Avian prenatal auditory stimulation: progress and perspectives

Moises Rivera, Matthew I.M. Louder, Sonia Kleindorfer, Wan chun Liu, Mark E. Hauber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Prenatal auditory stimulation is known to critically affect the development of acoustic preference and species recognition throughout ontogeny in birds. We focus our review on experimental studies that have used birds as model systems to explore the effects of prenatal auditory stimulation on the developing organism. To begin, we introduce concepts and terms of embryonic stages and learning and review the development of auditory perception and responsivity to acoustic stimulation in avian embryos. We then analyze studies that provide specific details of the effects of prenatal acoustic stimulation on the behavior, social preferences, and vocal production of both pre- and postnatal birds and discuss nuanced effects of the social and perceptual environment to which embryos may be exposed. We conclude that acoustic stimulation of avian embryos is a viable and critical model for future studies on the role of early experiences on the development of neural substrates and the resulting social affiliation patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Bioacoustics
  • Embryonic learning
  • Prenatal stimulation
  • Species recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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