Auditory-vocal mirroring in songbirds.

Published online

Journal Article (Review)

Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory-vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory-vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory-vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mooney, R

Published Date

  • 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 369 / 1644

Start / End Page

  • 20130179 -

PubMed ID

  • 24778375

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24778375

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-2970

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1098/rstb.2013.0179

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • England