Staff Member Projects

zebravinkThe neurogenomics of vocal learning

Carel ten Cate




The discovery that the FOXP2 gene is implicated in speech and language provided the first molecular window on this trait. The FOXP2 gene is also involved in song learning in songbirds and they hence provide a model allowing experiments to address the molecular functions of this gene in vocal perception and vocal learning. Using FoxP knockdown technology this project assesses the role of this gene in the perception, discrimination andprocessing of songs in the zebra finch.


[PhD student Fabian Heim, funding: NWO Gravity programme: ‘Language in Interaction’. Collaborators: Simon Fisher (MPI – Nijmegen), Constance Scharff (Berlin), Katharina Riebel (UL)]