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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1990 Aug 29;329(1253):115-24.

Song learning in birds: the relation between perception and production.

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  • 1Rockefeller University Field Research Center, Millbrook, New York 12545.


The vocal control system of oscine songbirds has some perplexing properties--e.g. laterality, adult neurogenesis, neuronal replacement--that are not predicted by common views of how vocal learning takes place. Similarly, we do not understand the relation between the direct pathway for the control of learned song and the recursive pathway necessary for song learning. Some of the paradoxes of the vocal system of birds may disappear once the relation between the perception and production of learned vocalizations is better understood. To some extent, perception and production may be two closely related states of a same system.

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