A bird's own song contributes to conspecific song perception

C. L. Pytte, R. A. Suthers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


We investigated the role of development vocal experience in adult song perception by muting juvenile male zebra finches prior to song development and testing their behavioral responses to song playback as adults. Birds were raised in a normal social and acoustic environment. Non-treated sibling control birds demonstrated statistically significant phonotactic preferences for particular conspecific familiar or novel songs. Muted birds responded to playbacks at chance levels, showing no preferences for individual conspecific songs. These results suggest that the acquisition of a bird's own song may contribute to the perceptual processing, recognition, or discrimination of different conspecific songs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1773-1778
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 3 1999


  • Birdsong
  • Development
  • Muting
  • Perception
  • Production
  • Vocal learning
  • Zebra finch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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