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Neuron 18 December, 2013 Volume 80, Issue 6 Volume 80, Issue 6 On the cover: The ability of an adult male zebra finch to reduce song variability in the presence of a female is critical for successful courtship. Murugan et al. (pages 1464–1476) demonstrated that lentiviral shRNA-mediated knockdown of FoxP2 in the striatum of adult male zebra finches prevents these context-dependent changes in song variability while also abolishing dopaminergic modulation of corticostriatal activity that regulates this behavioral flexibility. These findings raise the possibility that FOXP2 mutations in humans could interfere with speech learning by disrupting dopaminergic signaling necessary to modulate and ultimately constrain vocal variability.
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