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. 2018 Feb;204(2):209-217.
doi: 10.1007/s00359-017-1231-3. Epub 2017 Nov 23.

From Electromyographic Activity to Frequency Modulation in Zebra Finch Song


From Electromyographic Activity to Frequency Modulation in Zebra Finch Song

Juan F Döppler et al. J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. .


Behavior emerges from the interaction between the nervous system and peripheral devices. In the case of birdsong production, a delicate and fast control of several muscles is required to control the configuration of the syrinx (the avian vocal organ) and the respiratory system. In particular, the syringealis ventralis muscle is involved in the control of the tension of the vibrating labia and thus affects the frequency modulation of the sound. Nevertheless, the translation of the instructions (which are electrical in nature) into acoustical features is complex and involves nonlinear, dynamical processes. In this work, we present a model of the dynamics of the syringealis ventralis muscle and the labia, which allows calculating the frequency of the generated sound, using as input the electrical activity recorded in the muscle. In addition, the model provides a framework to interpret inter-syllabic activity and hints at the importance of the biomechanical dynamics in determining behavior.

Keywords: Biomechanics; Birdsong; Electromyography; Frequency modulation; Nonlinear dynamics.

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