The schematics below highlight the fundamental issues that we study in
songbirds: On the left is the traditional model in which auditory feedback
modulates the motor system. On the right shows the model adapted for use
with a species of bird that produces an amazing duet song, the Plain-tailed
wren (Pheugopedius euophrys). The goal of the work is to understand
how auditory information from hearing songs modifies motor circuits for
learning, maintenance, and production of song.
My work has focussed on auditory and motor representations of song
in HVC of zebra finches and plain-tailed wrens.
|| Rouse, M.L., Stevenson, T.J., Fortune, E.S., and G.F. Ball (2015) Reproductive state
modulates testosterone-induced singing in adult female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).
Horm. Behav., 72:78-87,
|| Testosterone-treated female starlings
change their singing behavior in relation to reproductive state.
|| Fortune, E.S., Rodriguez, C., Li, D., Ball, G.F.,
and M.J. Coleman (2011) Neural mechanisms for the coordination of duet singing in wrens.
|| This manuscript describes
the basic singing patterns used by female and male plain-tailed wrens to produce
remarkable duets. We then captured birds, anesthetized them with urethane, and
recorded from neurons in the telencephalic song control area known as HVC. We
expected that neurons in the female would respond best to the female parts of duets,
and male neurons would respond to the male parts. What we found was surprising - neurons
in both females and males repsonded best to the duet, and neurons preferred the female
parts in both sexes.
|| Margoliash, D., E.S. Fortune, M. Sutter, C-H. Yu,
D. Hardin, and A.Dave (1994) Distributed representation in the song
system of oscines: evolutionary implications and functional consequences.
Brain Behav. Evol. 44:247-264,
|| A review of
thinking about song learning and production. It considers HVc as
a form of central pattern generator.
|| Fortune, E.S. and D. Margoliash (1995) Parallel
pathways and convergence onto HVc and adjacent neostriatum of adult
male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). J. Comp. Neurol. 360(3):
|| This paper has
two major parts: a descriptive definition of HVc based on Nissl stained
material and the connectivity of HVc and adjacent areas based on
injection of tracers. There are three major conclusions: 1. HVc is
composed of 3 cytoarchitectonically distinct regions. One of these
regions has indistinct borders from adjacent neostriatum. 2. HVc
receives direct input from a small number of neurons in field L. 3.
Areas adjacent to HVc receive and send parallel projections to those
|| Fortune, E.S. and D. Margoliash (1992)
Cytoarchitectonic organization and morphology of cells of the field L
complex in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). J. Comp.
|| A detailed
description of the anatomy of "field L" of the Nidopallium.
||Margoliash, D. and E.. Fortune (1992) Temporal
and harmonic combination-sensitive neurons in the zebra finch's HVc.
J. Neurosci., 12:4309-4326,
|| The most
complex, both in the temporal and spectral domains, selectivities for
acoustic signals in any animal system are described in this paper.
These complex selectivities are produced by the song-learning process.