Institut für Neurobiologie

Neurobiology of Vocal Communication

Our lab aims to understand the flexible control of complex behavior. We combine traditional neuroethological approaches with behavioral training to study the neural basis of flexible song sequencing in Bengalese finches. We use a wide range of modern systems neuroscience techniques to study neural circuits involved in motor learning and flexible motor control in the avian brain.


  • Jun 2024: EuroTrip! Avani, Jacqui, Lioba, Nils and Lena are all going to the European Birdsong Meeting in Bordeaux
  • May 2024: Lena's collaboration with the Nieder lab on vocally counting crows is now online at Science
  • May 2024: Our team, Japanische MOVEchen (the German word for Bengalese finches) biked 1446km for Place 37 in the Uni Tübingen RadChellenge
  • Apr 2024: Lena was accepted into the Emmy Noether-Program of the DFG! We're looking forward to new team members and cool science to come!
  • Mar 2024: Avani's paper has been officially accepted in eLife! Final "version of record" is now online.
  • Jan 2024: Avani's paper is now online as an eLife Reviewed Preprint! We're working on the revisions and the final version should be online soon.
  • Sep 2023: Lena is giving a talk in the "Growing up in Science" series by award-winning student initiative Mindful Science on Sep 28 - register here
  • Sep 2023: Avani is giving a talk and Jacqui is presenting her first poster from the lab at Tübingen Systems Neuroscience Symposium
  • Sep 2023: Simon finished his Bachelor thesis - Congratulations! Our Erasmus+ Intern Gülnur also finished her summer project.
  • July 2023: Avani finished our lab's first preprint, up now on biorxiv!
  • June 2023: Lioba finished her masters thesis - Congratulations! No need to be sad, as she will come back as a PhD student (and publish her cool results) after some well-deserved hiking
  • May 2023: Lena gave a lecture at Kinderuni "Warum singen Vögel?". Read about it in the local newspaper here!
  • Apr 2023: Lena is talking about her life for Girl's day in the Schülerlabor Neurowissenschaften
  • Mar 2023: We will be at NWG Göttingen! Lena is speaking in the symposium "A comparative perspective on social communication", and Avani is presenting a poster entitled "Cortical nucleus mMAN contributes to variable syllable sequencing in adult Bengalese finches"
  • Mar 2023: Lena is presenting at the McGill University Neurobiology and Behavior seminar on March 17
  • Mar 2023: Lena is presenting at a Cosyne workshop on "Neural mechanisms of sequence learning and execution" in Montreal on March 14 - it's literally the dream! Also check out Noémi Éltetö & Peter Dayan's poster with us on March 11: Variable syllable context depth in Bengalese finch songs: A Bayesian sequence model
  • Mar 2023: Avani is giving a poster at the CIN-NIPS Asia Pacific Systems Neuroscience Symposium on March 10
  • Oct 2022: Lena is giving a keynote at NeNa conference. Glad to be back!
  • Aug 2022: Lena is speaking at the GRC Acoustic Communication and Avian Cognitive Neuroscience this month
  • Jul 2022: Both Avani and Jacqueline are presenting posters at the International Congress Neuroethology in Lisbon
  • Apr 2022: Our first PhD student Avani was awarded a PhD fellowship by Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. Congratulations, Avani!
  • Mar 2022: Lena is presenting (online) at CIN-NIPS Asia Pacific Systems Neuroscience Symposium on March 7 - email CIN support for registration
  • Mar 2022: Jacqueline joins as a new Phd student
  • Feb 2022: Lena is presenting at this month's Bridging Brains and Bioacoustics seminar: Feb 16, 4pm Register here for zoom link!
  • Feb 2022: We received a fellowship from the Daimler and Benz Foundation
  • Jan 2022: Lena will present at Cosyne 2022! I cannot wait for my first in-person conference in a long time :-D
  • Dec 2022: Lena received the intramural Athene Grant
  • Oct 2021: Avani was accepted to the IMPRS PhD program - Congratulations!
  • Sep 2021: Csilla finished her Master thesis - Congratulations!
  • Jun 2021: Our first Bengalese finch paper is out now in eLife:
  • Oct 2020: Avani has joined the lab as our first PhD student
  • Jun 2020: Veit Lab is open (with face mask)! I’m looking for motivated BSc, MSc and PhD students to start this fall or later.