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J Neurobiol. 1992 Oct;23(8):1006-20.

Right-side dominance for song control in the zebra finch.

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Department of Biology, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267.


Adult male zebra finches underwent unilateral denervation of the syrinx or unilateral lesion of the forebrain nucleus HVC known to be important for song control. Disruptive effects on song were greater after right-side than after left-side operations. After denervation of the right half of the syrinx, the fundamental frequencies of all syllables within a song converged on a value near 500 Hz, and nearly all syllables were altered in type. In contrast, the syllables produced after denervation of the left side of the syrinx largely maintained their preoperative frequencies, and fewer syllables changed in type. Unlike nerve sections, HVC lesions did not result in strikingly lateralized effects on syllable phonology; however, HVC lesions did affect the temporal patterning of a bird's song, whereas nerve sections did not, and changes in temporal patterning were more marked after right than after left HVC lesions. Right-side dominance for zebra finch song control is the reverse of that described in other songbird species with lateral asymmetry for vocal communication. We suggest that the need for a dominant side is more important than the side of dominance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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