Vocal turn-taking is a fundamental organizing principle of human conversation but the neural circuit mechanisms that structure coordinated vocal interactions are unknown. The ability to exchange vocalizations in an alternating fashion is also exhibited by other species, including zebra finches. With a combination of behavioral testing, electrophysiological recordings, and pharmacological manipulations we demonstrate that activity within a cortical premotor nucleus orchestrates the timing of calls in socially interacting zebra finches. Within this circuit, local inhibition precedes premotor neuron activation associated with calling. Blocking inhibition results in faster vocal responses as well as an impaired ability to flexibly avoid overlapping with a partner. These results support a working model in which premotor inhibition regulates context-dependent timing of vocalizations and enables the precise interleaving of vocal signals during turn-taking.
You may also like
Artificial Intelligence from a Psychologist’s Point...
March 15, 2023Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
Mapping unknown territory
February 27, 2023Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence
Uridine makes you hungry
January 23, 2023Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research
Amygdala Intercalated Cells: Gatekeepers and Conveyors...
January 19, 2023Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
Aversive bimodal associations differently impact...
January 19, 2023Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Commonalities and Asymmetries in the Neurobiological...
January 5, 2023Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics