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Lipkind, Dina

Lipkind, Dina

Curriculum Vitae

Assistant Professor

Phone: 718-262-2709
Office Location: AC-4E03D

Office Hours  
Monday  1:00pm - 2:40pm 
Friday  3:00pm - 3:50pm 


Degree Institution Field Dates
PhD  Tel Aviv University  Zoology  2007 
MS  Tel Aviv University  Zoology  2000 
BS  Tel Aviv University  Life Sciences  1995 
Many of the tasks in our daily lives, from spoken language to using utensils, involve complex behaviors learned during infancy. I am interested in the developmental learning of complex skills in animals and humans. As an animal model system I use the zebra finch, a songbird species capable of vocal imitation. I study how juvenile males learn the courtship song of their father, using experimental and computational approaches to manipulate and analyze the birds’ vocal development. The insights and computational tools obtained from studying songbirds are applied to the analysis of vocal development data of human infants.

Areas of Expertise

Animal behavior, vocal learning, neuroethology

Articles in Field Of Expertise

Lipkind D., Geambasu, A. & Levelt C.C.. "The development of structured vocalizations in songbirds and humans: a comparative analysis.." Top Cogn Sci.. 2020: .

Tchernichovski O. & Lipkind D.. "Animal Communication: Origins of sequential structure in birdsong. (Perspective)." Curr Biol.. 27(23) 2017: R1268-R1269.

Lipkind D., Zai A.T., Hanuschkin A., Marcus G.F., Tchernichovski O. & Hahnloser R.H.R.. "Songbirds work around computational complexity by learning song vocabulary independently of sequence.." Nat Commun. 8 2017: 1247.

Tchernichovski O. & Lipkind D.. "Encoding vocal culture: neuronal encoding of birdsong promotes learning and species specificity. (Perspective)." Science. 354(6317) 2016: 1234-1235.

Vallentin D., Kosche G., Lipkind D. & Long M.A.. "Inhibition protects acquired song segments during vocal learning in zebra finches.." Science. 351(6270) 2016: 267-271.

Lipkind D., Marcus G.F., Bemis D., Sasahara K., Jacoby N., Takahashi M., Suzuki K., Feher O., Ravbar P., Okanoya K. & Tchernichovski O.. "Stepwise Acquisition of vocal combinatorial capacity in songbirds and human infants.." Nature. 498(7452) 2013: 104-108.

Ravbar P., Lipkind D., Parra L.C. & Tchernichovski O.. "Vocal exploration is locally regulated during song learning.." J Neurosci. 32(10) 2012: 3422-3432.

Lipkind D. & Tchernichovski O.. "Quantification of developmental birdsong learning from the subsyllabic scale to cultural evolution.." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.. 108 Suppl 3 2011: 15572-15579.

Benjamini Y., Lipkind D., Horev G., Fonio E., Kafkafi N. & Golani I.. "Ten ways to improve the quality of descriptions of whole-animal movement.." Neurosci Biobehav Rev.. 34(8) 2010: 1351-1365.

Sakov A., Golani I., Lipkind D. & Benjamini Y.. "High-throughput data analysis in behavior genetics.." Ann Appl Stat. 4(2) 2010: 743-763.

Lipkind D., Sakov A., Kafkafi N., Elmer G.I., Benjamini Y. & Golani I.. "New replicable anxiety-related measures of wall versus center behavior of mice in the Open Field.." J Appl Physiol. 97 2004: 347-359.

Kafkafi N., Lipkind D., Benjamini Y., Mayo C.L., Elmer G.I. & Golani I.. "SEE locomotor behavior test discriminates C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mouse inbred strains across laboratories and protocol conditions.." Behav Neurosci. 117(3) 2003: 464-477.

Kafkafi N., Pagis M., Lipkind D., Mayo C.L., Benjamini Y., Golani I. & Elmer G.I.. "Darting behavior: a quantitative movement pattern designed for discrimination and replicability in mouse locomotor behavior.." Behav Brain Res. 142(1-2) 2003: 193-205.

Lipkind, D., Nottebohm, F., Rado, R. & Barnea, A.. "Social change affects the survival of new neurons in the forebrain of adult songbirds.." Behav Brain Res. 133(1) 2002: 31-43.

Chapters in Field Of Expertise

Golani I., Benjamini Y., Dvorkin A., Lipkind D & Kefkafi N.. "Locomotor and exploratory behavior.." The behavior of the laboratory rat: A handbook with tests.. 2005: 171-182.

Reviews in Field Of Expertise

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Presented Papers, Lectures, and Exhibitions and Performances

" Self-evaluation strategies in birdsong learning. " May 14 2023: European Birdsong Meeting, Alghero, Italy..

" How perception guides production in birdsong learning. " November 18 2022: Cognitive and Comparative Psychology (CCP) Colloquium, CUNY Graduate Center.

" The challenges of learning a complex skill, lessons from songbirds. " December 17 2021: University of Paris, France, Department of Neuroscience seminar..

" The challenges of learning a complex skill, lessons from songbirds. " December 16 2021: University of Nanterre, France, Laboratory of Ethology, Cognition and Development, seminar..

" The challenges of learning a complex skill, lessons from songbirds. " November 22 2021: Biology Colloquium, The City University of New York, CUNY.

" Finding the shortest path in behavioral space " May 2021: ABC (Animal Behavior and Conservation) Masters Program, Hunter Collegeend of the year event.

" Inferring the intrinsic reward of complex skill learning – a birdsong perspective. Poster " July 2020: FENS (Federation of European Neuroscience Societies) 2020, Virtual Forum.

" How is a complex vocal skill learned? Lessons from songbirds " March 2020: Honors Program Seminar, York College.

" Computations involved in birdsong template formation. Poster " February 2020: Meeting of the Swiss Society for Neuroscience (SSN). Bern, Switzerland.

" The challenges of learning complex behavioral sequences - lessons from songbirds " November 2019: Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, CUNY.

" Learning complex behavioral sequences by trial and error – lessons from birdsong. " November 2019: Biology Colloquium Series, Queens College CUNY.

" The challenges of learning complex behavioral sequences – lessons from songbirds. " October 2019: Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program colloquium, The University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

" How is a complex skill learned? Lessons from the songbirds. " September 2019: Cognitive and Comparative Psychology (CCP) Colloquium, CUNY Graduate Center.

" Vocal learning: from songbirds to humans. " August 2019: CUNY Neuroscience Collaborative (CNC) Colloquium, CUNY Graduate Center.

" Vocal learning - from songbirds to humans " February 2019: Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, York College, CUNY.

" Finding the shortest path in behavioral space " January 2019: On the Morphogenesis of Animal Behavior, Symposium in honor of Professor Ilan Golani, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

" Vocal development: from songbirds to humans " November 2018: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior colloquium class, The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY.

" A combination of strategies for learning a complex motor sequence " October 2018: Bird Song and Animal Communication Annual Meeting, Millbrook, NY.

" The development and evolution of vocal combinatorial ability " April 2017: “The comparative biology of language learning”, workshop, The Lorenz Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

" Sensorimotor vocal learning in songbirds and human infants " September 2016: International Symposium on New Perspectives in Integrative Neuroscience, Tubingen, Germany.

" Template-based song learning: how an internal sensory template guides motor development " November 2014: 3rd Annual Songbird Satellite Meeting, Washington, D.C..

" Experimental manipulation of syntax acquisition: trial and error learning? " November 2011: 1st Annual Songbird Satellite Meeting, Washington, D.C..

" What syntactic operations do zebra finches make during imitation? Evidence from experimental manipulation of song development. " July 2010: Bird Song Conference, Millbrook, NY.

" Tutorial on SEE (software supported Strategy for the Exploration of Exploration) " 2002: Measuring Behavior Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


NIH NINDS, Reinforcement Mechanisms for Learning Vocal Behaviors (Co-Investigator). 2018-2023: $524,720.

PSC CUNY, Self evaluation strategies in birdsong learning. 2023-2024: $11981.

NSF, CAREER: Self evaluation strategies for birdsong learning. 2024-2028: Pending.

Offices Held In Professional Societies

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Other Professional Activities and Public Service

Guest editor, Sepcial Issue, Frontiers in Psychology: Since March 2023.

Ad hoc reviewer, Languages: October 2021.

As hoc reviewer, Communications Biology: November 2021.

As hoc reviewer, Communications Biology: March 2021.

Ad hoc reviewer, Nature Communications: October 2020.

Volunteer, VESSC (volunteer emergency student success coaches) York College: April-May 2020.

Ad hoc reviewer, Journal of Experimental Psychology: 2020.

Ad hoc reviewer, Animal Behaviour: 2020.

Ad hoc reviewer, Scientific Reports: 2020.

Ad hoc reviewer, Israel Science Foundation: 2020.

Doctoral Thesis, co-supervisor, Tomas Tomka, doctoral student, Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, ETH ZUrich: Since January 2020.

Mentor, high school student project, Jaewon Lee, Bronx Highschool for the Sciences: Since June 2021.

Mentor, high school student project, Claire Jiang, The Bronx High School of Science: Since July 2020.

Invited participant, Workshop "Unifying Vocal Learning", Lorentz Center, Leiden University, The Netherlands: September 2019.

Mentor, high school student project, Huihui Jiang, Queens High School of the Sciences at York College: since July 2019.

Mentor, high school student project, Amareli Reyes, Queens Metropolitan High School: since July 2019.

Mentor, high school student project, Julie Lin, The Bronx High School of Science: since July 2019.

Judge, Writing Across the Curriculum Science Fair: 4/7/2019.

Ad hoc reviewer, Israel Science Foundation: 2019.

Ad hoc reviewer, Scientific Reports: 2018.

Ad hoc reviewer, Journal of Neuroscience Methods: 2016.

Ad hoc reviewer, The Auk: Ornitological Advances: 2015.