Neuroethology of acquired English and conspecific vocalizations in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/282800
Title:
Neuroethology of acquired English and conspecific vocalizations in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)
Author:
Banta, Pamela Ann, 1966-
Issue Date:
1998
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation is a report of neuroethological investigations of the vocal and cognitive behavior of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). Budgerigars were trained, via an interactive modeling technique, to reproduce English words and phrases. Budgerigars' abilities to use their acquired English vocalizations were then assessed. Budgerigars produced English vocalizations in three main ways: (1) enmeshed in warble song; (2) in response to presented objects; and (3) alone, neither enmeshed in warble song nor in response to presented objects. Budgerigars also formed functional categories of their English vocalizations and used them in a context-dependent manner. Budgerigars' English vocalizations and contact calls were subjected to acoustic analyses and found to contain nonlinear amplitude modulation. A comparison with the sounds produced by humans and other speech-producing birds (Grey parrots, Psittacus erithacus, and mynahs, Gracula religiosa) revealed that budgerigars produce speech in a fundamentally different manner. Ibotenic acid lesions were placed in the vocal control nucleus, NLc, and the effects on budgerigars' contact calls and English vocalizations assessed. NLc lesions affected production of, but not memory for, budgerigar vocalizations. Specifically, the amplitude of the carrier signal of amplitude- modulated vocalizations was disrupted. No abnormalities were detected in the frequencies that budgerigars produced post-lesion. The implications of these findings regarding the presence of amplitude modulation and the effects of NLc lesions with respect to past and future studies of the acoustic, physical and neural mechanisms underlying budgerigar vocal production are discussed, and a working model for the function of the budgerigar syrinx presented.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Biology, Neuroscience.; Psychology, Behavioral.; Biology, Zoology.; Psychology, Cognitive.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Neurosciences
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Nadel, Lynn; Pepperberg, Irene M.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleNeuroethology of acquired English and conspecific vocalizations in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)en_US
dc.creatorBanta, Pamela Ann, 1966-en_US
dc.contributor.authorBanta, Pamela Ann, 1966-en_US
dc.date.issued1998en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is a report of neuroethological investigations of the vocal and cognitive behavior of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). Budgerigars were trained, via an interactive modeling technique, to reproduce English words and phrases. Budgerigars' abilities to use their acquired English vocalizations were then assessed. Budgerigars produced English vocalizations in three main ways: (1) enmeshed in warble song; (2) in response to presented objects; and (3) alone, neither enmeshed in warble song nor in response to presented objects. Budgerigars also formed functional categories of their English vocalizations and used them in a context-dependent manner. Budgerigars' English vocalizations and contact calls were subjected to acoustic analyses and found to contain nonlinear amplitude modulation. A comparison with the sounds produced by humans and other speech-producing birds (Grey parrots, Psittacus erithacus, and mynahs, Gracula religiosa) revealed that budgerigars produce speech in a fundamentally different manner. Ibotenic acid lesions were placed in the vocal control nucleus, NLc, and the effects on budgerigars' contact calls and English vocalizations assessed. NLc lesions affected production of, but not memory for, budgerigar vocalizations. Specifically, the amplitude of the carrier signal of amplitude- modulated vocalizations was disrupted. No abnormalities were detected in the frequencies that budgerigars produced post-lesion. The implications of these findings regarding the presence of amplitude modulation and the effects of NLc lesions with respect to past and future studies of the acoustic, physical and neural mechanisms underlying budgerigar vocal production are discussed, and a working model for the function of the budgerigar syrinx presented.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectBiology, Neuroscience.en_US
dc.subjectPsychology, Behavioral.en_US
dc.subjectBiology, Zoology.en_US
dc.subjectPsychology, Cognitive.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineNeurosciencesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorNadel, Lynnen_US
dc.contributor.advisorPepperberg, Irene M.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest9912104en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b39123017en_US
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