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Song perception in the European starling: hemispheric specialisation and individual variations

Abstract : Hemispheric specialisation for speech in humans has been well documented. The lateralisation for song production observed in songbirds is reminiscent of this hemispheric dominance. In order to investigate whether song perception is also lateralised, we made multiunit recordings of the neuronal activity in the field L of starlings during the presentation of species-specific and artificial non-specific sounds. We observed a systematic stronger activation in one hemisphere than in the other one during the playback of species-specific sounds, with inter-subject variability in the predominant hemisphere for song perception. Such an asymmetry was not observed for artificial non-specific sounds. Thus, our results suggest that, at least at the individual level, the two hemispheres of the starlings’ brain perceive and process conspecific signals differently.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01303570
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Submitted on : Monday, April 18, 2016 - 1:03:57 PM
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Isabelle George, Hugo Cousillas, Jean-Pierre Richard, Martine Hausberger. Song perception in the European starling: hemispheric specialisation and individual variations. Comptes Rendus Biologies, Elsevier Masson, 2002, 325 (3), pp.197-204. ⟨10.1016/S1631-0691(02)01430-0⟩. ⟨hal-01303570⟩

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