May 2, 2020

Unilateral vocal nerve resection alters neurogenesis in the avian song system in a region-specific manner

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kirk E LohmuellerCarolyn Pytte

Abstract

New neurons undergo a critical period soon after migration during which the behavior of the animal may result in the survival or culling of these cells. In the songbird song system, new neurons may be maintained in the song motor pathway with respect to motor progression toward a target song--during juvenile song learning, seasonal song restructuring, and experimentally manipulated song variability. However, it is not known whether the quality of song per se, without progressive improvement, may also influence new neuron survival. To test this idea, we experimentally altered song acoustic structure by unilateral denervation of the syrinx. We found no effect of aberrant song on numbers of new neurons in the HVC of the song motor pathway, a loss of left-side dominance in new neurons in the auditory region caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), and a bilateral decrease in new neurons in the basal ganglia nucleus Area X. We propose new neuron survival may be determined in response to behavioral feedback in accordance with the function of new neurons within a given brain region. Studying the effects of singing behaviors on new neurons across multiple brain regions that subserve singing may give rise to general rules underlying the regulatio...Continue Reading

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