Spatiotemporal properties of visual stimuli for song induction in Bengalese finches

Neuroreport. 2005 Aug 22;16(12):1339-43. doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000175251.10288.5f.


Male Bengalese finches sing directed songs in response to video images of females projected onto a thin-film transistor monitor. We used this experimental paradigm to elucidate which properties of visual stimuli are important for eliciting singing. When video recordings of female Bengalese or zebra finches were used as visual stimuli, only images of conspecific females elicited singing from male Bengalese finches. When images of female Bengalese finches were rotated by 0 degrees, 90 degrees, or 180 degrees, only the upright images elicited singing. Finally, temporally normal (forward playback) images were more effective than time-reversed images and still images for eliciting singing. These results suggest that both the spatial and temporal arrangements of visual stimuli affect the singing behavior of male finches.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Finches
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal
  • Species Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology*