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Prenatal exposure to incubation calls affects song learning in the zebra finch

Katsis, Andrew C., Davies, Mzuri H., Buchanan, Katherine L., Kleindorfer, Sonia, Hauber, Mark E. and Mariette, Mylene M. 2018, Prenatal exposure to incubation calls affects song learning in the zebra finch, Scientific reports, vol. 8, no. 1, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33301-5.

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Title Prenatal exposure to incubation calls affects song learning in the zebra finch
Author(s) Katsis, Andrew C.ORCID iD for Katsis, Andrew C. orcid.org/0000-0003-4177-3096
Davies, Mzuri H.
Buchanan, Katherine L.ORCID iD for Buchanan, Katherine L. orcid.org/0000-0002-6648-5819
Kleindorfer, Sonia
Hauber, Mark E.
Mariette, Mylene M.ORCID iD for Mariette, Mylene M. orcid.org/0000-0003-0567-4111
Journal name Scientific reports
Volume number 8
Issue number 1
Article ID 15232
Total pages 10
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2018-10-15
ISSN 2045-2322
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
TUTOR CHOICE
MATE CHOICE
ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION
TAENIOPYGIA-GUTTATA
STIMULATION
EXPERIENCE
CHICKENS
NEWBORNS
SPEECH
SIGNAL
Summary Songbirds are important models for understanding the mechanisms and fitness consequences of imitative vocal learning. Although the effects of early-life environmental and social conditions on song learning are well-established, the impact of early sound exposure has received surprisingly little attention. Yet recent evidence hints at auditory sensitivity in songbird embryos, including in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a classic model species for song learning. Here, we tested whether prenatal exposure to incubation calls-highly rhythmic parental vocalisations produced on the nest-affected song learning in zebra finches. Embryos were exposed in the egg to either incubation (treatment) or contact (control) calls, and after hatching were reared in a large colony. The playback treatment did not affect song complexity nor the accuracy of song copying from the social father, but instead increased learning of non-paternal song syllables. This, in turn, improved males' mounting success in mating trials. These effects may be attributable to changes in juvenile social behaviours, as playback also influenced male behaviour during mating trials. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that prenatal acoustic environment affects song learning and courtship behaviour in songbirds, thereby raising interesting questions on the role of innate versus acquired biases for vocal learning.
Language eng
DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-33301-5
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30114688

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.