Auditory-Motor Matching in Vocal Recognition and Imitative Learning

Neuroscience 409:222-234 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Songbirds possess mirror neurons (MNs) activating during the perception and execution of specific features of songs. These neurons are located in high vocal center (HVC), a premotor nucleus implicated in song perception, production and learning, making worth to inquire their properties and functions in vocal recognition and imitative learning. By integrating a body of brain and behavioral data, we discuss neurophysiology, anatomical, computational properties and possible functions of songbird MNs. We state that the neurophysiological properties of songbird MNs depends on sensorimotor regions that are outside the auditory neural system. Interestingly, songbirds MNs can be the result of the specific type of song representation possessed by some songbird species. At the functional level, we discuss whether songbird MNs are involved in others' song recognition, by dissecting the function of recognition in various different but possible overlapping processes: action-oriented perception, discriminative-oriented perception and identification of the signaler. We conclude that songbird MNs may be involved in recognizing other singer's vocalizations, while their role in imitative learning still require to solve how auditory feedback are used to correct own vocal performance to match the tutor song. Finally, we compare songbird and human mirror responses, hypothesizing a case of convergent evolution, and proposing new experimental directions.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,439

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

9 (#1,290,229)

6 months
5 (#878,053)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Antonella Tramacere
Università degli Studi Roma Tre

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references