High responsiveness of auditory neurons to specific combination of acoustic features in female songbirds

Masahiro Inda, Kohji Hotta, Kotaro Oka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is a songbird species in which males sing their unique songs to attract females who then select their preferred male. Acoustic features in the songs of individual males are important features for female auditory perception. While the male of this species is a classic model of vocal production, it has been little known about auditory processing in female. In the higher auditory brain regions, the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM) and nidopallium (NCM) contribute to female's sound recognition, we, therefore, extracted acoustic features that induce neural activities with high detection power on both regions in female finches. A multiple linear regression analysis revealed that neurons were sensitive to mean frequency and Wiener entropy. In addition, we performed an experiment with modified artificial songs and harmonic songs to directly investigate neural responsiveness for deriving further evidence for the contribution of these two acoustic features. Finally, we illustrated a specific ratio combining these two acoustic features that showed highest sensitivity to neural responsiveness, and we found that properties of sensitivity are different between CMM and NCM. Our results indicate that the mixture of the two acoustic features with the specific ratio is important in the higher auditory regions of female songbirds, and these two regions have differences in encoding for sensitivity to these acoustic features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1427
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar


  • auditory
  • electrophysiology
  • neural responsiveness
  • songbird

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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