Monday, April 11, 2011
Staller Center for the Arts, Main Stage
Stony Brook University (Main Campus)
Stony Brook, NY
Directions to Stony Brook University: http://ws.cc.stonybrook.edu/sb/directions.shtml (for the closest public parking, use the Administration Parking Garage)
A free presentation, intended for a general audience.
View the video replay on YouTube:
Preview video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpm4k1XG0Xk
Baby songbirds learn to sing the same way human infants learn to speak—by listening to and mimicking their parents. Join us as Dr. Allison J. Doupe shows how the specialized brain circuits (basal ganglia circuits) of songbirds, like the Zebra Finch, are providing insight into human motor learning and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and addiction.
The Neural Basis of Vocal Learning in Songbirds
At present Dr. Doupe's lab is focused on a particular song circuit, the anterior forebrain pathway (AFP). Numerous behavioral studies have suggested that this specialized basal ganglia circuit plays an essential role in song learning. Using a variety of physiological, behavioral, anatomical, and theoretical techniques, her lab is studying how the different features of song are represented in this network, how the animal's auditory experience and vocal learning shape its neuronal properties, and what the crucial function of this pathway might be.
Since the bird normally hears its own song only during singing, the lab has begun recording from this pathway in awake, behaving birds. This has demonstrated that AFP neurons are also highly active when the bird sings, and carry signals related to the motor act of singing as well as auditory responses. Behavioral experiments, using lesions of this pathway, suggest that these neurons may be required any time the bird changes its song, even in adulthood, and may encode an error signal when auditory feedback does not match the intended vocal output. Moreover, the activity of these neurons is dramatically affected by different social settings (singing alone vs. singing to a companion), raising the possibility that this circuit may also be involved in social modulation of singing and song learning.
Allison Doupe, MD, PhD
Dr. Doupe is Professor of Psychiatry and Physiology and the Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Doupe received a BSc from McGill University in 1975 and simultaneously received a MD and PhD from Harvard University in 1984. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Physiology at UCSF since 1993. Dr. Doupe's laboratory is interested in how the nervous system mediates behavior, especially complex behaviors that must be learned. Birdsong provides a useful model system for the study of these issues. Song is an intricate motor act that is learned in distinct phases during a bird's life, and depends on the animal's auditory experience. There are critical periods for song learning, just as there are for human language learning.
Dr. Doupe is the recipient of a Klingenstein Fellowship, a McKnight Investigator Award, a Searle Scholarship, an EJLB Scholar Award, and a Merck Fellowship. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and serves on the editorial board of several leading journals, including the Journal of Neuroscience and the Journal of Neurobiology.
Press release (March 22, 2011): What Songbirds Can Teach Us About Learning and the Brain - Topic of 15th Annual Swartz Foundation Mind/Brain Lecture
Allison Doupe - Neuroscience Graduate Program at UCSF
Research Description: The Neural Basis of Vocal Learning in Songbirds
Allison J. Doupe, MD, PhD - Department of Psychiatry, UCSF
Allison Doupe, MD, PhD, is a researcher of basic science research in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF.
Allison Doupe – LinkedIn
Searle Scholars Program: Allison J. Doupe (1993)
The cognitive neurosciences - Google Books Result
Gordon Research Conferences - 1999 Program
Forbes Lecture, Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole: Lessons from Songbirds about Basal Ganglia Circuits, Social Context, and Plasticity
Publications on PubMed
Tweeting teenage songbirds reveal impact of social cues on learning
Social performance reveals unexpected vocal competency in young songbirds
A bird brain's view of auditory processing and perception
Developmentally Restricted Synaptic Plasticity in a Songbird Nucleus Required for Song Learning
Birdsong and Human Speech: Common Themes and Mechanisms
Two-dimensional encoding and adaptation in the songbird auditory forebrain
Birdbrains could teach basal ganglia research a new song
Cellular, circuit, and synaptic mechanisms in song learning
Spike timing and the coding of naturalistic sounds in a central auditory area of songbirds
Environmental influences in the development of neural crest derivatives: glucocorticoids, growth factors, and chromaffin cell plasticity
Song-selective auditory circuits in the vocal control system of the zebra finch
Spectral-temporal receptive fields of nonlinear auditory neurons obtained using natural sounds
Interruption of a basal ganglia–forebrain circuit prevents plasticity of learned vocalizations
Song-and order-selective neurons in the songbird anterior forebrain and their emergence during vocal development
What songbirds teach us about learning
Contributions of an avian basal ganglia–forebrain circuit to real-time modulation of song
Social context modulates singing-related neural activity in the songbird forebrain
Auditory feedback in learning and maintenance of vocal behaviour
Temporal and spectral sensitivity of complex auditory neurons in the nucleus HVc of male zebra finches
Singing-related neural activity in a dorsal forebrain-basal ganglia circuit of adult zebra finches
Anterior forebrain neurons develop selectivity by an intermediate stage of birdsong learning
FOS is induced by singing in distinct neuronal populations in a motor network
Development of the catecholaminergic innervation of the song system of the male zebra finch
Contributions of tutor and bird's own song experience to neural selectivity in the songbird anterior forebrain
Postlearning consolidation of birdsong: stabilizing effects of age and anterior forebrain lesions
Publications on Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=allison+doupe&hl=en&btnG=Search&as_sdt=1%2C33
Event home pages:
The Swartz Foundation – Mind/Brain Lecture Series Home Page
Stony Brook University Mind/Brain Lecture Series Home Page
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