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Publications Constance Scharff, Ph.D.

Varkevisser, J., Ralph, S., Halfwerk, W., Scharff, C., Riebel, K. (2023)
Robo-bird teaches young zebra finches to sing

Varkevisser, J., Mendoza, E., Maëva, R., Halfwerk, M., Scharff, C., Riebel, K. (2022)
Multimodality during live tutoring is relevant for vocal learning in zebra finches.

Varkevisser, J., Simon, R., Mendoza, E., How, M., van Hijlkema, I., Jin, R., Liang, Q., Scharff, C., Halfwerk, W., Riebel, K. (2021) Adding colour‑realistic video images to audio playbacks increases stimulus engagement but does not enhance vocal learning in zebra finchesAnimal Cognition, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-021-01547-8

Scharff, C. (2021) Trällern und Tirilieren. Biologische Parallelen zwischen menschlicher Sprache und Vogelgesang. Buchkapitel in: Avifauna Aesthetica, S. 179-186, (Hg.: Tanja van Hoorn), Wallstein Verlag Göttingen 2021, ISBN 978-3-8353-3858-6

Kosubek-Langer, J. and Scharff, C. (2020) Dynamic FoxP2 levels in male zebra finches are linked to morphology of adult-born Area X medium spiny neurons. Scientific Reports (2020) 10:4787 doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61740-6

Ralph, S.,Varkevisser, J.,Mendoza, E., Hochradel, K., Scharff, C., Riebel, K., Halfwerk, W. (2019) Development and application of a robotic zebra finch (RoboFinch) to study multimodal cues in vocal communication, DOI 10.7287/peerj.preprints.28004v3

Ten Cate, C. and Scharff, C. (2019) Key Issues and Future Directions: The Comparative Approach to Language. In: Human language: from genes and brains to behavior, Author: Peter Hagoort, Publisher: The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts,ISBN: 9780262042635, Chapter 49, 713-718     

Scharff, C., Knörnschild, M. and Jarvis, ED (2019) Vocal Learning and Spoken Language: Insights from Animal Models with an Emphasis on Genetic Contributions.  In: Human language: from genes and brains to behavior, Author: Peter Hagoort, Publisher: The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts,ISBN: 9780262042635, Chapter 46, 657-685     

Norton, P., Barschke, P., Scharff, C., Mendoza, E. (2019) Differential Song Deficits after Lentivirus-Mediated Knockdown of FoxP1, FoxP2, or FoxP4 in Area X of Juvenile Zebra Finches. Journal of Neuroscience, 4 December 2019, 39 (49) 9782-9796; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1250-19.2019

>>> play VIDEO (small version)        >>> play VIDEO (large version via YouTube)

Halfwerk, W., Varkevisser, J., Simon, R., Mendoza, E., Scharff, C. and Riebel, K. (2019) Toward Testing for Multimodal Perception of Mating Signals. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, April 2019, Vol.7, Article 124. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00124

Burchardt, LS., Norton, P., Behr, O., Scharff, C. and Knörnschild, M. (2019) General isochronous rhythm in echolocation calls and social vocalizations of the bat Saccopterix bilineata. Royal Society Open Science 6: 181076. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.181076

Scharff, C. (2018) Trällern und Tirilieren. Biologische Parallelen zwischen menschlicher Sprache und Vogelgesang. Buchkapitel in: Abecedarium der Sprache, S. 205-213, (Hg.: C. Fröhlich, M. Grötschel, W. Klein), Kulturbuchverlag Kadmos Berlin, ISBN 978-3865994165

Scharff, C. (2018) Bow-wow-wow, ki-yi-i-i-yee-ip, ip-eow-ow-ow! Buchkapitel in: Tricksters Plan: Kunst am Bau an der Freien Universität Berlin, S. 12-13, (Hg.: Präsidium der Freien Universität Berlin, Technische Abteilung), Spreedruck Berlin, ISBN 978-3961101757

Schatton, A., Agoro, J., Mardink, J., Leboulle, G. and Scharff, C. (2018) Identification of the neurotransmitter profile of AmFoxP expressing neurons in the honeybee brain using double‑label in situ hybridization. BMC Neuroscience 2018 19:69, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12868-018-0469-1

Schatton, A., Mendoza, E., Grube, K., Scharff, C. (2018) FoxP in bees: A comparative study on the developmental and adult expression pattern in three bee species considering isoforms and circuitry. The J Comp Neurol. 2018; 526: 1589-1610 doi: 10.1002/cne.24430

Schatton, A., Scharff, C. (2017) FoxP expression identifies a Kenyon cell subtype in the honeybee mushroom bodies linking them to fruit fly αβc neurons. Eur J Neurosci. 2017 Nov;46(9): 2534-2541. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13713

Kosubek-Langer, J., Schulze, L., Scharff, C. (2017) Maturation, Behavioral Activation, and Connectivity of Adult-Born Medium Spiny Neurons in a Striatal Song Nucleus. Front Neurosci. 2017 Jun 7;11:323. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2017.00323. eCollection 2017

Mead, AF., Osinalde, N., Ørtenblad, N., Nielsen, J., Brewer, J., Vellema, M., Adam, I., Scharff, C., Song, Y., Frandsen, U., Blagoev, B., Kratchmarova, I., Elemans, C. (2017) Fundamental constraints in synchronous muscle limit superfast motor control in vertebrates. eLife 2017;6:e29425 doi: 10.7554/eLife.29425

Adam, I., Mendoza, E., Kobalz, U., Wohlgemuth, S. and Scharff, C. (2017) CNTNAP2 is a direct FoxP2 target in vitro and in vivo in zebra finches: complex regulation by age and activity. Genes, Brain and Behavior. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/gbb.12390

Mendoza, E., Scharff, C. (2017) Protein-Protein Interaction Among the FoxP Family Members and their Regulation of Two Target Genes, VLDLR and CNTNAP2 in the Zebra Finch Song System. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2017.00112

Ravignani, A., Fitch, WT., Hanke, FD., Heinrich, T., Hurgitsch, B., Kotz, SA., Scharff, C., Stoeger, AS., de Boer, B. (2016) What Pinnipeds Have to Say about Human Speech, Music, and the Evolution of Rhythm. Front Neurosci. 2016 Jun 20;10:274. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00274. eCollection 2016. PMID: 27378843, free PMC Article

Schatton, A., Scharff, C. (2016) Next stop: Language. The ‘FOXP2’ gene’s journey through time. MÈTODE Science Studies Journal (2016). University of Valencia; DOI: 10.7203/metode.7.7248

Janney, E., Taylor, H., Scharff, C., Rothenberg, D., Parra, LC., Tchernichovski, O. (2016) Temporal regularity increases with repertoire complexity in the Australian pied butcherbird's song. Royal Society open science; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160357

Norton, P., Scharff, C. (2016) “Bird Song Metronomics”: Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm. Front. Neurosci., 06 July 2016 | doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2016.00309

Vicario, A., Mendoza, E., Abellan, A., Scharff, C., Medina, L. (2016) Genoarchitecture of the extended amygdala in zebra finch, and expression of FoxP2 in cell corridors of different genetic profile. Brain Struct Funct, 2016 May 9 [Epub ahead of print], DOI 10.1007/s00429-016-1229-6

Adam, I., Mendoza, E., Kobalz, U., Wohlgemuth, S., Scharff, C. (2016) FoxP2 directly regulates the reelin receptor VLDLR developmentally and by singing. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (2016), (in press, accepted manuscript), doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2016.04.002

Ullrich, R., Norton, P., Scharff, C. (2016) Waltzing Taeniopygia: integration of courtship song and dance in the Australian zebra finch. (pdf-download, 1784 KBAnimal Behaviour 112 (2016) pp. 285-300, DOI information: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.11.012

Bartsch, C., Hultsch, H., Scharff, C. & Kipper, S. (2015) What is the whistle all about? A study on whistle songs, related male characteristics, and female song preferences in common nightingales. (pdf-download, 737 KB) Journal of Ornithology, DOI 10.1007/s10336-015-1245-y

Honarmand, M., Thompson, CK., Schatton, A., Kipper, S., Scharff, C. (2015) Early developmental stress negatively affects neuronal recruitment to avian song system nucleus HVC. Developmental Neurobiology, Vol 76 Issue 1: 107-118, DOI: 10.1002/dneu.22302

Wiggins, GA., Tyack, P., Scharff, C., Rohrmeier, M. (2015) The evolutionary roots of creativity: mechanisms and motivations. (pdf-download, 337 KB) The Royal Society Publishing DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0099

Rohrmeier, M., Zuidema, W., Wiggins, GA., Scharff, C. (2015) Principles of structure building in music, language and animal song. (pdf-download, 676 KB) The Royal Society Publishing DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0097

Tokarev, K., Boender, AJ., Claßen, GAE., Scharff, C. (2015) Young, active and well-connected: adult-born neurons in the zebra finch are activated during singing. Brain Structure and Function, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015, doi:10.1007/s00429-015-1006-y

Mendoza, E., Tokarev, K., Düring, DN., Camarillo Retamosa, E., Weiss, M., Nshdejan, A., Scharff, C. (2015) Differential Co-expression of FoxP1, FoxP2 and FoxP4 in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song system. J Comp Neurol. doi: 10.1002/cne.23731

Roeske TC, Scharff C, Olson CR, Nshdejan A, Mello CV (2014) Long-Distance Retinoid Signaling in the Zebra Finch Brain. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111722.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111722

Kubikova L, Bosikova E, Cvikova M, Lukacova K, Scharff C & Jarvis ED (2014) Basal ganglia function, stuttering, sequencing, and repair in adult songbirds. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS | 4 : 6590 | DOI: 10.1038/srep06590

Kiefer S, Scharff C, Hultsch H, Kipper S (2014) Learn it now, sing it later? Field and laboratory studies on song repertoire acquisition and song use in nightingales. Naturwissenschaften September 2014,  doi:10.1007/s00114-014-1236-5

Mendoza E, Colomb J, Rybak J, Pflüger HJ, Zars T, Scharff C, Brembs B (2014) Drosophila FoxP Mutants Are Deficient in Operant Self-Learning. PLoS ONE 9(6): e100648. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100648

Wohlgemuth S, Adam I, Scharff C (2014) FoxP2 in songbirds. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 2014, 28:86-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.06.009  >pdf-download

Philipp Olias, Iris Adam, Anne Meyer, Constance Scharff, Achim D. Gruber (2014) Reference Genes for Quantitative Gene Expression Studies in Multiple Avian Species. PLoS One. 9(6):e99678. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099678.

Weiss M, Hultsch H, Adam I, Scharff C, Kipper S (2014) The use of network analysis to study complex animal communication systems: A study on nightingale song. Proceedings of the  Royal Society B. 20140460; doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0460

Adam I, Scharff C, Honarmand M (2014) Who is Who? Non-invasive Methods to Individually Sex and Mark Altricial Chicks. J. Vis. Exp. (87), e51429, doi:10.3791/51429         >>> VIDEO

Murugan M, Harward S, Scharff C, Mooney R (2013) Diminished FoxP2 Levels Affect Dopaminergic Modulation of Corticostriatal Signaling Important to Song Variability. Neuron2013 Dec 18;80(6):1464-76. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.09.021. Epub 2013 Nov 21

Thompson CK, Schwabe F, Schoof A, Mendoza E, Gampe J, Rochefort C, Scharff C (2013) Young and intense: FoxP2 immunoreactivity in Area X varies with age, song stereotypy, and singing in male zebra finches. Front Neural Circuits. 2013; 7:24. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00024. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Friederici AD, Petrides M, Scharff C (2013) Neurobiology of human language and its evolution: Primate and Nonprimate Perspectives. Edited by: Ralph L Holloway. Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience 2013, Vol. 5, Art. 1, doi: 10.3389/fnevo.2013.00001

Garcia-Calero E, Scharff C (2013) Calbindin expression in developing striatum of zebra finches and its relation to the formation of Area X. J Comp Neurol. 2013 Feb 1;521(2):326-41. doi: 10.1002/cne.23174

Düring DN, Ziegler A, Thompson CK, Ziegler A, Faber C, Müller J, Scharff C, Elemans CPH (2013) The songbird syrinx morphome: a three-dimensional, high-resolution, interactive morphological map of the zebra finch vocal organ. BMC Biology 2013, 11:1, doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-1

Scharff C, Adam I (2013) Neurogenetics of birdsong. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 2012, 23:1-8 dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2012.10.001

Thompson CK, Scharff C (2013) A Bird’s-Eye View of FoxP2. In: Birdsong, Speech, and Language - Exploring the evolution of mind and brain (Bolhuis JJ, Everaert M, ed), pp455-470. The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England, 2013

Langus A, Petri J, Nespor M, Scharff C (2013) FoxP2 and deep homology in the evolution of birdsong and human language. (pdf download) In: The Evolutionary Emergence of Language: Evidence and Inference (Botha R, Everaert M, ed.), p.223-243, Oxford University Press (OUP), Oxford, 2013

Kiefer S, Scharff C, Kipper, S (2011) Does age matter in song bird vocal interactions? Results from interactive playback experiments. Frontiers in Zoology 8:29. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-8-29

Petri J and Scharff C (2011) Evo-devo, deep homology and FoxP2: implications for the evolution of speech and language Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2011) 00, 1-17 doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0001

Tokarev K, Tiunova A, Scharff C, Anokhin K (2011) Food for Song: Expression of C-Fos and ZENK in the Zebra Finch Song Nuclei during Food Aversion Learning. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21157. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021157

Fernald RD, Scharff C (2010) Neurobiology of behavior. Curr Opin Neurobiol 2010 Dec 20(6): 746-7. Epub 2010 Nov 9. PMID: 21071204 [PubMed - in process] (pdf-download 82 KB)

Bolhuis JJ, Okanoya K, Scharff C (2010) Twitter evolution: converging mechanisms in birdsong and human speech. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010 Nov 11(11):747-759 (pdf-download 468 KB)

Fee MS and Scharff C (2010) The Songbird as a Model for the Generation and Learning of Complex Sequential Behaviors. ILAR Journal, Vol. 51, No. 4, 362-377 (pdf-download 3 MB)

Schulz SB, Haesler S, Scharff C, Rochefort C (2010) Knockdown of FoxP2 alters spine density in Area X of the zebra finch. Genes, Brain & Behavior, Vol. 9, Issue 7, 732-740

Kiefer S, Sommer C, Scharff C and Kipper S (2010) Singing the Popular Songs? Nightingales Share More Song Types with Their Breeding Population in Their Second Season than in Their First. Ethology 116: 619-626 (pdf-download  224 KB)

Warren WC, Clayton DF, Ellegren H, Arnold AP, Hillier LW, Künstner A, Searle S, White S, Vilella AJ, Fairley S, Heger A, Kong L, Ponting CP, Jarvis ED, Mello CV, Minx P, Lovell P, Velho TAF, Ferris M, Balakrishnan CN, Sinha S, Blatti C, London SE, Li Y, Lin YC, George J, Sweedler J, Southey B, Gunaratne P, Watson M, Nam K, Backström N, Smeds L, Nabholz B, Itoh Y, Whitney O, Pfenning AR, Howard J, Völker M, Skinner BM, Griffin DK, Ye L, McLaren WM, Flicek P, Quesada V, Velasco G, Lopez-Otin C, Puente XS, Olender T, Lancet D, Smit AFA, Hubley R, Konkel MK, Walker JA, Batzer MA, Gu W, Pollock DD, Chen L, Cheng Z, Eichler EE, Stapley J, Slate J, Ekblom R, Birkhead T, Burke T, Burt D, Scharff C, Adam I, Richard H, Sultan M, Soldatov A, Lehrach H, Edwards SV, Yang SP, Li XC, Graves T, Fulton L, Nelson J, Chinwalla A, Hou S, Mardis ER & Wilson RK. (2010) The genome of a songbird.
Nature 464, 757-762 (1 April 2010) |doi:10.1038/nature08819

Scharff C (2010) Schubert, Schumann, Singdrossel und Sprosser: Ein Instinkt für Lieder. In: 'Oktobermusikfest 2009: Himmelsklänge - Vogelgesänge; Vogelstimmen in Musik und Naturwissenschaft'. Herausg.: Johanna Pöllath i. A. der Max-Planck-Förderstiftung. 33-37

Krauß S, So J, Hambrock M, Köhler A, Kunath M, Scharff C, Wessling M, Grzeschik KH, Schneider R, Schweiger S (2009) Point Mutations in GLI3 Lead to Misregulation of its Subcellular Localization. PLOS ONE published 15 Oct 2009 | doi:10.1371/journal.pone.000747

Fisher SE and Scharff C (2009) FOXP2 as a molecular window into speech and language. (pdf-download 1 MB) Trends Genet. 2009 Apr;25(4):166-77. Epub 2009 Mar 21. Review.

Kiefer S, Sommer C, Scharff C, Kipper S and Mundry R (2009) Tuning towards tomorrow? Common nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos change and increase their song repertoires from the first to the second breeding season. J. Avian Biol. 40: 231-236 (pdf-download 119 KB)

Haesler S, Rochefort C, Georgi B, Licznerski P, Osten P, Scharff C (2007) Incomplete and Inaccurate Vocal Imitation after Knockdown of FoxP2 in Songbird Basal Ganglia Nucleus Area X. (pdf-download 2 MB) PLoS Biology 5 (12): e321

Haesler S. and Scharff, C. (2007) Genes for tuning up the vocal brain: FoxP2 in human speech and birdsong. In: Neuroscience of Birdsong (Peter Marler and Phil Zeigler, eds.), p.398-406, Cambridge University Press, 2008

Scotto-Lomassese S, Rochefort C, Nshdejan A, Scharff C (2007) HVC interneurons are not renewed in adult male zebra finches. European Journal of Neuroscience 25: 1663-1668. (pdf-download 1 MB)

Rochefort C, He X, Scotto-Lomassese S, Scharff C (2007) Recruitment of FoxP2-expressing neurons to Area X varies during song development. Developmental Neurobiol 67(6): 809-81 7. (pdf-download 544 kB)

White SA, Fisher SE, Geschwind DH, Scharff C, Holy TE (2006) Singing mice, songbirds, and more: models for FOXP2 function and dysfunction in human speech and language. J. Neurosci. 26 (41): 10376-9.

Wada K, Howard JT, McConnell P, Whitney O, Lints T, Rivas MR, Horita H, Patterson M, White SA, Scharff C, Haesler S, Zhao S, Sakaguchi H, Hagiwara M, Shiraki T, Hirozane-Kishikawa T, Skene P, Hayashizaki Y, Carninci P, Jarvis ED (2006) A molecular neuroethological approach for identifying and characterizing a cascade of behaviorally regulated genes. PNAS, 103 (41): 15212-15217. (pdf-download 2,3 MB)

Scharff C, Nitsch R (2006) Entwicklungsstörungen im Nervensystem . Neuroforum 4: 273-276. (pdf-download 211 kB)

Scharff C, Haesler S (2005) An evolutionary perspective on FoxP2: strictly for the birds? Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 15(6): 694-703. Epub 2005 Nov 2. (pdf-download 405 kB)

Gurok U, Steinhoff C, Lipkowitz B, Ropers HH, Scharff C, Nuber UA (2004) Gene expression changes in the course of neural progenitor cell differentiation. J Neurosci. 24(26): 5982-6002. (pdf-download 1,4 MB)

Scharff C and White SA (2004) Genetic components of vocal learning. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1016: 325-47. (pdf-download 6,3 MB)

Haesler S, Wada K, Nshdejan A, Morrise EE, Lints T, Jarvis ED, Scharff C (2004) FoxP2 expression in avian vocal learners and non-learners. J Neurosci. 31;24(13): 3164-3175. (pdf-download 1 MB)

Kalscheuer VM, Freude K, Musante L, Jensen LR, Yntema HG, Gécz J, Sefiani A, Hoffmann K, Moser B, Haas S, Gurok U, Haesler S, Aranda B, Nshedjan A, Tzschach A, Hartmann N, Roloff TC, Shoichet S, Hagens O, Tao J, van Bokhoven H, Turner G, Chelly J, Moraine C, Fryns JP, Nuber U, Hoeltzenbein M, Scharff C, Scherthan H, Lenzner S, Hamel BCJ, Schweiger S & Ropers HH (2003) Mutations in the polyglutamine-binding protein 1 gene cause X-linked mental retardation. Nat Genet  35(4): 313-315. (pdf-download 460 kB)

Doetsch F and Scharff C (2001) Challenges for brain repair: insights from adult neurogenesis in birds and mammals. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 58(5): 306-22. (pdf-download 357 kB)

Scharff C (2000) Chasing fate and function of new neurons in adult brains. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 10: 774-783. (pdf-download 359 kB)

Denisenko-Nehrbass N, Jarvis E, Scharff C, Nottebohm F and Mello CV (2000) Site-specific retinoic acid production in the brain of adult songbirds. Neuron 27: 359-370. (pdf-download 494 kB)

Scharff C, Kirn J, Macklis J, Nottebohm F (2000) Targeted neuronal death affects neuronal replacement and vocal behavior in adult songbirds. Neuron 25: 481-492. (pdf-download 430 kB)

Jarvis E, Scharff C, Ramos J, Grossman M, and Nottebohm F (1998) For whom the bird sings: Context-dependent gene expression. Neuron 21: 775-788. (pdf-download 10 MB)

Scharff C, Nottebohm F and Cynx C (1998) Conspecific and heterospecific song discrimination in male zebra finches with lesions in the anterior forebrain pathway. J. Neurobiol. 36: 81-90. (pdf-download 382 kB)

Holzenberger M, Jarvis E, Chong C, Grossman M, Nottebohm F and Scharff C (1997) Selective expression of insulin-like growth factor II in the songbird brain. J. Neurosci. 17: 6974-6984. (pdf-download 1,9 MB)

Scharff C and Nottebohm F (1991) A comparative study of the behavioral deficits following lesions of various parts of the zebra finch song system: Implications for vocal learning. J. Neurosci. 11: 2896-2913. (pdf-download 2,6 MB)

Bleisch W, Scharff C and Nottebohm  F (1989) Neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) is elevated in adult avian slow muscles fibers with multiple terminals. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86: 6403-6407. (pdf-download 2,1 MB)

Diakow C, Scharff C and Aronow  L (1988) Egg-oviduct interaction initiates reproductive behavior. Hormones and Behavior  22: 131-138. (pdf-download 528 kB)