Parallel pathways for vocal learning in basal ganglia of songbirds

Nat Neurosci. 2010 Feb;13(2):153-5. doi: 10.1038/nn.2472. Epub 2009 Dec 20.


The cortical nucleus LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium) provides the output of a basal ganglia pathway that is necessary for vocal learning in juvenile songbirds. The shell subregion of LMAN (LMAN(shell)) gives rise to recurrent loops that may subserve specific learning-related functions. We found that lesions in the LMAN(shell) pathway caused no immediate disruption of vocal behavior, but prevented the development of stable vocal sequences and the ability to imitate vocal sounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Finches / physiology*
  • Imitative Behavior / physiology
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Sound Spectrography
  • Time Factors
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology*