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Poster communications

Multisensory representation of social familiarity in the songbird brain

Abstract : Social skills and preferences are thought to emerge from greater exposure to and hence familiarity with some social signals rather than others. The ability to differentiate and categorize familiar and unfamiliar individuals and to build a multisensory representation of known individuals emerges from successive social interactions, in particular with adult, experienced models. In different species, adults have been shown to shape the social behavior of young by promoting selective attention to multisensory cues. The question of what representation of known conspecifics adult-deprived animals may build therefore arises. Here we show that starlings raised with no experience with adults fail to develop a multisensory representation of familiar starlings. Electrophysiological recordings of neuronal activity throughout the primary auditory area of these birds, while they were exposed to audio-only or audiovisual familiar and unfamiliar cues, showed that visual stimuli did, as in wild-caught starlings, modulate auditory responses but that, unlike what was observed in wild-caught birds, this modulation was not influenced by familiarity. Thus, adult-deprived starlings seem to fail to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar individuals. This suggests that adults may shape multisensory representation of known individuals in the brain, possibly by focusing the young’s attention on relevant, multisensory cues.
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Poster communications
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 9:14:53 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:34:50 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01345017, version 1


Isabelle George, Hugo Cousillas, Laurence Henry, Martine Hausberger. Multisensory representation of social familiarity in the songbird brain. New Frontiers in Social Neuroscience, Apr 2013, Paris, France. ⟨hal-01345017⟩



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