patterns of a bird song. An approach based on template matching where unknown song clips are compared to a library of known song clips is used. After adding noise to simulate the background environment and using an adaptive high-pass filter to de-noise the recordings, the successful identification rate exceeded 93% even at signal-to-noise ratios as low as 5 dB. Bird species whose songs/calls were dominated by low frequencies were more difficult to identify than species whose songs were dominated by higher frequencies. The results suggest that automated identification may be practical if comprehensive libraries of recordings that encompass the vocal variation within species can be assembled.

  10. Predicting the effect of urban noise on the active space of avian vocal signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parris, Kirsten M; McCarthy, Michael A

    2013-10-01

    Urbanization changes the physical environment of nonhuman species but also markedly changes their acoustic environment. Urban noise interferes with acoustic communication in a range of animals, including birds, with potentially profound impacts on fitness. However, a mechanistic theory to predict which species of birds will be most affected by urban noise is lacking. We develop a mathematical model to predict the decrease in the active space of avian vocal signals after moving from quiet forest habitats to noisy urban habitats. We find that the magnitude of the decrease is largely a function of signal frequency. However, this relationship is not monotonic. A metaregression of observed increases in the frequency of birdsong in urban noise supports the model's predictions for signals with frequencies between 1.5 and 4 kHz. Using results of the metaregression and the model described above, we show that the expected gain in active space following observed frequency shifts is up to 12% and greatest for birds with signals at the lower end of this frequency range. Our generally applicable model, along with three predictions regarding the behavioral and population-level responses of birds to urban noise, represents an important step toward a theory of acoustic communication in urban habitats.

  11. "I Don't Feel Trapped Anymore…i Feel Like a Bird": People with Learning Disabilities' Experience of Psychological Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Nicola; Lewis, Karin; Davies, Bronwen

    2016-01-01

    Background: There are very few studies that investigate the qualitative experiences of people with a learning disability who have engaged in psychological therapy. Indeed, having a learning disability has traditionally been an exclusion criterion for good quality research about psychological treatments ("Psychotherapy and Learning Disability.…

  12. Discrimination of ultrasonic vocalizations by CBA/CaJ mice (Mus musculus is related to spectrotemporal dissimilarity of vocalizations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erikson G Neilans

    Full Text Available The function of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs produced by mice (Mus musculus is a topic of broad interest to many researchers. These USVs differ widely in spectrotemporal characteristics, suggesting different categories of vocalizations, although this has never been behaviorally demonstrated. Although electrophysiological studies indicate that neurons can discriminate among vocalizations at the level of the auditory midbrain, perceptual acuity for vocalizations has yet to be determined. Here, we trained CBA/CaJ mice using operant conditioning to discriminate between different vocalizations and between a spectrotemporally modified vocalization and its original version. Mice were able to discriminate between vocalization types and between manipulated vocalizations, with performance negatively correlating with spectrotemporal similarity. That is, discrimination performance was higher for dissimilar vocalizations and much lower for similar vocalizations. The behavioral data match previous neurophysiological results in the inferior colliculus (IC, using the same stimuli. These findings suggest that the different vocalizations could carry different meanings for the mice. Furthermore, the finding that behavioral discrimination matched neural discrimination in the IC suggests that the IC plays an important role in the perceptual discrimination of vocalizations.

  13. Vocal improvement after voice therapy in the treatment of benign vocal fold lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, A; Mozzanica, F; Ginocchio, D; Maruzzi, P; Atac, M; Ottaviani, F

    2012-10-01

    Benign vocal fold lesions are common in the general population, and have important public health implications and impact on patient quality of life. Nowadays, phonomicrosurgery is the most common treatment of these lesions. Voice therapy is generally associated in order to minimize detrimental vocal behaviours that increase the stress at the mid-membranous vocal folds. Nonetheless, the most appropriate standard of care for treating benign vocal fold lesion has not been established. The aim of this study was to analyze voice changes in a group of dysphonic patients affected by benign vocal fold lesions, evaluated with a multidimensional protocol before and after voice therapy. Sixteen consecutive patients, 12 females and 4 males, with a mean age of 49.7 years were enrolled. Each subject had 10 voice therapy sessions with an experienced speech/language pathologist for a period of 1-2 months, and was evaluated before and at the end of voice therapy with a multidimensional protocol that included self-assessment measures and videostroboscopic, perceptual, aerodynamic and acoustic ratings. Videostroboscopic examination did not reveal resolution of the initial pathology in any case. No improvement was observed in aerodynamic and perceptual ratings. A clear and significant improvement was visible on Wilcoxon signed-rank test for the mean values of Jitt%, Noise to Harmonic Ratio (NHR) and Voice Handicap Index (VHI) scores. Even if it is possible that, for benign vocal fold lesions, only a minor improvement of voice quality can be achieved after voice therapy, rehabilitation treatment still seems useful as demonstrated by improvement in self-assessment measures. If voice therapy is provided as an initial treatment to the patients with benign vocal fold lesions, this may lead to an improvement in the perceived voice quality, making surgical intervention unnecessary. This is one of the first reports on the efficacy of voice therapy in the management of benign vocal fold

  14. Risk factors for the appearance of minimal pathologic lesions on vocal folds in vocal professionals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stojanović Jasmina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. An excessive use or misuse of voice by vocal professionals may result in symptoms such are husky voice, hoarse voice, total loss of voice, or even organic changes taking place on vocal folds - minimal pathological lesions - MAPLs. The purpose of this study was to identify the type of MAPLs which affects vocal professionals, as well as to identify the risk factors that bring about these changes. Methods. There were 94 vocal professionals who were examined altogether, out of whom 46 were affected by MAPLs, whereas 48 of them were diagnosed with no MAPLs, so that they served as the control group. All these patients were clinically examined (anamnesis, clinical examination, bacteoriological examination of nose and pharynx, radiography of paranasal cavities, allergological processing, phoniatric examination, endo-video-stroboscopic examination, as well as gastroenterologic examination, and finally endocrinological and pulmological analyses. Results. The changes that occurred most often were identified as nodules (50%; n = 23/46 and polyps (24%; n = 11/46. Risk factors causing MAPLs in vocal professionals were as follows: age, which reduced the risk by 23.9% [OR 0.861 (0.786-0.942] whereas the years of career increase the risk [OR 1.114 (1.000-1.241], as well as the presence of a chronic respiratory disease [OR 7.310 (1.712- 31.218], and the presence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease [OR 4.542 (1.263-16.334]. The following factors did not contribute to development of MAPLs in vocal professionals: sex, a place of residence, irritation, smoking, endocrinologic disease and the presence of poly-sinusitis. Conclusion. It is necessary to introduce comprehensive procedures for prevention of MAPLs, particularly in high-risk groups. Identification of the risk factors for MAPLs and prevention of their influence on vocal professionals (given that their income depends on their vocal ability is of the highest importance.

  15. A Novel GMM-Based Feature Reduction for Vocal Fold Pathology Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vahid Majidnezhad

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Acoustic analysis is a proper method in vocal fold pathology diagnosis so that it can complement and in some cases replace the other invasive, based on direct vocal fold observation, methods. There are different approaches and algorithms for vocal fold pathology diagnosis. These algorithms usually have three stages which are Feature Extraction, Feature Reduction and Classification. While the third stage implies a choice of a variety of machine learning methods (Support Vector Machines, Gaussian Mixture Model, etc., the first and second stages play a critical role in performance and accuracy of the classification system. In this study we present initial study of feature extraction and feature reduction in the task of vocal fold pathology diagnosis. A new type of feature vector, based on wavelet packet decomposition and Mel-Frequency-Cepstral-Coefficients (MFCCs, is proposed. Also a new method for feature reduction is proposed and compared with conventional methods such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA, F-Ratio and Fisher’s discriminant ratio. Gaussian Mixture Model is used as a classifier for evaluating the performance of the proposed method. The results show the priority of the proposed method in comparison with current methods.

  16. Vocal Modification Abilities and Brain Structures in Parrots – how do they Correlate?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpøth, Solveig Walløe

    .e. the oval nucleus of the mesopallium, MO and 3) investigate the effect of long-­term social and sound-isolation on the vocal modification ability and on the contact call of the peach-­fronted conure, Aratinga aurea. Article 1: The social complexity hypothesis states that with a complex social structure......-­fronted conure and the budgerigar. Article 2: It has been suggested that the size of various brain regions is important for behavioral capability and also the number of neurons have been suggested to be important. Here we correlate the vocal modification ability of the peach-­fronted conure, the budgerigar...... and the peach-faced lovebird with a brain nucleus, MO, involved in vocal learning. We show that the species with the highest level of vocal complexity (i.e. the peach-fronted conure) was also the species with the largest volume of MO and the highest number of neurons in MO. The budgerigar had the smallest...

  17. Oxyspiruriasis in zoo birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vellayan, S; Jeffery, J; Oothuman, P; Zahedi, M; Krishnasamy, M; Paramaswaran, S; Rohela, M; Abdul-Aziz, N M

    2012-06-01

    Oxyspiruriasis caused by the bird eyeworm, Oxyspirura mansoni, a thelaziid nematode, in three species of pheasants, 3 Chrysolophus pictus (golden pheasant), 7 Lophura nycthemera (silver pheasant) and 9 Phasianus colchicus (common pheasant) in Zoo Negara Malaysia are reported. Birds with the disease were treated with a solution of 0.5% iodine or 0.5% lysol. Antistress powder for 4 days in water and non-strep vitamin powder in water was also provided. Control measures included removal of the cockroach intermediate host, Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Surinam cockroach) from the vicinity of the birds. The golden pheasant is a new host for O. mansoni in peninsular Malaysia.

  18. [Birds' sense of direction].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hohtola, Esa

    2016-01-01

    Birds utilize several distinct sensory systems in a flexible manner in their navigation. When navigating with the help of landmarks, location of the sun and stars, or polarization image of the dome of the sky, they resort to vision. The significance of olfaction in long-range navigation has been under debate, even though its significance in local orientation is well documented. The hearing in birds extends to the infrasound region. It has been assumed that they are able to hear the infrasounds generated in the mountains and seaside and navigate by using them. Of the senses of birds, the most exotic one is the ability to sense magnetic fields of the earth.

  19. Bias for Consonantal Information over Vocalic Information in 30-Month-Olds: Cross-Linguistic Evidence from French and English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazzi, Thierry; Floccia, Caroline; Moquet, Berangere; Butler, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    Using a name-based categorization task, Nazzi found in 2005 that French-learning 20-month-olds can make use of one-feature consonantal contrasts between new labels but fail to do so with one-feature vocalic contrasts. This asymmetry was interpreted as developmental evidence for the proposal that consonants play a more important role than vowels at…

  20. Predicting Achievable Fundamental Frequency Ranges in Vocalization Across Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingo Titze

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Vocal folds are used as sound sources in various species, but it is unknown how vocal fold morphologies are optimized for different acoustic objectives. Here we identify two main variables affecting range of vocal fold vibration frequency, namely vocal fold elongation and tissue fiber stress. A simple vibrating string model is used to predict fundamental frequency ranges across species of different vocal fold sizes. While average fundamental frequency is predominantly determined by vocal fold length (larynx size, range of fundamental frequency is facilitated by (1 laryngeal muscles that control elongation and by (2 nonlinearity in tissue fiber tension. One adaptation that would increase fundamental frequency range is greater freedom in joint rotation or gliding of two cartilages (thyroid and cricoid, so that vocal fold length change is maximized. Alternatively, tissue layers can develop to bear a disproportionate fiber tension (i.e., a ligament with high density collagen fibers, increasing the fundamental frequency range and thereby vocal versatility. The range of fundamental frequency across species is thus not simply one-dimensional, but can be conceptualized as the dependent variable in a multi-dimensional morphospace. In humans, this could allow for variations that could be clinically important for voice therapy and vocal fold repair. Alternative solutions could also have importance in vocal training for singing and other highly-skilled vocalizations.

  1. [Etiology, diagnosis, differential diagnosis and therapy of vocal fold paralysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, R; Hoffmann, T K; Rotter, N; Pickhard, A; Scheithauer, M O; Brosch, S

    2014-03-01

    Etiology of vocal fold paralysis is broad: e. g. iatrogenic/traumatic, associated with neoplasms or with systemic diseases. The cause of idiopathic paralysis is unknown. The main symptom of unilateral vocal fold paralysis is hoarseness because of a remaining glottic gap during phonation. Patients with bilateral vocal fold paralysis typically have no impairment of the voice but dyspnea. Examination of patients with an idopathic vocal fold paralysis is a CT of the vagal nerve and recurrent laryngeal nerve from skull base to neck and mediastinum. Serological tests are not obligatory. Differential diagnosis of vocal fold immobility is vocal fold paralysis/neurological causes and arthrogene causes such as arytenoid subluxation, interarytenoid adhesion and vocal fold fixation in laryngeal carcinomas. Voice therapy is a promising approach for patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis, but not all patients benefit sufficiently. Temporary vocal fold augmentation by injection medialization results in satisfactory voice quality that is comparable with a thyroplasty. Patients with bilateral vocal fold immobility show typically dyspnea requiring immediate therapy such as temporary tracheotomy or reversible laterofixation of the paralyzed vocal chord. If the paralysis persists a definitive enlargement of the glottic airway by eg. arytenoidectomy needs to be performed.

  2. Female presence and estrous state influence mouse ultrasonic courtship vocalizations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica L Hanson

    Full Text Available The laboratory mouse is an emerging model for context-dependent vocal signaling and reception. Mouse ultrasonic vocalizations are robustly produced in social contexts. In adults, male vocalization during courtship has become a model of interest for signal-receiver interactions. These vocalizations can be grouped into syllable types that are consistently produced by different subspecies and strains of mice. Vocalizations are unique to individuals, vary across development, and depend on social housing conditions. The behavioral significance of different syllable types, including the contexts in which different vocalizations are made and the responses listeners have to different types of vocalizations, is not well understood. We examined the effect of female presence and estrous state on male vocalizations by exploring the use of syllable types and the parameters of syllables during courtship. We also explored correlations between vocalizations and other behaviors. These experimental manipulations produced four main findings: 1 vocalizations varied among males, 2 the production of USVs and an increase in the use of a specific syllable type were temporally related to mounting behavior, 3 the frequency (kHz, bandwidth, and duration of syllables produced by males were influenced by the estrous phase of female partners, and 4 syllable types changed when females were removed. These findings show that mouse ultrasonic courtship vocalizations are sensitive to changes in female phase and presence, further demonstrating the context-sensitivity of these calls.

  3. Bird brains and songs : Neural mechanisms of auditory memory and perception in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gobes, S.M.H.

    2009-01-01

    Songbirds, such as zebra finches, learn their songs from a ‘tutor’ (usually the father), early in life. There are strong parallels between the behavioural, cognitive and neural processes that underlie vocal learning in humans and songbirds. In both cases there is a sensitive period for auditory lear

  4. Modelling vocal anatomy's significant effect on speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, B.

    2010-01-01

    This paper investigates the effect of larynx position on the articulatory abilities of a humanlike vocal tract. Previous work has investigated models that were built to resemble the anatomy of existing species or fossil ancestors. This has led to conflicting conclusions about the relation between

  5. Gelada vocal sequences follow Menzerath's linguistic law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustison, Morgan L; Semple, Stuart; Ferrer-I-Cancho, Ramon; Bergman, Thore J

    2016-05-10

    Identifying universal principles underpinning diverse natural systems is a key goal of the life sciences. A powerful approach in addressing this goal has been to test whether patterns consistent with linguistic laws are found in nonhuman animals. Menzerath's law is a linguistic law that states that, the larger the construct, the smaller the size of its constituents. Here, to our knowledge, we present the first evidence that Menzerath's law holds in the vocal communication of a nonhuman species. We show that, in vocal sequences of wild male geladas (Theropithecus gelada), construct size (sequence size in number of calls) is negatively correlated with constituent size (duration of calls). Call duration does not vary significantly with position in the sequence, but call sequence composition does change with sequence size and most call types are abbreviated in larger sequences. We also find that intercall intervals follow the same relationship with sequence size as do calls. Finally, we provide formal mathematical support for the idea that Menzerath's law reflects compression-the principle of minimizing the expected length of a code. Our findings suggest that a common principle underpins human and gelada vocal communication, highlighting the value of exploring the applicability of linguistic laws in vocal systems outside the realm of language.

  6. Path Models of Vocal Emotion Communication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Bänziger

    Full Text Available We propose to use a comprehensive path model of vocal emotion communication, encompassing encoding, transmission, and decoding processes, to empirically model data sets on emotion expression and recognition. The utility of the approach is demonstrated for two data sets from two different cultures and languages, based on corpora of vocal emotion enactment by professional actors and emotion inference by naïve listeners. Lens model equations, hierarchical regression, and multivariate path analysis are used to compare the relative contributions of objectively measured acoustic cues in the enacted expressions and subjective voice cues as perceived by listeners to the variance in emotion inference from vocal expressions for four emotion families (fear, anger, happiness, and sadness. While the results confirm the central role of arousal in vocal emotion communication, the utility of applying an extended path modeling framework is demonstrated by the identification of unique combinations of distal cues and proximal percepts carrying information about specific emotion families, independent of arousal. The statistical models generated show that more sophisticated acoustic parameters need to be developed to explain the distal underpinnings of subjective voice quality percepts that account for much of the variance in emotion inference, in particular voice instability and roughness. The general approach advocated here, as well as the specific results, open up new research strategies for work in psychology (specifically emotion and social perception research and engineering and computer science (specifically research and development in the domain of affective computing, particularly on automatic emotion detection and synthetic emotion expression in avatars.

  7. Music Education Intervention Improves Vocal Emotion Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mualem, Orit; Lavidor, Michal

    2015-01-01

    The current study is an interdisciplinary examination of the interplay among music, language, and emotions. It consisted of two experiments designed to investigate the relationship between musical abilities and vocal emotional recognition. In experiment 1 (N = 24), we compared the influence of two short-term intervention programs--music and…

  8. Functional flexibility in wild bonobo vocal behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zanna Clay

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A shared principle in the evolution of language and the development of speech is the emergence of functional flexibility, the capacity of vocal signals to express a range of emotional states independently of context and biological function. Functional flexibility has recently been demonstrated in the vocalisations of pre-linguistic human infants, which has been contrasted to the functionally fixed vocal behaviour of non-human primates. Here, we revisited the presumed chasm in functional flexibility between human and non-human primate vocal behaviour, with a study on our closest living primate relatives, the bonobo (Pan paniscus. We found that wild bonobos use a specific call type (the “peep” across a range of contexts that cover the full valence range (positive-neutral-negative in much of their daily activities, including feeding, travel, rest, aggression, alarm, nesting and grooming. Peeps were produced in functionally flexible ways in some contexts, but not others. Crucially, calls did not vary acoustically between neutral and positive contexts, suggesting that recipients take pragmatic information into account to make inferences about call meaning. In comparison, peeps during negative contexts were acoustically distinct. Our data suggest that the capacity for functional flexibility has evolutionary roots that predate the evolution of human speech. We interpret this evidence as an example of an evolutionary early transition away from fixed vocal signalling towards functional flexibility.

  9. Patterns of Vocalization and Impression Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Donald P.; Bouma, Gary D.

    1975-01-01

    This article discusses the interactive behavior that accompanies verbal exchange. It specifically describes a set of experiments designed to isolate an important subset of interactive behavior, the vocal (as opposed to the verbal) and to relate this information to a wide range of social impressions resulting from verbal exchange. (Available from…

  10. Patterns of Vocalization and Impression Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Donald P.; Bouma, Gary D.

    1975-01-01

    This article discusses the interactive behavior that accompanies verbal exchange. It specifically describes a set of experiments designed to isolate an important subset of interactive behavior, the vocal (as opposed to the verbal) and to relate this information to a wide range of social impressions resulting from verbal exchange. (Available from…

  11. Music Education Intervention Improves Vocal Emotion Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mualem, Orit; Lavidor, Michal

    2015-01-01

    The current study is an interdisciplinary examination of the interplay among music, language, and emotions. It consisted of two experiments designed to investigate the relationship between musical abilities and vocal emotional recognition. In experiment 1 (N = 24), we compared the influence of two short-term intervention programs--music and…

  12. Audiovisual vocal outburst classification in noisy conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eyben, Florian; Petridis, Stavros; Schuller, Björn; Pantic, Maja

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we investigate an audiovisual approach for classification of vocal outbursts (non-linguistic vocalisations) in noisy conditions using Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Recurrent Neural Networks and Support Vector Machines. Fusion of geometric shape features and acoustic low-level descript

  13. Vocal cord dysfunction in children and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilles, Stephen A

    2003-11-01

    Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a nonorganic disorder of the larynx that involves unintentional paradoxical adduction of the vocal cords while breathing. The resultant symptoms can include dyspnea, chest tightness, cough, throat tightness, wheezing, or voice change. Most patients with VCD are female, and among adolescents and children, VCD tends to be triggered by exercise and is typically confused with exercise-induced asthma. Both gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and psychiatric illness have been reported as having strong associations with VCD, although, to date, there is no evidence that either causes VCD. VCD often coexists with asthma, and should be suspected in any patient in whom asthma treatment fails. Confirming the diagnosis involves direct visualization of abnormal vocal cord motion, and this usually only occurs during symptoms. Adolescent athletes often require free running exercise challenge to reproduce their symptoms and confirm abnormal vocal cord motion laryngoscopically. The primary treatment for VCD involves a combination of patient education and speech therapy, and, in most cases, patients may resume their activities without significant limitation.

  14. VOCALIZATIONS AND BREEDING BEHAVIOUR OF PTYCHADENA ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    also produced resuIarly and its production is dependent on the prCSCDCe of two or more individuals. ... analyser) within the frequency range 80 Hz-8 kHz using a wide band filter (300 Hz). ..... The evoked vocal response of the bullfrog. Res.

  15. Vocal cord hemangioma in an adult

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muzaffer Kanlıkama

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Hemangioma is one of the most common benign tumors in the head and neck region. Laryngeal hemangiomas are benign vascular tumors of unknown etiology that arise from subglottic region with stridor in infants. This type also known as congenital laryngeal hemangioma, is the more common. Congenital hemangiomas occur usually in subglottic region and more frequent in girls. Laryngeal hemangioma in adults is a very rare condition and main symptom is hoarseness and breathing difficulties. Adult hemangiomas can be seen in different locations such as the epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds, arytenoids and false and true vocal cords. They are more often of cavernous form and cause hoarseness. In this report we present an adult patient with hemangioma of the left vocal fold and review the literature. Diagnostic investigation revealed a pink-purple mass which was extended from the anterior comissure to the posterior part of true vocal cord and false vocal cord, filling the ventricule and extending to supraglottic region. Direct laryngoscopy was performed, but the lesion was not excised because of its widespread extension in the larynx. J Clin Exp Invest 2010; 2(3: 323-326.

  16. Vocal cord hemangioma in an adult

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muzaffer Kanlıkama

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Hemangioma is one of the most common benign tumorsin the head and neck region. Laryngeal hemangiomasare benign vascular tumors of unknown etiology thatarise from subglottic region with stridor in infants. Thistype also known as congenital laryngeal hemangioma, isthe more common. Congenital hemangiomas occur usuallyin subglottic region and more frequent in girls. Laryngealhemangioma in adults is a very rare conditionand main symptom is hoarseness and breathing difficulties.Adult hemangiomas can be seen in different locationssuch as the epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds, arytenoidsand false and true vocal cords. They are more oftenof cavernous form and cause hoarseness. In this reportwe present an adult patient with hemangioma ofthe left vocal fold and review the literature. Diagnosticinvestigation revealed a pink-purple mass which was extendedfrom the anterior comissure to the posterior partof true vocal cord and false vocal cord, filling the ventriculeand extending to supraglottic region. Directlaryngoscopy was performed, but the lesion was not excisedbecause of its widespread extension in the larynx. JClin Exp Invest 2010; 2(1: 91-94

  17. Path Models of Vocal Emotion Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bänziger, Tanja; Hosoya, Georg; Scherer, Klaus R

    2015-01-01

    We propose to use a comprehensive path model of vocal emotion communication, encompassing encoding, transmission, and decoding processes, to empirically model data sets on emotion expression and recognition. The utility of the approach is demonstrated for two data sets from two different cultures and languages, based on corpora of vocal emotion enactment by professional actors and emotion inference by naïve listeners. Lens model equations, hierarchical regression, and multivariate path analysis are used to compare the relative contributions of objectively measured acoustic cues in the enacted expressions and subjective voice cues as perceived by listeners to the variance in emotion inference from vocal expressions for four emotion families (fear, anger, happiness, and sadness). While the results confirm the central role of arousal in vocal emotion communication, the utility of applying an extended path modeling framework is demonstrated by the identification of unique combinations of distal cues and proximal percepts carrying information about specific emotion families, independent of arousal. The statistical models generated show that more sophisticated acoustic parameters need to be developed to explain the distal underpinnings of subjective voice quality percepts that account for much of the variance in emotion inference, in particular voice instability and roughness. The general approach advocated here, as well as the specific results, open up new research strategies for work in psychology (specifically emotion and social perception research) and engineering and computer science (specifically research and development in the domain of affective computing, particularly on automatic emotion detection and synthetic emotion expression in avatars).

  18. Quantitative microlaryngoscopic measurements of vocal fold polyps, glottal gap and their relation to vocal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uloza, Virgilijus; Kaseta, Marius; Pribuisiene, Rūta; Saferis, Viktoras; Jokūzis, Vytautas; Gelzinis, Adas; Bacauskiene, Marija

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to quantify the size of vocal fold polyps and to investigate the relationship between the glottal gap and parameters of acoustic voice analysis and phonetography. Eighty-one microlaryngoscopic images and digital recordings of voices (acoustic analysis and phonetogram) acquired from the patients with vocal fold polyps (VFPs) were employed in this study. Vocal fold (VF) images were collected during routine direct microlaryngoscopy using Moller-Wedel Universa 300 surgical microscope, 3-CCD Elmo 768 x 576-pixel color video camera and a 300 W Xenon light source. Acoustic voice analysis and phonetography were established using Dr. Speech (Tiger Electronics Inc.) software. Microlaryngoscopic images were processed by original software created by ELINTA and displayed on a monitor. The relative lengths and widths of vocal fold polyps as well as percentage area of VFP were calculated. The Pearson's correlation was applied to reveal the correlation between VFP dimensions and acoustic voice parameters. There were no statistically significant differences between the dimensions of left and right vocal folds and VFPs. Statistically significant slight to mild correlations between measured dimensions of VFP acoustic and phonetogram parameters were revealed, with HNR and phonetogram area showing the strongest correlation to the size of VFPs. The results of our study confirm that quantitative microlaryngoscopic measurements of vocal fold polyp and glottal gap dimensions may be a useful tool for objective assessment of glottic incompetence and voice impairment.

  19. Auditory lateralization of conspecific and heterospecific vocalizations in cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siniscalchi, Marcello; Laddago, Serena; Quaranta, Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Auditory lateralization in response to both conspecific and heterospecific vocalizations (dog vocalizations) was observed in 16 tabby cats (Felis catus). Six different vocalizations were used: cat "purring," "meowing" and "growling" and dog typical vocalizations of "disturbance," "isolation" and "play." The head-orienting paradigm showed that cats turned their head with the right ear leading (left hemisphere activation) in response to their typical-species vocalization ("meow" and "purring"); on the other hand, a clear bias in the use of the left ear (right hemisphere activation) was observed in response to vocalizations eliciting intense emotion (dogs' vocalizations of "disturbance" and "isolation"). Overall these findings suggest that auditory sensory domain seems to be lateralized also in cat species, stressing the role of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication and of the right hemisphere in processing threatening and alarming stimuli.

  20. Language development in a non-vocal child.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogow, S M

    1994-01-01

    Many children who cannot speak, comprehend both oral and written language. Having knowledge of language is not the same as being able to use language for social transactions. Non-vocal children learn to use augmented and assisted systems, but they experience specific difficulties in initiating and maintaining conversations and making use of the pragmatic functions of language. The purpose of this study was to investigate the semantic and syntactic knowledge of a child with severe multiple disabilities who can read and write and comprehend two languages, but does not initiate conversation. The study demonstrates that high levels of language comprehension and ability to read and write do not automatically transfer to conversational competence or narrative ability.

  1. Vocal communication in African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltis, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    Research on vocal communication in African elephants has increased in recent years, both in the wild and in captivity, providing an opportunity to present a comprehensive review of research related to their vocal behavior. Current data indicate that the vocal repertoire consists of perhaps nine acoustically distinct call types, "rumbles" being the most common and acoustically variable. Large vocal production anatomy is responsible for the low-frequency nature of rumbles, with fundamental frequencies in the infrasonic range. Additionally, resonant frequencies of rumbles implicate the trunk in addition to the oral cavity in shaping the acoustic structure of rumbles. Long-distance communication is thought possible because low-frequency sounds propagate more faithfully than high-frequency sounds, and elephants respond to rumbles at distances of up to 2.5 km. Elephant ear anatomy appears designed for detecting low frequencies, and experiments demonstrate that elephants can detect infrasonic tones and discriminate small frequency differences. Two vocal communication functions in the African elephant now have reasonable empirical support. First, closely bonded but spatially separated females engage in rumble exchanges, or "contact calls," that function to coordinate movement or reunite animals. Second, both males and females produce "mate attraction" rumbles that may advertise reproductive states to the opposite sex. Additionally, there is evidence that the structural variation in rumbles reflects the individual identity, reproductive state, and emotional state of callers. Growth in knowledge about the communication system of the African elephant has occurred from a rich combination of research on wild elephants in national parks and captive elephants in zoological parks.

  2. Breeding bird survey data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The data are maintained by the USGS (https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/RawData/) and provides information on the trends and status of North American bird populations...

  3. Awesome Audubon Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahler, Laura

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a watercolor art lesson on Audubon birds. She also discusses how science, technology, writing skills, and the elements and principles of art can be incorporated into the lesson.

  4. Birds - Breeding [ds60

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — This data set provides access to information gathered on annual breeding bird surveys in California using a map layer developed by the Department. This data layer...

  5. Bird Vision System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Bird Vision system is a multicamera photogrammerty software application that runs on a Microsoft Windows XP platform and was developed at Kennedy Space Center by ASRC Aerospace. This software system collects data about the locations of birds within a volume centered on the Space Shuttle and transmits it in real time to the laptop computer of a test director in the Launch Control Center (LCC) Firing Room.

  6. A Clever Bird

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐芳; 孙菊

    2008-01-01

    @@ 一、故事内容 It is getting hotter and hotter day by day.So the birds don't often fly in the sky in daytime.They usually fly in the evening to look for food.But a bird named Polly is very naughty.He just knows how to fly,so he wants to fly every day.One day,when he is flying in the forest,he feels very thirsty.

  7. 如何培养小学生在声乐教学中对视唱练耳的学习兴趣%How to Train the Students in the Teaching of Vocal Music in Solfeggio Learning Interest

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李晶晶

    2014-01-01

    在小学,声乐教学是非常重要的,其能够更好地提高学生的综合素质,将学生的音乐潜能发掘出来,让学生能够更好地掌握音乐要素和音乐规律,提高学生表现方面的能力,让学生更好地理解音乐。但是随着改革的不断深入,在教学的时候越来越重视基础教学,在声乐教学中,视唱练耳也愈加的重要。所以,老师在进行声乐教学的时候必须真正重视视唱练耳方面的训练,将学生对视唱练耳的兴趣培养出来,提高学生演唱方面的能力和综合方面的能力,帮助学生更好的发展。%In the primary school, the vocal music teaching is very important, which can improve the comprehensive quality of students, the students’ music potential to be uncovered, so that students can better master the elements of music and music rules, improve the ability of student performance, so that students can better understand the music. But with the deepening of reform, more and more attention in the teaching of basic education, the training the students’ interest in solfeggio, enhance the capacity of students singing and all-around development, help students better.

  8. Multidimensional Analysis on the Effect of Vocal Function Exercises on Aged Vocal Fold Atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Mami; Hirano, Shigeru; Tateya, Ichiro; Kishimoto, Yo; Hiwatashi, Nao; Fujiu-Kurachi, Masako; Ito, Juichi

    2015-09-01

    Age-related voice change is characterized as weak, harsh, and breathy. These changes are caused by histologic alteration of the lamina propria of the vocal fold mucosa as well as atrophy of the thyroarytenoid muscle. Several therapeutic strategies involving laryngeal framework surgery and injection laryngoplasty have been tried, but effects have been limited. Vocal function exercises (VFE) have been used to treat age-related vocal fold atrophy although the effectiveness has been shown with limited analysis. The present study aims to determine the effectiveness of VFE for the treatment of aged atrophy using multidimensional analysis. This is a retrospective study. Sixteen patients with vocal fold atrophy aged 65-81 years underwent voice therapy using VFE. Six patients with vocal fold atrophy aged 65-85 years were involved as a historical control group. The grade, roughness, breathiness, asthenia, strain (GRBAS) scale, stroboscopic examinations, aerodynamic assessment, acoustic analysis, and Voice Handicap Index-10 (VHI-10) were performed before and after VFE. Normalized mucosal wave amplitude (NMWA), normalized glottal gap (NGG), and bowing index (BI) were measured by image analysis during stroboscopic examinations. After VFE, significant improvements were shown in GRBAS, maximum phonation time, jitter, NMWA, NGG, and VHI-10 although BI has not changed significantly. There were no significant improvements in the historical control. The data suggest that VFE produces significant improvement in subjective, objective, and patient self-evaluation and deserves further attention as a treatment for aged atrophy of the vocal fold. It was also suggested that VFE does not improve the vocal fold bowing but may improve muscular function during voicing. Copyright © 2015 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Orientation in birds. Olfactory navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papi, F

    1991-01-01

    Research work on the olfactory navigation of birds, which has only recently attracted attention, has shown that many wild species rely on an osmotactic mechanism to find food sources, even at a considerable distance. The homing pigeon, the only bird to have been thoroughly investigated with respect to olfactory navigation, has been found to rely on local odours for homeward orientation, and to integrate olfactory cues perceived during passive transportation with those picked up at the release site. It is possible to design experiments in which birds are given false olfactory information, and predictions about the effects of this can be made and tested. Pigeons are able to home from unfamiliar sites because they acquire an olfactory map extending beyond the area they have flown over. The olfactory map is built up by associating wind-borne odours with the direction from which they come; this was shown by experiments which aimed to prevent, limit or alter this association. One aim of the research work has been to test whether pigeons flying over unfamiliar areas also rely or can learn to rely on non-olfactory cues, depending on their local availability, and/or on the methods of rearing and training applied to them. Various evaluations have been made of the results; the most recent experiments, however, confirm that pigeons do derive directional information from atmospheric odours. A neurobiological approach is also in progress; its results show that some telencephalic areas are involved in orientation and olfactory navigation. The lack of any knowledge about the distribution and chemical nature of the odorants which allow pigeons to navigate hinders progress in this area of research.

  10. Segmental Production in Mandarin-Learning Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li-Mei; Kent, Raymond D.

    2010-01-01

    The early development of vocalic and consonantal production in Mandarin-learning infants was studied at the transition from babbling to producing first words. Spontaneous vocalizations were recorded for 24 infants grouped by age: G1 (0 ; 7 to 1 ; 0) and G2 (1 ; 1 to 1 ; 6). Additionally, the infant-directed speech of 24 caregivers was recorded…

  11. Improvement of Vocal Pathologies Diagnosis Using High-Speed Videolaryngoscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuji, Domingos Hiroshi

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction The study of the dynamic properties of vocal fold vibration is important for understanding the vocal production mechanism and the impact of organic and functional changes. The advent of high-speed videolaryngoscopy (HSV has provided the possibility of seeing the real cycle of vocal fold vibration in detail through high sampling rate of successive frames and adequate spatial resolution. Objective To describe the technique, advantages, and limitations of using HSV and digital videokymography in the diagnosis of vocal pathologies. Methods We used HSV and digital videokymography to evaluate one normophonic individual and four patients with vocal fold pathologies (nodules, unilateral paralysis of the left vocal fold, intracordal cyst, and adductor spasmodic dysphonia. The vocal fold vibration parameters (glottic closure, vibrational symmetry, periodicity, mucosal wave, amplitude, and glottal cycle phases were assessed. Results Differences in the vocal vibration parameters were observed and correlated with the pathophysiology. Conclusion HSV is the latest diagnostic tool in visual examination of vocal behavior and has considerable potential to refine our knowledge regarding the vocal fold vibration and voice production, as well as regarding the impact of pathologic conditions have on the mechanism of phonation.

  12. Improvement of vocal pathologies diagnosis using high-speed videolaryngoscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Domingos Hiroshi; Hachiya, Adriana; Dajer, Maria Eugenia; Ishikawa, Camila Cristina; Takahashi, Marystella Tomoe; Montagnoli, Arlindo Neto

    2014-07-01

    Introduction The study of the dynamic properties of vocal fold vibration is important for understanding the vocal production mechanism and the impact of organic and functional changes. The advent of high-speed videolaryngoscopy (HSV) has provided the possibility of seeing the real cycle of vocal fold vibration in detail through high sampling rate of successive frames and adequate spatial resolution. Objective To describe the technique, advantages, and limitations of using HSV and digital videokymography in the diagnosis of vocal pathologies. Methods We used HSV and digital videokymography to evaluate one normophonic individual and four patients with vocal fold pathologies (nodules, unilateral paralysis of the left vocal fold, intracordal cyst, and adductor spasmodic dysphonia). The vocal fold vibration parameters (glottic closure, vibrational symmetry, periodicity, mucosal wave, amplitude, and glottal cycle phases) were assessed. Results Differences in the vocal vibration parameters were observed and correlated with the pathophysiology. Conclusion HSV is the latest diagnostic tool in visual examination of vocal behavior and has considerable potential to refine our knowledge regarding the vocal fold vibration and voice production, as well as regarding the impact of pathologic conditions have on the mechanism of phonation.

  13. Endoscopic laterofixation in bilateral vocal cords paralysis in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidia, Zawadzka-Glos; Magdalena, Frackiewicz; Mieczyslaw, Chmielik

    2010-06-01

    Vocal cords paralysis is the second most frequent cause of laryngeal stridor in children. Symptoms of congenital vocal cords paralysis can occur shortly after birth or later. Vocal cords paralysis can be unilateral or bilateral. Symptoms of unilateral paralysis include hoarse weeping or stridor during a deep inhalation. In children unilateral vocal cords paralysis often retreats spontaneously or can be completely compensated. Children with bilateral vocal cords paralysis present mainly breathing disorders while phonation is normal. Symptoms are different, starting from complete occlusion of respiratory tracts and ending on small symptoms connected with the lack of effort tolerance. When symptoms are severe, patients from this group require a tracheotomy. The lack of restoration of normal function of vocal cords or lack of complete compensation and maintenance of symptoms are an indication for surgical treatment. The aim of this study is to present results of the treatment of bilateral vocal cords paralysis in children using the endoscopic method of laterofixation of vocal cords. In the Pediatric ENT Department between 1998 and 2009 sixty four children with dyspnoea and/or phonation disorders caused by vocal cords paralysis were treated. In ten cases laterofixation of vocal cords was performed, in most cases with good result. In this article the authors present the method of endoscopic laterofixation and achieved results. Endoscopic laterofixation of vocal cords in children is a safe and an easy method of surgical treatment of bilateral vocal cords paralysis. This method can be used as a first and often as a one stage treatment of vocal cords paralysis. In some cases this procedure is insufficient and has to be completed with other methods. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Recording Mouse Ultrasonic Vocalizations to Evaluate Social Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferhat, Allain-Thibeault; Torquet, Nicolas; Le Sourd, Anne-Marie; de Chaumont, Fabrice; Olivo-Marin, Jean-Christophe; Faure, Philippe; Bourgeron, Thomas; Ey, Elodie

    2016-06-05

    Mice emit ultrasonic vocalizations in different contexts throughout development and in adulthood. These vocal signals are now currently used as proxies for modeling the genetic bases of vocal communication deficits. Characterizing the vocal behavior of mouse models carrying mutations in genes associated with neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorders will help to understand the mechanisms leading to social communication deficits. We provide here protocols to reliably elicit ultrasonic vocalizations in pups and in adult mice. This standardization will help reduce inter-study variability due to the experimental settings. Pup isolation calls are recorded throughout development from individual pups isolated from dam and littermates. In adulthood, vocalizations are recorded during same-sex interactions (without a sexual component) by exposing socially motivated males or females to an unknown same-sex conspecific. We also provide a protocol to record vocalizations from adult males exposed to an estrus female. In this context, there is a sexual component in the interaction. These protocols are established to elicit a large amount of ultrasonic vocalizations in laboratory mice. However, we point out the important inter-individual variability in the vocal behavior of mice, which should be taken into account by recording a minimal number of individuals (at least 12 in each condition). These recordings of ultrasonic vocalizations are used to evaluate the call rate, the vocal repertoire and the acoustic structure of the calls. Data are combined with the analysis of synchronous video recordings to provide a more complete view on social communication in mice. These protocols are used to characterize the vocal communication deficits in mice lacking ProSAP1/Shank2, a gene associated with autism spectrum disorders. More ultrasonic vocalizations recordings can also be found on the mouseTube database, developed to favor the exchange of such data.

  15. Social coordination in animal vocal interactions. Is there any evidence of turn-taking? The starling as an animal model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Laurence; Craig, Adrian J F K; Lemasson, Alban; Hausberger, Martine

    2015-01-01

    Turn-taking in conversation appears to be a common feature in various human cultures and this universality raises questions about its biological basis and evolutionary trajectory. Functional convergence is a widespread phenomenon in evolution, revealing sometimes striking functional similarities between very distant species even though the mechanisms involved may be different. Studies on mammals (including non-human primates) and bird species with different levels of social coordination reveal that temporal and structural regularities in vocal interactions may depend on the species' social structure. Here we test the hypothesis that turn-taking and associated rules of conversations may be an adaptive response to the requirements of social life, by testing the applicability of turn-taking rules to an animal model, the European starling. Birdsong has for many decades been considered as one of the best models of human language and starling songs have been well described in terms of vocal production and perception. Starlings do have vocal interactions where alternating patterns predominate. Observational and experimental data on vocal interactions reveal that (1) there are indeed clear temporal and structural regularities, (2) the temporal and structural patterning is influenced by the immediate social context, the general social situation, the individual history, and the internal state of the emitter. Comparison of phylogenetically close species of Sturnids reveals that the alternating pattern of vocal interactions varies greatly according to the species' social structure, suggesting that interactional regularities may have evolved together with social systems. These findings lead to solid bases of discussion on the evolution of communication rules in relation to social evolution. They will be discussed also in terms of processes, at the light of recent neurobiological findings.

  16. Gender identification using acoustic analysis in birds without external sexual dimorphism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ilya A.Volodin; Elena V.Volodina; Anna V.Klenova; Vera A.Matrosova

    2015-01-01

    Zoo and wildlife management faces a problem with bird sexing,as many bird taxa have indiscernible gender differences in size and coloration.Problematic groups are geese,cranes,rails,raptors,owls,parrots,doves,auks,shearwaters and some passerines.Commonly accepted invasive sexing techniques based on genetics,laparoscopy,morphometric and on cloacal inspection,are all needed in bird capturing and handling.Capturing and subsequent manipulations may be inapplicable for free-ranging birds,whereas distant voice-based sexing is relevant for many species.This review evaluates the potential for noninvasive sexing by separate calls or duet calls,for adult birds of 69 species from 16 orders and for chicks of 11 species from 7 orders.For adult birds of 25 species,a single call per individual was sufficient for 100 % reliable sexing by ear or using spectrographic analysis.For chicks,the potential for voice-based sexing seems to be very limited.For birds calling rarely or unpredictably,we propose a simple way of provoking vocalization using playbacks of species-specific calls that are available from sound libraries.We conclude that sexing by voice may represent a feasible alternative to the classical sexing techniques,both in the wild and in captivity.

  17. Desvantagem vocal em cantores de igreja Vocal handicap of church singers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Prestes

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: avaliar a desvantagem vocal de cantores amadores de coros de igreja. MÉTODO: participaram 42 cantores de coros amadores de igrejas, sendo 20 homens e 22 mulheres, com idades entre 18 e 59 anos. Todos responderam a um questionário contendo perguntas sobre autopercepção vocal e práticas de canto, e ao protocolo Índice de Desvantagem para o Canto Moderno (IDCM, composto por 30 questões referentes às subescalas incapacidade, desvantagem e defeito. Foi realizada triagem perceptivo-auditiva para classificação das vozes em adaptadas ou alteradas e mensuração dos graus De alteração. RESULTADOS: a pontuação total média obtida no IDCM foi 23 pontos. Os maiores escores foram obtidos na subescala "defeito" (10,9, seguido por "incapacidade" (7,6 e "desvantagem" (4,5, com diferença entre elas (p= 0,001. Cantores que nunca realizaram aula de canto apresentaram maiores escores no domínio "desvantagem" (p=0,003. À medida que o escore total do IDCM aumentou, a nota atribuída pelo cantor em relação à própria voz diminuiu (p= 0,046. Participantes com qualidade vocal alterada apresentaram maiores escores nas subescalas incapacidade e desvantagem e no domínio total do IDCM quando comparados aos que apresentavam qualidade vocal adaptada (p=0,012, p=0,049 e p=0,015, respectivamente. Além disso, quanto maior o grau de alteração vocal, maiores foram os escores referentes à subescala incapacidade (p=0,022. CONCLUSÃO: cantores de igreja apresentam desvantagem vocal importante. Quando apresentam alterações vocais, esta desvantagem é ainda maior. Quanto maior o grau de alteração vocal, maiores as limitações referentes à voz cantada. Aulas de canto parecem minimizar a desvantagem vocal nessa população.PURPOSE: to evaluate the vocal handicap of amateur singers of church choirs. METHOD: we interviewed 42 amateur singers from church choirs, 20 men, and 22 women, between 18 and 59 year old. Everybody answered a questionnaire

  18. Modal locking between vocal fold and vocal tract oscillations: Simulations in time domain

    CERN Document Server

    Aalto, Atte; Malinen, Jarmo; Aalto, Daniel; Vainio, Martti

    2015-01-01

    It is well known that during voiced speech, the human vocal folds interact with the vocal tract acoustics. The resulting source-filter coupling has been observed using mathematical and physical models as well as in in vivo phonation. We propose a computational time-domain model of the full speech apparatus that, in particular, contains a feedback mechanism from the vocal tract acoustics to the vocal fold oscillations. It is based on numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations defined on vocal tract geometries that have been obtained by Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The model is used to simulate rising and falling pitch glides of [a, i] in the fundamental frequency (f_0) interval [180 Hz, 360 Hz]. The interval contains the first formant F1 of [i] as well as the subformants F1/4 and F1/3 of [a]. The simulations reveal a locking pattern of the f_0-trajectory at F1 of [i] in falling and rising glides. The subformants of [a] produce perturbations in the waveforms of glottal signals but no locki...

  19. Sensorimotor learning in children and adults: Exposure to frequency-altered auditory feedback during speech production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheerer, N E; Jacobson, D S; Jones, J A

    2016-02-09

    Auditory feedback plays an important role in the acquisition of fluent speech; however, this role may change once speech is acquired and individuals no longer experience persistent developmental changes to the brain and vocal tract. For this reason, we investigated whether the role of auditory feedback in sensorimotor learning differs across children and adult speakers. Participants produced vocalizations while they heard their vocal pitch predictably or unpredictably shifted downward one semitone. The participants' vocal pitches were measured at the beginning of each vocalization, before auditory feedback was available, to assess the extent to which the deviant auditory feedback modified subsequent speech motor commands. Sensorimotor learning was observed in both children and adults, with participants' initial vocal pitch increasing following trials where they were exposed to predictable, but not unpredictable, frequency-altered feedback. Participants' vocal pitch was also measured across each vocalization, to index the extent to which the deviant auditory feedback was used to modify ongoing vocalizations. While both children and adults were found to increase their vocal pitch following predictable and unpredictable changes to their auditory feedback, adults produced larger compensatory responses. The results of the current study demonstrate that both children and adults rapidly integrate information derived from their auditory feedback to modify subsequent speech motor commands. However, these results also demonstrate that children and adults differ in their ability to use auditory feedback to generate compensatory vocal responses during ongoing vocalization. Since vocal variability also differed across the children and adult groups, these results also suggest that compensatory vocal responses to frequency-altered feedback manipulations initiated at vocalization onset may be modulated by vocal variability. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All

  20. Vocal training, levodopa, and environment effects on ultrasonic vocalizations in a rat neurotoxin model of Parkinson disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A.; Brauer, Alexander F.L.; Ciucci, Michelle R.

    2016-01-01

    Levodopa does not improve dysarthria in patients with Parkinson Disease (PD), although vocal exercise therapy, such as “LSVT/LOUD®”, does improve vocal communication. Most patients receive vocal exercise therapy while concurrently being treated with levodopa, although the interaction between levodopa and vocal exercise therapy on communication in PD is relatively unknown. Further, carryover of vocal exercise therapy to novel situations is critical for successful outcomes, but the influence of novel situations on rehabilitated vocal communication is not well understood. To address the influence of exercise, medications, and environment on vocal communication with precise experimental control, we employed the widely used 6-OHDA rat neurotoxin model of PD (infusion to the medial forebrain bundle), and assessed ultrasonic vocalizations after: vocal exercise, vocal exercise with levodopa, levodopa alone, and control conditions. We tested USVs in the familiar training environment of the home cage and a novel cage. We hypothesized that parkinsonian rats that undergo vocal exercise would demonstrate significant improvement of ultrasonic vocalization (USV) acoustic parameters as compared to the control exercise and levodopa-only treatment groups. We further hypothesized that vocal exercise in combination with levodopa administration, similar to what is common in humans, would lead to improvement in USV outcomes, particularly when tested in a familiar versus a novel environment. We found that the combination of exercise and levodopa lead to some improvement in USV acoustic parameters and these effects were stronger in a familiar vs. a novel environment. Our results suggest that although treatment can improve aspects of communication, environment can influence the benefits of these effects. PMID:27025445

  1. Amygdalar vocalization pathways in the squirrel monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jürgens, U

    1982-06-10

    In 22 squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) vocalization-eliciting electrodes were implanted into the amygdala and along the trajectory of the stria terminalis. Then, lesions were placed in the stria terminalis, its bed nucleus, the ventral amygdalofugal pathway and several di- and mesencephalic structures in order to find out the pathways along which the amygdala exerts its vocalization-controlling influence. It was found that different call types are controlled by different pathways. Purring and chattering calls, which express a self-confident, challenging attitude and an attempt to recruit fellow-combatants in intra-specific mobbing, respectively, are controlled via the stria terminalis; alarm peep and groaning calls, in contrast, which indicate flight motivation and resentment, respectively, are triggered via the ventral amygdalofugal fibre bundle. Both pathways traverse the dorsolateral and dorsomedial hypothalamus, respectively, and unite in the periaqueductal grey of the midbrain.

  2. Measurement of vocal doses in virtual classrooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bottalico, Pasquale; Pelegrin Garcia, David

    2010-01-01

    different acoustical conditions, that combined different kind of background noise and virtual classroom acoustics. Readings from the vocal fold vibrations were registered with an Ambulatory Phonation Monitor device. The speech signal from the talker in the center of the facility was picked up with a head......This work shows the results of a preliminary study about the determination of the optimal acoustical conditions for speakers in small classrooms. An experiment was carried out in a laboratory facility with 22 untrained talkers, who read a text passage from “Goldilocks” during two minutes under 13...... with an artificial head (corresponding to the mouth-ears path) placed at the talker position while simulating the classrooms. Time histories of the vocal fold vibration readings, with the trend of the fundamental frequency and an estimation of the sound pressure level, sampled every 50 ms, were obtained. From...

  3. Vocal tract dynamics in an adult stutterer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley Wolk

    1981-08-01

    Full Text Available The present study was motivated by the clinical observation of "laryngeal spasms" during dysfluency in an adult female  stutterer. The flexible fiberoptic nasolaryngoscope was employed in an attempt to assess this phenomenon objectively. Findings from fiberscopic and spectrographic investigations provided evidence for a disturbance in laryngeal behaviour, and in turn served to determine the nature of the treatment programme. Asymmetry of the vocal folds  and partial abductory laryngeal behaviour, reflecting  a conflict between adductory and abductory forces, characterized the dysfluency  in this patient. A subjective evaluation after treatment revealed a reduction in both severity and frequency of stuttering behaviour. Furthermore, fiberscopic examination carried out after treatment revealed an absence of the laryngeal disturbances noted previously. Results are considered in terms of vocal tract dynamics in stuttering and its clinical applicability.

  4. Vocal caricatures reveal signatures of speaker identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Sabrina; Riera, Pablo; Assaneo, María Florencia; Eguía, Manuel; Sigman, Mariano; Trevisan, Marcos A.

    2013-12-01

    What are the features that impersonators select to elicit a speaker's identity? We built a voice database of public figures (targets) and imitations produced by professional impersonators. They produced one imitation based on their memory of the target (caricature) and another one after listening to the target audio (replica). A set of naive participants then judged identity and similarity of pairs of voices. Identity was better evoked by the caricatures and replicas were perceived to be closer to the targets in terms of voice similarity. We used this data to map relevant acoustic dimensions for each task. Our results indicate that speaker identity is mainly associated with vocal tract features, while perception of voice similarity is related to vocal folds parameters. We therefore show the way in which acoustic caricatures emphasize identity features at the cost of loosing similarity, which allows drawing an analogy with caricatures in the visual space.

  5. Phonetic characteristics of vocalizations during pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lautenbacher, Stefan; Salinas-Ranneberg, Melissa; Niebuhr, Oliver

    2017-01-01

    Introduction and Objectives: There have, yet, been only few attempts to phonetically characterize the vocalizations of pain, although there is wide agreement that moaning, groaning, or other nonverbal utterance can be indicative of pain. We studied the production of vowels “u,” “a,” “i”, and “schwa......” (central vowel, sounding like a darker “e” as in hesitations like “ehm”)—as experimental approximations to natural vocalizations. Methods: In 50 students vowel production and self-report ratings were assessed during painful and nonpainful heat stimulation (hot water immersion) as well as during baseline...... (no-stimulation). The phonetic parameters extracted were pitch (mean F0), phonatory fluctuations (range F0) and loudness (acoustic energy level). Results: Only for the vowels “u” and “schwa,” which might be considered best approximations to moaning and groaning, did pitch and loudness increase during...

  6. Vocalization-correlated respiratory movements in the squirrel monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häusler, U

    2000-10-01

    Respiratory abdominal movements associated with vocalization were recorded in awake squirrel monkeys. Several call types, such as peeping, trilling, cackling, and err-chucks, were accompanied by large vocalization-correlated respiratory movements (VCRM) that started before vocalization. During purring, in contrast, only small VCRM were recorded that started later after vocal onset. VCRM during trill calls, a vocalization type with repetitive frequency modulation, showed a modulation in the rhythm of the frequency changes. A correlation with amplitude modulation was also present, but more variable. As high frequencies need a higher lung pressure for production than low frequencies, the modulation of VCRM seems to serve to optimize the lung pressure in relation to the vocalization frequency. The modulation, furthermore, may act as a mechanism to produce different trill variants. During err-chucks and staccato peeps, which show a large amplitude modulation, a nonmodulated VCRM occurred. This indicates the existence of a laryngeal amplitude-controlling mechanism that is independent from respiration.

  7. Diffraction method of vocal chord oscillation sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmin, Sergey Y.; Tuchin, Valery V.

    1996-04-01

    A method of small-amplitude biovibrations detection is presented in the paper. The method uses a dependence of properties of speckle-structures formed by focused coherent light field diffraction from rough surfaces on the statistics and movement parameters of the surface. With the help of computer modeling the different components of skin surface vibration were analyzed and their influence on speckles dynamics was studied. Human vocal chord oscillations spectrum was monitored using the developed technique.

  8. On the pursuit of the brain network for proto-syntactic learning in non-human primates: conceptual issues and neurobiological hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkov, Christopher I; Wilson, Benjamin

    2012-07-19

    Songbirds have become impressive neurobiological models for aspects of human verbal communication because they learn to sequence their song elements, analogous, in some ways, to how humans learn to produce spoken sequences with syntactic structure. However, mammals such as non-human primates are considered to be at best limited-vocal learners and not able to sequence their vocalizations, although some of these animals can learn certain 'artificial grammar' sequences. Thus, conceptual issues have slowed the progress in exploring potential neurobiological homologues to language-related processes in species that are taxonomically closely related to humans. We consider some of the conceptual issues impeding a pursuit of, as we define them, 'proto-syntactic' capabilities and their neuronal substrates in non-human animals. We also discuss ways to better bridge comparative behavioural and neurobiological data between humans and other animals. Finally, we propose guiding neurobiological hypotheses with which we aim to facilitate the future testing of the level of correspondence between the human brain network for syntactic-learning and related neurobiological networks present in other primates. Insights from the study of non-human primates and other mammals are likely to complement those being obtained in birds to further our knowledge of the human language-related network at the cellular level.

  9. Treatment of aging vocal folds: surgical approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seino, Yutomo; Allen, Jacqui E

    2014-12-01

    Aging may affect the voice through either physiological or pathological changes. Globally society is aging and the working lifetime is extending. Increasing numbers of elderly will present with voice issues. This review examines current thinking regarding surgical treatment of the aging voice. The mainstay of surgical treatment remains injection laryngoplasty and medialization thyroplasty. In-office injection laryngoplasty is increasingly common. Data suggest that patients with vocal fold atrophy do not achieve as much benefit from augmentation treatments as other causes of glottal incompetence. In addition the timing of injection laryngoplasty may influence the rate of subsequent medialization thyroplasty. Disease-specific treatments can provide some benefit to voice, such as deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease. Novel treatments including growth factor therapy are entering clinical practice and will provide new options for the clinician in future. Voice disorders affect approximately 20% of the elderly population. Causes include neurologic, malignant, iatrogenic and benign vocal fold disorders. These should be ruled out before accepting dysphonia is age-related in nature. Treatment should be specific to recognized vocal disorders but may also address physiologic changes in the glottis. Injection laryngoplasty and thyroplasty remain effective options for treating glottal incompetence but novel therapies are showing promising results.

  10. Evidence of sound symbolism in simple vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parise, Cesare V; Pavani, Francesco

    2011-10-01

    The question of the arbitrariness of language is among the oldest in cognitive sciences, and it relates to the nature of the associations between vocal sounds and their meaning. Growing evidence seems to support sound symbolism, claiming for a naturally constrained mapping of meaning into sounds. Most of such evidence, however, comes from studies based on the interpretation of pseudowords, and to date, there is little empirical evidence that sound symbolism can affect phonatory behavior. In the present study, we asked participants to utter the letter /a/ in response to visual stimuli varying in shape, luminance, and size, and we observed consistent sound symbolic effects on vocalizations. Utterances' loudness was modulated by stimulus shape and luminance. Moreover, stimulus shape consistently modulated the frequency of the third formant (F3). This finding reveals an automatic mapping of specific visual attributes into phonological features of vocalizations. Furthermore, it suggests that sound-meaning associations are reciprocal, affecting active (production) as well as passive (comprehension) linguistic behavior.

  11. Imaging evaluation of vocal cord paralysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, Marcelo de Mattos; Magalhaes, Fabiana Pizanni; Dadalto, Gabriela Bijos; Moura, Marina Vimieiro Timponi de [Axial Centro de Imagem, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil)], e-mail: marcelomgarcia@superig.com.br, e-mail: ce@axialmg.com.br

    2009-09-15

    Vocal cord paralysis is a common cause of hoarseness. It may be secondary to many types of lesions along the cranial nerve X pathway and its branches, particularly the laryngeal recurrent nerves. Despite the idiopathic nature of a great number of cases, imaging methods play a very significant role in the investigation of etiologic factors, such as thyroid and esophagus neoplasias with secondary invasion of the laryngeal recurrent nerves. Other conditions such as aortic and right subclavian artery aneurysms also may be found. The knowledge of local anatomy and related diseases is of great importance for the radiologist, so that he can tailor the examination properly to allow an appropriate diagnosis and therapy planning. Additionally, considering that up to 35% of patients with vocal cord paralysis are asymptomatic, the recognition of radiological findings indicative of this condition is essential for the radiologist who must warn the referring physician on the imaging findings. In the present study, the authors review the anatomy and main diseases related to vocal cord paralysis, demonstrating them through typical cases evaluated by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, besides describing radiological findings of laryngeal abnormalities indicative of this condition. (author)

  12. Singers' Vocal Function Knowledge Levels, Sensorimotor Self-awareness of Vocal Tract, and Impact of Functional Voice Rehabilitation on the Vocal Function Knowledge and Self-awareness of Vocal Tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sielska-Badurek, Ewelina; Osuch-Wójcikiewicz, Ewa; Sobol, Maria; Kazanecka, Ewa; Niemczyk, Kazimierz

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated vocal function knowledge and vocal tract sensorimotor self-awareness and the impact of functional voice rehabilitation on vocal function knowledge and self-awareness. This is a prospective, randomized study. Twenty singers (study group [SG]) completed a questionnaire before and after functional voice rehabilitation. Twenty additional singers, representing the control group, also completed the questionnaire without functional voice rehabilitation at a 3-month interval. The questionnaire consisted of three parts. The first part evaluated the singers' attitude to the anatomical and physiological knowledge of the vocal tract and their self-esteem of the knowledge level. The second part assessed the theoretical knowledge of the singers' vocal tract physiology. The third part of the questionnaire assessed singers' sensorimotor self-awareness of the vocal tract. The results showed that most singers indicated that knowledge of the vocal tract's anatomy and physiology is useful (59% SG, 67% control group). However, 75% of all participants defined their knowledge of the vocal tract's anatomy and physiology as weak or inadequate. In the SG, vocal function knowledge at the first assessment was 45%. After rehabilitation, the level increased to 67.7%. Vocal tract sensorimotor self-awareness initially was 38.9% in SG but rose to 66.7%. Findings of the study suggest that classical singers lack knowledge about the physiology of the vocal mechanism, especially the breathing patterns. In addition, they have low sensorimotor self-awareness of their vocal tract. The results suggest that singers would benefit from receiving services from phoniatrists and speech-language pathologists during their voice training. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Carbon dioxide laser enucleation of polypoid vocal cords.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, A; Dedo, H H

    1984-06-01

    Polypoid vocal cords have routinely been treated by endoscopic vocal cord stripping, often-times resulting in prolonged hoarseness postoperatively. Submucosal CO2 laser enucleation of the polypoid tissue, with preservation of a mucosal flap on the medial edge of the cord, has proved to be a valuable improvement. The surgical procedure is described and results are presented which suggest that voice quality is better earlier than is the case after vocal cord stripping.

  14. The anuran vocal sac: a tool for multimodal signalling

    OpenAIRE

    STARNBERGER, IRIS; Preininger, Doris; Hödl, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Although in anurans the predominant mode of intra- and intersexual communication is vocalization, modalities used in addition to or instead of acoustic signals range from seismic and visual to chemical. In some cases, signals of more than one modality are produced through or by the anuran vocal sac. However, its role beyond acoustics has been neglected for some time and nonacoustic cues such as vocal sac movement have traditionally been seen as an epiphenomenon of sound production. The divers...

  15. Aging in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travin, D Y; Feniouk, B A

    2016-12-01

    Rodents are the most commonly used model organisms in studies of aging in vertebrates. However, there are species that may suit this role much better. Most birds (Aves), having higher rate of metabolism, live two-to-three times longer than mammals of the same size. This mini-review briefly covers several evolutionary, ecological, and physiological aspects that may contribute to the phenomenon of birds' longevity. The role of different molecular mechanisms known to take part in the process of aging according to various existing theories, e.g. telomere shortening, protection against reactive oxygen species, and formation of advanced glycation end-products is discussed. We also address some features of birds' aging that make this group unique and perspective model organisms in longevity studies.

  16. Tracking migrating birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willemoes, Mikkel

    Migratory movements of birds has always fascinated man and led to many questions concerning the ecological drivers behind, the necessary adaptations and the navigational abilities required. However, especially for the long-distance migrants, basic descriptions of their movements are still lacking...... and a forest reserve. In the degraded habitat all species used more space, although the consequence on bird density is less clear. Two manuscripts relate the migratory movements of a long-distance migrant with models of navigation. One compares model predictions obtained by simulation with actual movements...... in when and where the bird compensated for the displacement. The last paper investigates effects of habitat shading on the performance of light-level based geolocation and compares experimental data with data from real tracking studies. This illustrates some of the potential problems and limitations...

  17. Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains biological resource data for alcids, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, pelagic birds, gulls and terns in Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula,...

  18. The Value of Vocal Extent Measure (VEM) Assessing Phonomicrosurgical Outcomes in Vocal Fold Polyps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmen, Tatjana; Ermakova, Tatiana; Möller, Andreas; Seipelt, Matthias; Weikert, Sebastian; Rummich, Julius; Gross, Manfred; Nawka, Tadeus; Caffier, Philipp P

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to present vocal extent measure (VEM), demonstrate its changes with phonomicrosurgical treatment in patients with vocal fold polyps (VFPs), and to compare its performance to that of established vocal parameters. This is an individual cohort study. Microlaryngoscopic ablation was executed in 61 patients with manifestation of VFP (28 male, 33 female; 45 ± 13 years [mean ± SD]). Analysis of treatment outcome was based on pre- and postoperative voice function diagnostics and videolaryngostroboscopy. Examination instruments were: auditory-perceptual voice assessment (roughness, breathiness, and overall hoarseness [RBH]-status), voice range profile (VRP), acoustic-aerodynamic analysis, and patients' self-assessment of voice using the voice handicap index. The VEM, a parameter not yet commonly established in phoniatric diagnostics, was calculated from area and shape of the VRP to be compared with the dysphonia severity index (DSI) concerning diagnostic suitability. All polyps were completely excised. Three months postoperatively, mucosal wave propagation had recovered. All subjective and most objective acoustic and aerodynamic parameters showed highly significant improvement. The VHI-9i-score decreased from 15 ± 8 to 6 ± 7 points. The average total vocal range extended by 4 ± 5 semitones, the mean speaking pitch decreased by 1 ± 2 semitones. The DSI increased on average from 2.6 ± 2.1 to 4.0 ± 2.2, VEM from 83 ± 28 to 107 ± 21 (P VRP evaluation. This positive measure of vocal function seems to be a compelling diagnostic addition for objective quantification of vocal performance. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Idiopathic ulcerative laryngitis causing midmembranous vocal fold granuloma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, Catherine F; Sulica, Lucian

    2013-02-01

    Idiopathic ulcerative laryngitis (IUL) is characterized by bilateral midmembranous vocal fold ulceration, which follows upper respiratory infection with cough. In contrast, granuloma of the membranous vocal fold can occur rarely following microlaryngoscopy, presumably secondary to surgical violation of deep tissue planes. We report a novel case of noniatrogenic membranous vocal fold granulation developing in a patient with IUL. Although the presence of granulation implied injury to the entire microstructure of the vibratory portion of the vocal fold, the lesion resolved with conservative management without adverse sequelae.

  20. Continuous Vocalization during Kendo Exercises Suppresses Expiration of CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arikawa, H; Terada, T; Takahashi, T; Kizaki, K; Imai, H; Era, S

    2015-06-01

    One distinctive trait of kendo, the Japanese martial art of fencing, is the execution of sustained, high-effort vocalizations during actions. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of these vocalizations on respiratory functions. First, the intensity of 3 kendo exercises was quantified by measuring oxygen uptake (V̇O2) and comparing it with V̇O2max measured during treadmill tests of 8 university kendo athletes. Respiratory variables of these 8 athletes were then analyzed using a portable breath gas analyzer during the most intensive kendo exercise, kakari-keiko, with and without vocalization. Breathing frequency (fB) increased regardless of vocalization, but in trials with vocalization, fB and ventilation were significantly lower, and expiration time was significantly longer. Components of expired gases were also affected by vocalization. Although there was no significant difference in oxygen uptake, vocalization yielded a reduction in carbon dioxide output (V̇CO2) and an increase in fraction of end-tidal carbon dioxide (FetCO2). We thus conclude that these vocalizations greatly affect expiration breathing patterns in kendo. Moreover, repetition of kakari-keiko caused a reduction in V̇CO2 and an increase in FetCO2 and CO2 storage. We consider the possibility that the sustained high-effort vocalizations of kendo also increase cerebral blood flow.

  1. Vocal Emotion of Humanoid Robots: A Study from Brain Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youhui Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Driven by rapid ongoing advances in humanoid robot, increasing attention has been shifted into the issue of emotion intelligence of AI robots to facilitate the communication between man-machines and human beings, especially for the vocal emotion in interactive system of future humanoid robots. This paper explored the brain mechanism of vocal emotion by studying previous researches and developed an experiment to observe the brain response by fMRI, to analyze vocal emotion of human beings. Findings in this paper provided a new approach to design and evaluate the vocal emotion of humanoid robots based on brain mechanism of human beings.

  2. Perceptual and acoustic parameters of vocal nodules in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramuglia, Andréa Cristina Joia; Tavares, Elaine L M; Rodrigues, Sérgio Augusto; Martins, Regina H G

    2014-02-01

    Vocal nodules constitute the major cause of dysphonia during childhood. Auditory-perceptual and acoustic vocal analyses have been used to differentiate vocal nodules from normal voice in children. To study the value of auditory-perceptual and acoustic vocal analyses in assessments of children with nodules. Diagnostic test study. A comparative study was carried out including 100 children with videolaryngoscopic diagnosis of vocal nodules (nodule group-NG); and 100 children without vocal symptoms and with normal videolaryngoscopic exams (control group-CG). The age range of both groups was between 4 and 11 years. All children underwent auditory-perceptual vocal analyses (GRBASI scale); maximum phonation time and s/z ratio were calculated, and acoustic vocal analysis (MDVP software) were carried out. There was no difference in the values of maximum phonation time and s/z ratio between groups. Auditory-perceptual analysis indicated greater compromising of voice parameters for NG, compared to CG: G (79 versus 24), R (53 versus 3), B (67 versus 23) and S (35 versus 1). The values of acoustic parameters jitter, PPQ, shimmer, APQ, NHR and SPI were higher for NG for CG. The parameter f0 did not differ between groups. Compromising of auditory-perceptual (G, R, B and S) and acoustic vocal parameters (jitter, PPQ, shimmer, APQ, NHR and SPI) was greater for children with nodules than for those of the control group, which makes them important methods for assessing child dysphonia. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Frequency and significance of vocalizations in Sydenham's chorea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Teixeira, Antonio Lúcio; Cardoso, Francisco; Maia, Débora P; Sacramento, Daniel R; Mota, Cleonice de Carvalho Coelho; Meira, Zilda Maria Alves; Lees, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    Sydenham's chorea (SC) is a complication of Streptococcus infection characterized by a combination of motor and non-motor features. We have investigated the presence of vocalizations in 89 consecutive patients with SC evaluated during a one-year period in the UFMG Movement Disorders Clinic. Seven (4/3 M/F) of the 89 patients (29/60 M/F) presented with simple vocalizations not preceded by premonitory sensations but in association with facial chorea in five patients. These findings suggest that vocalizations are not a common feature in SC and their phenomenology is quite distinct from the characteristics of vocal tics in tic disorders.

  4. [Potentialities of conservative therapy of vocal disorders in children].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radtsig, E Yu; Bogomilsky, M R

    2007-01-01

    The article concerns problems of classification and treatment of various vocal problems in children, presents treatment outcomes in patients with functional and organic dysphonia using complex homeopathic drugs.

  5. Diagnostic and therapeutic pitfalls in benign vocal fold diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bohlender, Jörg

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available [english] More than half of patients presenting with hoarseness show benign vocal fold changes. The clinician should be familiar with the anatomy, physiology and functional aspects of voice disorders and also the modern diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities in order to ensure an optimal and patient specific management. This review article focuses on the diagnostic and therapeutic limitations and difficulties of treatment of benign vocal fold tumors, the management and prevention of scarred vocal folds and the issue of unilateral vocal fold paresis.

  6. Computational acoustic modeling of cetacean vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurevich, Michael Dixon

    A framework for computational acoustic modeling of hypothetical vocal production mechanisms in cetaceans is presented. As a specific example, a model of a proposed source in the larynx of odontocetes is developed. Whales and dolphins generate a broad range of vocal sounds, but the exact mechanisms they use are not conclusively understood. In the fifty years since it has become widely accepted that whales can and do make sound, how they do so has remained particularly confounding. Cetaceans' highly divergent respiratory anatomy, along with the difficulty of internal observation during vocalization have contributed to this uncertainty. A variety of acoustical, morphological, ethological and physiological evidence has led to conflicting and often disputed theories of the locations and mechanisms of cetaceans' sound sources. Computational acoustic modeling has been used to create real-time parametric models of musical instruments and the human voice. These techniques can be applied to cetacean vocalizations to help better understand the nature and function of these sounds. Extensive studies of odontocete laryngeal morphology have revealed vocal folds that are consistently similar to a known but poorly understood acoustic source, the ribbon reed. A parametric computational model of the ribbon reed is developed, based on simplified geometrical, mechanical and fluid models drawn from the human voice literature. The physical parameters of the ribbon reed model are then adapted to those of the odontocete larynx. With reasonable estimates of real physical parameters, both the ribbon reed and odontocete larynx models produce sounds that are perceptually similar to their real-world counterparts, and both respond realistically under varying control conditions. Comparisons of acoustic features of the real-world and synthetic systems show a number of consistencies. While this does not on its own prove that either model is conclusively an accurate description of the source, it

  7. Chinese and Foreign Bird Lovers Watch Birds in Deyang

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    <正>Invited by the Sichuan Provincial People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SIFA) and the Chengdu Bird Watching Society, 60 Chinese and foreign bird lovers went to Deyang, a city in Sichuan Province that had suffered grave damages in the Wenchuan earthquake, to watch birds,

  8. Vocal repertoire of the New Zealand kea parrot Nestor notabilis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Raoul SCHWING; Stuart PARSONS; Ximena J.NELSON

    2012-01-01

    The unique alpine-living kea parrot Nestor notabilis has been the focus of numerous cognitive studies,but its communication system has so far been largely neglected.We examined 2,884 calls recorded in New Zealand's Southern Alps.Based on audio and visual spectrographic differences,these calls were categorised into seven distinct call types:the non-oscillating ‘screech' contact call and ‘mew'; and the oscillating ‘trill',‘chatter',‘warble' and ‘whistle'; and a hybrid ‘screech-trill'.Most of these calls contained aspects that were individually unique,in addition to potentially encoding for an individual's sex and age.Additionally,for each recording,the sender's previous and next calls were noted,as well as any response given by conspecifics.We found that the previous and next calls made by the sender were most often of the same type,and that the next most likely preceding and/or following call type was the screech call,a contact call which sounds like the 'kee-ah' from which the bird's name derives.As a social bird capable of covering large distances over visually obstructive terrain,long distance contact calls may be of considerable importance for social cohesion.Contact calls allow kea to locate conspecifics and congregate in temporary groups for social activities.The most likely response to any given call was a screech,usually followed by the same type of call as the initial call made by the sender,although responses differed depending on the age of the caller.The exception was the warble,the kea's play call,to which the most likely response was another warble.Being the most common call type,as well as the default response to another call,it appears that the ‘contagious' screech contact call plays a central role in kea vocal communication and social cohesion.

  9. Automated recognition of bird song elements from continuous recordings using dynamic time warping and hidden Markov models: a comparative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogan, J A; Margoliash, D

    1998-04-01

    The performance of two techniques is compared for automated recognition of bird song units from continuous recordings. The advantages and limitations of dynamic time warping (DTW) and hidden Markov models (HMMs) are evaluated on a large database of male songs of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea), which have different types of vocalizations and have been recorded under different laboratory conditions. Depending on the quality of recordings and complexity of song, the DTW-based technique gives excellent to satisfactory performance. Under challenging conditions such as noisy recordings or presence of confusing short-duration calls, good performance of the DTW-based technique requires careful selection of templates that may demand expert knowledge. Because HMMs are trained, equivalent or even better performance of HMMs can be achieved based only on segmentation and labeling of constituent vocalizations, albeit with many more training examples than DTW templates. One weakness in HMM performance is the misclassification of short-duration vocalizations or song units with more variable structure (e.g., some calls, and syllables of plastic songs). To address these and other limitations, new approaches for analyzing bird vocalizations are discussed.

  10. [Anesthesia in birds].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, F

    1987-01-01

    Anaesthesia in birds is ordered by law and is also necessary for various operations and manipulations. Anaesthesia by injection of Ketamin, which in special cases may be combined with Diazepam, has been found useful. Anaesthesia by inhalation with Halothan, Methoxyfluran or Isofluran is the most careful method. Local anaesthesia has few indications.

  11. Synanthropic birds and parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dipineto, Ludovico; Borrelli, Luca; Pepe, Paola; Fioretti, Alessandro; Caputo, Vincenzo; Cringoli, Giuseppe; Rinaldi, Laura

    2013-12-01

    This paper describes the parasitologic findings for 60 synanthropic bird carcasses recovered in the Campania region of southern Italy. Birds consisted of 20 yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis), 15 rock pigeons (Columba livia), 15 common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), and 10 carrion crows (Corvus corone). Each carcass was examined to detect the presence of ectoparasites and then necropsied to detect helminths. Ectoparasites occurred in 100% of the birds examined. In particular, chewing lice were recovered with a prevalence of 100%, whereas Pseudolynchia canariensis (Hippoboscidae) were found only in pigeons with a prevalence of 80%. Regarding endoparasites, a total of seven helminth species were identified: three nematodes (Ascaridia columbae, Capillaria columbae, Physaloptera alata), one cestoda (Raillietina tetragona), one trematoda (Cardiocephalus longicollis), and two acanthocephalans (Centrorhynchus globocaudatus and Centrorhynchus buteonis). The findings of the present study add data to the parasitologic scenario of synanthropic birds. This is important because parasitic infection can lead to serious health problems when combined with other factors and may affect flying performance and predatory effectiveness.

  12. The Umbrella Bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crandall, Lee S.

    1949-01-01

    When CHARLES CORDIER arrived from Costa Rica on October 9, 1942, bringing with him, among other great rarities, three Bare-necked Umbrella Birds (Cephalopterus ornatus glabricollis), it seemed to us that the mere possession of such fabulous creatures was satisfaction enough. True, they were not

  13. Vocal Cord Paralysis and its Etiologies: A Prospective Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Javad Seyed Toutounchi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Vocal cord paralysis is a common symptom of numerous diseases and it may be due to neurogenic or mechanical fixation of the cords. Paralysis of the vocal cords is just a symptom of underlying disease in some cases; so, clinical diagnosis of the underlying cause leading to paralysis of the vocal cords is important. This study evaluates the causes of vocal cord paralysis.Methods: In a prospective study, 45 patients with paralyzed vocal cord diagnosis were examined by tests such as examination of the pharynx, larynx, esophagus, thyroid, cervical, lung, and mediastinum, brain and heart by diagnostic imaging to investigate the cause vocal cord paralysis. The study was ended by diagnosing the reason of vocal cord paralysis at each stage of the examination and the clinical studies.Results: The mean duration of symptoms was 18.95±6.50 months. The reason for referral was phonation changes (97.8% and aspiration (37.8% in the subjects. There was bilateral paralysis in 6.82%, left paralysis in 56.82% and right in 63.36% of subjects. The type of vocal cord placement was midline in 52.8%, paramedian in 44.4% and lateral in 2.8% of the subjects. The causes of vocal cords paralysis were idiopathic paralysis (31.11%, tumors (31.11%, surgery (28.89%, trauma, brain problems, systemic disease and other causes (2.2%.Conclusion: An integrated diagnostic and treatment program is necessary for patients with vocal cord paralysis. Possibility of malignancy should be excluded before marking idiopathic reason to vocal cord paralysis.

  14. In vivo measurement of vocal fold surface resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuta, Masanobu; Kurita, Takashi; Dillon, Neal P; Kimball, Emily E; Garrett, C Gaelyn; Sivasankar, M Preeti; Webster, Robert J; Rousseau, Bernard

    2017-10-01

    A custom-designed probe was developed to measure vocal fold surface resistance in vivo. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate proof of concept of using vocal fold surface resistance as a proxy of functional tissue integrity after acute phonotrauma using an animal model. Prospective animal study. New Zealand White breeder rabbits received 120 minutes of airflow without vocal fold approximation (control) or 120 minutes of raised intensity phonation (experimental). The probe was inserted via laryngoscope and placed on the left vocal fold under endoscopic visualization. Vocal fold surface resistance of the middle one-third of the vocal fold was measured after 0 (baseline), 60, and 120 minutes of phonation. After the phonation procedure, the larynx was harvested and prepared for transmission electron microscopy. In the control group, vocal fold surface resistance values remained stable across time points. In the experimental group, surface resistance (X% ± Y% relative to baseline) was significantly decreased after 120 minutes of raised intensity phonation. This was associated with structural changes using transmission electron microscopy, which revealed damage to the vocal fold epithelium after phonotrauma, including disruption of the epithelium and basement membrane, dilated paracellular spaces, and alterations to epithelial microprojections. In contrast, control vocal fold specimens showed well-preserved stratified squamous epithelia. These data demonstrate the feasibility of measuring vocal fold surface resistance in vivo as a means of evaluating functional vocal fold epithelial barrier integrity. Device prototypes are in development for additional testing, validation, and for clinical applications in laryngology. NA Laryngoscope, 127:E364-E370, 2017. © 2017 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  15. Attracting Birds to Your Backyard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Brian

    1994-01-01

    Discusses methods for drawing birds to outdoor education areas, including the use of wild and native vegetation. Lists specific garden plants suitable for attracting birds in each season. Includes a guide to commercial bird seed and instructions for building homemade birdfeeders and nestboxes. (LZ)

  16. Birds of Prey of Wisconsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamerstrom, Frances

    This copiously illustrated document is designed to be a field quide to birds of prey that are common to Wisconsin, as well as to some that enter the state occasionally. An introduction discusses birds of prey with regard to migration patterns, the relationship between common names and the attitudes of people toward certain birds, and natural signs…

  17. Machine Learning Comparison between WorldView-2 and QuickBird-2-Simulated Imagery Regarding Object-Based Urban Land Cover Classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tessio Novack

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to compare WorldView-2 (WV-2 and QuickBird-2-simulated (QB-2 imagery regarding their potential for object-based urban land cover classification. Optimal segmentation parameters were automatically found for each data set and the obtained results were quantitatively compared and discussed. Four different feature selection algorithms were used in order to verify to which data set the most relevant object-based features belong to. Object-based classifications were performed with four different supervised algorithms applied to each data set and the obtained accuracies and model performances indexes were compared. Segmentation experiments carried out involving bands exclusively available in the WV-2 sensor generated segments slightly more similar to our reference segments (only about 0.23 discrepancy. Fifty seven percent of the different selected features and 53% of all the 80 selections refer to features that can only be calculated with the additional bands of the WV-2 sensor. On the other hand, 57% of the most relevant features and 63% of the second most relevant features can also be calculated considering only the QB-2 bands. In 10 out of 16 classifications, higher Kappa values were achieved when features related to the additional bands of the WV-2 sensor were also considered. In most cases, classifications carried out with the 8-band-related features generated less complex and more efficient models than those generated only with QB-2 band-related features. Our results lead to the conclusion that spectrally similar classes like ceramic tile roofs and bare soil, as well as asphalt and dark asbestos roofs can be better distinguished when the additional bands of the WV-2 sensor are used throughout the object-based classification process.

  18. Timing vocal behaviour: experimental evidence for song overlap avoidance in Eurasian wrens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiao-Jing; Ma, Xiang-Ru; Slabbekoorn, Hans

    2014-03-01

    Timing during vocal interactions can play a significant role in terms of audibility as signal overlap may lead to masking of acoustic details for both of the interacting animals as well as for third-party eavesdroppers. Here we investigated timing aspects experimentally in Eurasian wrens (Troglodytes troglodytes) using non-interactive playback. We applied a randomized overlay method incorporating the temporal pattern of singing by the focal bird to establish a null model and to test observed patterns of overlap against this null model. We used different stimulus song rates but temporal response patterns always resulted in significantly lower levels of overlap than expected by chance. The male wrens avoided overlapping by timing their song starts predominately right after the end of stimulus songs, but they did not avoid being overlapped by the stimulus songs. The territorial males typically raised their song rates during and after playback with a tendency to shorten between-song intervals while keeping song durations unchanged. Higher song rates of the playback stimuli increased the extent to which responders were being overlapped by the stimulus songs. Our data provide experimental evidence for a timing ability in Eurasian wrens by which they reduce mutual interference during vocal interactions.

  19. Birds and wind energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langston, Rowena

    2011-07-01

    Full text: Climate change, perhaps more accurately described as climate disruption, is considered to be a major long-term threat to biodiversity, with a high probability that the underlying cause is due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy is an important component of a programme of measures to combat further climate change, to include improved energy efficiency and demand management. Wind energy is the most advanced renewable energy source and is a global industry onshore and, increasingly, offshore. However, as with any form of energy generation, wind energy also has potential environmental costs which have to be balanced against benefits. The environmental impacts on birds derive from the following: collision risk, in particular from the moving rotor blades; displacement arising from disturbance during construction, operation or decommissioning; habitat loss or change leading to alteration of food availability; barrier effects leading to deviation of long distance migratory flights or disruption of local flights between feeding, nesting, and roosting/loafing locations. Not all species of birds, or individuals within a species, are equally susceptible to negative interactions with wind turbines, and neither are the population consequences of impacts equivalent. Of greatest concern are bird species of conservation concern that exhibit behaviours that place them at risk of an adverse impact, notably when that impact leads to a reduction in population size that is unlikely to be compensated for. In particular, cumulative impacts arising from multiple wind farms or wind farms in combination with other developments are of concern. There has been a welcome increase in research effort and peer-reviewed publications on the subject of birds and wind energy in recent years. Increasing our understanding of impacts is essential to delivering possible solutions and this paper reviews current knowledge for birds. (Author)

  20. Do responses of galliform birds vary adaptively with predator size?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palleroni, Alberto; Hauser, Marc; Marler, Peter

    2005-07-01

    Past studies of galliform anti-predator behavior show that they discriminate between aerial and ground predators, producing distinctive, functionally referential vocalizations to each class. Within the category of aerial predators, however, studies using overhead models, video images and observations of natural encounters with birds of prey report little evidence that galliforms discriminate between different raptor species. This pattern suggests that the aerial alarm response may be triggered by general features of objects moving in the air. To test whether these birds are also sensitive to more detailed differences between raptor species, adult chickens with young were presented with variously sized trained raptors (small, intermediate, large) under controlled conditions. In response to the small hawk, there was a decline in anti-predator aggression and in aerial alarm calling as the young grew older and less vulnerable to attack by a hawk of this size. During the same developmental period, responses to the largest hawk, which posed the smallest threat to the young at all stages, did not change; there were intermediate changes at this time in response to the middle-sized hawk. Thus the anti-predator behavior of the adult birds varied in an adaptive fashion, changing as a function of both chick age and risk. We discuss these results in light of current issues concerning the cognitive mechanisms underlying alarm calling behavior in animals.

  1. Effects of Parental Interaction on Infant Vocalization Rate, Variability and Vocal Type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Beau; Warlaumont, Anne S.; Messinger, Daniel; Bene, Edina; Iyer, Suneeti Nathani; Lee, Chia-Chang; Lambert, Brittany; Oller, D. Kimbrough

    2014-01-01

    Examination of infant vocalization patterns across interactive and noninteractive contexts may facilitate better understanding of early communication development. In the current study, with 24 infant-parent dyads, infant volubility increased significantly when parent interaction ceased (presenting a "still face," or SF) after a period of…

  2. Vocal Patterns in Infants with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Canonical Babbling Status and Vocalization Frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Elena; Belardi, Katie; Baranek, Grace T.; Watson, Linda R.; Labban, Jeffrey D.; Oller, D. Kimbrough

    2014-01-01

    Canonical babbling is a critical milestone for speech development and is usually well in place by 10 months. The possibility that infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show late onset of canonical babbling has so far eluded evaluation. Rate of vocalization or "volubility" has also been suggested as possibly aberrant in infants with…

  3. Modeling the Pathophysiology of Phonotraumatic Vocal Hyperfunction With a Triangular Glottal Model of the Vocal Folds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galindo, Gabriel E; Peterson, Sean D; Erath, Byron D; Castro, Christian; Hillman, Robert E; Zañartu, Matías

    2017-09-18

    Our goal was to test prevailing assumptions about the underlying biomechanical and aeroacoustic mechanisms associated with phonotraumatic lesions of the vocal folds using a numerical lumped-element model of voice production. A numerical model with a triangular glottis, posterior glottal opening, and arytenoid posturing is proposed. Normal voice is altered by introducing various prephonatory configurations. Potential compensatory mechanisms (increased subglottal pressure, muscle activation, and supraglottal constriction) are adjusted to restore an acoustic target output through a control loop that mimics a simplified version of auditory feedback. The degree of incomplete glottal closure in both the membranous and posterior portions of the folds consistently leads to a reduction in sound pressure level, fundamental frequency, harmonic richness, and harmonics-to-noise ratio. The compensatory mechanisms lead to significantly increased vocal-fold collision forces, maximum flow-declination rate, and amplitude of unsteady flow, without significantly altering the acoustic output. Modeling provided potentially important insights into the pathophysiology of phonotraumatic vocal hyperfunction by demonstrating that compensatory mechanisms can counteract deterioration in the voice acoustic signal due to incomplete glottal closure, but this also leads to high vocal-fold collision forces (reflected in aerodynamic measures), which significantly increases the risk of developing phonotrauma.

  4. The relationship between pitch discrimination and vocal production: comparison of vocal and instrumental musicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikjeh, Dee A; Lister, Jennifer J; Frisch, Stefan A

    2009-01-01

    Auditory pitch discrimination and vocal pitch accuracy are fundamental abilities and essential skills of a professional singer; yet, the relationship between these abilities, particularly in trained vocal musicians, has not been the subject of much research. Difference limens for frequency (DLFs) and pitch production accuracy (PPA) were examined among 20 vocalists, 21 instrumentalists, and 21 nonmusicians. All were right-handed young adult females with normal hearing. Stimuli were harmonic tone complexes simulating piano tones and represented the mid-frequency of the untrained female vocal range, F0=261.63-392 Hz (C4-G4). DLFs were obtained by an adaptive psychophysical paradigm. Vocal pitch recordings were analyzed to determine PPA. Musicians demonstrated superior pitch discrimination and production accuracy compared to nonmusicians. These abilities did not distinguish instrumentalists and vocalists. DLF and PPA were significantly correlated with each other only for musicians with instrumental training; however, PPA was most consistent with minimal variance for vocalists. It would appear that a relationship between DLF and PPA develops with musical training, and these abilities can be differentially influenced by the type of specialty training.

  5. Effects of smoking on the elderly people's vocal cords dimensions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasconcelos, Sandrelli Virginio de

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Smoking is highly aggressive and the vocal tract is one of the main risk factors for cancer of the larynx. The tobacco may lead to irritation of the vocal tract, edema in the vocal cords, hoarseness, coughing, increased secretion and infections. Objective: To evaluate the dimensions of the vocal cords in elderly smokers and male non-smokers. Method: We studied 15 male corpses, aged from 60 to 90 years, 8 of whom were non-smokers and 7 smokers. For data collection, four sequential steps were followed: 1st Clinical history of the corpse; 2nd Removal of the larynx, 3rd Dissection of the larynx and 4th Morphometry of the vocal cords dimensions. Results: There was no statistically significant difference as for the morphology of the vocal cords dimensions between elderly smokers and nonsmokers, and the length (p = 0.58, width (p = 0.72 and thickness (p = 0.65 were equivalent between both groups. Conclusion: We confirmed it's macroscopically impossible to find differences caused by smoking in the three dimensions of the vocal cords, however, in the histology, smokers are proved to be more susceptible to findings regarding dysplasia and neoplasms in the vocal cords tissue with problems in voice quality.

  6. What's the Difference Between Vocal Cord Dysfunction and Asthma?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... T C Li, M.D., Ph.D. Both asthma and vocal cord dysfunction can make breathing difficult. Signs and symptoms of either condition can include coughing, wheezing, throat tightness and hoarseness, but they're two separate ... motion. Like asthma, vocal cord dysfunction can be triggered by breathing ...

  7. An Analysis of Vocal Stereotypy and Therapist Fading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athens, Elizabeth S.; Vollmer, Timothy R.; Sloman, Kimberly N.; Pipkin, Claire St. Peter

    2008-01-01

    A functional analysis for a boy with Down syndrome and autism suggested that vocal stereotypy was maintained by automatic reinforcement. The analysis also showed that instructions and noncontingent attention suppressed vocal stereotypy. A treatment package consisting of noncontingent attention, contingent demands, and response cost effectively…

  8. The Effect of Vocalization on Melodic Memory Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pembrook, Randall G.

    1987-01-01

    Reports on a study which reinforces prior findings on melodic memory that show a majority of students do not sing accurately enough after only one hearing of a melody to benefit from vocalization memory techniques. Questions whether vocalization can be a memory reinforcer in melodies that are shorter and simpler than those used in this research.…

  9. Noncry Vocal Production in Infancy: A Bibliographic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proctor, Adele

    This bibliographic review aims to present a single comprehensive source of references to facilitate clinical application of data obtained on the vocal activity of normal infants and to facilitate continued research on prelinguistic vocal output. The bibliography cites the published observational, empirical, and theoretical reports that examine the…

  10. Vocal Nonverbal Communication Skill and Deliberate Social Influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Judith A.

    An experiment tested the hypothesis that the outcome of a vocal nonverbal persuasion attempt can be affected by the participants' skills in nonverbal communication. Subjects' vocal sending or decoding abilities were pretested. Senders and decoders (N=54) were agents and recipients of social influence, respectively, in a field experiment in which…

  11. Genetic and Environmental Effects on Vocal Symptoms and Their Intercorrelations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nybacka, Ida; Simberg, Susanna; Santtila, Pekka; Sala, Eeva; Sandnabba, N. Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Recently, Simberg et al. (2009) found genetic effects on a composite variable consisting of 6 vocal symptom items measuring dysphonia. The purpose of the present study was to determine genetic and environmental effects on the individual vocal symptoms in a population-based sample of Finnish twins. Method: The sample comprised 1,728 twins…

  12. Quantifying the Effects of Propagation on Classification of Cetacean Vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    of Cetacean Vocalizations Paul C. Hines Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 5269 Morris St. Morray Building, Room 200 PO Box...of cetacean species in diverse ocean environments. OBJECTIVES In previous work as part of ONR grant N000141210139 a unique automatic classifier...successfully classify anthropogenic transients, and vocalizations from five cetacean species. Although this is a significant achievement, successful

  13. Effects of Music on Vocal Stereotypy in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanovaz, Marc J.; Sladeczek, Ingrid E.; Rapp, John T.

    2011-01-01

    We examined the effects of manipulating the intensity (i.e., volume) of music on engagement in vocal stereotypy in 2 children with autism. Noncontingent access to music decreased immediate engagement in vocal stereotypy for each participant, but it produced only marginal effects on subsequent engagement in the behavior (i.e., after withdrawal).…

  14. Arousal dynamics drive vocal production in marmoset monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borjon, Jeremy I; Takahashi, Daniel Y; Cervantes, Diego C; Ghazanfar, Asif A

    2016-08-01

    Vocal production is the result of interacting cognitive and autonomic processes. Despite claims that changes in one interoceptive state (arousal) govern primate vocalizations, we know very little about how it influences their likelihood and timing. In this study we investigated the role of arousal during naturally occurring vocal production in marmoset monkeys. Throughout each session, naturally occurring contact calls are produced more quickly, and with greater probability, during higher levels of arousal, as measured by heart rate. On average, we observed a steady increase in heart rate 23 s before the production of a call. Following call production, there is a sharp and steep cardiac deceleration lasting ∼8 s. The dynamics of cardiac fluctuations around a vocalization cannot be completely predicted by the animal's respiration or movement. Moreover, the timing of vocal production was tightly correlated to the phase of a 0.1-Hz autonomic nervous system rhythm known as the Mayer wave. Finally, a compilation of the state space of arousal dynamics during vocalization illustrated that perturbations to the resting state space increase the likelihood of a call occurring. Together, these data suggest that arousal dynamics are critical for spontaneous primate vocal production, not only as a robust predictor of the likelihood of vocal onset but also as scaffolding on which behavior can unfold.

  15. Bupropion XL-induced motor and vocal tics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayhan, Fatih; Uguz, Faruk; Kayhan, Ayşegül; Toktaş, Fikriye Ilay

    2014-01-01

    Tics are stereotypical repetitive involuntary movements (motor tics) or sounds (vocal tics). Although the emergence of tics were reported in a few cases with the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, there was no case with bupropion extended-release (Bupropion XL). The current case report presents a male patient developing motor and vocal tics with the use of bupropion XL.

  16. Facial and vocal expressions of emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, James A; Bachorowski, Jo-Anne; Fernandez-Dols, Jose-Miguel

    2003-01-01

    A flurry of theoretical and empirical work concerning the production of and response to facial and vocal expressions has occurred in the past decade. That emotional expressions express emotions is a tautology but may not be a fact. Debates have centered on universality, the nature of emotion, and the link between emotions and expressions. Modern evolutionary theory is informing more models, emphasizing that expressions are directed at a receiver, that the interests of sender and receiver can conflict, that there are many determinants of sending an expression in addition to emotion, that expressions influence the receiver in a variety of ways, and that the receiver's response is more than simply decoding a message.

  17. L1 literacy affects L2 pronunciation intake and text vocalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, Martin

    2005-04-01

    For both deaf and hearing learners, L1 acquisition calls on auditive, gestural and visual modes in progressive processes over longer stages imposed in strictly anatomical and social order from the earliest pre-lexical phase [Jusczyk (1993), Kuhl & Meltzoff (1996)] to ultimate literacy. By contrast, L2 learning will call on accelerating procedures but with restricted input, arbitrated by L1 literacy as can be traced in the English of French-speaking learners, whether observed in spontaneous speech or in text vocalization modes. An inventory of their predictable omissions, intrusions and substitutions at suprasegmental and syllabic levels, many of which they can actually hear while unable to vocalize in real-time, suggests that a photogenic segmentation of continuous speech into alphabetical units has eclipsed the indispensable earlier phonogenic module, filtering L2 intake and output. This competing mode analysis hypothesizes a critical effect on L2 pronunciation of L1 graphemic procedures acquired usually before puberty, informing data for any Critical Period Hypothesis or amounts of L1 activation influencing L2 accent [Flege (1997, 1998)] or any psychoacoustic French deafness with regard to English stress-timing [Dupoux (1997)]. A metaphonic model [Howell & Dean (1991)] adapted for French learners may remedially distance L1 from L2 vocalization procedures.

  18. Gender and vocal production mode discrimination using the high frequencies for speech and singing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monson, Brian B; Lotto, Andrew J; Story, Brad H

    2014-01-01

    Humans routinely produce acoustical energy at frequencies above 6 kHz during vocalization, but this frequency range is often not represented in communication devices and speech perception research. Recent advancements toward high-definition (HD) voice and extended bandwidth hearing aids have increased the interest in the high frequencies. The potential perceptual information provided by high-frequency energy (HFE) is not well characterized. We found that humans can accomplish tasks of gender discrimination and vocal production mode discrimination (speech vs. singing) when presented with acoustic stimuli containing only HFE at both amplified and normal levels. Performance in these tasks was robust in the presence of low-frequency masking noise. No substantial learning effect was observed. Listeners also were able to identify the sung and spoken text (excerpts from "The Star-Spangled Banner") with very few exposures. These results add to the increasing evidence that the high frequencies provide at least redundant information about the vocal signal, suggesting that its representation in communication devices (e.g., cell phones, hearing aids, and cochlear implants) and speech/voice synthesizers could improve these devices and benefit normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners.

  19. Gender and vocal production mode discrimination using the high frequencies for speech and singing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian B Monson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Humans routinely create acoustical energy at frequencies above 6 kHz during vocalization, but this frequency range is often not represented in communication devices and speech perception research. Recent advancements toward HD voice and extended bandwidth hearing aids have increased the interest in the high frequencies. The potential perceptual information provided by high-frequency energy (HFE is not well characterized. We found that humans can accomplish tasks of gender discrimination and vocal production mode discrimination (speech vs. singing when presented with acoustic stimuli containing only HFE at both amplified and normal levels. Performance in these tasks was robust in the presence of low-frequency masking noise. No substantial learning effect was observed. Listeners also were able to identify the sung and spoken text (excerpts from The Star-Spangled Banner with very few exposures. These results add to the increasing evidence that the high frequencies provide at least redundant information about the vocal signal, suggesting that its representation in communication devices (e.g., cell phones, hearing aids, and cochlear implants and speech/voice synthesizers could improve these devices and benefit normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners.

  20. A child with ictal vocalizations and generalized epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurian, Mary; Heritier Barras, Anne-Chantal; Korff, Christian M

    2015-03-01

    Ictal vocalizations in the form of both articulate speech and non-speech vocalizations have been described in focal epilepsies, with seizures originating mainly from the frontal and temporal lobe, however, this phenomenon has not been described in generalized epilepsies. We report the case of an adolescent boy with juvenile-onset generalized epilepsy who presented with ictal "ovine vocalizations" (resembling the bleating of sheep). The ictal EEG revealed a clear correlate of vocalizations with time-locked generalized spikes and polyspike discharges. The 3T cerebral MRI ruled out any focal lesion. The boy is currently seizure-free under valproic acid, after twelve months of follow-up. We conclude that ictal non-speech vocalizations may be observed not only in focal or structural epilepsies, but also in generalized epilepsies; the exact underlying mechanism of this phenomenon needs to be further delineated. [Published with video sequence].

  1. Incomplete and inaccurate vocal imitation after knockdown of FoxP2 in songbird basal ganglia nucleus Area X.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Haesler

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The gene encoding the forkhead box transcription factor, FOXP2, is essential for developing the full articulatory power of human language. Mutations of FOXP2 cause developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD, a speech and language disorder that compromises the fluent production of words and the correct use and comprehension of grammar. FOXP2 patients have structural and functional abnormalities in the striatum of the basal ganglia, which also express high levels of FOXP2. Since human speech and learned vocalizations in songbirds bear behavioral and neural parallels, songbirds provide a genuine model for investigating the basic principles of speech and its pathologies. In zebra finch Area X, a basal ganglia structure necessary for song learning, FoxP2 expression increases during the time when song learning occurs. Here, we used lentivirus-mediated RNA interference (RNAi to reduce FoxP2 levels in Area X during song development. Knockdown of FoxP2 resulted in an incomplete and inaccurate imitation of tutor song. Inaccurate vocal imitation was already evident early during song ontogeny and persisted into adulthood. The acoustic structure and the duration of adult song syllables were abnormally variable, similar to word production in children with DVD. Our findings provide the first example of a functional gene analysis in songbirds and suggest that normal auditory-guided vocal motor learning requires FoxP2.

  2. Dopamine Regulation of Human Speech and Bird Song: A Critical Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonyan, Kristina; Horwitz, Barry; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2012-01-01

    To understand the neural basis of human speech control, extensive research has been done using a variety of methodologies in a range of experimental models. Nevertheless, several critical questions about learned vocal motor control still remain open. One of them is the mechanism(s) by which neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, modulate speech and…

  3. Dopamine Regulation of Human Speech and Bird Song: A Critical Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonyan, Kristina; Horwitz, Barry; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2012-01-01

    To understand the neural basis of human speech control, extensive research has been done using a variety of methodologies in a range of experimental models. Nevertheless, several critical questions about learned vocal motor control still remain open. One of them is the mechanism(s) by which neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, modulate speech and…

  4. Vocal activity of lesser galagos (Galago spp.) at zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneiderová, Irena; Zouhar, Jan; Štefanská, Lucie; Bolfíková, Barbora Černá; Lhota, Stanislav; Brandl, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Almost nothing is known about the natural vocal behavior of lesser galagos living in zoos. This is perhaps because they are usually kept in nocturnal exhibits separated from the visitors by a transparent and acoustically insulating glass barrier. The aim of the present study was therefore to fill this gap in knowledge of the vocal behavior of lesser galagos from zoos. This knowledge might be beneficial because the vocalizations of these small primates can be used for species determination. We performed a 10-day-long acoustic monitoring of vocal activity in each of seven various groups of Galago senegalensis and G. moholi living at four zoos. We quantitatively evaluated the occurrence of four loud vocalization types present in both species, including the most species-specific advertisement call. We found that qualitative as well as quantitative differences exist in the vocal behavior of the studied groups. We confirmed that the observed vocalization types can be collected from lesser galagos living at zoos, and the success can be increased by selecting larger and more diverse groups. We found two distinct patterns of diel vocal activity in the most vocally active groups. G. senegalensis groups were most vocally active at the beginning and at the end of their activity period, whereas one G. moholi group showed an opposite pattern. The latter is surprising, as it is generally accepted that lesser galagos emit advertisement calls especially at dawn and dusk, i.e., at the beginning and at the end of their diel activity. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. AmBird: Mediating Intimacy for Long Distance Relationships through an Ambient Awareness System

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Sine; Stounbjerg, Rasmus Balthasar Kloth; Verdezoto, Nervo

    2015-01-01

    This paper introduces the AmBird concept that explores how to provide alternatives for mediating intimacy for people that are living apart. The initial design and implementation of the AmBird concept is described as well as a preliminary concept validation. Based on the lessons learned, we highli...... highlight the opportunities of AmBird to support multiple intimate acts and our future work....

  6. A California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) can keep the beat: motor entrainment to rhythmic auditory stimuli in a non vocal mimic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Peter; Rouse, Andrew; Wilson, Margaret; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2013-11-01

    Is the ability to entrain motor activity to a rhythmic auditory stimulus, that is "keep a beat," dependent on neural adaptations supporting vocal mimicry? That is the premise of the vocal learning and synchronization hypothesis, recently advanced to explain the basis of this behavior (A. Patel, 2006, Musical Rhythm, Linguistic Rhythm, and Human Evolution, Music Perception, 24, 99-104). Prior to the current study, only vocal mimics, including humans, cockatoos, and budgerigars, have been shown to be capable of motoric entrainment. Here we demonstrate that a less vocally flexible animal, a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), can learn to entrain head bobbing to an auditory rhythm meeting three criteria: a behavioral response that does not reproduce the stimulus; performance transfer to a range of novel tempos; and entrainment to complex, musical stimuli. These findings show that the capacity for entrainment of movement to rhythmic sounds does not depend on a capacity for vocal mimicry, and may be more widespread in the animal kingdom than previously hypothesized.

  7. Pointing gesture in a bird- merely instrumental or a cognitively complex behavior?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisela KAPLAN

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Gestures, particularly pointing, are regarded as important pre-speech acts. Intentional and referential pointing has been shown previously in humans and apes but not in songbirds, although some avian species show cognitive abilities rivaling those of apes, and their brain structures and functions show putative preconditions for referential gestural signaling (i.e. mirror neurons, links of vocal learning nuclei to discrete brain areas active during limb and body movements. The results reported are based on trials testing predator detection and responses to a taxidermic model of a wedge-tailed eagle by Australian magpies Gymnorhina tibicen. Magpies were subjected to three conditions of finding this model in their territory (open, sheltered and hidden. In the sheltered and hidden conditions, the discoverer simultaneously engaged in alarm calls and beak pointing, a behavior that has not been described previously. Other group members at once assembled and, after watching the first bird, adopted the same posture by pointing to the location of the intruder. The question is whether beak and body movements orienting towards important stimuli or events are instances of arousal, imitation or intentional communication. The latter presupposes that onlookers interpret the signal and respond by altering their own behavior appropriate to the original stimulus and not merely by imitating the first signaler. Evidence presented here indicates that the act of pointing may well be a complex cognitive behavior, i.e., an intentional and referential signal, showing that pointing is not limited to having hands and arms [Current Zoology 57 (4: 453–467, 2011].

  8. Vocal fold elasticity of the Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) - producing high fundamental frequency vocalization with a very long vocal fold

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Riede, Tobias; Titze, Ingo R

    2008-01-01

    .... If fundamental frequency were to be predicted by a simple vibrating string formula, as is often done for the human larynx, such long vocal folds would bear enormous stress to produce the species...

  9. Prespeech motor learning in a neural network using reinforcement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warlaumont, Anne S; Westermann, Gert; Buder, Eugene H; Oller, D Kimbrough

    2013-02-01

    Vocal motor development in infancy provides a crucial foundation for language development. Some significant early accomplishments include learning to control the process of phonation (the production of sound at the larynx) and learning to produce the sounds of one's language. Previous work has shown that social reinforcement shapes the kinds of vocalizations infants produce. We present a neural network model that provides an account of how vocal learning may be guided by reinforcement. The model consists of a self-organizing map that outputs to muscles of a realistic vocalization synthesizer. Vocalizations are spontaneously produced by the network. If a vocalization meets certain acoustic criteria, it is reinforced, and the weights are updated to make similar muscle activations increasingly likely to recur. We ran simulations of the model under various reinforcement criteria and tested the types of vocalizations it produced after learning in the different conditions. When reinforcement was contingent on the production of phonated (i.e. voiced) sounds, the network's post-learning productions were almost always phonated, whereas when reinforcement was not contingent on phonation, the network's post-learning productions were almost always not phonated. When reinforcement was contingent on both phonation and proximity to English vowels as opposed to Korean vowels, the model's post-learning productions were more likely to resemble the English vowels and vice versa.

  10. 3. Bird conservation

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Expert assessors Tatsuya Amano, Cambridge University, UK Andy Brown, Natural England, UK Fiona Burns, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK Yohay Carmel, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel Mick Clout, University of Auckland, New Zealand Geoff Hilton, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, UK Nancy Ockendon, Cambridge University, UK James Pearce-Higgins, British Trust for Ornithology, UK Sugoto Roy, Food and Environment Research Agency, DEFRA, UK Rebecca Smith, Cambridge University, UK William...

  11. Bird Watching in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHRIS; DEVONSHIRE-ELLIS

    2006-01-01

    Being based in, and conducting business in, some of China's largest cities is an exciting, yet stressful occupation and 1 like to relax by taking a pair of binoculars, getting out into the open air of China's huge countryside, and spending time seeing what birds I can identify. I'm not really a twitcher (one who relentlessly pursues sightings of as many different species as possible)-just happy to get into nature. In my travels around the country, I listed

  12. Processing of communication sounds: contributions of learning, memory, and experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poremba, Amy; Bigelow, James; Rossi, Breein

    2013-11-01

    Abundant evidence from both field and lab studies has established that conspecific vocalizations (CVs) are of critical ecological significance for a wide variety of species, including humans, non-human primates, rodents, and other mammals and birds. Correspondingly, a number of experiments have demonstrated behavioral processing advantages for CVs, such as in discrimination and memory tasks. Further, a wide range of experiments have described brain regions in many species that appear to be specialized for processing CVs. For example, several neural regions have been described in both mammals and birds wherein greater neural responses are elicited by CVs than by comparison stimuli such as heterospecific vocalizations, nonvocal complex sounds, and artificial stimuli. These observations raise the question of whether these regions reflect domain-specific neural mechanisms dedicated to processing CVs, or alternatively, if these regions reflect domain-general neural mechanisms for representing complex sounds of learned significance. Inasmuch as CVs can be viewed as complex combinations of basic spectrotemporal features, the plausibility of the latter position is supported by a large body of literature describing modulated cortical and subcortical representation of a variety of acoustic features that have been experimentally associated with stimuli of natural behavioral significance (such as food rewards). Herein, we review a relatively small body of existing literature describing the roles of experience, learning, and memory in the emergence of species-typical neural representations of CVs and auditory system plasticity. In both songbirds and mammals, manipulations of auditory experience as well as specific learning paradigms are shown to modulate neural responses evoked by CVs, either in terms of overall firing rate or temporal firing patterns. In some cases, CV-sensitive neural regions gradually acquire representation of non-CV stimuli with which subjects have training

  13. Generalized perceptual features for animal vocalization classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemins, Patrick J.; Johnson, Michael T.

    2001-05-01

    Two sets of generalized, perceptual-based features are investigated for use in classifying animal vocalizations. Since many species, especially mammals, share similar physical sound perception mechanisms which vary in size, two features sets commonly used in human speech processing, mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) and perceptual linear prediction (PLP) analysis, are modified for use in other species. One modification made to the feature extraction process is incorporating the frequency range of hearing and length of the basilar membrane of the animal in order to correctly determine the width and location of the critical band filters used for signal processing. Experimentally determined critical bands (equivalent rectangular bandwidth) and equal loudness curves (audiograms) can also be incorporated directly into the feature extraction process. Experiments are performed on African elephant (Loxodonta africana) vocalizations using a hidden Markov model (HMM) based classifier showing increased classification accuracy when using features sets based on the specific animals perceptual abilities compared to the original human perception-based feature sets.

  14. Neural responses in songbird forebrain reflect learning rates, acquired salience, and stimulus novelty after auditory discrimination training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Brittany A; Phan, Mimi L; Vicario, David S

    2015-03-01

    How do social interactions form and modulate the neural representations of specific complex signals? This question can be addressed in the songbird auditory system. Like humans, songbirds learn to vocalize by imitating tutors heard during development. These learned vocalizations are important in reproductive and social interactions and in individual recognition. As a model for the social reinforcement of particular songs, male zebra finches were trained to peck for a food reward in response to one song stimulus (GO) and to withhold responding for another (NoGO). After performance reached criterion, single and multiunit neural responses to both trained and novel stimuli were obtained from multiple electrodes inserted bilaterally into two songbird auditory processing areas [caudomedial mesopallium (CMM) and caudomedial nidopallium (NCM)] of awake, restrained birds. Neurons in these areas undergo stimulus-specific adaptation to repeated song stimuli, and responses to familiar stimuli adapt more slowly than to novel stimuli. The results show that auditory responses differed in NCM and CMM for trained (GO and NoGO) stimuli vs. novel song stimuli. When subjects were grouped by the number of training days required to reach criterion, fast learners showed larger neural responses and faster stimulus-specific adaptation to all stimuli than slow learners in both areas. Furthermore, responses in NCM of fast learners were more strongly left-lateralized than in slow learners. Thus auditory responses in these sensory areas not only encode stimulus familiarity, but also reflect behavioral reinforcement in our paradigm, and can potentially be modulated by social interactions.

  15. Threatened bird valuation in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zander, Kerstin K; Ainsworth, Gillian B; Meyerhoff, Jürgen; Garnett, Stephen T

    2014-01-01

    Threatened species programs need a social license to justify public funding. A contingent valuation survey of a broadly representative sample of the Australian public found that almost two thirds (63%) supported funding of threatened bird conservation. These included 45% of a sample of 645 respondents willing to pay into a fund for threatened bird conservation, 3% who already supported bird conservation in another form, and 15% who could not afford to pay into a conservation fund but who nevertheless thought that humans have a moral obligation to protect threatened birds. Only 6% explicitly opposed such payments. Respondents were willing to pay about AUD 11 annually into a conservation fund (median value), including those who would pay nothing. Highest values were offered by young or middle aged men, and those with knowledge of birds and those with an emotional response to encountering an endangered bird. However, the prospect of a bird going extinct alarmed almost everybody, even most of those inclined to put the interests of people ahead of birds and those who resent the way threatened species sometimes hold up development. The results suggest that funding for threatened birds has widespread popular support among the Australian population. Conservatively they would be willing to pay about AUD 14 million per year, and realistically about AUD 70 million, which is substantially more than the AUD 10 million currently thought to be required to prevent Australian bird extinctions.

  16. An Investigation of Vocal Tract Characteristics for Acoustic Discrimination of Pathological Voices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung-Won Lee

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the effectiveness of measures related to vocal tract characteristics in classifying normal and pathological speech. Unlike conventional approaches that mainly focus on features related to the vocal source, vocal tract characteristics are examined to determine if interaction effects between vocal folds and the vocal tract can be used to detect pathological speech. Especially, this paper examines features related to formant frequencies to see if vocal tract characteristics are affected by the nature of the vocal fold-related pathology. To test this hypothesis, stationary fragments of vowel /aa/ produced by 223 normal subjects, 472 vocal fold polyp subjects, and 195 unilateral vocal cord paralysis subjects are analyzed. Based on the acoustic-articulatory relationships, phonation for pathological subjects is found to be associated with measures correlated with a raised tongue body or an advanced tongue root. Vocal tract-related features are also found to be statistically significant from the Kruskal-Wallis test in distinguishing normal and pathological speech. Classification results demonstrate that combining the formant measurements with vocal fold-related features results in improved performance in differentiating vocal pathologies including vocal polyps and unilateral vocal cord paralysis, which suggests that measures related to vocal tract characteristics may provide additional information in diagnosing vocal disorders.

  17. A study of vocal nonlinearities in humpback whale songs: from production mechanisms to acoustic analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Dorian Cazau; Olivier Adam; Thierry Aubin; Laitman, Jeffrey T.; Reidenberg, Joy S.

    2016-01-01

    International audience; Although mammalian vocalizations are predominantly harmonically structured, they can exhibit an acoustic complexity with nonlinear vocal sounds, including deterministic chaos and frequency jumps. Such sounds are normative events in mammalian vocalizations, and can be directly traceable to the nonlinear nature of vocal-fold dynamics underlying typical mammalian sound production. In this study, we give qualitative descriptions and quantitative analyses of nonlinearities ...

  18. Application of Hum in Vocal Music Training%哼鸣在声乐训练中的运用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    胡宏志

    2015-01-01

    练声方法在声乐训练中非常重要,但是方法的多样性给广大声乐学习者带来了困惑.如何走出困惑,重拾对声乐学习的兴趣,提高演唱水平,哼鸣练习不愧为捷径之一.本文旨在通过对哼鸣在声乐中的运用的探讨和研究,使大家更清晰的了解其中的原理,以帮助广大声乐爱好者更好的学习.%Training method is very important in vocal music training, but diversity to our vocal music learners brings con-fusion. How to get out of confusion, to regain the vocal music learning interest, improve the level of singing, humming prac-tice is worthy of one of the shortcut. This paper aims to hum with vocal in the discussion and the research, to enable us to understand more clearly the principle, to help the majority of music lovers to study better.

  19. The Effect of Vocalic vs. Consonantal Phonetic Structure on Language Segmentability: the Case of Danish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trecca, Fabio; Bleses, Dorthe; Christiansen, Morten Hyllekvist;

    Danish-learning children are slower in the acquisition of receptive vocabulary than children in a range of other language groups. We have hypothesized that the phonetic structure of Danish, rich in vocoids and long vocalic stretches, might reduce the segmentability of the language and impede...... the acquisition process (Bleses et al. 2008). As a first step, we investigated whether adults with different native languages are equally able to extract “words” from strings of concatenated CV-syllables in two conditions: 1) C is a contoid (plosive), and 2) C is a vocoid (semivowel). We found no effects...

  20. THE VOCALIZATION MECHANISM OF THE FLORIDA MANATEE (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles J. Grossman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism by which Florida manatees produce vocalizations is unknown. Anatomically, the laryngeal region in manatees lacks clearly defined vocal folds. Initially we developed a method to visualize the entire manatee upper respiratory system. We then forced air through fresh necropsied manatee larynxes and generated artificial vocalizations which closely duplicated the normal vocalizations produced by live manatees, both in fundamental frequency and structure of harmonics. Here we report that sound is generated in the larynx when air vibrates bilateral strips of tissue embedded in the lateral laryngeal walls which are in close approximation anteriorly but which diverge posteriorly. We propose that these strips of tissue are the modified vocal folds containing ligaments and we support this through histological stained sections and because they are connected anteriorly to the posterior side of the thyroid cartilage and posteriorly with the arytenoidal cartilages. We also suggest that these vocalizations are then modified within the resonance cavities in the frontal area of the head and the air used to generate these vocalizations also causes a transient deformation of this region before being conserved and returned to the lungs.

  1. Vocal fold ion transport and mucin expression following acrolein exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levendoski, Elizabeth Erickson; Sivasankar, M Preeti

    2014-05-01

    The vocal fold epithelium is exposed to inhaled particulates including pollutants during breathing in everyday environments. Yet, our understanding of the effects of pollutants on vocal fold epithelial function is extremely limited. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the pollutant acrolein on two vocal fold epithelial mechanisms: ion transport and mucin (MUC) synthesis. These mechanisms were chosen as each plays a critical role in vocal defense and in maintaining surface hydration which is necessary for optimal voice production. Healthy, native porcine vocal folds (N = 85) were excised and exposed to an acrolein or sham challenge. A 60-min acrolein, but not sham challenge significantly reduced ion transport and inhibited cyclic adenosine monophosphate-dependent, increases in ion transport. Decreases in ion transport were associated with reduced sodium absorption. Within the same timeline, no significant acrolein-induced changes in MUC gene or protein expression were observed. These results improve our understanding of the effects of acrolein on key vocal fold epithelial functions and inform the development of future investigations that seek to elucidate the impact of a wide range of pollutant exposures on vocal fold health.

  2. The impact of intraglottal vortices on vocal fold dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erath, Byron; Pirnia, Alireza; Peterson, Sean

    2016-11-01

    During voiced speech a critical pressure is produced in the lungs that separates the vocal folds and creates a passage (the glottis) for airflow. As air passes through the vocal folds the resulting aerodynamic loading, coupled with the tissue properties of the vocal folds, produces self-sustained oscillations. Throughout each cycle a complex flow field develops, characterized by a plethora of viscous flow phenomena. Air passing through the glottis creates a jet, with periodically-shed vortices developing due to flow separation and the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the shear layer. These vortices have been hypothesized to be a crucial mechanism for producing vocal fold vibrations. In this study the effect of vortices on the vocal fold dynamics is investigated experimentally by passing a vortex ring over a flexible beam with the same non-dimensional mechanical properties as the vocal folds. Synchronized particle image velocimetry data are acquired in tandem with the beam dynamics. The resulting impact of the vortex ring loading on vocal fold dynamics is discussed in detail. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant CBET #1511761.

  3. Spontaneous motor entrainment to music in multiple vocal mimicking species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachner, Adena; Brady, Timothy F; Pepperberg, Irene M; Hauser, Marc D

    2009-05-26

    The human capacity for music consists of certain core phenomena, including the tendency to entrain, or align movement, to an external auditory pulse [1-3]. This ability, fundamental both for music production and for coordinated dance, has been repeatedly highlighted as uniquely human [4-11]. However, it has recently been hypothesized that entrainment evolved as a by-product of vocal mimicry, generating the strong prediction that only vocal mimicking animals may be able to entrain [12, 13]. Here we provide comparative data demonstrating the existence of two proficient vocal mimicking nonhuman animals (parrots) that entrain to music, spontaneously producing synchronized movements resembling human dance. We also provide an extensive comparative data set from a global video database systematically analyzed for evidence of entrainment in hundreds of species both capable and incapable of vocal mimicry. Despite the higher representation of vocal nonmimics in the database and comparable exposure of mimics and nonmimics to humans and music, only vocal mimics showed evidence of entrainment. We conclude that entrainment is not unique to humans and that the distribution of entrainment across species supports the hypothesis that entrainment evolved as a by-product of selection for vocal mimicry.

  4. Vocal cord palsy: An uncommon presenting feature of myasthenia gravis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sethi Prahlad

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Vocal cord palsy can have myriad causes. Unilateral vocal cord palsy is common and frequently asymptomatic. Trauma, head, neck and mediastinal tumors as well as cerebrovascular accidents have been implicated in causing unilateral vocal cord palsy. Viral neuronitis accounts for most idiopathic cases. Bilateral vocal cord palsy, on the other hand, is much less common and is a potentially life-threatening condition. Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder caused by antibodies targeting the post-synaptic acetylcholine receptor, has been infrequently implicated in its causation. We report here a case of bilateral vocal cord palsy developing in a 68-year-old man with no prior history of myasthenia gravis 2 months after he was operated on for diverticulitis of the large intestine. Delay in considering the diagnosis led to endotracheal intubation and prolonged mechanical ventilation with attendant complications. Our case adds to the existing literature implicating myasthenia gravis as an infrequent cause of bilateral vocal cord palsy. Our case is unusual as, in our patient, acute-onset respiratory distress and stridor due to bilateral vocal cord palsy was the first manifestation of a myasthenic syndrome.

  5. Motor planning for vocal production in common marmosets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Cory T; Eliades, Steven J; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2009-11-01

    The vocal motor plan is one of the most fundamental and poorly understood elements of primate vocal production. Here we tested whether a single vocal motor plan comprises the full length of a vocalization. We hypothesized that if a single motor plan was determined at vocal onset, the acoustic features early in the call should be predictive of the subsequent call structure. Analyses were performed on two classes of features in marmoset phee calls: continuous and discrete. We first generated correlation matrices of all the continuous features of phee calls. Results showed that the start frequency of a phee's first pulse significantly correlated with all subsequent spectral features. Moreover, significant correlations were evident within the spectral features as well as within the temporal features, but there was little relationship between these measures. Using a discrete feature, 'the number of pulses in the phee call', a discriminant function was able to correctly classify the number of pulses in the calls well above chance based solely on the acoustic structure of the call's first pulse. Together, these data suggest that a vocal motor plan for the complete call structure is established at call onset. These findings provide a key insight into the mechanisms underlying vocal production in nonhuman primates.

  6. A new instrument for intraoperative assessment of individual vocal folds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaton, James T; Kobler, James B; Hillman, Robert E; Zeitels, Steven M

    2005-07-01

    Intraoperative assessment of vocal fold vibration during phonomicrosurgery performed under general anesthesia may enhance surgical decision-making. We therefore developed and bench-tested a new device we refer to as the aerodynamic vocal fold driver (AVFD). The AVFD comprises a hand-held probe that uses airflow to drive individual vocal folds into phonatory-like vibration. This permits stroboscopic visualization of mucosal waves with simultaneous control of subglottal air pressure. In initial experiments to validate the technique, AVFD driven phonation and conventional whole-larynx phonation were compared using excised canine larynges (n = 14). Single vocal fold phonation using the AVFD and whole larynx phonation yielded similar, positive correlations between subglottal pressure and both amplitude and frequency of vibration. Experiments simulating vocal fold scar-related mucosal stiffening by subepithelial injection of fixative showed the expected elevation of phonation threshold pressures as measured with the AVFD. Likewise, unilateral tissue compression injury disrupted vocal fold vibration, and the AVFD was useful for quantifying improvement in the damaged vocal fold after repair with injection of cross-linked hyaluronic acid gel. These results show that this new instrument has the potential to provide novel and useful information for laryngeal experimentation and to improve phonosurgery.

  7. Acoustic Vocal Tract Model of One-year-old Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Vojnović

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The physical shape of vocal tract and its formant (resonant frequencies are directly related. The study of this functional connectivity is essential in speech therapy practice with children. Most of the perceived children’s speech anomalies can be explained on a physical level: malfunctioning movement of articulation organs. The current problem is that there is no enough data on the anatomical shape of children’s vocal tract to create its acoustic model. Classical techniques for vocal tract shape imaging (X-ray, magnetic resonance, etc. are not appropriate for children. One possibility is to start from the shape of the adult vocal tract and correct it based on anatomical, morphological and articulatory differences between children and adults. This paper presents a method for vocal tract shape estimation of the child aged one year. The initial shapes of the vocal tract refer to the Russian vowels spoken by an adult male. All the relevant anatomical and articulation parameters, that influence the formant frequencies, are analyzed. Finally, the hypothetical configurations of the children’s vocal tract, for the five vowels, are presented.

  8. Efeito imediato de técnicas vocais em mulheres sem queixa vocal Immediate effect of vocal techniques in women without vocal complaint

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Cristina Pereira

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: verificar o efeito imediato das técnicas vocais vibração, som nasal e sobrearticulação na voz e na laringe de mulheres sem queixas vocais. MÉTODO: participaram da pesquisa 32 sujeitos do sexo feminino, com idades entre 20 e 45 anos, sem queixas vocais, com qualidade vocal avaliada entre normal e alteração de grau leve Os sujeitos foram submetidos à análise perceptivo-auditiva pela escala visual analógica da vogal /ε/ e fala espontânea, análise acústica e laringoestroboscopia antes e após a realização das técnicas. RESULTADOS: a análise perceptivo-auditiva revelou melhora significante dos parâmetros impressão global da voz, rouquidão e estabilidade na vogal /ε/ e articulação na fala espontânea. A análise acústica evidenciou melhora significante do jitter e shimmer. A laringoestroboscopia evidenciou significante melhora no fechamento glótico e melhora na movimentação muco-ondulatória das pregas vocais. CONCLUSÃO: as técnicas vocais estudadas são capazes de proporcionar melhora imediata significante da qualidade vocal e da configuração laríngea.PURPOSE: to check the immediate effect of vocal techniques: vibration, nasal sound and overarticulation. METHOD: 32 female subjects with normal to mild dysphonia took part in the study, with ages from 20 to 45 years. Subjects were submitted to perceptual analysis and laryngostroboscopic exams before and after the use of vocal techniques. RESULTS: subjects' vocal classification in perceptual analysis after accomplishing the vocal techniques showed significant improvement on parameters voice global impression, hoarseness and stability; and, in spontaneous speech, one showed a significant improvement on the parameter articulation. The acoustic analysis evidenced significant improvement of the jitter and shimmer. Laryngostroboscopic examination evidenced a significant increase in the glottic closing and an increase in the mucondulatory movement of the vocal folds

  9. Structural Classification of Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) Vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Maxime; Gingras, Bruno; Bowling, Daniel L; Herbst, Christian T; Boeckle, Markus; Locatelli, Yann; Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2016-04-01

    Determining whether a species' vocal communication system is graded or discrete requires definition of its vocal repertoire. In this context, research on domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) vocalizations, for example, has led to significant advances in our understanding of communicative functions. Despite their close relation to domestic pigs, little is known about wild boar (Sus scrofa) vocalizations. The few existing studies, conducted in the 1970s, relied on visual inspections of spectrograms to quantify acoustic parameters and lacked statistical analysis. Here, we use objective signal processing techniques and advanced statistical approaches to classify 616 calls recorded from semi-free ranging animals. Based on four spectral and temporal acoustic parameters-quartile Q25, duration, spectral flux, and spectral flatness-extracted from a multivariate analysis, we refine and extend the conclusions drawn from previous work and present a statistically validated classification of the wild boar vocal repertoire into four call types: grunts, grunt-squeals, squeals, and trumpets. While the majority of calls could be sorted into these categories using objective criteria, we also found evidence supporting a graded interpretation of some wild boar vocalizations as acoustically continuous, with the extremes representing discrete call types. The use of objective criteria based on modern techniques and statistics in respect to acoustic continuity advances our understanding of vocal variation. Integrating our findings with recent studies on domestic pig vocal behavior and emotions, we emphasize the importance of grunt-squeals for acoustic approaches to animal welfare and underline the need of further research investigating the role of domestication on animal vocal communication.

  10. A nomenclature paradigm for benign midmembranous vocal fold lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Clark A; Gartner-Schmidt, Jackie; Hathaway, Bridget; Simpson, C Blake; Postma, Gregory N; Courey, Mark; Sataloff, Robert T

    2012-06-01

    There is a significant lack of uniform agreement regarding nomenclature for benign vocal fold lesions (BVFLs). This confusion results in difficulty for clinicians communicating with their patients and with each other. In addition, BVFL research and comparison of treatment methods are hampered by the lack of a detailed and uniform BVFL nomenclature. Clinical consensus conferences were held to develop an initial BVFL nomenclature paradigm. Perceptual video analysis was performed to validate the stroboscopy component of the paradigm. The culmination of the consensus conferences and the video-perceptual analysis was used to evaluate the BVFL nomenclature paradigm using a retrospective review of patients with BVFL. An initial BVFL nomenclature paradigm was proposed utilizing detailed definitions relating to vocal fold lesion morphology, stroboscopy, response to voice therapy and intraoperative findings. Video-perceptual analysis of stroboscopy demonstrated that the proposed binary stroboscopy system used in the BVFL nomenclature paradigm was valid and widely applicable. Retrospective review of 45 patients with BVFL followed to the conclusion of treatment demonstrated that slight modifications of the initial BVFL nomenclature paradigm were required. With the modified BVFL nomenclature paradigm, 96% of the patients fit into the predicted pattern and definitions of the BVFL nomenclature system. This study has validated a multidimensional BVFL nomenclature paradigm. This vocal fold nomenclature paradigm includes nine distinct vocal fold lesions: vocal fold nodules, vocal fold polyp, pseudocyst, vocal fold cyst (subepithelial or ligament), nonspecific vocal fold lesion, vocal fold fibrous mass (subepithelial or ligament), and reactive lesion. Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.

  11. Effect of hydration and vocal rest on the vocal fatigue in amateur karaoke singers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yiu, Edwin M L; Chan, Rainy M M

    2003-06-01

    Karaoke singing is a very popular entertainment among young people in Asia. It is a leisure singing activity with the singer's voice amplified with special acoustic effects in the backdrop of music. Music video and song captions are shown on television screen to remind the singers during singing. It is not uncommon to find participants singing continuously for four to five hours each time. As most of the karaoke singers have no formal training in singing, these amateur singers are more vulnerable to developing voice problems under these intensive singing activities. This study reports the performance of 20 young amateur singers (10 males and 10 females, aged between 20-25 years) on a series of phonatory function tasks carried out during continuous karaoke singing. Half of the singers were given water to drink and short duration of vocal rests at regular intervals during singing and the other half sang continuously without taking any water or rest. The subjects who were given hydration and vocal rests sang significantly longer than those who did not take any water or rest. The voice quality, as measured by perceptual and acoustic measures, and vocal function, as measured by phonetogram, did not show any significant changes during singing in the subjects who were given water and rest during the singing. However, subjects who sang continuously without drinking water and taking rests showed significant changes in the jitter measure and the highest pitch they could produce during singing. These results suggest that hydration and vocal rests are useful strategies to preserve voice function and quality during karaoke singing. This information is useful educational information for karaoke singers.

  12. Modeling of the transient responses of the vocal fold lamina propria

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Kai; Siegmund, Thomas; Chan, Roger W.

    2009-01-01

    The human voice is produced by flow-induced self-sustained oscillation of the vocal fold lamina propria. The mechanical properties of vocal fold tissues are important for understanding phonation, including the time-dependent and transient changes in fundamental frequency (F0). Cyclic uniaxial tensile tests were conducted on a group of specimens of the vocal fold lamina propria, including the superficial layer (vocal fold cover) (5 male, 5 female) and the deeper layers (vocal ligament) (6 male...

  13. A singing voices synthesis system to characterize vocal registers using ARX-LF model

    OpenAIRE

    Motoda, Hiroki; Akagi, Masato

    2013-01-01

    This paper proposes a singing voices synthesis system to synthesize singing voices having characteristics of vocal registers, such as vocal fly, modal and falsetto. Human can sing songs naturally in wide range of frequency by training how to use vocal fold vibrations to represent vocal registers. However, even state-of-the-art singing voices synthesis systems cannot produce vocal registers appropriately. Naturalness of the synthesized singing voices using these systems is reduced in low and h...

  14. Auditory-motor entrainment in vocal mimicking species: Additional ontogenetic and phylogenetic factors

    OpenAIRE

    Schachner, Adena

    2010-01-01

    We have recently found robust evidence of motor entrainment to auditory stimuli in multiple species of non-human animal, all of which were capable of vocal mimicry. In contrast, the ability remained markedly absent in many closely related species incapable of vocal mimicry. This suggests that vocal mimicry may be a necessary precondition for entrainment. However, within the vocal mimicking species, entrainment appeared non-randomly, suggesting that other components besides vocal mimicry play ...

  15. Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Vocal Tremor: A Technical Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Allen L; Choudhri, Omar; Sung, C Kwang; DiRenzo, Elizabeth E; Halpern, Casey H

    2015-03-01

    Essential vocal tremor (EVT) is the presence of a tremulous voice that is commonly associated with essential tremor. Patients with EVT often report a necessary increase in vocal effort that significantly worsens with stress and anxiety and can significantly impact quality of life despite optimal medical and behavioral treatment options. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been proposed as an effective therapy for vocal tremor, but very few studies exist in the literature that comprehensively evaluate the efficacy of DBS for specifically addressing EVT. We present a technical report on our multidisciplinary, comprehensive operative methodology for treatment of EVT with frameless, awake deep brain stimulation (DBS).

  16. Especializaciones cognitivas: El caso del procesamiento de consonantes y vocales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Manuel Toro

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Las consonantes y la vocales parecen tener funciones diferentes. Mientras las consonantes están más directamente implicadas en el procesamiento léxico, las vocales tienden a marcar rasgos sintácticos. Estudios recientes con lenguajes artificiales confirman esta hipótesis. Los resultados muestran que las palabras se reconocen más fácilmente sobre las consonantes, mientras que se extraen y generalizan reglas más fácilmente sobre las vocales

  17. Personality traits inventory in patients with vocal nodules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattei, Alexia; Revis, Joana; Giovanni, Antoine

    2017-04-01

    The objective of the study was to analyze temperament and character in females with vocal nodules (VN) compared to a vocally healthy control population. 61 females were examined over a 17-month period for dysphonia with VN (mean age 46 years, duration of vocal complaints from 2 months to 6 years). 71 control females were recruited in their environment (mean age 34 years). The validated French Version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) was used. Patients with VN had significantly (p personality-specific maladaptive behaviors. A possible personalized approach to voice therapy could be organized on the basis of the TCI findings.

  18. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for alcids, diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds,...

  19. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: South Florida: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds, and...

  20. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Upper Coast of Texas: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds,...

  1. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, gulls and...

  2. Understanding the biological concept "bird": A kindergarten case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Dilek

    The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case study of 14 students in a metropolitan public school in the Deep South was to find out, during a period of three months, what these kindergarten-aged children knew about birds, whether this knowledge represented current scientific thought, if such science instruction meaningfully affected their prior knowledge, and if so, what the factors during instruction that seemed to influence their understanding of the concept of bird were. The research was conducted in three phases; preinstruction interviews, instruction, and postinstruction interviews. The theoretical framework for this research was based on the Human Constructivism theory of learning (Mintzes, Wandersee and Novak, 1997). Instructional materials consisted of carefully chosen books (both fiction and non-fiction), guest speakers, field trips, a live bird in the classroom, students' observation journals, teacher-made classification and sorting activities, and picture-based concept maps. The findings suggest that young children's knowledge of birds was limited chiefly to birds' anatomical and morphological characteristics, with repeated references being made by the children to human characteristics. There was a positive, significant difference in young children's pre- and postinstruction scientific knowledge of birds. Although performance varied from child to child after instruction, most children were able to identify some common birds by name. Just one child resisted conceptual change. Kindergarten children's basic knowledge of bird behavior was limited to flight and eating. Although the children had more conceptual knowledge at the end, understanding still appeared to be shallow. The children did develop their skill in observing markedly. It also became evident that these kindergarten children needed more (a) experience in asking questions, (b) practice in techniques of visual representation, and (c) language development in order to be able to explain what they

  3. Voz e posição de prega vocal em homens com paralisia unilateral de prega vocal Voice and vocal fold position in men with unilateral vocal fold paralysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Schwarz

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available O posicionamento da prega vocal paralisada e o grau de disfonia são fatores importantes para decidir as opções de tratamento na paralisia de prega vocal unilateral (PPVU. OBJETIVO: Verificar as características perceptivo-auditivas da voz e a posição da prega vocal paralisada, em homens, com PPVU. MATERIAIS E MÉTODOS: Estudo retrospectivo, coorte histórica, com corte transversal, com dados de 24 homens com PPVU, com média de 60,7 anos, submetidos à avaliação vocal perceptivo-auditiva da voz, por três juízas fonoaudiólogas e perceptivo-visual das imagens laríngeas, com a classificação da posição da prega vocal paralisada, por três juízes otorrinolaringologistas. RESULTADOS: A prega vocal paralisada em posição paramediana ocorreu em 45,83% dos casos; a intermediária, em 25%; a lateral, em 20,83%, e a mediana, em 4,16%; a disfonia resultante da PPVU foi caracterizada pela rouquidão, aspereza e tensão, de grau moderado; soprosidade (maior frequência do grau grave; astenia e instabilidade (maior frequência do grau leve; a posição da prega vocal paralisada influenciou significativamente o grau geral de desvio vocal. CONCLUSÃO: O grau geral de disfonia está relacionado com a posição da prega vocal paralisada; a disfonia é caracterizada pela presença de rouquidão, soprosidade, aspereza e tensão de grau moderado a grave.The paralyzed vocal fold positioning and the degree of dysphonia are important inputs when one is deciding upon treatment options for unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP. OBJECTIVE: To check voice characteristics and paralyzed vocal fold position in men with UVFP. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective historical cross-sectional cohort study, with data from 24 men with UVFP with mean age of 60.7 years, submitted to voice assessment by three speech therapists and three ENT physicians used laryngeal images to classify the position of the paralyzed vocal fold. RESULTS: The paralyzed vocal fold

  4. Fish and Bird

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    毛秀波

    2010-01-01

    人物:B——Bird L——Little Fish M——Mother Fish N——Narracor(旁白)道具:角色头饰 N:一条生活在河里的Little Fish对天空充满了好奇,一心想飞到天空去看看。此时,Little Fish正依偎在Mother Fish身边,好奇地望着天空。

  5. Measurement of vocal doses in virtual classrooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bottalico, Pasquale; Pelegrin Garcia, David

    2010-01-01

    This work shows the results of a preliminary study about the determination of the optimal acoustical conditions for speakers in small classrooms. An experiment was carried out in a laboratory facility with 22 untrained talkers, who read a text passage from “Goldilocks” during two minutes under 13...... different acoustical conditions, that combined different kind of background noise and virtual classroom acoustics. Readings from the vocal fold vibrations were registered with an Ambulatory Phonation Monitor device. The speech signal from the talker in the center of the facility was picked up with a head......-worn microphone, convolved in real time with the impulse response of the chosen classroom, and reproduced through 29 loudspeakers placed around the subject. In particular, two different primary school classrooms were selected, with very low and very high reverberation time and, for each of them, two speaker...

  6. Vocal dose in teachers: correlation with dysphonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gama, Ana Cristina Côrtes; Santos, Juliana Nunes; Pedra, Elisângela de Fátima Pereira; Rabelo, Alessandra Terra Vasconcelos; Magalhães, Max de Castro; Casas, Estevam Barbosa de Las

    2016-04-01

    Teachers are professionals with high prevalence of dysphonia, whose main risk factors are the large work hours in classrooms with the presence of background noise. The purpose of the study was to calculate the phonation time and the cycle dose of teachers with dysphonia and teachers without voice disorders during the class. There were two groups analyzed: five teachers with functional dysphonia were the first group and five teachers without voice disorders were the second group. For the data was used the VoxLog® dosimeter and the parameters were: intensity; fundamental frequency; phonation time and cycle dose. The statistical analysis used ANOVA, Student's T-test, and Kruskal-Wallis test. Dysphonic teachers showed major values of phonation time and cycle dose compared with teachers without voice disorders. The dysphonia is related to extended period of speech time and greater exposure of the tissue of the vocal fold to phonotrauma.

  7. Cultural relativity in perceiving emotion from vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gendron, Maria; Roberson, Debi; van der Vyver, Jacoba Marieta; Barrett, Lisa Feldman

    2014-04-01

    A central question in the study of human behavior is whether certain emotions, such as anger, fear, and sadness, are recognized in nonverbal cues across cultures. We predicted and found that in a concept-free experimental task, participants from an isolated cultural context (the Himba ethnic group from northwestern Namibia) did not freely label Western vocalizations with expected emotion terms. Responses indicate that Himba participants perceived more basic affective properties of valence (positivity or negativity) and to some extent arousal (high or low activation). In a second, concept-embedded task, we manipulated whether the target and foil on a given trial matched in both valence and arousal, neither valence nor arousal, valence only, or arousal only. Himba participants achieved above-chance accuracy only when foils differed from targets in valence only. Our results indicate that the voice can reliably convey affective meaning across cultures, but that perceptions of emotion from the voice are culturally variable.

  8. BREATH OF USE AND VOCAL TRAINING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuran ACAR

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Breathable, who escorted us in every aspect of our lives and our survival is our primary activity, allowing for quality of life in a healthy way. quality of breaths taken the right technique, you need both health professional sense should perhaps take advantage of individuals who want to achieve success in life is the primary rule. When the diaphragm is born with assisted breathing lungs of every person's life starts to grow to keep up with the flurry lose this special and important skills. First and foremost, which is important for our body health, including every aspect of proper breathing, especially correct use of the voice carries particular importance. In this article, breathing subject discussed, correct breathing and our lives have tried to give us information about the benefits of both vocal training.

  9. When internal communication becomes multi-vocal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Vibeke Thøis

    The aim of this paper is to present the findings of an exploratory case study of communication on internal social media within the Danish bank, Jyske Bank. The study involved an analysis of staff interaction on internal social media over three months, as well as interviews with 17 of the bank’s...... employees. The study not only answers questions about who participates in internal social media and the content of their communication, it also shows that when organizational culture and management support coworker communication, internal social media becomes a multi-vocal rhetorical arena where coworkers...... are likely to converse about how to solve product and customer-related challenges, and to discuss working conditions. In addition, this study shows that coworkers co-construct organizational identity when they discuss questions such as: Who are we as an organization? Which products should we provide...

  10. Carrion crows learn to discriminate between calls of reliable and unreliable conspecifics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wascher, Claudia A F; Hillemann, Friederike; Canestrari, Daniela; Baglione, Vittorio

    2015-09-01

    Partner choice on the basis of an individual's reliability is expected to stabilize social interactions. In this experiment, we tested whether carrion crows (Corvus corone corone) learn to differentiate between calls of reliable or unreliable individuals. Crows were kept in an aviary that comprised four visually but not acoustically isolated compartments, separated by a central room. In an association phase, a dead crow placed in the central compartment was visible only to one of the four crow groups, whilst alert calls of a conspecific were played back. Therefore, these calls were reliable for that group, but unreliable for the three other groups. The procedure was repeated, using a different reliable caller for each group. In two test sessions, 1 month apart, reliable and unreliable model individuals were played back, but no dead crow was presented. We quantified birds' attention behaviour and the number of vocalisations emitted. In the association phase, crows were more attentive towards the reliable compared with the unreliable stimuli and called more in response to reliable compared to unreliable individuals. In the test and repeat phase, attention behaviour did not differ between reliability conditions, but the pattern of vocal behaviour reversed, with crows calling less frequent when listening to reliable compared with unreliable calls. Vocal responses of crows suggest that they can discriminate between reliable and unreliable callers.

  11. Birds of the Savannah Harbor Navigation Project, Dredged Material Disposal Areas, 19942012

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    use vocalizations (e.g., pishing sounds or a mimicked or recorded screech owl call, or a combination of both). If no birds were detected within 15...Eastern Towhee1, 2 319 Short- eared Owl2 14 Wood Thrush1 4 Yellow-billed Cuckoo1 69 Chimney Swift1 4,239 Northern Flicker1, 2 159 Field Sparrow2 37...4 5 5 2 2 5 4 4 3 5 DunlinW 5160 1005 5160 4890 4440 2637 2442 3050 1975 5500 5200 5166 4630 5147 6022 5784 4648 2672 3000 Eared GrebeRW 1 1 2 3 12

  12. Singers' and Nonsingers' Perception of Vocal Vibrato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, A Anita; Subramanian, Uma

    2015-09-01

    Vibrato, a small, nevertheless an important component in the singing voice is known to enrich the overall singing voice quality. However, in the perception of overall performance, it is often neglected. Singing performance is often appreciated by a mixed audience of those who love music, but not necessarily sing and other singers who may or may not be teachers of singing. The objectives of the present study were aimed at investigating singers' and nonsingers' perception of vocal vibrato and its effect on the ratings of singer's overall performance. Prerecorded audio samples of the chorus of a hymn (How Great Thou Art) as sung by 10 singers (both men and women) were played via a speaker to two groups of judges which consisted of three experienced singers and three experienced nonsingers. The singer judges (SJs) were vocal instructors in Western classical, music theater, pop, and contemporary styles. Seven parameters (presence of vibrato, rate, extent, conspicuousness, quality, periodicity, and type) related to vibrato were evaluated through auditory perception by these two groups of judges on a rating scale developed specifically for the study, and one parameter evaluated singer's overall performance. Cohen's Kappa statistical analysis was used for inter-rater reliability within groups. Nonsinger judges (NSJs) within the group showed varied ratings as did SJs, yet SJs did have higher agreement than NSJs. Chi-square analysis was used across groups. Both groups were distinct from each other in their perception of vibrato. Ratings of singer's overall performance were not affected for NSJs, but certainly affected for SJ. It could not be concluded that ratings on singer's overall performance was affected as a result of vibrato. Since vibrato is often over-ridden by the singer's voice. But a rare occasion can arise where a vibrato may not sound pleasant and can affect the listener's perception of the singer's performance. Often a feedback from listeners would help monitor

  13. Birds of a Feather... and Clay, Wire, Tissue and Paint!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feiner, Lois

    2011-01-01

    What began as a review lesson in clay construction quickly became a fun learning experience filled with inspiring conversations and creatively painted birds. This lesson was successful from beginning to end, with a final reward when the artwork was displayed. The author describes the process of working on this project and shares how the students…

  14. Vocal repertoire of the New Zealand kea parrot Nestor notabilis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raoul SCHWING, Stuart PARSONS, Ximena J. NELSON

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The unique alpine-living kea parrot Nestor notabilis has been the focus of numerous cognitive studies, but its communication system has so far been largely neglected. We examined 2,884 calls recorded in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Based on audio and visual spectrographic differences, these calls were categorised into seven distinct call types: the non-oscillating ‘screech’ contact call and ‘mew’; and the oscillating ‘trill’, ‘chatter’, ‘warble’ and ‘whistle’; and a hybrid ‘screech-trill’. Most of these calls contained aspects that were individually unique, in addition to potentially encoding for an individual’s sex and age. Additionally, for each recording, the sender’s previous and next calls were noted, as well as any response given by conspecifics. We found that the previous and next calls made by the sender were most often of the same type, and that the next most likely preceding and/or following call type was the screech call, a contact call which sounds like the ‘kee-ah’ from which the bird’s name derives. As a social bird capable of covering large distances over visually obstructive terrain, long distance contact calls may be of considerable importance for social cohesion. Contact calls allow kea to locate conspecifics and congregate in temporary groups for social activities. The most likely response to any given call was a screech, usually followed by the same type of call as the initial call made by the sender, although responses differed depending on the age of the caller. The exception was the warble, the kea’s play call, to which the most likely response was another warble. Being the most common call type, as well as the default response to another call, it appears that the ‘contagious’ screech contact call plays a central role in kea vocal communication and social cohesion [Current Zoology 58 (5: 727-740, 2012].

  15. BIRD FLU MASKS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YASAR KESKIN

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Avian influenza (bird flu is a disease of birds caused by influenza viruses closely related to human influenza viruses. The potential for transformation of avian influenza into a form that both causes severe disease in humans and spreads easily from person to person is a great concern for world health. The main purpose of a mask is to help prevent particles (droplets being expelled into the environment by the wearer. Masks are also resistant to fluids, and help protect the wearer from splashes of blood or other potentially infectious substances. They are not necessarily designed for filtration efficiency, or to seal tightly to the face. Masks and respirators are components of a number of infection control measures intended to protect healthcare workers, and prevent the spread of diseases. All healthcare workers who come into contact with a possible or probable case of any respiratory track infections should wear a respirator conforming to at least EN149:2001 FFP3. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2006; 5(4.000: 296-306

  16. Vocal acrobatics in a Chinese frog, Amolops tormotus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Albert; Narins, Peter; Xu, Chun-He

    2002-06-01

    Although amphibians are highly vocal, they generally emit only a limited number of acoustic communication signals. We report here the extraordinarily rich vocal repertoire of Amolops tormotus, a ranid species in China. These frogs produce countless vocalizations, some of which share features of birdsong or primate calls, e.g., ultrasonic frequency components, multiple upward and downward FM sweeps, and sudden onset and offset of selective harmonic components within a call note. Frame-by-frame video analysis of the frog's calling behavior suggests the presence of two pairs of vocal sacs that may contribute to the remarkable call-note complexity in this species. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer LINK server located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00114-002-0335-x.

  17. Corrigendum: Cultural Relativity in Perceiving Emotion From Vocalizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-01

    Gendron, M., Roberson, D., van der Vyver, J. M., & Barrett, L. F. (2014). Cultural relativity in perceiving emotion from vocalizations. Psychological Science, 25, 911-920. (Original DOI: 10.1177/0956797613517239 ).

  18. Semiotic aspects of human nonverbal vocalizations: a functional imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Susanne; Hertrich, Ingo; Alter, Kai; Ischebeck, Anja; Ackermann, Hermann

    2007-12-03

    Humans produce a variety of distinct nonverbal vocalizations. Whereas affective bursts, for example, laughter, have an intrinsic communicative role bound to social behavior, vegetative sounds, for example, snoring, just signal autonomic-physiological states. However, the latter events, for example, belching, may also be used as intentional communicative actions (vocal gestures), characterized by an arbitrary culture-dependent sound-to-meaning (semiotic) relationship, comparable to verbal utterances. Using a decision task, hemodynamic responses to affective bursts, vegetative sounds, and vocal gestures were measured by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging. Affective bursts elicited activation of anterior left superior temporal gyrus. In contrast, arbitrary vocal gestures yielded hemodynamic reactions of the left temporo-parietal junction. Conceivably, a listener's interpretation of nonverbal utterances as intentional events depends upon a left-hemisphere temporo-parietal 'auditory-to-meaning interface' related to our mechanisms of speech processing.

  19. A HMM-Based Method for Vocal Fold Pathology Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vahid Majidnezhad

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Acoustic analysis is a proper method in vocal fold pathology diagnosis so that it can complement and in some cases replace the other invasive, based on direct vocal fold observations methods. There are different approaches for vocal fold pathology diagnosis. This paper presents a method based on hidden markov model which classifies speeches into two classes: the normal and the pathological. Two hidden markov models are trained based on these two classes of speech and then the trained models are used to classify the dataset. The proposed method is able to classify the speeches with an accuracy of 93.75%. The results of this algorithm provide insights that can help biologists and computer scientists design high-performance system for detection of vocal fold pathology diagnosis.

  20. [Management of T1a vocal fold carcinoma].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, R; Brosch, S; Smith, E; Pickhard, A

    2013-12-01

    About 2/3 of the larynx carcinomas affect the vocal chords. The main risk factor is smoking. Carcinomas in this localisation often arise from leukoplakias with dysplasia. A typical symptom is dysphonia. Arrest of vibration in microlaryngostroboscopy is a hint that a carcinoma could be present. Transoral laser cordectomy or radiotherapy show equivalent oncological results and results in quality of voice in the treatment of vocal fold carcinoma (T1a). As lymph node and distant metastasis are very rare, follow-up can concentrate on microlaryngoscopy. In case of a suspicious area on the vocal fold, biopsy of the affected tissue is needed to plan correct treatment. The prognosis of the T1 vocal chord carcinoma is quite good with a 5-year survival rate of almost 100%.