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Franz Goller


Professor of Biology

Brain and Behavior








1st Diploma 1982, University of Innsbruck; M.S. 1986, University of Innsbruck; Ph.D. 1991, University of Notre Dame; Postdoctoral Research Associate 1991-1994, Indiana University


Behavioral physiology of sound production and song learning in songbirds

Dr. Goller studies the behavioral physiology of sound production and song learning in birds. Current projects focus on 1) physical mechanisms of sound production; 2) the motor coordination between all motor systems involved in singing; 3) coordination between vocal and visual displays; 4) motor aspects of vocal development; 5) acoustic models and song syntax; 6) energetics of song production. The integrative aspects of these studies at the interface of neurobiology and behavior provide a unique opportunity to bridge neural control of a complex learned behavior to its evolutionary and ecological relevance in the natural environment.

Selected Publications:

Mendez, J.M., Dall'Asén, A.G., Cooper, B.G., and Goller, F. (2010) Acquisition of an acoustic template leads to refinement of song motor gestures. J Neurophysiol, 104:984-993.

Riede, T., Fisher, J.H., and Goller, F. (2010). Sexual dimorphism of the zebra finch syrinx indicates adaptation for high fundamental frequencies in males. PLoS ONE, 5(6):e11368.

Uchida, A.M., Meyers, R.A., Cooper, B.G., and Goller, F. (2010) Fibre architecture and song activation rates of syringeal muscles are not lateralized in the European starling. J. Exp. Biol., 213:1069-1078.

Sitt, J.D., Arneodo, E.M., Goller, F., and Mindlin, G.B. (2010) Physiologically driven avian vocal synthesizer. Phys. Rev. E 81, 031927.

Riede, T. and Goller, F. (2010) Functional morphology of the sound generating labia in the syrinx of two songbird species. J. Anat, 216:23-36.

Alonso, L.M., Alliende, J.A., Goller, F., and Mindlin, G.B. (2009) Low-dimensional dynamical model for the diversity of pressure patterns used in canary song. Physical Review E, 79:041929.

Elemans, C.P.H., Mead, A.F., Rome, L.C., and Goller, F. (2008) Superfast vocal muscles control song production in songbirds. PLoS ONE, 3(7):e2581.

Jensen, K.K., Cooper, B.G., Larsen, O.N., and Goller, F. (2007) Songbirds use pulse tone register in two voices to generate low frequency sound. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B, 274:2703-2710.

Cooper, B.G., and Goller, F. (2006) Physiological insights into the social context dependent changes in the rhythm of the song motor program. J. Neurophysiol, 95:3798-3809.

Cooper, B.G., and Goller, F. (2004) Multimodal signals: enhancement and constraint of song motor patterns by visual display. Science, 303:544-546.

Rose, G.J., Goller, F., Gritton, H.J., Plamondon, S.L., Baugh, A.T., and Cooper, B.G. (2004) Species-typical; songs in white-crowned sparrows tutored with only phrase pairs. Nature, 432:753-758.

Cooper, B.G., and Goller, F. (2004) Partial muting leads to age-dependent modification of motor patterns underlying crystallized zebra finch song. J. Neurobiol., 61:317-332.

Franz, M., and Goller, F. (2003) Respiratory patterns and oxygen consumption in singing zebra finches. J. Exp. Biol., 206:967-978.

Goller, F., and Larsen, O.N. (2002) New perspectives on mechanisms of sound generation in songbirds. J. Comp. Physiol. A., 188:841-850.

Suthers, R.A., Goller, F., and Wild, J.M. (2002) Somatosensory feedback modulates the respiratory motor program of crystallized birdsong. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99:5680-5685.

Last Updated: 5/24/18