261 | Neural oscillations are synchronized to birdsong rhythms

Sensory and Motor Systems

Author: Fiamma Liz Leites | Email: fiamma.liz17@gmail.com

Fiamma L. Leites , Cecilia T. Herbert , Santiago Boari , Gabriel B. Mindlin , Ana Amador

1° Dpto. de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina & Instituto de Física Interdisciplinaria y Aplicada, INFINA-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The generation of complex behaviors, like vocalizations, requires precise interactions among the nervous system, peripheral systems, and the environment. A well-established model is the song of oscine birds, whose production involves precise control of the respiratory system and vocal organs, receiving neural input from the “neural song system.” Specifically, the telencephalic nucleus HVC (proper name) is involved in perception, learning, and plays a crucial role in generating motor commands, yet the neural coding is still under research.
We analyzed extracellular electrophysiological recordings of 4 adult male canaries (Serinus canaria) during song production, recorded in different stereotaxic coordinates of HVC over several days. We investigated the relationship between neural activity peaks and song rhythm, aiming to determine if they are correlated. We compared the multiunit activity profile with the sound envelope. Our findings unveil synchronized neuronal firing with the ongoing song, with distinct phase-locking patterns dependent on the repertoire of phrases sung by the individual and the spatial coordinates of the neuronal recordings. We categorized these behaviors, quantifying their properties.
These findings deepen the understanding of the neural coding in the HVC at a broader analytical level. By analyzing the general profiles of sound envelopes and multiunit activity, we employed a perspective that provides additional information complementing single-unit data.