Slow NMDA-EPSCs at synapses critical for song development are not required for song learning in zebra finches.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Birdsong, like human speech, is learned via auditory experience during a developmentally restricted sensitive period. Within projection neurons of two avian forebrain nuclei, NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs (NMDA-EPSCs) become fast during song development, a transition posited to limit learning. To discover whether slow NMDA-EPSCs at these synapses are required for learning, we delayed song learning beyond its normal endpoint, post-hatch day (PHD) 65, by raising zebra finches in isolation from song tutors. At PHD45, before learning, isolation delayed NMDA-EPSC maturation, but only transiently. By PHD65, NMDA-EPSCs in isolates were fast and adult-like, yet isolates presented with tutors readily learned song. Thus song learning did not require slow NMDA-EPSCs at synapses critical for song development.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Livingston, FS; White, SA; Mooney, R

Published Date

  • May 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 482 - 488

PubMed ID

  • 10769389

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1097-6256

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/74857


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States