- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
To generate complex bilateral motor patterns such as those underlying birdsong, neural activity must be highly coordinated across the two cerebral hemispheres. However, it remains largely elusive how this coordination is achieved given that interhemispheric communication between song-control areas in the avian cerebrum is restricted to projections received from bilaterally connecting areas in the mid- and hindbrain. By electrically stimulating cerebral premotor areas in zebra finches, we find that behavioral effectiveness of stimulation rapidly switches between hemispheres. In time intervals in which stimulation in one hemisphere tends to distort songs, stimulation in the other hemisphere is mostly ineffective, revealing an idiosyncratic form of motor dominance that bounces back and forth between hemispheres like a virtual ping-pong ball. The intervals of lateralized effectiveness are broadly distributed and are unrelated to simple spectral and temporal song features. Such interhemispheric switching could be an important dynamical aspect of neural coordination that may have evolved from simpler pattern generator circuits. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS Biology
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Organisational unit03774 - Hahnloser, Richard H.R. / Hahnloser, Richard H.R.
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