Auditory responses in the nucleus taeniae of the amygdala and its adjacent region in songbirds

[Speaker] Fujii, Tomoko:1
[Co-author] Ikebuchi, Maki:2, Okanoya, Kazuo:1,2
1:Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo (Japan), 2:Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences Joint Research Laboratory, RIKEN Brain Science Institute (Japan)

Songbirds have evolved complex vocal communication and associated neural circuitry. The avian arcopallium includes a structure referred to as the nucleus taeniae of the amygdala (TnA) which might correspond to the mammalian medial amygdala. Although the TnA is potentially involved in controlling social behaviors, its function still remains unclear, particularly with respect to vocal communication. The present study aimed to examine response properties of TnA neurons to vocal sounds. We recorded single unit activities of neurons in the TnA and the arcopallium of Bengalese finches while they were exposed to auditory stimuli including conspecific vocalizations. We found that the TnA and the arcopallium similarly exhibited auditory responses regarding with frequency of responsive cells and stimulus-selective cells, suggesting the involvement of these regions in a brain circuit underlying proper vocal communication. Further investigation is expected to understand their functional significance. (Work supported by KAKENHI # 26240019)
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