Brain gene regulation by territorial singing behavior in freely ranging songbirds.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jarvis, ED; Schwabl, H; Ribeiro, S; Mello, CV

Published Date

  • May 27, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 2073 - 2077

PubMed ID

  • 9223104

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2528959

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-4965

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00001756-199705260-00052


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England