How a Bird Brain Times Tweets: Inhibitory neurons in the zebra finch brain control coordinated vocal interactions

Zebra finches can take turns when exchanging short calls with one another, much like humans do during conversations. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology have now shed light on the underlying neural dynamics in a songbird brain area called HVC, or the so called “song control centre”. The researchers identified neurons involved in initiating a call as well as another class of neurons that inhibits neighboring cells shortly before a bird calls. The importance of these cells for vocal turn-taking was further supported by the observation that specific disruptions to the signaling of either type of neuron resulted in distinct changes in call timing.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft