4 files

Raw birdsong data for "Vocal changes in a zebra finch model of Parkinson’s Disease characterized by alpha-synuclein overexpression in the song-dedicated anterior forebrain pathway"

posted on 09.03.2022, 20:38 by Cesar A. Medina, Eddie Vargas, Stephanie Munger, Julie Elizabeth MillerJulie Elizabeth Miller
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting motor behavior. In addition to the typical peripheral limb motor symptoms, vocal motor issues such as deteriorated vocal quality are present in Parkinson's patients. Unfortunately, very little is known about the biological mechanisms underlying these vocal changes. Here, we developed a Parkinsonian model using the zebra finch songbird to study the underlying neural mechanisms of these changes. Finch song and supportive brain areas are similar to human speech and brain pathways. To do this, we recorded song for 2 hours from zebra finches injected with an adeno-associated virus expressing either the causally-related human Parkinsonian gene SNCA or control GFP protein in finch brain. Song was then segmented using a specially designed matlab program called Vocal Inventory Clustering Engine (VoICE) into unique syllables. Acoustic features such as duration, pitch, mean frequency, amplitude, Wiener Entropy, frequency modulation, and amplitude modulation were measured from 75 individual copies of these syllables. The mean, mean variance, and coefficient of variation of these syllables were also measured. Motif-level data was also collected to monitor how much each bird sang (i.e., how many copies of song were uttered over a 2 hour period). We found that overexpression of SNCA led to shorter and poorer quality syllables that are similar to Parkinsonian vocal changes.

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Parkinson's and Movement Disorder Foundation (J.E. Miller)

University of Arizona BIO5 Institute Accelerate for Success (J.E. Miller)

University of Arizona Core Facilities Pilot Program (J.E. Miller)

University of Arizona Departments of Neuroscience and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (J.E. Miller)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP, NSF #DGE-1746060 - C.A. Medina)

University of Arizona's Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (NIH Grant # R25 GM 062584 - C.A. Medina)

University of Arizona Marshall Foundation Dissertation Scholarship (C.A. Medina)

University of Arizona Undergraduate Biology Research Program (E. Vargas)

University of Arizona Border Latino and American Indian Summer Exposure to Research Program (E. Vargas)

University of Arizona Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program (E. Vargas)

University of Arizona Honors College Thesis Research Award (E. Vargas)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R21NS123512 to J.E. Miller. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.