Development of coordinated social interactions in songbirds
Department of Psychology, Hunter College, USA
Songbird vocal communication starts in early life with begging calls. Later on, the vocal behavior develops into a rich repertoire of different calls and song types, which are shaped via social learning. Although understanding vocal development at the individual and population levels is important, the development of social communication via vocal interactions requires an intermediate-level investigation of how individual animals learn to coordinate their vocal behavior. We investigated the development of song and calls coordination in zebra finches, using both naturalistic and virtual social environments. Our results show that in both songs and calls, learning to synchronize vocal behavior is a major component of developmental vocal learning.