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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Oct;28:172-8. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.07.022. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

The singer and the song: the neuromechanics of avian sound production.

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Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense DK-5230, Denmark. Electronic address:


Song is crucial to songbirds for establishing territories and signaling genetic quality and an important driver in speciation. Songbirds also have become a widely used experimental model system to study the neural basis of vocal learning, a form of imitation learning with strong parallels to human speech learning. While there is a strong focus on central processing of song production, we still have limited insights into the functional output of the motor neural circuits. This review focuses on recent developments in motor control, biomechanics and feedback mechanisms of sound production in songbirds.

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