The Direction of response selectivity between conspecific and heterospecific auditory stimuli varies with response metric

K. Stenstrom, H. U. Voss, K. Tokarev, M. L. Phan, M. E. Hauber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Species recognition is an essential behavioral outcome of social discrimination, flocking, mobbing, mating, and/or parental care. In songbirds, auditory species recognition cues are processed through specialized forebrain circuits dedicated to acoustic discrimination. Here we addressed the direction of behavioral and neural metrics of zebra finches’ (Taeniopygia guttata) responses to acoustic cues of unfamiliar conspecifics vs. heterospecifics. Behaviorally, vocal response rates were greater for conspecific male zebra finch songs over heterospecific Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) songs, which paralleled greater multiunit spike rates in the auditory forebrain in response to the same type of conspecific over heterospecific auditory stimuli. In contrast, forebrain activation levels were reversed to species-specific song playbacks during two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments: we detected consistently greater responses to whydah songs over finch songs and did so independently of whether subjects had been co-housed or not with heterospecifics. These results imply that the directionality of behavioral and neural response selectivity metrics are not always consistent and appear to be experience-independent in this set of stimulus-and-subject experimental paradigms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113534
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume416
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 7 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Keywords

  • Auditory forebrain
  • Behavioral recognition
  • Electrophysiology
  • fMRI
  • Species discrimination

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