Testosterone and social context affect singing behavior but not song control region volumes in adult male songbirds in the fall

C. R. Strand, M. S. Ross, S. L. Weiss, Pierre Deviche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Testosterone (T) induces singing behavior and mediates changes in the sizes and neuroanatomical characteristics of brain regions controlling singing behavior (song control regions, SCRs) in songbirds. These effects may require the enzymatic conversion of T into androgenic and estrogenic metabolites by brain tissues and can be modulated by factors such as season and social context. Testosterone administration to adult male House Finches, Carpodacus mexicanus, in the spring increases the size of their SCRs. Here, we used males of this species to investigate effects of T and T metabolism on brain morphology and singing behavior in the fall. Birds received Silastic capsules containing androgens, estrogens, and/or inhibitors of androgenic action or estrogen synthesis to determine effects of these hormones on song rates and SCR volumes. We also manipulated the social environment by changing the number of birds in visual contact with each other. Testosterone treatment stimulated singing behavior in finches held in small, visually isolated groups and exposed to song playbacks. However, administration of T or T metabolites did not increase SCR sizes. The data suggest that photoperiodic condition and social context may modulate the effects of steroids on SCRs and singing behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Fingerprint

Singing
Songbirds
songbird
songbirds
testosterone
Music
song
animal communication
Testosterone
Finches
brain
estrogens
Birds
metabolite
Brain
Estrogens
metabolites
bird
Behavior Control
social environment

Keywords

  • Neuroplasticity
  • Photoperiod
  • Singing
  • Steroid
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Testosterone and social context affect singing behavior but not song control region volumes in adult male songbirds in the fall. / Strand, C. R.; Ross, M. S.; Weiss, S. L.; Deviche, Pierre.

In: Behavioural Processes, Vol. 78, No. 1, 05.2008, p. 29-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b449dd6d295c4581b54f35472de8f60f,
title = "Testosterone and social context affect singing behavior but not song control region volumes in adult male songbirds in the fall",
abstract = "Testosterone (T) induces singing behavior and mediates changes in the sizes and neuroanatomical characteristics of brain regions controlling singing behavior (song control regions, SCRs) in songbirds. These effects may require the enzymatic conversion of T into androgenic and estrogenic metabolites by brain tissues and can be modulated by factors such as season and social context. Testosterone administration to adult male House Finches, Carpodacus mexicanus, in the spring increases the size of their SCRs. Here, we used males of this species to investigate effects of T and T metabolism on brain morphology and singing behavior in the fall. Birds received Silastic capsules containing androgens, estrogens, and/or inhibitors of androgenic action or estrogen synthesis to determine effects of these hormones on song rates and SCR volumes. We also manipulated the social environment by changing the number of birds in visual contact with each other. Testosterone treatment stimulated singing behavior in finches held in small, visually isolated groups and exposed to song playbacks. However, administration of T or T metabolites did not increase SCR sizes. The data suggest that photoperiodic condition and social context may modulate the effects of steroids on SCRs and singing behavior.",
keywords = "Neuroplasticity, Photoperiod, Singing, Steroid, Testosterone",
author = "Strand, {C. R.} and Ross, {M. S.} and Weiss, {S. L.} and Pierre Deviche",
year = "2008",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.beproc.2007.12.002",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "78",
pages = "29--37",
journal = "Behavioural Processes",
issn = "0376-6357",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Testosterone and social context affect singing behavior but not song control region volumes in adult male songbirds in the fall

AU - Strand, C. R.

AU - Ross, M. S.

AU - Weiss, S. L.

AU - Deviche, Pierre

PY - 2008/5

Y1 - 2008/5

N2 - Testosterone (T) induces singing behavior and mediates changes in the sizes and neuroanatomical characteristics of brain regions controlling singing behavior (song control regions, SCRs) in songbirds. These effects may require the enzymatic conversion of T into androgenic and estrogenic metabolites by brain tissues and can be modulated by factors such as season and social context. Testosterone administration to adult male House Finches, Carpodacus mexicanus, in the spring increases the size of their SCRs. Here, we used males of this species to investigate effects of T and T metabolism on brain morphology and singing behavior in the fall. Birds received Silastic capsules containing androgens, estrogens, and/or inhibitors of androgenic action or estrogen synthesis to determine effects of these hormones on song rates and SCR volumes. We also manipulated the social environment by changing the number of birds in visual contact with each other. Testosterone treatment stimulated singing behavior in finches held in small, visually isolated groups and exposed to song playbacks. However, administration of T or T metabolites did not increase SCR sizes. The data suggest that photoperiodic condition and social context may modulate the effects of steroids on SCRs and singing behavior.

AB - Testosterone (T) induces singing behavior and mediates changes in the sizes and neuroanatomical characteristics of brain regions controlling singing behavior (song control regions, SCRs) in songbirds. These effects may require the enzymatic conversion of T into androgenic and estrogenic metabolites by brain tissues and can be modulated by factors such as season and social context. Testosterone administration to adult male House Finches, Carpodacus mexicanus, in the spring increases the size of their SCRs. Here, we used males of this species to investigate effects of T and T metabolism on brain morphology and singing behavior in the fall. Birds received Silastic capsules containing androgens, estrogens, and/or inhibitors of androgenic action or estrogen synthesis to determine effects of these hormones on song rates and SCR volumes. We also manipulated the social environment by changing the number of birds in visual contact with each other. Testosterone treatment stimulated singing behavior in finches held in small, visually isolated groups and exposed to song playbacks. However, administration of T or T metabolites did not increase SCR sizes. The data suggest that photoperiodic condition and social context may modulate the effects of steroids on SCRs and singing behavior.

KW - Neuroplasticity

KW - Photoperiod

KW - Singing

KW - Steroid

KW - Testosterone

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=40649083261&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=40649083261&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.beproc.2007.12.002

DO - 10.1016/j.beproc.2007.12.002

M3 - Article

C2 - 18206319

AN - SCOPUS:40649083261

VL - 78

SP - 29

EP - 37

JO - Behavioural Processes

JF - Behavioural Processes

SN - 0376-6357

IS - 1

ER -