Simple motor gestures for birdsongs

Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Nov 12;87(20):208101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.87.208101. Epub 2001 Oct 26.


We present a model of sound production in a songbird's vocal organ and find that much of the complexity of the song of the canary (Serinus canaria) can be produced from simple time variations in forcing functions. The starts, stops, and pauses between syllables, as well as variation in pitch and timbre are inherent in the mechanics and can often be expressed through smooth and simple variations in the frequency and relative phase of two driving parameters

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Canaries / anatomy & histology
  • Canaries / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Vocal Cords / physiology*
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology*