Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

RU Laboratory

Nottebohm Laboratory


The ability to identify and interpret auditory stimuli from the environmental milieu is of particular importance in species that communicate using learned vocalizations. By chronically recording multiunit neuronal responses in awake, behaving zebra finch songbirds, I have demonstrated that the caudomedial neostriatum (NCM), a telencephalic nucleus in the ascending auditory pathway, exhibits responses that range from unselective to highly selective for species-specific stimuli. Sites demonstrating habituating responses are also found and are arranged heterogeneously with selective sites that do not habituate. During the act of singing, activity changes at the habituating sites becoming nonhabituating with neuronal firing occurring at distinct points in the song. Together, these data suggest the involvement of NCM in the processing of behaviorally significant stimuli both for passive audition and for auditory feedback.


A thesis presented to the faculty of The Rockefeller University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

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