Brain gene regulation by territorial singing behavior in freely ranging songbirds

Erich D. Jarvis, Hubert Schwabl, Sidarta Ribeiro, Claudio Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To investigate the ecological relevance of brain gene regulation associated with singing behavior in songbirds, we challenged freely ranging song sparrows with conspecific song playbacks within their breeding territories. Males responded by approaching the speaker, searching for an intruder and actively singing. In situ hybridization of brain sections revealed significantly higher expression of the transcriptional regulator ZENK in challenged birds than in unstimulated controls in several auditory structures and song control nuclei. We conclude that singing behavior in the context of territorial defense is associated with gene regulation in brain centers that control song perception and production, and that behaviorally regulated gene expression can be used to investigate brain areas involved in the natural behaviors of freely ranging animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2073-2077
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroReport
Volume8
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Singing
Songbirds
Music
Brain
Genes
Sparrows
Birds
Breeding
In Situ Hybridization
Gene Expression

Keywords

  • Avian
  • Immediate early gene
  • Learning
  • Neuroethology
  • Vocal communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Brain gene regulation by territorial singing behavior in freely ranging songbirds. / Jarvis, Erich D.; Schwabl, Hubert; Ribeiro, Sidarta; Mello, Claudio.

In: NeuroReport, Vol. 8, No. 8, 1997, p. 2073-2077.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jarvis, ED, Schwabl, H, Ribeiro, S & Mello, C 1997, 'Brain gene regulation by territorial singing behavior in freely ranging songbirds', NeuroReport, vol. 8, no. 8, pp. 2073-2077.
Jarvis, Erich D. ; Schwabl, Hubert ; Ribeiro, Sidarta ; Mello, Claudio. / Brain gene regulation by territorial singing behavior in freely ranging songbirds. In: NeuroReport. 1997 ; Vol. 8, No. 8. pp. 2073-2077.
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