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An Exploratory Study of Vocalization Areas in the Brain of the Redwinged Blackbird (Agelaius Phoeniceus)

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The brain of the redwinged blackbird, a species of the suborder of songbirds, was explored for regions from which vocalization could be evoked by electrical stimulation. In all, 966 points in the brain were tested for evoked vocalizations in acute experiments with the bird restrained under local anesthesia in a stereotaxic instrument. Responsive regions were found mainly I) in the midbrain in and near the torus semicircularis in its non-auditory part, 2) in the hypothalamus and septal area, and 3) in the archistriatum. Responses of uncertain significance were also obtained from the hyperstriatum accessorium. Minimum thresholds for evoked vocalization were lowest in the torus and highest in the striatum. The evoked vocalizations were analyzed spectrographically. They included both normal and abnormal calls; male and female song and flight calls were not evoked. In most cases calls evoked from the midbrain were of the "annoyance" type. Calls evoked from the anterior brain stem were more variabe and also included Cheers and various other alarm calls. The neuroanatomical data are presented on sections which may be employed as a stereotaxic guide to the brain of the redwinged blackbird. The basic similarity between the neuroanatomical substrate of vocalization in birds and most mammals is pointed out.

Affiliations: 1: Center for Brain Research and Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., U.S.A.

10.1163/156853971X00203
/content/journals/10.1163/156853971x00203
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853971x00203
1971-01-01
2016-12-08

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