Song Syntax in Bengalese finches: Behavioral Studies

 Bengalese finches are the domesticated strain of the wild white-backed munias. Bengalese sing hierarchically organized syntactical song, while munias sing simple linear song. By studying why these two strains sing such different songs, we hope to learn the biological emergence of “syntax”.

 We hypothesized that female preferences for complex song led to the “invention” of the song syntax. To prove this, we cross-fostered munias and Bengalese and found that there are innate bias to learn strain specific songs. We are also examining the relationship between reproductive success and song complexity. Our ultimate goal is to develop a theory of language evolution inspired by bird studies.

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Last-modified: 2007-01-27 (土) 21:05:15 (3857d)