By Robert R. Capranica (auth.), Jörg-Peter Ewert, Robert R. Capranica, David J. Ingle (eds.)
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Extra info for Advances in Vertebrate Neuroethology
The 44 P. , 1976; Nottebohm, 1977, 1980, 1981). The principles of gross syringea1 operation seem clear, although Hersh's experiments on singing behavior in helium air revealed a range of operational modes, with vocal tract resonance clearly playing a part in some species. Considerable skill in bioengineering is needed to carry this kind of analysis further, especially to explicate the effector mechanisms that underlie the exquisitely fine acoustic detail that birdsongs exhibit. Ethological studies of song learning suggest that song syllables may have special significance for auditory perception, constituting something equivalent to the "natural categories" that psychologists refer to in other sensory domains (Rosch and Lloyd, 1978).
Figure 7 illustrates an equivalent case in a song sparrow, reared in the laboratory and trained with several synthetic songs while it was young (Marler, 1981). Such birds typically produce many imitations but they often deliver them, especially in plastic song, as a varying collage of syllables, drawn from different models. It is intriguing to note that, in these new arrangements, syllables are rarely broken down into their constituent notes. The units of recombination are typically syllables, which tend to cohere as units.
There is extensive sharing of syllable types within a population. E. Kroodsma (1981). 2. Winter wren song. of the syllable, a unit less than a whole but larger than the minimal elements or notes. If correct, this has the important implication of a capacity for phonological syntax, much as we recombine phonemes or syllables to make different words. How does this array of hierarchically organized motor coordinations develop? Somehow each species is guided through the epigenetic process so as to produce motor patterns that differ consistently from species to species and yet are learned.
Advances in Vertebrate Neuroethology by Robert R. Capranica (auth.), Jörg-Peter Ewert, Robert R. Capranica, David J. Ingle (eds.)