2 Scopus citations


Birdsong involves motor sequence generation and goal-directed sensorimotor learning and is controlled by a discrete set of premotor brain nuclei. These features make it an ideal system for theoretical explorations of the neural basis for motor learning and control. This article reviews neural network models of various aspects of song production, in particular the formation of neural sequences to drive song, the learning of the motor map, and the reasons song may be encoded the way it is by songbird premotor neurons. The emphasis is on illustrating how theoretical work has contributed to the understanding of the song system and highlighting the resulting predictions for experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780080450469
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Associational learning
  • Basal ganglia
  • Birdsong
  • Empiric synapse
  • Goal-directed learning
  • HVC
  • Hebbian learning
  • LMAN
  • Motor control
  • RA
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Sensorimotor
  • Sequence learning
  • Songbird
  • Sparse coding
  • Spike time-dependent plasticity
  • Spiking neural network
  • Synaptic chain
  • Synfire
  • Vocalization sequence propagation
  • Zebra finch


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