Michelle Carney Rose Hills
Effects of Arginine Vasotocin on Voice Discrimination in the Zebra Finch
The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is a highly social passerine that heavily relies on vocal communication during social interactions. Over one third of its brain is dedicated to auditory functions. Vocal recognition has been studied previously in mated pairs of this species using a particular type of calls, the distance call. However, zebra finches communicate with a full repertoire of vocalizations. Here I am investigating whether they can discriminate voices of other individuals. More precisely, Im testing the capacity of zebra finches to discriminate between different emitters irrespective of the vocalization category produced by the emitter. I will also look at the effects of arginine vasotocin (AVT), a neuropeptide implicated in regulating social behavior, on these discrimination capabilities. My investigations will be both behavioral and neurophysiological and I hope to provide more insight to voice discrimination and the role of AVT in the perception of acoustic social cues.