Sarah Woolley, Columbia University

Professor, Department of Psychology and Zuckerman Institute
Kavli Institute for Brain Science Center for Integrative Animal Behavior, Columbia University
"Cortical mechanisms of learning to listen"
Supported by the Samuel D. Isaly '67 Fund for Discourse in Neuroscience
Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 12:15pm
Hosted by: 
Andrew Leifer
Princeton Neuroscience Institute
Neuroscience Seminar Series
Auditory-vocal communication requires the coordinated development of sensory and motor circuits around sounds that convey social information. When communication sounds are learned during development, the juvenile brain must build auditory and vocal motor circuits that are functionally coupled to perceive and produce the same acoustic features. Humans and songbirds learn to communicate using complex sounds during development. Behavioral studies of speech and song perception indicate that early experience of communication sounds shapes auditory processing and perception for life. We study the role of vocal communication experience in development of auditory cortex function using songbirds. I will present our studies using manipulations in song tutoring, chronic electrophysiological recording and the analysis of behavior to test: 1) relationships between juvenile experience of singing adults and development of response properties in auditory cortex neurons; and 2) differences in the impact of song experience on response properties across cortical regions.