Neural mechanisms of vocal communication in songbirds
Lisa Trost und Susanne Hoffmann
Using radio telemetric methods, we study how sensory and premotor areas in the avian brain enable vocal communication. We equip birds with miniature transmitters, which register the individual’s vocalizations and the underlying neural activity of each bird in parallel (Schregardus et al., 2006; Gill et al., 2016). This enables us to assign each vocalization to its emitter while maintaining the temporal relationship between vocalizations of different individuals and between the vocalizations and the respective neural activity. The huge advantage and specialty of this method, in contrast to conventional methods, is that the birds can be kept in their familiar social environment during the experiments and that their behavior is almost unaffected by the experimental conditions.