Talk:Models of birdsong (physics)

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    I find the article very informative, well-written and giving a very good, state-of-the-art perspective on the field. I think the following suggestions could improve this very good and comprehensive article.

    I suggest the authors two main changes: “1. Split subsection”, and “2. Add two-source sound”.

    The motivation for my first suggestion is the experiment performed by Gardner and coworkers (2005), where they exposed juvenile canaries to synthetic songs. The birds achieved very close imitations, what is a biologically relevant result after stating (subsection 2.1 Applications) the importance of an auditory feedback manipulation experiment.

    My second suggestion is illustrating the discussion on source-source coupling with a remarkable sound from a behaving bird.

    Please find details below.

    1) Split subsection “2.1 Applications” in two (2.1 Applications / 2.2 Experimental support). Keep the first 2 paragraphs in subsection 2.1. Start new subsection 2.2 at third paragraph, inserting new subsection title “Experimental support”. Add the following text and figure at the end of new subsection:

    "A concern might be raised however on whether the sounds produced by these models are perceived by the bird as actual conspecific song. This biologically relevant test was performed by Gardner and coworkers (Gardner, Naef, & Nottebohm 2005). The authors exposed juvenile (25 days old) canaries to a playback of a synthetic song every 2 hours during daylight. Although the synthetic song was designed to avoid the stereotyped canary phrasing structure (where each syllable is repeated many times before changing to a different syllable), the juveniles adopted the song as viable tutor song and achieved a close imitation by 200 days of age." (paste here Figure 2a and 2b from Gardner, Naef, & Nottebohm 2005)

    2) Add two-source sound I suggest illustrating subsection “Other sources of acoustic complexity” with the following figure (please refer appropriately in text): Figure 1a from Laje, Sciamarella, Zanella, & Mindlin 2008.

    Reviewer B

    I find the article, overall, technically very solid, and covering an appropriate range of relevant topics pertaining to the modeling of song production. I have, however, a couple of philosophical points to make that in my opinion need to be considered by the author.
    In the first place, I find the very title of the article misleading. Birdsong is quite a wide field, including, besides song production at the level of the syrinx, central neural control of song production and perception, molecular biology of song processing and learning, development, stem cell and adult neurogenesis, and neuroethology. A qualification of the title, or a subtitle indicating the precise perspective considered therein, is in order.
    Secondly, and coming back to the last sub-field I mentioned above, i.e. neuroethology, it is my personal and admittedly subjective view that modeling biology without a clear biological (mostly evolutionary) perspective can also be misleading. I understand that this is not the author’s approach in his publication record; however, the fact that the neuroethology of birdsong is mentioned only tangentially in the introduction makes me uncomfortable. I suggest devoting a section (i.e. in the order of one or two paragraphs) to a review of the known and hypothesized relationships between song structure and learning, and mating behavior and territoriality. I do not know how other sections of birdsong in Scholarpedia will look like, so this may be too much of an editorial intrusion on my part, but I still think that the inclusion of ethology in this article will make it much more relevant for readers who are not experts in the subject.
    A minor comment: in section 3.3, a sentence reads “…model for the syrinx (as one of the eqs.) …”; it is not clear to me how this should be interpreted. Perhaps a reference to a specific equation is missing?
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