Neurobiology of song learning

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2009 Dec;19(6):654-60. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2009.10.004. Epub 2009 Nov 4.


Birdsong is a culturally transmitted behavior that depends on a juvenile songbird's ability to imitate the song of an adult tutor. Neurobiological studies of birdsong can reveal how a complex form of imitative learning, which bears strong parallels to human speech learning, can be understood at the level of underlying circuit, cellular, and synaptic mechanisms. This review focuses on recent studies that illuminate the neurobiological mechanisms for singing and song learning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Neurobiology*
  • Songbirds / physiology
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology*