The precedence effect in three species of birds (Melopsittacus undulatus, Serinus canaria, and Taeniopygia guttata)

J Comp Psychol. 2004 Sep;118(3):325-31. doi: 10.1037/0735-7036.118.3.325.


The perceived locations of paired auditory images, simulating direct sounds and their echoes, have been recently studied in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus; M. L. Dent & R. J. Dooling, 2003a, 2003b). In this article, the authors extend those experiments to include measurements of the precedence effect using a discrimination paradigm in two additional bird species: canaries (Serinus canaria) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Although time courses of summing localization, localization dominance, and echo thresholds were similar across all species, budgerigars had slightly higher overall levels of discrimination. The results from these experiments add further support that the precedence effect in birds is similar to that found in other animals and that the ability to suppress echoes that might degrade localization and auditory object perception may be a general property of the vertebrate auditory system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Canaries
  • Melopsittacus
  • Sound Localization*
  • Space Perception*