Auditory processing, plasticity, and learning in the barn owl

José L. Peña, William M. Debello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The human brain has accumulated many useful building blocks over its evolutionary history, and the best knowledge of these has often derived from experiments performed in animal species that display finely honed abilities. In this article we review a model system at the forefront of investigation into the neural bases of information processing, plasticity, and learning: the barn owl auditory localization pathway. In addition to the broadly applicable principles gleaned from three decades of work in this system, there are good reasons to believe that continued exploration of the owl brain will be invaluable for further advances in understanding of how neu-ronal networks give rise to behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-352
Number of pages15
JournalILAR journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Adaptive plasticity
  • Auditory space map
  • Barn owl (Tyto alba)
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Neu-roethology
  • Orienting behavior
  • Sound localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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