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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29238539/dispersal-influences-genetic-and-acoustic-spatial-structure-for-both-males-and-females-in-a-tropical-songbird
#1
Brendan A Graham, Daniel D Heath, Daniel J Mennill
Animals exhibit diverse dispersal strategies, including sex-biased dispersal, a phenomenon common in vertebrates. Dispersal influences the genetic structure of populations as well as geographic variation in phenotypic traits. Patterns of spatial genetic structure and geographic variation may vary between the sexes whenever males and females exhibit different dispersal behaviors. Here, we examine dispersal, spatial genetic structure, and spatial acoustic structure in Rufous-and-white Wrens, a year-round resident tropical bird...
December 2017: Ecology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29237552/female-songbirds-the-unsung-drivers-of-courtship-behavior-and-its-neural-substrates
#2
REVIEW
Ammon Perkes, David White, Martin Wild, Marc Schmidt
Songbirds hold a prominent role in the fields of neurobiology, evolution, and social behavior. Many of these fields have assumed that females lacked the ability to produce song and have therefore treated song as a male-specific behavior. Consequently, much of our understanding regarding the evolution and neural control of song behavior has been driven by these assumptions. Here we review literature from diverse fields to provide a broader perspective of the role of females in vocal communication and courtship...
December 10, 2017: Behavioural Processes
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29234861/neural-coding-of-sound-envelope-structure-in-songbirds
#3
Santiago Boari, Ana Amador
Songbirds are a well-established animal model to study the neural basis of learning, perception and production of complex vocalizations. In this system, telencephalic neurons in HVC present a state-dependent, highly selective response to auditory presentations of the bird's own song (BOS). This property provides an opportunity to study the neural code behind a complex motor behavior. In this work, we explore whether changes in the temporal structure of the sound envelope can drive changes in the neural responses of highly selective HVC units...
December 12, 2017: Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29229942/a-neuronal-signature-of-accurate-imitative-learning-in-wild-caught-songbirds-swamp-sparrows-melospiza-georgiana
#4
Dana L Moseley, Narendra R Joshi, Jonathan F Prather, Jeffrey Podos, Luke Remage-Healey
In humans and other animals, behavioural variation in learning has been associated with variation in neural features like morphology and myelination. By contrast, it is essentially unknown whether cognitive performance scales with electrophysiological properties of individual neurons. Birdsong learning offers a rich system to investigate this topic as song acquisition is similar to human language learning. Here, we address the interface between behavioural learning and neurophysiology in a cohort of wild-caught, hand-reared songbirds (swamp sparrows, Melospiza georgiana)...
December 11, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29218745/expression-of-the-potassium-chloride-co-transporter-kcc2-within-the-avian-song-system
#5
Christopher E Vaaga, Kimberly E Miller, Agnes L Bodor, David J Perkel
Songbirds learn to produce vocalizations early in life by listening to, then copying the songs of conspecific males. The anterior forebrain pathway, homologous to a basal ganglia-forebrain circuit, is essential for song learning. The projection between the striato-pallidal structure, Area X, and the medial portion of the dorsolateral thalamic nucleus (DLM) is strongly hyperpolarizing in adults, due to a very negative chloride reversal potential (Person and Perkel, 2005). The chloride reversal potential is determined, in part, by the expression level of a neuron-specific potassium-chloride cotransporter, KCC2, which is developmentally upregulated in mammals...
December 8, 2017: Journal of Comparative Neurology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29212920/phasic-and-tonic-cell-types-in-the-zebra-finch-auditory-caudal-mesopallium
#6
Andrew N Chen, C Daniel Meliza
The caudal mesopallium (CM) is a cortical-level area in the songbird auditory pathway where selective, invariant responses to familiar songs emerge. To characterize the cell types that perform this computation, we made whole-cell recordings from brain slices in juvenile zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) of both sexes. We found three groups of putatively excitatory neurons with distinct firing patterns. Tonic cells produced sustained responses to depolarizing step currents, phasic cells produced only a few spikes at the onset, and an intermediate group was also phasic but responded for up to a few hundred ms...
December 6, 2017: Journal of Neurophysiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29209770/androgen-and-estrogen-sensitivity-of-bird-song-a-comparative-view-on-gene-regulatory-levels
#7
REVIEW
Carolina Frankl-Vilches, Manfred Gahr
Singing of songbirds is sensitive to testosterone and its androgenic and estrogenic metabolites in a species-specific way. The hormonal effects on song pattern are likely mediated by androgen receptors (AR) and estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), ligand activated transcription factors that are expressed in neurons of various areas of the songbirds' vocal control circuit. The distribution of AR in this circuit is rather similar between species while that of ERα is species variant and concerns a key vocal control area, the HVC (proper name)...
December 6, 2017: Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29174890/learning-biases-underlie-universals-in-avian-vocal-sequencing
#8
Logan S James, Jon T Sakata
Biological predispositions in vocal learning have been proposed to underlie commonalities in vocal sequences, including for speech and birdsong, but cultural propagation could also account for such commonalities [1-4]. Songbirds such as the zebra finch learn the sequencing of their acoustic elements ("syllables") during development [5-8]. Zebra finches are not constrained to learn a specific sequence of syllables, but significant consistencies in the positioning and sequencing of syllables have been observed between individuals within populations and between populations [8-10]...
November 21, 2017: Current Biology: CB
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29171119/abundant-recent-activity-of-retrovirus-like-retrotransposons-within-and-among-flycatcher-species-implies-a-rich-source-of-structural-variation-in-songbird-genomes
#9
Alexander Suh, Linnéa Smeds, Hans Ellegren
Transposable elements (TEs) are genomic parasites capable of inserting virtually anywhere in the host genome, with manifold consequences for gene expression, DNA methylation and genomic stability. Notably, they can contribute to phenotypic variation and hence be associated with, for example, local adaptation and speciation. However, some organisms such as birds have been widely noted for the low densities of TEs in their genomes and this has been attributed to a potential dearth in transposition during their evolution...
November 24, 2017: Molecular Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29167369/correction-to-deceptive-vocal-duets-and-multi-modal-display-in-a-songbird
#10
Paweł Ręk, Robert D Magrath
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 29, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29166572/territorial-aggression-in-urban-and-rural-song-sparrows-is-correlated-with-corticosterone-but-not-testosterone
#11
Scott Davies, Michelle L Beck, Kendra B Sewall
Urban songbirds of several species more vigorously defend their territories in response to conspecific song playback than do their rural counterparts, but the hormonal basis of this behavioral difference is unclear. It is well established in vertebrates that both testosterone and corticosterone affect the intensity of territoriality. Previous studies have found no evidence that initial (i.e., immediately follow territorial challenge, but prior to restraint) plasma testosterone accounts for the elevated territorial aggression of urban birds...
November 19, 2017: Hormones and Behavior
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29165242/fundamental-constraints-in-synchronous-muscle-limit-superfast-motor-control-in-vertebrates
#12
Andrew F Mead, Nerea Osinalde, Niels Ørtenblad, Joachim Nielsen, Jonathan Brewer, Michiel Vellema, Iris Adam, Constance Scharff, Yafeng Song, Ulrik Frandsen, Blagoy Blagoev, Irina Kratchmarova, Coen Ph Elemans
Superfast muscles (SFMs) are extremely fast synchronous muscles capable of contraction rates up to 250 Hz, enabling precise motor execution at the millisecond time scale. SFM phenotypes have been discovered in most major vertebrate lineages, but it remains unknown whether all SFMs share excitation-contraction coupling pathway adaptations for speed, and if SFMs arose once, or from independent evolutionary events. Here, we demonstrate that to achieve rapid actomyosin crossbridge kinetics bat and songbird SFM express myosin heavy chain genes that are evolutionarily and ontologically distinct...
November 22, 2017: ELife
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29162376/developmental-song-learning-as-a-model-to-understand-neural-mechanisms-that-limit-and-promote-the-ability-to-learn
#13
REVIEW
Sarah E London
Songbirds famously learn their vocalizations. Some species can learn continuously, others seasonally, and still others just once. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) learns to sing during a single developmental "Critical Period," a restricted phase during which a specific experience has profound and permanent effects on brain function and behavioral patterns. The zebra finch can therefore provide fundamental insight into features that promote and limit the ability to acquire complex learned behaviors. For example, what properties permit the brain to come "on-line" for learning? How does experience become encoded to prevent future learning? What features define the brain in receptive compared to closed learning states? This piece will focus on epigenomic, genomic, and molecular levels of analysis that operate on the timescales of development and complex behavioral learning...
November 20, 2017: Behavioural Processes
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29158983/adult-zebra-finches-rehearse-highly-variable-song-patterns-during-sleep
#14
Brent K Young, Gabriel B Mindlin, Ezequiel Arneodo, Franz Goller
Brain activity during sleep is fairly ubiquitous and the best studied possible function is a role in memory consolidation, including motor memory. One suggested mechanism of how neural activity effects these benefits is through reactivation of neurons in patterns resembling those of the preceding experience. The specific patterns of motor activation replayed during sleep are largely unknown for any system. Brain areas devoted to song production in the songbird brain exhibit spontaneous song-like activity during sleep, but single cell neural recordings did not permit detection of the specific song patterns...
2017: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29157357/migration-confers-winter-survival-benefits-in-a-partially-migratory-songbird
#15
Daniel Zúñiga, Yann Gager, Hanna Kokko, Adam Michael Fudickar, Andreas Schmidt, Beat Naef-Daenzer, Martin Wikelski, Jesko Partecke
To evolve and to be maintained, seasonal migration, despite its risks, has to yield fitness benefits compared with year-round residency. Empirical data supporting this prediction have remained elusive in the bird literature. To test fitness related benefits of migration, we studied a partial migratory population of European blackbirds (Turdus merula) over 7 years. Using a combination of capture-mark-recapture and radio telemetry, we compared survival probabilities between migrants and residents estimated by multi-event survival models, showing that migrant blackbirds had 16% higher probability to survive the winter compared to residents...
November 21, 2017: ELife
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29154128/discrete-circuits-support-generalized-versus-context-specific-vocal-learning-in-the-songbird
#16
Lucas Y Tian, Michael S Brainard
Motor skills depend on the reuse of individual gestures in multiple sequential contexts (e.g., a single phoneme in different words). Yet optimal performance requires that a given gesture be modified appropriately depending on the sequence in which it occurs. To investigate the neural architecture underlying such context-dependent modifications, we studied Bengalese finch song, which, like speech, consists of variable sequences of "syllables." We found that when birds are instructed to modify a syllable in one sequential context, learning generalizes across contexts; however, if unique instruction is provided in different contexts, learning is specific for each context...
November 15, 2017: Neuron
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29152888/the-sensitivity-of-breeding-songbirds-to-changes-in-seasonal-timing-is-linked-to-population-change-but-cannot-be-directly-attributed-to-the-effects-of-trophic-asynchrony-on-productivity
#17
Samantha E Franks, James W Pearce-Higgins, Sian Atkinson, James R Bell, Marc S Botham, Tom M Brereton, Richard Harrington, David I Leech
A consequence of climate change has been an advance in the timing of seasonal events. Differences in the rate of advance between trophic levels may result in predators becoming mismatched with prey availability, reducing fitness and potentially driving population declines. Such "trophic asynchrony" is hypothesized to have contributed to recent population declines of long-distance migratory birds in particular. Using spatially extensive survey data from 1983 to 2010 to estimate variation in spring phenology from 280 plant and insect species and the egg-laying phenology of 21 British songbird species, we explored the effects of trophic asynchrony on avian population trends and potential underlying demographic mechanisms...
November 20, 2017: Global Change Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29134710/isolation-by-distance-not-incipient-ecological-speciation-explains-genetic-differentiation-in-an-andean-songbird-aves-furnariidae-cranioleuca-antisiensis-line-cheeked-spinetail-despite-near-three-fold-body-size-change-across-an-environmental-gradient
#18
Glenn F Seeholzer, Robb T Brumfield
During the process of ecological speciation, reproductive isolation results from divergent natural selection and leads to a positive correlation between genetic divergence and adaptive phenotypic divergence, i.e. isolation-by-adaptation (IBA). In natural populations, phenotypic differentiation is often autocorrelated with geographic distance, making IBA difficult to distinguish from the neutral expectation of isolation-by-distance (IBD). We examined these two alternatives in a dramatic case of clinal phenotypic variation in an Andean songbird, the Line-cheeked Spinetail (Cranioleuca antisiensis)...
November 13, 2017: Molecular Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29128250/sex-specific-hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal-axis-sensitivity-in-migrating-songbirds
#19
Kristen M Covino, Jodie M Jawor, Sara R Morris, Frank R Moore
In seasonally migratory species, the overlap between the migratory and breeding life history stages is a balance between the physiological and behavioral requirements of each stage. Previous studies investigating the degree to which songbirds prepare for breeding during spring migration have focused on either circulating hormone levels or direct measures of gonadal recrudescence. In this study, we evaluated the phenology of breeding preparation in a long-distance migratory songbird, the Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus), by assessing hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis sensitivity with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) bioassays throughout the migratory period...
November 14, 2017: Hormones and Behavior
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29123163/imidacloprid-and-chlorpyrifos-insecticides-impair-migratory-ability-in-a-seed-eating-songbird
#20
Margaret L Eng, Bridget J M Stutchbury, Christy A Morrissey
Birds that travel long distances between their wintering and breeding grounds may be particularly susceptible to neurotoxic insecticides, but the influence of insecticides on migration ability is poorly understood. Following acute exposure to two widely used agricultural insecticides, imidacloprid (neonicotinoid) and chlorpyrifos (organophosphate), we compared effects on body mass, migratory activity and orientation in a seed-eating bird, the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys). During spring migration, sparrows were captured, held and dosed by gavage daily for 3 days with either the vehicle control, low (10% LD50) or high (25% LD50) doses of imidacloprid or chlorpyrifos and tested in migratory orientation trials pre-exposure, post-exposure and during recovery...
November 9, 2017: Scientific Reports
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