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Neuroscience Seminar: Frédéric Theunissen, PhD

January 17, 2018 from 12:30 PM until 1:30 PM

"Meanings in zebra finch communication calls: an investigation of acoustic and neural codes"

Frédéric Theunissen, PhD


Department of Psychology

University of California, Berkeley

Host: Dr. Gary Marsat


When: Wednesday, January 17 at 12:30 PM

Where: 301 BMRC


Abstract: Understanding what is encoded in vocalizations used for communication and how the brain extracts this information are central questions in neurophysiology, ecology and ethology. Who, where and what are three important messages that are often transmitted in vocal exchanges. In our research, my collaborators and I have examined the acoustic and neural codes for the identity of the vocalizer (voice), for its localization (distance) and for the behavioral meaning carried by specific vocalization types such as the animal intent or state (semantics). Here I will show you how we leverage large vocalization databases, acoustical analyses, behavioral conditional tasks and electrophysiological recordings in the auditory cortex to decipher the acoustic and neural codes in a songbird species, the zebra finch.