Developmental stress selectively affects the song control nucleus HVC in the zebra finch brain

Buchanan, K. L., Leitner, S., Spencer, K. A., Goldsmith, A. R. and Catchpole, C. K. 2004, Developmental stress selectively affects the song control nucleus HVC in the zebra finch brain, Proceedings of the royal society : B supplement, vol. 271, no. 1555, pp. 2381-2386.

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Title Developmental stress selectively affects the song control nucleus HVC in the zebra finch brain
Author(s) Buchanan, K. L.ORCID iD for Buchanan, K. L.
Leitner, S.
Spencer, K. A.
Goldsmith, A. R.
Catchpole, C. K.
Journal name Proceedings of the royal society : B supplement
Volume number 271
Issue number 1555
Start page 2381
End page 2386
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2004-11-22
ISSN 0962-8452
Keyword(s) song
neural development
Taeniopygia guttata
sexual selection
Summary Songbirds sing complex songs as a result of evolution through sexual selection. The evolution of such sexually selected traits requires genetic control, as well as selection on their expression. Song is controlled by a discrete neural pathway in the brain, and song complexity has been shown to correlate with the volume of specific song control nuclei. As such, the development of these nuclei, in particular the high vocal centre (HVC), is thought to be the mechanism controlling signal expression indicating male quality. We tested the hypothesis that early developmental stress selectively affects adult HVC size, compared with other brain nuclei. We did this by raising cross–fostered zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) under stressed and controlled conditions and determining the effect on adult HVC size. Our results confirm the strong influence of environmental conditions, particularly on HVC development, and therefore on the expression of complex songs. The results also show that both environmental and genetic factors affect the development of several brain nuclei, highlighting the developmental plasticity of the songbird brain. In all, these results explain how the complex song repertoires of songbirds can evolve as honest indicators of male quality.
Language eng
Field of Research 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, The Royal Society
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