Indiana University Bloomington

Neuroscience Program Title Image
Neuroscience Program Title Image
Roderick A. Suthers

Roderick A. Suthers

B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University, 1960
M.A., Harvard University, 1962
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1965
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

Email address: suthers(at)

Research Interests

Dr. Suthers studies neural and physiological bases of acoustic behavior, particularly the neuroethology of vocal communication in birds and of echolocation in bats. Using songbirds, he is investigating the motor control and lateralization of song production, and the development of appropriate motor patterns during song acquisition and vocal learning. These studies utilize a technique that permits simultaneous monitoring of sound generation by each side of the intact syrinx and the motor action of the syrinx itself.

Representative Publications

Hartley, R.S. & Suthers, R.A. (1989). Airflow and pressure during canary song: direct evidence for minibreaths. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 165, 15-26.

Suthers, R.A. (1988). The production of echolocation signals by bats and birds. In P. Nachtigal & P. Moore (eds.) Animal Sonar: Processes and Performance. Plenum Press, pp. 23-45.

Suthers, R.A. (1990) Contributions to birdsong from the left and right sides of the intact syrinx. Nature, 347, 473-477.

Suthers, R.A. (1994). Variable asymmetry and resonances in the avian vocal tract: A structural basis for individually distinct vocalizations. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 175, 457-466.

Goller, F. & Suthers, R. A. (1995). Implications for lateralization of bird song from unilateral gating of bilateral motor patterns. Nature, 373, 63-66.