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Sample records for zebra finch auditory

  1. Transformation of temporal sequences in the zebra finch auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Yoonseob; Lagoy, Ryan; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Gardner, Timothy J

    2016-01-01

    This study examines how temporally patterned stimuli are transformed as they propagate from primary to secondary zones in the thalamorecipient auditory pallium in zebra finches. Using a new class of synthetic click stimuli, we find a robust mapping from temporal sequences in the primary zone to distinct population vectors in secondary auditory areas. We tested whether songbirds could discriminate synthetic click sequences in an operant setup and found that a robust behavioral discrimination is present for click sequences composed of intervals ranging from 11 ms to 40 ms, but breaks down for stimuli composed of longer inter-click intervals. This work suggests that the analog of the songbird auditory cortex transforms temporal patterns to sequence-selective population responses or ‘spatial codes', and that these distinct population responses contribute to behavioral discrimination of temporally complex sounds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18205.001 PMID:27897971

  2. ZENK expression following conspecific and heterospecific playback in the zebra finch auditory forebrain.

    PubMed

    Scully, Erin N; Hahn, Allison H; Campbell, Kimberley A; McMillan, Neil; Congdon, Jenna V; Sturdy, Christopher B

    2017-07-28

    Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are sexually dimorphic songbirds, not only in appearance but also in vocal production: while males produce both calls and songs, females only produce calls. This dimorphism provides a means to contrast the auditory perception of vocalizations produced by songbird species of varying degrees of relatedness in a dimorphic species to that of a monomorphic species, species in which both males and females produce calls and songs (e.g., black-capped chickadees, Poecile atricapillus). In the current study, we examined neuronal expression after playback of acoustically similar hetero- and conspecific calls produced by species of differing phylogenetic relatedness to our subject species, zebra finch. We measured the immediate early gene (IEG) ZENK in two auditory areas of the forebrain (caudomedial mesopallium, CMM, and caudomedial nidopallium, NCM). We found no significant differences in ZENK expression in either male or female zebra finches regardless of playback condition. We also discuss comparisons between our results and the results of a previous study conducted by Avey et al. [1] on black-capped chickadees that used similar stimulus types. These results are consistent with the previous study which also found no significant differences in expression following playback of calls produced by various heterospecific species and conspecifics [1]. Our results suggest that, similar to black-capped chickadees, IEG expression in zebra finch CMM and NCM is tied to the acoustic similarity of vocalizations and not the phylogenetic relatedness of the species producing the vocalizations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Selective auditory grouping by zebra finches: testing the iambic-trochaic law.

    PubMed

    Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Ten Cate, Carel

    2017-07-01

    Humans have a strong tendency to spontaneously group visual or auditory stimuli together in larger patterns. One of these perceptual grouping biases is formulated as the iambic/trochaic law, where humans group successive tones alternating in pitch and intensity as trochees (high-low and loud-soft) and alternating in duration as iambs (short-long). The grouping of alternations in pitch and intensity into trochees is a human universal and is also present in one non-human animal species, rats. The perceptual grouping of sounds alternating in duration seems to be affected by native language in humans and has so far not been found among animals. In the current study, we explore to which extent these perceptual biases are present in a songbird, the zebra finch. Zebra finches were trained to discriminate between short strings of pure tones organized as iambs and as trochees. One group received tones that alternated in pitch, a second group heard tones alternating in duration, and for a third group, tones alternated in intensity. Those zebra finches that showed sustained correct discrimination were next tested with longer, ambiguous strings of alternating sounds. The zebra finches in the pitch condition categorized ambiguous strings of alternating tones as trochees, similar to humans. However, most of the zebra finches in the duration and intensity condition did not learn to discriminate between training stimuli organized as iambs and trochees. This study shows that the perceptual bias to group tones alternating in pitch as trochees is not specific to humans and rats, but may be more widespread among animals.

  4. Social interaction with a tutor modulates responsiveness of specific auditory neurons in juvenile zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Yanagihara, Shin; Yazaki-Sugiyama, Yoko

    2018-04-12

    Behavioral states of animals, such as observing the behavior of a conspecific, modify signal perception and/or sensations that influence state-dependent higher cognitive behavior, such as learning. Recent studies have shown that neuronal responsiveness to sensory signals is modified when animals are engaged in social interactions with others or in locomotor activities. However, how these changes produce state-dependent differences in higher cognitive function is still largely unknown. Zebra finches, which have served as the premier songbird model, learn to sing from early auditory experiences with tutors. They also learn from playback of recorded songs however, learning can be greatly improved when song models are provided through social communication with tutors (Eales, 1989; Chen et al., 2016). Recently we found a subset of neurons in the higher-level auditory cortex of juvenile zebra finches that exhibit highly selective auditory responses to the tutor song after song learning, suggesting an auditory memory trace of the tutor song (Yanagihara and Yazaki-Sugiyama, 2016). Here we show that auditory responses of these selective neurons became greater when juveniles were paired with their tutors, while responses of non-selective neurons did not change. These results suggest that social interaction modulates cortical activity and might function in state-dependent song learning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Courtship song preferences in female zebra finches are shaped by developmental auditory experience.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yining; Clark, Oliver; Woolley, Sarah C

    2017-05-31

    The performance of courtship signals provides information about the behavioural state and quality of the signaller, and females can use such information for social decision-making (e.g. mate choice). However, relatively little is known about the degree to which the perception of and preference for differences in motor performance are shaped by developmental experiences. Furthermore, the neural substrates that development could act upon to influence the processing of performance features remains largely unknown. In songbirds, females use song to identify males and select mates. Moreover, female songbirds are often sensitive to variation in male song performance. Consequently, we investigated how developmental exposure to adult male song affected behavioural and neural responses to song in a small, gregarious songbird, the zebra finch. Zebra finch males modulate their song performance when courting females, and previous work has shown that females prefer the high-performance, female-directed courtship song. However, unlike females allowed to hear and interact with an adult male during development, females reared without developmental song exposure did not demonstrate behavioural preferences for high-performance courtship songs. Additionally, auditory responses to courtship and non-courtship song were altered in adult females raised without developmental song exposure. These data highlight the critical role of developmental auditory experience in shaping the perception and processing of song performance. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Song exposure regulates known and novel microRNAs in the zebra finch auditory forebrain

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In an important model for neuroscience, songbirds learn to discriminate songs they hear during tape-recorded playbacks, as demonstrated by song-specific habituation of both behavioral and neurogenomic responses in the auditory forebrain. We hypothesized that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) may participate in the changing pattern of gene expression induced by song exposure. To test this, we used massively parallel Illumina sequencing to analyse small RNAs from auditory forebrain of adult zebra finches exposed to tape-recorded birdsong or silence. Results In the auditory forebrain, we identified 121 known miRNAs conserved in other vertebrates. We also identified 34 novel miRNAs that do not align to human or chicken genomes. Five conserved miRNAs showed significant and consistent changes in copy number after song exposure across three biological replications of the song-silence comparison, with two increasing (tgu-miR-25, tgu-miR-192) and three decreasing (tgu-miR-92, tgu-miR-124, tgu-miR-129-5p). We also detected a locus on the Z sex chromosome that produces three different novel miRNAs, with supporting evidence from Northern blot and TaqMan qPCR assays for differential expression in males and females and in response to song playbacks. One of these, tgu-miR-2954-3p, is predicted (by TargetScan) to regulate eight song-responsive mRNAs that all have functions in cellular proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Conclusions The experience of hearing another bird singing alters the profile of miRNAs in the auditory forebrain of zebra finches. The response involves both known conserved miRNAs and novel miRNAs described so far only in the zebra finch, including a novel sex-linked, song-responsive miRNA. These results indicate that miRNAs are likely to contribute to the unique behavioural biology of learned song communication in songbirds. PMID:21627805

  7. Large-scale synchronized activity during vocal deviance detection in the zebra finch auditory forebrain.

    PubMed

    Beckers, Gabriël J L; Gahr, Manfred

    2012-08-01

    Auditory systems bias responses to sounds that are unexpected on the basis of recent stimulus history, a phenomenon that has been widely studied using sequences of unmodulated tones (mismatch negativity; stimulus-specific adaptation). Such a paradigm, however, does not directly reflect problems that neural systems normally solve for adaptive behavior. We recorded multiunit responses in the caudomedial auditory forebrain of anesthetized zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) at 32 sites simultaneously, to contact calls that recur probabilistically at a rate that is used in communication. Neurons in secondary, but not primary, auditory areas respond preferentially to calls when they are unexpected (deviant) compared with the same calls when they are expected (standard). This response bias is predominantly due to sites more often not responding to standard events than to deviant events. When two call stimuli alternate between standard and deviant roles, most sites exhibit a response bias to deviant events of both stimuli. This suggests that biases are not based on a use-dependent decrease in response strength but involve a more complex mechanism that is sensitive to auditory deviance per se. Furthermore, between many secondary sites, responses are tightly synchronized, a phenomenon that is driven by internal neuronal interactions rather than by the timing of stimulus acoustic features. We hypothesize that this deviance-sensitive, internally synchronized network of neurons is involved in the involuntary capturing of attention by unexpected and behaviorally potentially relevant events in natural auditory scenes.

  8. GABA Immunoreactivity in Auditory and Song Control Brain Areas of Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Pinaud, Raphael; Mello, Claudio V.

    2009-01-01

    Inhibitory transmission is critical to sensory and motor processing and is believed to play a role in experience-dependent plasticity. The main inhibitory neurotransmitter in vertebrates, GABA, has been implicated in both sensory and motor aspects of vocalization in songbirds. To understand the role of GABAergic mechanisms in vocal communication, GABAergic elements must be characterized fully. Hence, we investigated GABA immunohistochemistry in the zebra finch brain, emphasizing auditory areas and song control nuclei. Several nuclei of the ascending auditory pathway showed a moderate to high density of GABAergic neurons including the cochlear nuclei, nucleus laminaris, superior olivary nucleus, mesencephalic nucleus lateralis pars dorsalis, and nucleus ovoidalis. Telencephalic auditory areas, including field L subfields L1, L2a and L3, as well as the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) and mesopallium (CMM), contained GABAergic cells at particularly high densities. Considerable GABA labeling was also seen in the shelf area of caudodorsal nidopallium, and the cup area in the arcopallium, as well as in area X, the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium and nidopallial nucleus HVC. GABAergic cells were typically small, most likely local inhibitory interneurons, although large GABA-positive cells that were sparsely distributed were also identified. GABA-positive neurites and puncta were identified in most nuclei of the ascending auditory pathway and in song control nuclei. Our data are in accordance with a prominent role of GABAergic mechanisms in regulating the neural circuits involved in song perceptual processing, motor production, and vocal learning in songbirds. PMID:17466487

  9. Noninvasive diffusive optical imaging of the auditory response to birdsong in the zebra finch

    PubMed Central

    Lee, James V.; Maclin, Edward L.; Low, Kathy A.; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica; Clayton, David F.

    2013-01-01

    Songbirds communicate by learned vocalizations with concomitant changes in neurophysiological and genomic activities in discrete parts of the brain. Here we tested a novel implementation of diffusive optical imaging (also known as diffuse optical imaging, DOI) for monitoring brain physiology associated with vocal signal perception. DOI noninvasively measures brain activity using red and near-infrared light delivered through optic fibers (optodes) resting on the scalp. DOI does not harm subjects, so it raises the possibility of repeatedly measuring brain activity and the effects of accumulated experience in the same subject over an entire life span, all while leaving tissue intact for further study. We developed a custom-made apparatus for interfacing optodes to the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) head using 3D modeling software and rapid prototyping technology, and applied it to record responses to presentations of birdsong in isoflurane-anesthetized zebra finches. We discovered a subtle but significant difference between the hemoglobin spectra of zebra finches and mammals which has a major impact in how hemodynamic responses are interpreted in the zebra finch. Our measured responses to birdsong playback were robust, highly repeatable, and readily observed in single trials. Responses were complex in shape and closely paralleled responses described in mammals. They were localized to the caudal medial portion of the brain, consistent with response localization from prior gene expression, electrophysiological, and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. These results define an approach for collecting neurophysiological data from songbirds that should be applicable to diverse species and adaptable for studies in awake behaving animals. PMID:23322445

  10. Temporary inactivation of NCM, an auditory region, increases social interaction and decreases song perception in female zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Tomaszycki, Michelle L; Blaine, Sara K

    2014-10-01

    The caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) is an important site for the storage of auditory memories, particularly song, in passerines. In zebra finches, males sing and females do not, but females use song to choose mates. The extent to which the NCM is necessary for female mate choice is not well understood. To investigate the role of NCM in partner preferences, adult female zebra finches were bilaterally implanted with chronic cannulae directed at the NCM. Lidocaine, a sodium channel blocker, or saline (control) was infused into the NCM of females using a repeated measures design. Females were then tested in 3 separate paradigms: song preference, sexual partner preference, and pairing behavior/partner preference. We hypothesized that lidocaine would increase interactions with males by decreasing song discrimination and that this would be further evident in the song discrimination task. Indeed, females, when treated with lidocaine, had no preference for males singing unaltered song over males singing distorted song. These same females, when treated with saline, demonstrated a significant preference for males singing normal song. Furthermore, females affiliated with males more after receiving lidocaine than after receiving saline in the pairing paradigm, although neither treatment led to the formation of a partner preference. Our results support the hypothesis that NCM plays an important role not only in song discrimination, but also affiliation with a male. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Novel Song-Stimulated Dendritic Spine Formation and Arc/Arg 3.1 Expression in Zebra Finch Auditory Telencephalon are Disrupted by Cannabinoid Agonism

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Marcoita T; Soderstrom, Ken

    2013-01-01

    Cannabinoids are well-established to alter processes of sensory perception; however neurophysiological mechanisms responsible remain unclear. Arc, an immediate-early gene (IEG) product involved in dendritic spine dynamics and necessary for plasticity changes such as long-term potentiation, is rapidly induced within zebra finch caudal medial nidopallium (NCM) following novel song exposure, a response that habituates after repeated stimuli. Arc appears unique in its rapid postsynaptic dendritic expression following excitatory input. Previously, we found that vocal development-altering cannabinoid treatments are associated with elevated dendritic spine densities in motor- (HVC) and learning-related (Area X) song regions of zebra finch telencephalon. Given Arc’s dendritic morphological role, we hypothesized that cannabinoid-altered spine densities may involve Arc-related signaling. To test this, we examined the ability of the cannabinoid agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN) to: (1) acutely disrupt song-induced Arc expression; (2) interfere with habituation to auditory stimuli and; (3) alter dendritic spine densities in auditory regions. We found that WIN (3 mg/kg) acutely reduced Arc expression within both NCM and Field L2 in an antagonist-reversible manner. WIN did not alter Arc expression in thalamic auditory relay Nucleus Ovoidalis (Ov), suggesting cannabinoid signaling selectively alters responses to auditory stimulation. Novel song stimulation rapidly increased dendritic spine densities within auditory telencephalon, an effect blocked by WIN pretreatments. Taken together, cannabinoid inhibition of both Arc induction and its habituation to repeated stimuli, combined with prevention of rapid increases in dendritic spine densities, implicates cannabinoid signaling in modulation of physiological processes important to auditory responsiveness and memory. PMID:24134952

  12. Dynamics of zebra finch and mockingbird vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cimenser, Aylin

    Along with humans, whales, and bats, three groups of birds which include songbirds (oscines) such as the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) are the only creatures known to learn sounds by imitation. Numerous similarities between human and songbird vocalizations exist and, recently, it has been shown that Zebra Finch in particular possesses a gene, FoxP2, known to be involved in human language. This thesis investigates song development in Zebra Finches, as well as the temporal dynamics of song in Mockingbirds. Zebra Finches have long been the system of choice for studying vocal development, ontogeny, and complexity in birdsong. Physicists find them intriguing because the spectrally complex vocalizations of the Zebra Finch can exhibit sudden transitions to chaotic dynamics, period doubling & mode-locking phenomena. Mockingbirds, by contrast, provide an ideal system to examine the richness of an avian repertoire, since these musically versatile songbirds typically know upwards of 200 songs. To analyse birdsong data, we have developed a novel clustering algorithm that can be applied to the bird's syllables, tracing their dynamics back to the earliest stages of vocal development. To characterize birdsong we have used Fourier techniques, based upon multitaper spectral analysis, to optimally work around the constraints imposed by (Heisenberg's) time-frequency uncertainty principle. Furthermore, estimates that provide optimal compromise between frequency and temporal resolution have beautiful connections with solutions to the Helmholtz wave equation in prolate spheroidal coordinates. We have used this connection to provide firm foundation for certain heuristics used in the literature to compute associated spectral derivatives and supply a pedagogical account here in this thesis. They are of interest because spectral derivatives emphasize sudden changes in the dynamics of the underlying phenomenon, and often provide a nice way to visualize

  13. Song decrystallization in adult zebra finches does not require the song nucleus NIf.

    PubMed

    Roy, Arani; Mooney, Richard

    2009-08-01

    In adult male zebra finches, transecting the vocal nerve causes previously stable (i.e., crystallized) song to slowly degrade, presumably because of the resulting distortion in auditory feedback. How and where distorted feedback interacts with song motor networks to induce this process of song decrystallization remains unknown. The song premotor nucleus HVC is a potential site where auditory feedback signals could interact with song motor commands. Although the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf) appears to be the primary auditory input to HVC, NIf lesions made in adult zebra finches do not trigger song decrystallization. One possibility is that NIf lesions do not interfere with song maintenance, but do compromise the adult zebra finch's ability to express renewed vocal plasticity in response to feedback perturbations. To test this idea, we bilaterally lesioned NIf and then transected the vocal nerve in adult male zebra finches. We found that bilateral NIf lesions did not prevent nerve section-induced song decrystallization. To test the extent to which the NIf lesions disrupted auditory processing in the song system, we made in vivo extracellular recordings in HVC and a downstream anterior forebrain pathway (AFP) in NIf-lesioned birds. We found strong and selective auditory responses to the playback of the birds' own song persisted in HVC and the AFP following NIf lesions. These findings suggest that auditory inputs to the song system other than NIf, such as the caudal mesopallium, could act as a source of auditory feedback signals to the song motor network.

  14. Song Decrystallization in Adult Zebra Finches Does Not Require the Song Nucleus NIf

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Arani; Mooney, Richard

    2009-01-01

    In adult male zebra finches, transecting the vocal nerve causes previously stable (i.e., crystallized) song to slowly degrade, presumably because of the resulting distortion in auditory feedback. How and where distorted feedback interacts with song motor networks to induce this process of song decrystallization remains unknown. The song premotor nucleus HVC is a potential site where auditory feedback signals could interact with song motor commands. Although the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf) appears to be the primary auditory input to HVC, NIf lesions made in adult zebra finches do not trigger song decrystallization. One possibility is that NIf lesions do not interfere with song maintenance, but do compromise the adult zebra finch's ability to express renewed vocal plasticity in response to feedback perturbations. To test this idea, we bilaterally lesioned NIf and then transected the vocal nerve in adult male zebra finches. We found that bilateral NIf lesions did not prevent nerve section–induced song decrystallization. To test the extent to which the NIf lesions disrupted auditory processing in the song system, we made in vivo extracellular recordings in HVC and a downstream anterior forebrain pathway (AFP) in NIf-lesioned birds. We found strong and selective auditory responses to the playback of the birds' own song persisted in HVC and the AFP following NIf lesions. These findings suggest that auditory inputs to the song system other than NIf, such as the caudal mesopallium, could act as a source of auditory feedback signals to the song motor network. PMID:19515953

  15. Functional MRI of Auditory Responses in the Zebra Finch Forebrain Reveals a Hierarchical Organisation Based on Signal Strength but Not Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Boumans, Tiny; Gobes, Sharon M. H.; Poirier, Colline; Theunissen, Frederic E.; Vandersmissen, Liesbeth; Pintjens, Wouter; Verhoye, Marleen; Bolhuis, Johan J.; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2008-01-01

    Background Male songbirds learn their songs from an adult tutor when they are young. A network of brain nuclei known as the ‘song system’ is the likely neural substrate for sensorimotor learning and production of song, but the neural networks involved in processing the auditory feedback signals necessary for song learning and maintenance remain unknown. Determining which regions show preferential responsiveness to the bird's own song (BOS) is of great importance because neurons sensitive to self-generated vocalisations could mediate this auditory feedback process. Neurons in the song nuclei and in a secondary auditory area, the caudal medial mesopallium (CMM), show selective responses to the BOS. The aim of the present study is to investigate the emergence of BOS selectivity within the network of primary auditory sub-regions in the avian pallium. Methods and Findings Using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI, we investigated neural responsiveness to natural and manipulated self-generated vocalisations and compared the selectivity for BOS and conspecific song in different sub-regions of the thalamo-recipient area Field L. Zebra finch males were exposed to conspecific song, BOS and to synthetic variations on BOS that differed in spectro-temporal and/or modulation phase structure. We found significant differences in the strength of BOLD responses between regions L2a, L2b and CMM, but no inter-stimuli differences within regions. In particular, we have shown that the overall signal strength to song and synthetic variations thereof was different within two sub-regions of Field L2: zone L2a was significantly more activated compared to the adjacent sub-region L2b. Conclusions Based on our results we suggest that unlike nuclei in the song system, sub-regions in the primary auditory pallium do not show selectivity for the BOS, but appear to show different levels of activity with exposure to any sound according to their place in the auditory processing stream. PMID

  16. The perception of regularity in an isochronous stimulus in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans.

    PubMed

    van der Aa, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel

    2015-06-01

    Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous and an irregular stimulus. However, when the tempo of the isochronous stimulus is changed, it is no longer treated as similar to the training stimulus. Training with three isochronous and three irregular stimuli did not result in improvement of the generalization. In contrast, humans, exposed to the same stimuli, readily generalized across tempo changes. Our results suggest that zebra finches distinguish the different stimuli by learning specific local temporal features of each individual stimulus rather than attending to the global structure of the stimuli, i.e., to the temporal regularity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Pairing Increases Activation of V1aR, but not OTR, in Auditory Regions of Zebra Finches: The Importance of Signal Modality in Nonapeptide-Social Behavior Relationships.

    PubMed

    Tomaszycki, Michelle L; Atchley, Derek

    2017-10-01

    Social relationships are complex, involving the production and comprehension of signals, individual recognition, and close coordination of behavior between two or more individuals. The nonapeptides oxytocin and vasopressin are widely believed to regulate social relationships. These findings come largely from prairie voles, in which nonapeptide receptors in olfactory neural circuits drive pair bonding. This research is assumed to apply to all species. Previous reviews have offered two competing hypotheses. The work of Sarah Newman has implicated a common neural network across species, the Social Behavior Network. In contrast, others have suggested that there are signal modality-specific networks that regulate social behavior. Our research focuses on evaluating these two competing hypotheses in the zebra finch, a species that relies heavily on vocal/auditory signals for communication, specifically the neural circuits underlying singing in males and song perception in females. We have demonstrated that the quality of vocal interactions is highly important for the formation of long-term monogamous bonds in zebra finches. Qualitative evidence at first suggests that nonapeptide receptor distributions are very different between monogamous rodents (olfactory species) and monogamous birds (vocal/auditory species). However, we have demonstrated that social bonding behaviors are not only correlated with activation of nonapeptide receptors in vocal and auditory circuits, but also involve regions of the common Social Behavior Network. Here, we show increased Vasopressin 1a receptor, but not oxytocin receptor, activation in two auditory regions following formation of a pair bond. To our knowledge, this is the first study to suggest a role of nonapeptides in the auditory circuit in pair bonding. Thus, we highlight converging mechanisms of social relationships and also point to the importance of studying multiple species to understand mechanisms of behavior. © The Author 2017

  18. Immediate early gene expression following exposure to acoustic and visual components of courtship in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Avey, Marc T; Phillmore, Leslie S; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2005-12-07

    Sensory driven immediate early gene expression (IEG) has been a key tool to explore auditory perceptual areas in the avian brain. Most work on IEG expression in songbirds such as zebra finches has focused on playback of acoustic stimuli and its effect on auditory processing areas such as caudal medial mesopallium (CMM) caudal medial nidopallium (NCM). However, in a natural setting, the courtship displays of songbirds (including zebra finches) include visual as well as acoustic components. To determine whether the visual stimulus of a courting male modifies song-induced expression of the IEG ZENK in the auditory forebrain we exposed male and female zebra finches to acoustic (song) and visual (dancing) components of courtship. Birds were played digital movies with either combined audio and video, audio only, video only, or neither audio nor video (control). We found significantly increased levels of Zenk response in the auditory region CMM in the two treatment groups exposed to acoustic stimuli compared to the control group. The video only group had an intermediate response, suggesting potential effect of visual input on activity in these auditory brain regions. Finally, we unexpectedly found a lateralization of Zenk response that was independent of sex, brain region, or treatment condition, such that Zenk immunoreactivity was consistently higher in the left hemisphere than in the right and the majority of individual birds were left-hemisphere dominant.

  19. Song Recognition in Zebra Finches: Are There Sensitive Periods for Song Memorization?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braaten, Richard F.

    2010-01-01

    Male zebra finches learn to sing songs that they hear between 25 and 65 days of age, the sensitive period for song learning. In this experiment, male and female zebra finches were exposed to zebra finch songs either before (n = 9) or during (n = 4) the sensitive period. Following song exposure, recognition memory for the songs was assessed with an…

  20. Fitness consequences of polymorphic inversions in the zebra finch genome.

    PubMed

    Knief, Ulrich; Hemmrich-Stanisak, Georg; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Griffith, Simon C; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang

    2016-09-29

    Inversion polymorphisms constitute an evolutionary puzzle: they should increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic individuals but still they are widespread in some taxa. Some insect species have evolved mechanisms to reduce the cost of embryo mortality but humans have not. In birds, a detailed analysis is missing although intraspecific inversion polymorphisms are regarded as common. In Australian zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), two polymorphic inversions are known cytogenetically and we set out to detect these two and potentially additional inversions using genomic tools and study their effects on embryo mortality and other fitness-related and morphological traits. Using whole-genome SNP data, we screened 948 wild zebra finches for polymorphic inversions and describe four large (12-63 Mb) intraspecific inversion polymorphisms with allele frequencies close to 50 %. Using additional data from 5229 birds and 9764 eggs from wild and three captive zebra finch populations, we show that only the largest inversions increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic males, with surprisingly small effect sizes. We test for a heterozygote advantage on other fitness components but find no evidence for heterosis for any of the inversions. Yet, we find strong additive effects on several morphological traits. The mechanism that has carried the derived inversion haplotypes to such high allele frequencies remains elusive. It appears that selection has effectively minimized the costs associated with inversions in zebra finches. The highly skewed distribution of recombination events towards the chromosome ends in zebra finches and other estrildid species may function to minimize crossovers in the inverted regions.

  1. Heterospecific discrimination of Poecile vocalizations by zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Guillette, Lauren M; Hoeschele, Marisa; Hahn, Allison H; Sturdy, Christopher B

    2013-08-01

    Previous perceptual research with black-capped and mountain chickadees has demonstrated that the D note of the namesake chick-a-dee call controlled species-based discrimination compared to other note types in this call. In the current experiment, we sought to determine whether discrimination performance of the chickadees was controlled by stimulus-specific properties or due to learning through experience. To accomplish this, we tested zebra finches, a songbird species that is distantly related to chickadees, and also unfamiliar with black-capped and mountain chickadee vocalizations, on the same species-based discrimination on which black-capped and mountain chickadees were previously trained. We found that zebra finches learned the discrimination in the fewest number of trials with the D note, compared to other note types (i.e., the A, B, and C notes). In addition, we compared the current results to earlier work and found that zebra finches learned the discrimination in fewer trials compared to black-capped chickadees, and, across all species, males learned the discrimination in fewer trials than females. We discuss the roles that acoustic complexity and learning play in classification of the three species of songbirds tested. More generally, these results point to the benefits derived from testing members of each sex in species that vary in their natural history, vocal output, and phylogenetic relatedness as a means to uncover the mechanisms underlying acoustic communication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. Drinking Songs: Alcohol Effects on Learned Song of Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Christopher R.; Owen, Devin C.; Ryabinin, Andrey E.; Mello, Claudio V.

    2014-01-01

    Speech impairment is one of the most intriguing and least understood effects of alcohol on cognitive function, largely due to the lack of data on alcohol effects on vocalizations in the context of an appropriate experimental model organism. Zebra finches, a representative songbird and a premier model for understanding the neurobiology of vocal production and learning, learn song in a manner analogous to how humans learn speech. Here we show that when allowed access, finches readily drink alcohol, increase their blood ethanol concentrations (BEC) significantly, and sing a song with altered acoustic structure. The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds’ ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol. Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production. Remarkably, these effects on vocalizations occurred without overt effects on general behavioral measures, and importantly, they occurred within a range of BEC that can be considered risky for humans. Our results suggest that the variable effects of alcohol on finch song reflect differential alcohol sensitivity of the brain circuitry elements that control different aspects of song production. They also point to finches as an informative model for understanding how alcohol affects the neuronal circuits that control the production of learned motor behaviors. PMID:25536524

  3. Digital gene expression analysis of the zebra finch genome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background In order to understand patterns of adaptation and molecular evolution it is important to quantify both variation in gene expression and nucleotide sequence divergence. Gene expression profiling in non-model organisms has recently been facilitated by the advent of massively parallel sequencing technology. Here we investigate tissue specific gene expression patterns in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) with special emphasis on the genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Results Almost 2 million 454-sequencing reads from cDNA of six different tissues were assembled and analysed. A total of 11,793 zebra finch transcripts were represented in this EST data, indicating a transcriptome coverage of about 65%. There was a positive correlation between the tissue specificity of gene expression and non-synonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitution ratio of genes, suggesting that genes with a specialised function are evolving at a higher rate (or with less constraint) than genes with a more general function. In line with this, there was also a negative correlation between overall expression levels and expression specificity of contigs. We found evidence for expression of 10 different genes related to the MHC. MHC genes showed relatively tissue specific expression levels and were in general primarily expressed in spleen. Several MHC genes, including MHC class I also showed expression in brain. Furthermore, for all genes with highest levels of expression in spleen there was an overrepresentation of several gene ontology terms related to immune function. Conclusions Our study highlights the usefulness of next-generation sequence data for quantifying gene expression in the genome as a whole as well as in specific candidate genes. Overall, the data show predicted patterns of gene expression profiles and molecular evolution in the zebra finch genome. Expression of MHC genes in particular, corresponds well with expression patterns in other vertebrates

  4. "Bird Song Metronomics": Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm.

    PubMed

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a "signal-derived pulse," or pulse(S), of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulse(S) significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulse(P)), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulses(S) that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulse(S) periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel

  5. Amygdala and socio-sexual behavior in male zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Ikebuchi, Maki; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2009-01-01

    Neuroanatomical studies including pathway tracing and cytochemical characterizations have suggested that the avian nucleus taeniae of the amygdala (TnA) might be homologous to a part of the mammalian medial amygdala. Recent behavioral observations in TnA-lesioned birds also reported deficits in the control of motivational aspects of behavior, advancing the concept of homology of the structure in the two classes of animals. To further examine the functional role of TnA, we used a highly social, monogamous song bird species, the zebra finch, for our experiments. Male birds received a focal lesion of TnA, and several aspects of socio-sexual behavior of these animals were compared with control bird behavior. We found that zebra finch males with TnA lesions were never chosen as sexual partners by a female in a triadic situation with another male because they showed less sexually motivated behavior. Because such sexually motivated behavior was shown in dyadic situations with a lesioned male and a female, however, and females in this situation also showed pair bonding behavior towards the lesioned males, TnA might be involved in other behaviors, not just sexual behavior towards females. Instead, it might play a role in the control of a variety of social encounters including male-female and male-male interactions. This research clearly indicates that TnA, by its involvement in the control of socio-sexual behavior, is functionally comparable with the mammalian medial amygdala. 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Amyloidosis in a Captive Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Research Colony

    PubMed Central

    Shientag, Lisa J; Garlick, David S; Galati, Erin

    2016-01-01

    Five birds in a captive zebra finch research colony were diagnosed with systemic amyloidosis within a 7-mo period by means of postmortem Congo red staining and green birefringence under polarized light. The liver was the most frequently and usually the most seriously affected organ, followed by the spleen and then the kidney. All 5 birds had been clinically affected with various inflammatory, infectious, and neoplastic conditions associated with amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis in humans and animals. Immunohistochemistry using antisera against duck AA protein revealed that tissues from 2 of the 5 birds were positive for the presence of AA protein and systemic inflammation-associated amyloidosis. Although the development of AA amyloidosis has been associated with chronic inflammation, trauma, and various infectious and neoplastic diseases as well as possible genetic predispositions and stresses linked to overcrowding, the root causes for individual cases of AA amyloidosis are incompletely understood. As far as we know, this report is the first description of AA amyloidosis in captive, research zebra finches. PMID:27298248

  7. Evolutionary Analysis and Expression Profiling of Zebra Finch Immune Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ekblom, Robert; French, Lisa; Slate, Jon; Burke, Terry

    2010-01-01

    Genes of the immune system are generally considered to evolve rapidly due to host–parasite coevolution. They are therefore of great interest in evolutionary biology and molecular ecology. In this study, we manually annotated 144 avian immune genes from the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) genome and conducted evolutionary analyses of these by comparing them with their orthologs in the chicken (Gallus gallus). Genes classified as immune receptors showed elevated dN/dS ratios compared with other classes of immune genes. Immune genes in general also appear to be evolving more rapidly than other genes, as inferred from a higher dN/dS ratio compared with the rest of the genome. Furthermore, ten genes (of 27) for which sequence data were available from at least three bird species showed evidence of positive selection acting on specific codons. From transcriptome data of eight different tissues, we found evidence for expression of 106 of the studied immune genes, with primary expression of most of these in bursa, blood, and spleen. These immune-related genes showed a more tissue-specific expression pattern than other genes in the zebra finch genome. Several of the avian immune genes investigated here provide strong candidates for in-depth studies of molecular adaptation in birds. PMID:20884724

  8. Zebra finches are able to learn affixation-like patterns.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiani; Jansen, Naomi; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    Adding an affix to transform a word is common across the world languages, with the edges of words more likely to carry out such a function. However, detecting affixation patterns is also observed in learning tasks outside the domain of language, suggesting that the underlying mechanism from which affixation patterns have arisen may not be language or even human specific. We addressed whether a songbird, the zebra finch, is able to discriminate between, and generalize, affixation-like patterns. Zebra finches were trained and tested in a Go/Nogo paradigm to discriminate artificial song element sequences resembling prefixed and suffixed 'words.' The 'stems' of the 'words,' consisted of different combinations of a triplet of song elements, to which a fourth element was added as either a 'prefix' or a 'suffix.' After training, the birds were tested with novel stems, consisting of either rearranged familiar element types or novel element types. The birds were able to generalize the affixation patterns to novel stems with both familiar and novel element types. Hence, the discrimination resulting from the training was not based on memorization of individual stimuli, but on a shared property among Go or Nogo stimuli, i.e., affixation patterns. Remarkably, birds trained with suffixation as Go pattern showed clear evidence of using both prefix and suffix, while those trained with the prefix as the Go stimulus used primarily the prefix. This finding illustrates that an asymmetry in attending to different affixations is not restricted to human languages.

  9. Colour preferences in nest-building zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Muth, Felicity; Steele, Matthew; Healy, Susan D

    2013-10-01

    Some bird species are selective in the materials they choose for nest building, preferring, for example, materials of one colour to others. However, in many cases the cause of these preferences is not clear. One of those species is the zebra finch, which exhibits strong preferences for particular colours of nest material. In an attempt to determine why these birds strongly prefer one colour of material over another, we compared the preferences of paired male zebra finches for nest material colour with their preferences for food of the same colours. We found that birds did indeed prefer particular colours of nest material (in most cases blue) but that they did not generally prefer food of one colour over the other colours. It appears, then, that a preference for one colour or another of nest material is specific to the nest-building context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Kin recognition and adjustment of reproductive effort in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Arct, Aneta; Rutkowska, Joanna; Martyka, Rafal; Drobniak, Szymon M; Cichon, Mariusz

    2010-12-23

    The differential allocation theory predicts that females should invest more in offspring produced with attractive partners, and a number of studies support this prediction in birds. Females have been shown to increase reproductive investment when mated to males showing elaborated sexual traits. However, mate attractiveness might also depend on the interaction between male and female genotypes. Accordingly, females should invest more in offspring sired by individuals that are genetically dissimilar or carry superior alleles. Here, we show in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) that pairs of unfamiliar genetic brothers and sisters are less likely to reproduce in comparison with randomly mated pairs. Among the brother-sister pairs, those that attempted to breed laid smaller clutches and of lower total clutch mass. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that females adjust their reproductive effort in response to the genetic similarity of their partners. Importantly, these results imply a female ability to assess relatedness of a social mate without prior association.

  11. Kin recognition and adjustment of reproductive effort in zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Arct, Aneta; Rutkowska, Joanna; Martyka, Rafał; Drobniak, Szymon M.; Cichoń, Mariusz

    2010-01-01

    The differential allocation theory predicts that females should invest more in offspring produced with attractive partners, and a number of studies support this prediction in birds. Females have been shown to increase reproductive investment when mated to males showing elaborated sexual traits. However, mate attractiveness might also depend on the interaction between male and female genotypes. Accordingly, females should invest more in offspring sired by individuals that are genetically dissimilar or carry superior alleles. Here, we show in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) that pairs of unfamiliar genetic brothers and sisters are less likely to reproduce in comparison with randomly mated pairs. Among the brother–sister pairs, those that attempted to breed laid smaller clutches and of lower total clutch mass. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that females adjust their reproductive effort in response to the genetic similarity of their partners. Importantly, these results imply a female ability to assess relatedness of a social mate without prior association. PMID:20573618

  12. Susceptibility and antibody response of the laboratory model zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to West Nile Virus

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Lund, Melissa; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2017-01-01

    Since the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) into North America in 1999 a number of passerine bird species have been found to play a role in the amplification of the virus. Arbovirus surveillance, observational studies and experimental studies have implicated passerine birds (songbirds, e.g., crows, American robins, house sparrows, and house finches) as significant reservoirs of WNV in North America, yet we lack a tractable passerine animal model for controlled studies of the virus. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) serves as a model system across a diversity of fields, and here we develop the zebra finch a songbird model for WNV. Like many natural hosts of WNV, we found that zebra finches developed sufficient viremia to serve as a competent host, yet in general resisted mortality from infection. In the Australian zebra finch (AZF) T. g. castanotis, we detected WNV in the majority of sampled tissues by 4 days post injection (dpi). However, WNV was not detected in tissues of sacrificed birds at 14 dpi, shortly after the development of detectable anti-WNV antibodies in the majority of birds indicating successful viral clearance. We compared susceptibility between the two zebra finch subspecies AZF and Timor zebra finch (TZF) T. g. guttata. Compared to AZF, WNV RNA was detected in a larger proportion of challenged TZF and molecular detection of virus in the serum of TZF was significantly higher than in AZF. Given the observed moderate host competence and disease susceptibility, we suggest that zebra finches are appropriate as models for the study of WNV and although underutilized in this respect, may be ideal models for the study of the many diseases carried and transmitted by songbirds.

  13. Housing conditions and sacrifice protocol affect neural activity and vocal behavior in a songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Elie, Julie Estelle; Soula, Hédi Antoine; Trouvé, Colette; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2015-12-01

    Individual cages represent a widely used housing condition in laboratories. This isolation represents an impoverished physical and social environment in gregarious animals. It prevents animals from socializing, even when auditory and visual contact is maintained. Zebra finches are colonial songbirds that are widely used as laboratory animals for the study of vocal communication from brain to behavior. In this study, we investigated the effect of single housing on the vocal behavior and the brain activity of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): male birds housed in individual cages were compared to freely interacting male birds housed as a social group in a communal cage. We focused on the activity of septo-hypothalamic regions of the "social behavior network" (SBN), a set of limbic regions involved in several social behaviors in vertebrates. The activity of four structures of the SBN (BSTm, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; POM, medial preoptic area; lateral septum; ventromedial hypothalamus) and one associated region (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) was assessed using immunoreactive nuclei density of the immediate early gene Zenk (egr-1). We further assessed the identity of active cell populations by labeling vasotocin (VT). Brain activity was related to behavioral activities of birds like physical and vocal interactions. We showed that individual housing modifies vocal exchanges between birds compared to communal housing. This is of particular importance in the zebra finch, a model species for the study of vocal communication. In addition, a protocol that daily removes one or two birds from the group affects differently male zebra finches depending of their housing conditions: while communally-housed males changed their vocal output, brains of individually housed males show increased Zenk labeling in non-VT cells of the BSTm and enhanced correlation of Zenk-revealed activity between the studied structures. These results show that

  14. The disassociation of visual and acoustic conspecific cues decreases discrimination by female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Campbell, Dana L M; Hauber, Mark E

    2009-08-01

    Female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) use visual and acoustic traits for accurate recognition of male conspecifics. Evidence from video playbacks confirms that both sensory modalities are important for conspecific and species discrimination, but experimental evidence of the individual roles of these cue types affecting live conspecific recognition is limited. In a spatial paradigm to test discrimination, the authors used live male zebra finch stimuli of 2 color morphs, wild-type (conspecific) and white with a painted black beak (foreign), producing 1 of 2 vocalization types: songs and calls learned from zebra finch parents (conspecific) or cross-fostered songs and calls learned from Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata vars. domestica) foster parents (foreign). The authors found that female zebra finches consistently preferred males with conspecific visual and acoustic cues over males with foreign cues, but did not discriminate when the conspecific and foreign visual and acoustic cues were mismatched. These results indicate the importance of both visual and acoustic features for female zebra finches when discriminating between live conspecific males. Copyright 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. Anatomically Discrete Sex Differences in Neuroplasticity in Zebra Finches as Reflected by Perineuronal Nets

    PubMed Central

    Cornez, Gilles; ter Haar, Sita M.; Cornil, Charlotte A.; Balthazart, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Large morphological sex differences in the vertebrate brain were initially identified in song control nuclei of oscines. Besides gross differences between volumes of nuclei in males and females, sex differences also concern the size and dendritic arborization of neurons and various neurochemical markers, such as the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV). Perineuronal nets (PNN) of the extracellular matrix are aggregates of different compounds, mainly chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, that surround subsets of neurons, often expressing PV. PNN develop in zebra finches song control nuclei around the end of the sensitive period for song learning and tutor deprivation, known to delay the end of the song learning sensitive period, decreases the numbers of PNN in HVC. We demonstrate here the existence in zebra finches of a major sex difference (males > females) affecting the number of PNN (especially those surrounding PV-positive cells) in HVC and to a smaller extent the robust nucleus of the arcopallium, RA, the two main nuclei controlling song production. These differences were not present in Area X and LMAN, the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium. A dense expression of material immunoreactive for chondroitin sulfate was also detected in several nuclei of the auditory and visual pathways. This material was often organized in perineuronal rings but quantification of these PNN did not reveal any sex difference with the exception that the percentage of PNN surrounding PV-ir cells in the dorsal lateral mesencephalic nucleus, MLd, was larger in females than in males, a sex difference in the opposite direction compared to what is seen in HVC and RA. These data confirm and extend previous studies demonstrating the sex difference affecting PNN in HVC-RA by showing that this sex difference is anatomically specific and does not concern visual or auditory pathways. PMID:25848776

  16. Neural correlates of nesting behavior in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Hall, Zachary J; Bertin, Marion; Bailey, Ida E; Meddle, Simone L; Healy, Susan D

    2014-05-01

    Nest building in birds involves a behavioral sequence (nest material collection and deposition in the nest) that offers a unique model for addressing how the brain sequences motor actions. In this study, we identified brain regions involved in nesting behavior in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We used Fos immunohistochemistry to quantify production of the immediate early gene protein product Fos (a molecular indicator of neuronal activity) in the brain correlated this expression with the variation in nesting behavior. Using this technique, we found that neural circuitry involved in motor sequencing, social behavior, reward and motivation were active during nesting. Within pairs of nesting birds, the number of times a male picked up or deposited nesting material and the amount of time a female spent in the nest explained the variation in Fos expression in the anterior motor pathway, social behavior network, and reward neural circuits. Identification of the brain regions that are involved in nesting enables us to begin studying the roles of motor sequencing, context, and reward in construction behavior at the neural level. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Neural correlates of nesting behavior in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Zachary J.; Bertin, Marion; Bailey, Ida E.; Meddle, Simone L.; Healy, Susan D.

    2014-01-01

    Nest building in birds involves a behavioral sequence (nest material collection and deposition in the nest) that offers a unique model for addressing how the brain sequences motor actions. In this study, we identified brain regions involved in nesting behavior in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We used Fos immunohistochemistry to quantify production of the immediate early gene protein product Fos (a molecular indicator of neuronal activity) in the brain correlated this expression with the variation in nesting behavior. Using this technique, we found that neural circuitry involved in motor sequencing, social behavior, reward and motivation were active during nesting. Within pairs of nesting birds, the number of times a male picked up or deposited nesting material and the amount of time a female spent in the nest explained the variation in Fos expression in the anterior motor pathway, social behavior network, and reward neural circuits. Identification of the brain regions that are involved in nesting enables us to begin studying the roles of motor sequencing, context, and reward in construction behavior at the neural level. PMID:24508238

  18. Acoustic fine structure may encode biologically relevant information for zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Prior, Nora H; Smith, Edward; Lawson, Shelby; Ball, Gregory F; Dooling, Robert J

    2018-04-18

    The ability to discriminate changes in the fine structure of complex sounds is well developed in birds. However, the precise limit of this discrimination ability and how it is used in the context of natural communication remains unclear. Here we describe natural variability in acoustic fine structure of male and female zebra finch calls. Results from psychoacoustic experiments demonstrate that zebra finches are able to discriminate extremely small differences in fine structure, which are on the order of the variation in acoustic fine structure that is present in their vocal signals. Results from signal analysis methods also suggest that acoustic fine structure may carry information that distinguishes between biologically relevant categories including sex, call type and individual identity. Combined, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that zebra finches can encode biologically relevant information within the fine structure of their calls. This study provides a foundation for our understanding of how acoustic fine structure may be involved in animal communication.

  19. Developmental stress increases reproductive success in male zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Crino, Ondi L; Prather, Colin T; Driscoll, Stephanie C; Good, Jeffrey M; Breuner, Creagh W

    2014-11-22

    There is increasing evidence that exposure to stress during development can have sustained effects on animal phenotype and performance across life-history stages. For example, developmental stress has been shown to decrease the quality of sexually selected traits (e.g. bird song), and therefore is thought to decrease reproductive success. However, animals exposed to developmental stress may compensate for poor quality sexually selected traits by pursuing alternative reproductive tactics. Here, we examine the effects of developmental stress on adult male reproductive investment and success in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We tested the hypothesis that males exposed to developmental stress sire fewer offspring through extra-pair copulations (EPCs), but invest more in parental care. To test this hypothesis, we fed nestlings corticosterone (CORT; the dominant avian stress hormone) during the nestling period and measured their adult reproductive success using common garden breeding experiments. We found that nestlings reared by CORT-fed fathers received more parental care compared with nestlings reared by control fathers. Consequently, males fed CORT during development reared nestlings in better condition compared with control males. Contrary to the prediction that developmental stress decreases male reproductive success, we found that CORT-fed males also sired more offspring and were less likely to rear non-genetic offspring compared with control males, and thus had greater overall reproductive success. These data are the first to demonstrate that developmental stress can have a positive effect on fitness via changes in reproductive success and provide support for an adaptive role of developmental stress in shaping animal phenotype. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  20. Dissection and Downstream Analysis of Zebra Finch Embryos at Early Stages of Development

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Jessica R.; Stanciauskas, Monika E.; Aralere, Tejas S.; Saha, Margaret S.

    2014-01-01

    The zebra finch (Taeniopygiaguttata) has become an increasingly important model organism in many areas of research including toxicology1,2, behavior3, and memory and learning4,5,6. As the only songbird with a sequenced genome, the zebra finch has great potential for use in developmental studies; however, the early stages of zebra finch development have not been well studied. Lack of research in zebra finch development can be attributed to the difficulty of dissecting the small egg and embryo. The following dissection method minimizes embryonic tissue damage, which allows for investigation of morphology and gene expression at all stages of embryonic development. This permits both bright field and fluorescence quality imaging of embryos, use in molecular procedures such as in situ hybridization (ISH), cell proliferation assays, and RNA extraction for quantitative assays such as quantitative real-time PCR (qtRT-PCR). This technique allows investigators to study early stages of development that were previously difficult to access. PMID:24999108

  1. Zebra Finch Song Phonology and Syntactical Structure across Populations and Continents-A Computational Comparison.

    PubMed

    Lachlan, Robert F; van Heijningen, Caroline A A; Ter Haar, Sita M; Ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    Learned bird songs are often characterized by a high degree of variation between individuals and sometimes between populations, while at the same time maintaining species specificity. The evolution of such songs depends on the balance between plasticity and constraints. Captive populations provide an opportunity to examine signal variation and differentiation in detail, so we analyzed adult male zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) songs recorded from 13 populations across the world, including one sample of songs from wild-caught males in their native Australia. Cluster analysis suggested some, albeit limited, evidence that zebra finch song units belonged to universal, species-wide categories, linked to restrictions in vocal production and non-song parts of the vocal repertoire. Across populations, songs also showed some syntactical structure, although any song unit could be placed anywhere within the song. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant differentiation between populations, but the effect size was very small, and its communicative significance dubious. Our results suggest that variation in zebra finch songs within a population is largely determined by species-wide constraints rather than population-specific features. Although captive zebra finch populations have been sufficiently isolated to allow them to genetically diverge, there does not appear to have been any divergence in the genetically determined constraints that underlie song learning. Perhaps more surprising is the lack of locally diverged cultural traditions. Zebra finches serve as an example of a system where frequent learning errors may rapidly create within-population diversity, within broad phonological and syntactical constraints, and prevent the formation of long-term cultural traditions that allow populations to diverge.

  2. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex.

    PubMed

    Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Ekblom, Robert; Völker, Martin; Westerdahl, Helena; Godinez, Ricardo; Kotkiewicz, Holly; Burt, David W; Graves, Tina; Griffin, Darren K; Warren, Wesley C; Edwards, Scott V

    2010-04-01

    Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH) evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving chromosomal fission, gene duplication and translocation in the

  3. Social experience affects neuronal responses to male calls in adult female zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Menardy, F; Touiki, K; Dutrieux, G; Bozon, B; Vignal, C; Mathevon, N; Del Negro, C

    2012-04-01

    Plasticity studies have consistently shown that behavioural relevance can change the neural representation of sounds in the auditory system, but what occurs in the context of natural acoustic communication where significance could be acquired through social interaction remains to be explored. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species that forms lifelong pair bonds and uses a vocalization, the distance call, to identify its mate, offers an opportunity to address this issue. Here, we recorded spiking activity in females while presenting distance calls that differed in their degree of familiarity: calls produced by the mate, by a familiar male, or by an unfamiliar male. We focused on the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a secondary auditory forebrain region. Both the mate's call and the familiar call evoked responses that differed in magnitude from responses to the unfamiliar call. This distinction between responses was seen both in single unit recordings from anesthetized females and in multiunit recordings from awake freely moving females. In contrast, control females that had not heard them previously displayed responses of similar magnitudes to all three calls. In addition, more cells showed highly selective responses in mated than in control females, suggesting that experience-dependent plasticity in call-evoked responses resulted in enhanced discrimination of auditory stimuli. Our results as a whole demonstrate major changes in the representation of natural vocalizations in the NCM within the context of individual recognition. The functional properties of NCM neurons may thus change continuously to adapt to the social environment. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Caudal thoracic air sac cannulation in zebra finches for isoflurane anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Nilson, Paige Crystal; Teramitsu, Ikuko; White, Stephanie Ann

    2005-04-30

    Small songbirds such as the zebra finch are commonly used for studies on the neural mechanisms that underlie vocal learning. For these studies, survival surgeries are often performed that involve animal anesthesia and stereotaxic stabilization for localization of specific brain regions. Here we describe air sac cannulation as a novel method for delivering isoflurane gas to zebra finches for anesthesia during neurosurgery. Advantages of this method include that it leaves the bird's head free for stereotaxic targeting and does not interfere with the beak clamps that are often used to position and stabilize the head. It additionally allows for the use of the inhalant anesthetic, isoflurane, which is an appealing alternative to injectable anesthetics because it provides fast, minimally stressful induction, and low subject and personnel toxicity. The use of isoflurane also prevents overdosing and lengthy postoperative recovery times.

  5. FoxP2 isoforms delineate spatiotemporal transcriptional networks for vocal learning in the zebra finch

    PubMed Central

    Day, Nancy F; Kimball, Todd Haswell; Aamodt, Caitlin M; Heston, Jonathan B; Hilliard, Austin T; Xiao, Xinshu; White, Stephanie A

    2018-01-01

    Human speech is one of the few examples of vocal learning among mammals yet ~half of avian species exhibit this ability. Its neurogenetic basis is largely unknown beyond a shared requirement for FoxP2 in both humans and zebra finches. We manipulated FoxP2 isoforms in Area X, a song-specific region of the avian striatopallidum analogous to human anterior striatum, during a critical period for song development. We delineate, for the first time, unique contributions of each isoform to vocal learning. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis of RNA-seq data revealed gene modules correlated to singing, learning, or vocal variability. Coexpression related to singing was found in juvenile and adult Area X whereas coexpression correlated to learning was unique to juveniles. The confluence of learning and singing coexpression in juvenile Area X may underscore molecular processes that drive vocal learning in young zebra finches and, by analogy, humans. PMID:29360038

  6. Same-sex partner preference in zebra finches: pairing flexibility and choice.

    PubMed

    Tomaszycki, Michelle L; Zatirka, Brendon P

    2014-11-01

    This study examined flexibility and choice in same-sex pair-bonding behavior in adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Zebra finches form life-long monogamous relationships and extra pair behavior is very low, making them an ideal species in which to study same-sex pairing. We examined same-sex behaviors using both semi-naturalistic choice paradigms and skewed sex ratios. In the first experiment, we allowed zebra finches to pair in aviaries with equal sex ratios as part of multiple experiments. On average, 6.4% (N = 78) of unmanipulated pairs were same-sex: all but one was female-female. In a second experiment, we identified pairs from same-sex cages and selected 20 total same-sex pairs (10 of each sex). We then gave pairs a chance to court and pair with members of the opposite sex and observed their behavior for three days. Females did not retain their partner, but most paired with males. In contrast, some males did retain their partner. Similarly, females were more likely to engage in pairing behaviors with males than with their partners or other females whereas males were equally likely to engage in same-sex and opposite-sex pairing behaviors. These findings suggest that same-sex partnerships in zebra finches can be facultative, based on the sex ratio of the group in which they live, but can also be a choice, when opportunities to pair with opposite-sex individuals are possible. Furthermore, it is possible that females are more flexible in this choice of same-sex partnerships than are males.

  7. Quality of public information matters in mate-choice copying in female zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Kniel, Nina; Schmitz, Jennifer; Witte, Klaudia

    2015-01-01

    Mate-choice copying is a form of social learning in which an individual gains information about potential mates by observing conspecifics. However, it is still unknown what kind of information drives the decision of an individual to copy the mate choice of others. Among zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis), only females (not males) copy the mate choice of others. We tested female zebra finches in a binary choice test where they, first, could choose between two males of different phenotypes: one unadorned male and one male artificially adorned with a red feather on the forehead. After this mate-choice test, females could observe a single unadorned male and a pair of zebra finches, i.e. a wild-type female and her adorned mate. Pair interactions were either restricted to acoustic and visual communication (clear glass screen between pair mates) or acoustic communication alone (opaque screen between pair mates). After the observation period, females could again choose between new males of the two phenotypes in a second mate-choice test. In experiments with a clear glass screen, time spent with the respective males changed between the two mate-choice tests, and females preferred adorned over unadorned males during the second mate-choice test. In experiments with an opaque screen, time spent with the respective males did not change between the two mate-choice tests, although females lost an initial preference for unadorned males. Our results demonstrate that the quality of the received public information (visual and acoustic interaction of the observed pair) influences mate-choice copying in female zebra finches.

  8. Zebra Finch Mates Use Their Forebrain Song System in Unlearned Call Communication

    PubMed Central

    Ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Sagunsky, Hannes; Seltmann, Susanne; Gahr, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which “stack” calls are uttered frequently. To determine unequivocally the calls produced by each member of a group, we mounted miniature wireless microphones on each zebra finch. We find that group living paired males and females communicate using bilateral stack calling. To investigate the role of the song control system in call-based male female communication, we recorded the electrical activity in a premotor nucleus of the song control system in freely behaving male birds. The unique combination of acoustic monitoring together with wireless brain recording of individual zebra finches in groups shows that the neuronal activity of the song system correlates with the production of unlearned stack calls. The results suggest that the song system evolved from a brain circuit controlling simple unlearned calls to a system capable of producing acoustically rich, learned vocalizations. PMID:25313846

  9. Evaluation of Best Practices for the Euthanasia of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Kathleen E; Bracchi, Lauren A; Lieberman, Mia T; Hill, Nichola J; Caron, Tyler J; Patterson, Mary M

    2017-01-01

    Although zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) have been used in biomedical research for many years, no published reports are available about euthanizing these small birds. In this study, we compared 5 methods for zebra finch euthanasia: sodium pentobarbital (NaP) given intracoelomically with physical restraint but no anesthesia; isoflurane anesthesia followed by intracoelomic injection of NaP; and CO2 asphyxiation at 20%, 40%, and 80% chamber displacement rates (percentage of chamber volume per minute). Birds undergoing euthanasia were videorecorded and scored by 2 observers for behaviors potentially related to discomfort or distress. Time to recumbency and time until respiratory arrest (RA) were also assessed. RA was achieved faster by using NaP in a conscious bird compared to using isoflurane anesthesia followed by NaP; however, neither method caused behaviors that might affect animal welfare, such as open-mouth breathing, to any appreciable extent. Among the CO2 treatment groups, there was an inverse correlation between the chamber displacement rate used and the duration of open-mouth breathing, onset of head retroflexion, and time to RA. The results demonstrate that the intracoelomic administration of NaP in an awake, restrained zebra finch is a rapid and effective method of euthanasia. If CO2 is used to euthanize these birds, a high displacement rate (for example, 80%) will minimize the duration of the procedure and associated behaviors. PMID:29256376

  10. Evaluation of Best Practices for the Euthanasia of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Scott, Kathleen E; Bracchi, Lauren A; Lieberman, Mia T; Hill, Nichola J; Caron, Tyler J; Patterson, Mary M

    2017-11-01

    Although zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) have been used in biomedical research for many years, no published reports are available about euthanizing these small birds. In this study, we compared 5 methods for zebra finch euthanasia: sodium pentobarbital (NaP) given intracoelomically with physical restraint but no anesthesia; isoflurane anesthesia followed by intracoelomic injection of NaP; and CO2 asphyxiation at 20%, 40%, and 80% chamber displacement rates (percentage of chamber volume per minute). Birds undergoing euthanasia were videorecorded and scored by 2 observers for behaviors potentially related to discomfort or distress. Time to recumbency and time until respiratory arrest (RA) were also assessed. RA was achieved faster by using NaP in a conscious bird compared to using isoflurane anesthesia followed by NaP; however, neither method caused behaviors that might affect animal welfare, such as open-mouth breathing, to any appreciable extent. Among the CO2 treatment groups, there was an inverse correlation between the chamber displacement rate used and the duration of open-mouth breathing, onset of head retroflexion, and time to RA. The results demonstrate that the intracoelomic administration of NaP in an awake, restrained zebra finch is a rapid and effective method of euthanasia. If CO2 is used to euthanize these birds, a high displacement rate (for example, 80%) will minimize the duration of the procedure and associated behaviors.

  11. Zebra finch mates use their forebrain song system in unlearned call communication.

    PubMed

    Ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Sagunsky, Hannes; Seltmann, Susanne; Gahr, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which "stack" calls are uttered frequently. To determine unequivocally the calls produced by each member of a group, we mounted miniature wireless microphones on each zebra finch. We find that group living paired males and females communicate using bilateral stack calling. To investigate the role of the song control system in call-based male female communication, we recorded the electrical activity in a premotor nucleus of the song control system in freely behaving male birds. The unique combination of acoustic monitoring together with wireless brain recording of individual zebra finches in groups shows that the neuronal activity of the song system correlates with the production of unlearned stack calls. The results suggest that the song system evolved from a brain circuit controlling simple unlearned calls to a system capable of producing acoustically rich, learned vocalizations.

  12. A Daily Oscillation in the Fundamental Frequency and Amplitude of Harmonic Syllables of Zebra Finch Song

    PubMed Central

    Wood, William E.; Osseward, Peter J.; Roseberry, Thomas K.; Perkel, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Complex motor skills are more difficult to perform at certain points in the day (for example, shortly after waking), but the daily trajectory of motor-skill error is more difficult to predict. By undertaking a quantitative analysis of the fundamental frequency (FF) and amplitude of hundreds of zebra finch syllables per animal per day, we find that zebra finch song follows a previously undescribed daily oscillation. The FF and amplitude of harmonic syllables rises across the morning, reaching a peak near mid-day, and then falls again in the late afternoon until sleep. This oscillation, although somewhat variable, is consistent across days and across animals and does not require serotonin, as animals with serotonergic lesions maintained daily oscillations. We hypothesize that this oscillation is driven by underlying physiological factors which could be shared with other taxa. Song production in zebra finches is a model system for studying complex learned behavior because of the ease of gathering comprehensive behavioral data and the tractability of the underlying neural circuitry. The daily oscillation that we describe promises to reveal new insights into how time of day affects the ability to accomplish a variety of complex learned motor skills. PMID:24312654

  13. Comparative Cytogenetics between Two Important Songbird, Models: The Zebra Finch and the Canary

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Michelly da Silva; Kretschmer, Rafael; Frankl-Vilches, Carolina; Bakker, Antje; Gahr, Manfred; O´Brien, Patricia C. M.; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A.

    2017-01-01

    Songbird species (order Passeriformes, suborder Oscines) are important models in various experimental fields spanning behavioural genomics to neurobiology. Although the genomes of some songbird species were sequenced recently, the chromosomal organization of these species is mostly unknown. Here we focused on the two most studied songbird species in neuroscience, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and the canary (Serinus canaria). In order to clarify these issues and also to integrate chromosome data with their assembled genomes, we used classical and molecular cytogenetics in both zebra finch and canary to define their chromosomal homology, localization of heterochromatic blocks and distribution of rDNA clusters. We confirmed the same diploid number (2n = 80) in both species, as previously reported. FISH experiments confirmed the occurrence of multiple paracentric and pericentric inversions previously found in other species of Passeriformes, providing a cytogenetic signature for this order, and corroborating data from in silico analyses. Additionally, compared to other Passeriformes, we detected differences in the zebra finch karyotype concerning the morphology of some chromosomes, in the distribution of 5S rDNA clusters, and an inversion in chromosome 1. PMID:28129381

  14. Characterization of Synaptically Connected Nuclei in a Potential Sensorimotor Feedback Pathway in the Zebra Finch Song System

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Shayna M.; Nast, Alexis; Coleman, Melissa J.

    2012-01-01

    Birdsong is a learned behavior that is controlled by a group of identified nuclei, known collectively as the song system. The cortical nucleus HVC (used as a proper name) is a focal point of many investigations as it is necessary for song production, song learning, and receives selective auditory information. HVC receives input from several sources including the cortical area MMAN (medial magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium). The MMAN to HVC connection is particularly interesting as it provides potential sensorimotor feedback to HVC. To begin to understand the role of this connection, we investigated the physiological relation between MMAN and HVC activity with simultaneous multiunit extracellular recordings from these two nuclei in urethane anesthetized zebra finches. As previously reported, we found similar timing in spontaneous bursts of activity in MMAN and HVC. Like HVC, MMAN responds to auditory playback of the bird's own song (BOS), but had little response to reversed BOS or conspecific song. Stimulation of MMAN resulted in evoked activity in HVC, indicating functional excitation from MMAN to HVC. However, inactivation of MMAN resulted in no consistent change in auditory responses in HVC. Taken together, these results indicate that MMAN provides functional excitatory input to HVC but does not provide significant auditory input to HVC in anesthetized animals. We hypothesize that MMAN may play a role in motor reinforcement or coordination, or may provide modulatory input to the song system about the internal state of the animal as it receives input from the hypothalamus. PMID:22384172

  15. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. Results The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH) evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. Conclusion The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving chromosomal fission, gene

  16. Using Digital Images of the Zebra Finch Song System as a Tool to Teach Organizational Effects of Steroid Hormones: A Free Downloadable Module

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grisham, William; Schottler, Natalie A.; Beck McCauley, Lisa M.; Pham, Anh P.; Ruiz, Maureen L.; Fong, Michelle C.; Cui, Xinran

    2011-01-01

    Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the…

  17. Exploring sex differences in the adult zebra finch brain: In vivo diffusion tensor imaging and ex vivo super-resolution track density imaging.

    PubMed

    Hamaide, Julie; De Groof, Geert; Van Steenkiste, Gwendolyn; Jeurissen, Ben; Van Audekerke, Johan; Naeyaert, Maarten; Van Ruijssevelt, Lisbeth; Cornil, Charlotte; Sijbers, Jan; Verhoye, Marleen; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2017-02-01

    -quality anatomical maps that enable a clear delineation of most components of the song control and auditory systems. In conclusion, this study paves the way for longitudinal in vivo and high-resolution ex vivo experiments aimed at disentangling neuroplastic events that characterize the critical period for vocal learning in zebra finch ontogeny. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Alexandra M; Perez, Emilie C; Mulard, Hervé; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2016-02-01

    Social stimuli can have rewarding properties and promote learning. In birds, conspecific vocalizations like song can act as a reinforcer, and specific song variants can acquire particular rewarding values during early life exposure. Here we ask if, during adulthood, an acoustic signal simpler and shorter than song can become a reward for a female songbird because of its particular social value. Using an operant choice apparatus, we showed that female zebra finches display a preferential response toward their mate's calls. This reinforcing value of mate's calls could be involved in the maintenance of the monogamous pair-bond of the zebra finch. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Behavioural and physiological effects of population density on domesticated Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) held in aviaries.

    PubMed

    Poot, Hanneke; ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Schwabl, Ingrid; Jansen, René F; Gahr, Manfred

    2012-02-01

    Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are highly social and monogamous birds that display relatively low levels of aggression and coordinate group life mainly by means of vocal communication. In the wild, small groups may congregate to larger flocks of up to 150-350 birds. Little is known, however, about possible effects of population density on development in captivity. Investigating density effects on physiology and behaviour might be helpful in identifying optimal group size, in order to optimise Zebra Finch wellbeing. A direct effect of population density on development and reproduction was found: birds in lower density conditions produced significantly more and larger (body mass, tarsus length) surviving offspring than birds in high density conditions. Furthermore, offspring in low density aviaries produced slightly longer song motifs and more different syllables than their tutors, whereas offspring in high density aviaries produced shorter motifs and a smaller or similar number of different syllables than their tutors. Aggression levels within the populations were low throughout the experiment, but the number of aggressive interactions was significantly higher in high density aviaries. Baseline corticosterone levels did not differ significantly between high- and low density aviaries for either adult or offspring birds. On day 15 post hatching, brood size and baseline corticosterone levels were positively correlated. On days 60 and 100 post hatching this correlation was no longer present. The results of this study prove that population density affects various aspects of Zebra Finch development, with birds living in low population density conditions having an advantage over those living under higher population density conditions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Zebra finches have a light-dependent magnetic compass similar to migratory birds.

    PubMed

    Pinzon-Rodriguez, Atticus; Muheim, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    Birds have a light-dependent magnetic compass that provides information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina and mediated by a light-induced, radical-pair mechanism involving cryptochromes as sensory receptor molecules. To investigate how the behavioural responses of birds under different light spectra match with cryptochromes as the primary magnetoreceptor, we examined the spectral properties of the magnetic compass in zebra finches. We trained birds to relocate a food reward in a spatial orientation task using magnetic compass cues. The birds were well oriented along the trained magnetic compass axis when trained and tested under low-irradiance 521 nm green light. In the presence of a 1.4 MHz radio-frequency electromagnetic (RF)-field, the birds were disoriented, which supports the involvement of radical-pair reactions in the primary magnetoreception process. Birds trained and tested under 638 nm red light showed a weak tendency to orient ∼45 deg clockwise of the trained magnetic direction. Under low-irradiance 460 nm blue light, they tended to orient along the trained magnetic compass axis, but were disoriented under higher irradiance light. Zebra finches trained and tested under high-irradiance 430 nm indigo light were well oriented along the trained magnetic compass axis, but disoriented in the presence of a RF-field. We conclude that magnetic compass responses of zebra finches are similar to those observed in nocturnally migrating birds and agree with cryptochromes as the primary magnetoreceptor, suggesting that light-dependent, radical-pair-mediated magnetoreception is a common property for all birds, including non-migratory species. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Exploring the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata as a novel animal model for the speech-language deficit of fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Winograd, Claudia; Ceman, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and presents with markedly atypical speech-language, likely due to impaired vocal learning. Although current models have been useful for studies of some aspects of FXS, zebra finch is the only tractable lab model for vocal learning. The neural circuits for vocal learning in the zebra finch have clear relationships to the pathways in the human brain that may be affected in FXS. Further, finch vocal learning may be quantified using software designed specifically for this purpose. Knockdown of the zebra finch FMR1 gene may ultimately enable novel tests of therapies that are modality-specific, using drugs or even social strategies, to ameliorate deficits in vocal development and function. In this chapter, we describe the utility of the zebra finch model and present a hypothesis for the role of FMRP in the developing neural circuitry for vocalization.

  2. Chick Development and Asynchroneous Hatching in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis).

    PubMed

    Ikebuchi, Maki; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2017-10-01

    The mode of hatching in birds has important impacts on both parents and chicks, including the costs and risks of breeding for parents, and sibling competition in a clutch. Birds with multiple eggs in a single clutch often begin incubating when most eggs are laid, thereby reducing time of incubation, nursing burden, and sibling competition. In some songbirds and some other species, however, incubation starts immediately after the first egg is laid, and the chicks thus hatch asynchronously. This may result in differences in parental care and in sibling competition based on body size differences among older and younger chicks, which in turn might produce asynchronous development among siblings favoring the first hatchling, and further affect the development and fitness of the chicks after fledging. To determine whether such processes in fact occur in the zebra finch, we observed chick development in 18 clutches of zebra finches. We found that there were effects of asynchronous hatching, but these were smaller than expected and mostly not significant. Our observations suggest that the amount of care given to each chick may be equated with such factors as a camouflage effect of the down feathers, and that the low illumination within the nest also complicates the determination of the hatching order by the parents.

  3. Transcriptional response to West Nile virus infection in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Newhouse, Daniel J.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2017-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a widespread arbovirus that imposes a significant cost to both human and wildlife health. WNV exists in a bird-mosquito transmission cycle in which passerine birds act as the primary reservoir host. As a public health concern, the mammalian immune response to WNV has been studied in detail. Little, however, is known about the avian immune response to WNV. Avian taxa show variable susceptibility to WNV and what drives this variation is unknown. Thus, to study the immune response to WNV in birds, we experimentally infected captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Zebra finches provide a useful model, as like many natural avian hosts they are moderately susceptible to WNV and thus provide sufficient viremia to infect mosquitoes. We performed RNAseq in spleen tissue during peak viremia to provide an overview of the transcriptional response. In general, we find strong parallels with the mammalian immune response to WNV, including upregulation of five genes in the Rig-I-like receptor signalling pathway, and offer insights into avian-specific responses. Together with complementary immunological assays, we provide a model of the avian immune response to WNV and set the stage for future comparative studies among variably susceptible populations and species.

  4. Juvenile zebra finches learn the underlying structural regularities of their fathers’ song

    PubMed Central

    Menyhart, Otília; Kolodny, Oren; Goldstein, Michael H.; DeVoogd, Timothy J.; Edelman, Shimon

    2015-01-01

    Natural behaviors, such as foraging, tool use, social interaction, birdsong, and language, exhibit branching sequential structure. Such structure should be learnable if it can be inferred from the statistics of early experience. We report that juvenile zebra finches learn such sequential structure in song. Song learning in finches has been extensively studied, and it is generally believed that young males acquire song by imitating tutors (Zann, 1996). Variability in the order of elements in an individual’s mature song occurs, but the degree to which variation in a zebra finch’s song follows statistical regularities has not been quantified, as it has typically been dismissed as production error (Sturdy et al., 1999). Allowing for the possibility that such variation in song is non-random and learnable, we applied a novel analytical approach, based on graph-structured finite-state grammars, to each individual’s full corpus of renditions of songs. This method does not assume syllable-level correspondence between individuals. We find that song variation can be described by probabilistic finite-state graph grammars that are individually distinct, and that the graphs of juveniles are more similar to those of their fathers than to those of other adult males. This grammatical learning is a new parallel between birdsong and language. Our method can be applied across species and contexts to analyze complex variable learned behaviors, as distinct as foraging, tool use, and language. PMID:26005428

  5. In Vivo Recording of Single-Unit Activity during Singing in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Okubo, Tatsuo S.; Mackevicius, Emily L.; Fee, Michale S.

    2015-01-01

    The zebra finch is an important model for investigating the neural mechanisms that underlie vocal production and learning. Previous anatomical and gene expression studies have identified an interconnected set of brain areas in this organism that are important for singing. To advance our understanding of how these various brain areas act together to learn and produce a highly stereotyped song, it is necessary to record the activity of individual neurons during singing. Here, we present a protocol for recording single-unit activity in freely moving zebra finches during singing using a miniature, motorized microdrive. It includes procedures for both the microdrive implant surgery and the electrophysiological recordings. There are several advantages of this technique: (1) high-impedance electrodes can be used in the microdrive to obtain well-isolated single units; (2) a motorized microdrive is used to remotely control the electrode position, allowing neurons to be isolated without handling the bird, and (3) a lateral positioner is used to move electrodes into fresh tissue before each penetration, allowing recordings from well-isolated neurons over the course of several weeks. We also describe the application of the antidromic stimulation and the spike collision test to identify neurons based on the axonal projection patterns. PMID:25342072

  6. The roles of vocal and visual interactions in social learning zebra finches: A video playback experiment.

    PubMed

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D

    2017-06-01

    The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Differences in depredation by small predators limit the use of plasticine and zebra finch eggs in artificial-nest studies

    Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2001-01-01

    Small mammals, such as mice and voles, have been implicated as major egg predators of Neotropical migrant passerines by field studies using soft plasticine eggs or the very small eggs of Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Nevertheless, the effort required to depredate these commonly used egg surrogates may be less than that required to depredate the...

  8. Sex bias and dosage compensation in the zebra finch versus chicken genomes: General and specialized patterns among birds

    PubMed Central

    Itoh, Yuichiro; Replogle, Kirstin; Kim, Yong-Hwan; Wade, Juli; Clayton, David F.; Arnold, Arthur P.

    2010-01-01

    We compared global patterns of gene expression between two bird species, the chicken and zebra finch, with regard to sex bias of autosomal versus Z chromosome genes, dosage compensation, and evolution of sex bias. Both species appear to lack a Z chromosome–wide mechanism of dosage compensation, because both have a similar pattern of significantly higher expression of Z genes in males relative to females. Unlike the chicken Z chromosome, which has female-specific expression of the noncoding RNA MHM (male hypermethylated) and acetylation of histone 4 lysine 16 (H4K16) near MHM, the zebra finch Z chromosome appears to lack the MHM sequence and acetylation of H4K16. The zebra finch also does not show the reduced male-to-female (M:F) ratio of gene expression near MHM similar to that found in the chicken. Although the M:F ratios of Z chromosome gene expression are similar across tissues and ages within each species, they differ between the two species. Z genes showing the greatest species difference in M:F ratio were concentrated near the MHM region of the chicken Z chromosome. This study shows that the zebra finch differs from the chicken because it lacks a specialized region of greater dosage compensation along the Z chromosome, and shows other differences in sex bias. These patterns suggest that different avian taxa may have evolved specific compensatory mechanisms. PMID:20357053

  9. Accelerated Evolution of PAK3- and PIM1-like Kinase Gene Families in the Zebra Finch, Taeniopygia guttata

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Lesheng; Lovell, Peter V.; Heger, Andreas; Mello, Claudio V.; Ponting, Chris P.

    2010-01-01

    Genes encoding protein kinases tend to evolve slowly over evolutionary time, and only rarely do they appear as recent duplications in sequenced vertebrate genomes. Consequently, it was a surprise to find two families of kinase genes that have greatly and recently expanded in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) lineage. In contrast to other amniotic genomes (including chicken) that harbor only single copies of p21-activated serine/threonine kinase 3 (PAK3) and proviral integration site 1 (PIM1) genes, the zebra finch genome appeared at first to additionally contain 67 PAK3-like (PAK3L) and 51 PIM1-like (PIM1L) protein kinase genes. An exhaustive analysis of these gene models, however, revealed most to be incomplete, owing to the absence of terminal exons. After reprediction, 31 PAK3L genes and 10 PIM1L genes remain, and all but three are predicted, from the retention of functional sites and open reading frames, to be enzymatically active. PAK3L, but not PIM1L, gene sequences show evidence of recurrent episodes of positive selection, concentrated within structures spatially adjacent to N- and C-terminal protein regions that have been discarded from zebra finch PAK3L genes. At least seven zebra finch PAK3L genes were observed to be expressed in testis, whereas two sequences were found transcribed in the brain, one broadly including the song nuclei and the other in the ventricular zone and in cells resembling Bergmann's glia in the cerebellar Purkinje cell layer. Two PIM1L sequences were also observed to be expressed with broad distributions in the zebra finch brain, one in both the ventricular zone and the cerebellum and apparently associated with glial cells and the other showing neuronal cell expression and marked enrichment in midbrain/thalamic nuclei. These expression patterns do not correlate with zebra finch-specific features such as vocal learning. Nevertheless, our results show how ancient and conserved intracellular signaling molecules can be co

  10. Discovery of the First Germline-Restricted Gene by Subtractive Transcriptomic Analysis in the Zebra Finch, Taeniopygia guttata.

    PubMed

    Biederman, Michelle K; Nelson, Megan M; Asalone, Kathryn C; Pedersen, Alyssa L; Saldanha, Colin J; Bracht, John R

    2018-05-21

    Developmentally programmed genome rearrangements are rare in vertebrates, but have been reported in scattered lineages including the bandicoot, hagfish, lamprey, and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) [1]. In the finch, a well-studied animal model for neuroendocrinology and vocal learning [2], one such programmed genome rearrangement involves a germline-restricted chromosome, or GRC, which is found in germlines of both sexes but eliminated from mature sperm [3, 4]. Transmitted only through the oocyte, it displays uniparental female-driven inheritance, and early in embryonic development is apparently eliminated from all somatic tissue in both sexes [3, 4]. The GRC comprises the longest finch chromosome at over 120 million base pairs [3], and previously the only known GRC-derived sequence was repetitive and non-coding [5]. Because the zebra finch genome project was sourced from male muscle (somatic) tissue [6], the remaining genomic sequence and protein-coding content of the GRC remain unknown. Here we report the first protein-coding gene from the GRC: a member of the α-soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion protein (NSF) attachment protein (α-SNAP) family hitherto missing from zebra finch gene annotations. In addition to the GRC-encoded α-SNAP, we find an additional paralogous α-SNAP residing in the somatic genome (a somatolog)-making the zebra finch the first example in which α-SNAP is not a single-copy gene. We show divergent, sex-biased expression for the paralogs and also that positive selection is detectable across the bird α-SNAP lineage, including the GRC-encoded α-SNAP. This study presents the identification and evolutionary characterization of the first protein-coding GRC gene in any organism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Identification, localisation and functional implication of 26RFa orthologue peptide in the brain of zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Tobari, Y; Iijima, N; Tsunekawa, K; Osugi, T; Haraguchi, S; Ubuka, T; Ukena, K; Okanoya, K; Tsutsui, K; Ozawa, H

    2011-09-01

    Several neuropeptides with the C-terminal Arg-Phe-NH(2) (RFa) sequence have been identified in the hypothalamus of a variety of vertebrates. The present study was conducted to isolate novel RFa peptides from the zebra finch brain. Peptides were isolated by immunoaffinity purification using an antibody that recognises avian RFa peptides. The isolated peptide consisted of 25 amino acids with RFa at its C-terminus. The sequence was SGTLGNLAEEINGYNRRKGGFTFRFa. Alignment of the peptide with vertebrate 26RFa has revealed that the identified peptide is the zebra finch 26RFa. We also cloned the precursor cDNA encoding this peptide. Synteny analysis of the gene showed a high conservation of this gene among vertebrates. In addition, we cloned the cDNA encoding a putative 26RFa receptor, G protein-coupled receptor 103 (GPR103) in the zebra finch brain. GPR103 cDNA encoded a 432 amino acid protein that has seven transmembrane domains. In situ hybridisation analysis in the brain showed that the expression of 26RFa mRNA is confined to the anterior-medial hypothalamic area, ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and the lateral hypothalamic area, the brain regions that are involved in the regulation of feeding behaviour, whereas GPR103 mRNA is distributed throughout the brain in addition to the hypothalamic nuclei. When administered centrally in free-feeding male zebra finches, 26RFa increased food intake 24 h after injection without body mass change. Diencephalic GPR103 mRNA expression was up-regulated by fasting for 10 h. Our data suggest that the hypothalamic 26RFa-its receptor system plays an important role in the central control of food intake and energy homeostasis in the zebra finch. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. Song Selectivity in the Pallial-Basal Ganglia Song Circuit of Zebra Finches Raised Without Tutor Song Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kojima, Satoshi; Doupe, Allison J.

    2008-01-01

    Acoustic experience critically influences auditory cortical development as well as emergence of highly selective auditory neurons in the songbird sensorimotor circuit. In adult zebra finches, these “song-selective” neurons respond better to the bird's own song (BOS) than to songs of other conspecifics. Birds learn their songs by memorizing a tutor's song and then matching auditory feedback of their voice to the tutor song memory. Song-selective neurons in the pallial-basal ganglia circuit called the anterior forebrain pathway (AFP) reflect the development of BOS. However, during learning, they also respond strongly to tutor song and are compromised in their adult selectivity when birds are prevented from matching BOS to tutor, suggesting that selectivity depends on tutor song learning as well as sensorimotor matching of BOS feedback to the tutor song memory. We examined the contribution of sensory learning of tutor song to song selectivity by recording from AFP neurons in birds reared without exposure to adult conspecifics. We found that AFP neurons in these “isolate” birds had highly tuned responses to isolate BOS. The selectivity was as high, and in the striato-pallidal nucleus Area X, even higher than that in normal birds, due to abnormally weak responsiveness to conspecific song. These results demonstrate that sensory learning of tutor song is not necessary for BOS tuning of AFP neurons. Because isolate birds develop their song via sensorimotor learning, our data further illustrate the importance of individual sensorimotor learning for song selectivity and provide insight into possible functions of song-selective neurons. PMID:17625059

  13. Muscle activation patterns and motor anatomy of Anna's hummingbirds Calypte anna and zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Edward R; Keeney, Brooke K; Kung, Eric; Makan, Sirish; Wild, J Martin; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2013-01-01

    Flying animals exhibit profound transformations in anatomy, physiology, and neural architecture. Although much is known about adaptations in the avian skeleton and musculature, less is known about neuroanatomy and motor unit integration for bird flight. Hummingbirds are among the most maneuverable and specialized of vertebrate fliers, and two unusual neuromuscular features have been previously reported: (1) the pectoralis major has a unique distribution pattern of motor end plates (MEPs) compared with all other birds and (2) electromyograms (EMGs) from the hummingbird's pectoral muscles, the pectoralis major and the supracoracoideus, show activation bursts composed of one or a few spikes that appear to have a very consistent pattern. Here, we place these findings in a broader context by comparing the MEPs, EMGs, and organization of the spinal motor neuron pools of flight muscles of Anna's hummingbird Calypte anna, zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, and, for MEPs, several other species. The previously shown MEP pattern of the hummingbird pectoralis major is not shared with its closest taxonomic relative, the swift, and appears to be unique to hummingbirds. MEP arrangements in previously undocumented wing muscles show patterns that differ somewhat from other avian muscles. In the parallel-fibered strap muscles of the shoulder, MEP patterns appear to relate to muscle length, with the smallest muscles having fibers that span the entire muscle. MEP patterns in pennate distal wing muscles were the same regardless of size, with tightly clustered bands in the middle portion of the muscle, not evenly distributed bands over the muscle's entire length. Muscle activations were examined during slow forward flight in both species, during hovering in hummingbirds, and during slow ascents in zebra finches. The EMG bursts of a wing muscle, the pronator superficialis, were highly variable in peak number, size, and distribution across wingbeats for both species. In the pectoralis

  14. “Bird Song Metronomics”: Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm

    PubMed Central

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a “signal-derived pulse,” or pulseS, of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulseS significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulseP), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulsesS that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulseS periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel to the

  15. Singing with reduced air sac volume causes uniform decrease in airflow and sound amplitude in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Plummer, Emily Megan; Goller, Franz

    2008-01-01

    Song of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is a complex temporal sequence generated by a drastic change to the regular oscillations of the normal respiratory pattern. It is not known how respiratory functions, such as supply of air volume and gas exchange, are controlled during song. To understand the integration between respiration and song, we manipulated respiration during song by injecting inert dental medium into the air sacs. Increased respiratory rate after injections indicates that the reduction of air affected quiet respiration and that birds compensated for the reduced air volume. During song, air sac pressure, tracheal airflow and sound amplitude decreased substantially with each injection. This decrease was consistently present during each expiratory pulse of the song motif irrespective of the air volume used. Few changes to the temporal pattern of song were noted, such as the increased duration of a minibreath in one bird and the decrease in duration of a long syllable in another bird. Despite the drastic reduction in air sac pressure, airflow and sound amplitude, no increase in abdominal muscle activity was seen. This suggests that during song, birds do not compensate for the reduced physiological or acoustic parameters. Neither somatosensory nor auditory feedback mechanisms appear to effect a correction in expiratory effort to compensate for reduced air sac pressure and sound amplitude.

  16. Form of Dietary Methylmercury does not Affect Total Mercury Accumulation in the Tissues of Zebra Finch.

    PubMed

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Whitney, Margaret; Rice, Gary W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-07-01

    Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury. Much remains to be understood about what happens to ingested mercury once it enters the intestines, but our results suggest that dietary studies using methylmercury chloride in birds will produce similar tissue accumulation levels to those using methylmercury cysteine.

  17. Sex-dependent effects of nutrition on telomere dynamics in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Noguera, Jose C.; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Boner, Winnie; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-01-01

    At a cellular level, oxidative stress is known to increase telomere attrition, and hence cellular senescence and risk of disease. It has been proposed that dietary micronutrients play an important role in telomere protection due to their antioxidant properties. We experimentally manipulated dietary micronutrients during early life in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We found no effects of micronutrient intake on telomere loss during chick growth. However, females given a diet high in micronutrients during sexual maturation showed reduced telomere loss; there was no such effect in males. These results suggest that micronutrients may influence rates of cellular senescence, but differences in micronutrient requirement and allocation strategies, probably linked to the development of sexual coloration, may underlie sex differences in response. PMID:25716087

  18. A neural circuit mechanism for regulating vocal variability during song learning in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Garst-Orozco, Jonathan; Babadi, Baktash; Ölveczky, Bence P

    2014-12-15

    Motor skill learning is characterized by improved performance and reduced motor variability. The neural mechanisms that couple skill level and variability, however, are not known. The zebra finch, a songbird, presents a unique opportunity to address this question because production of learned song and induction of vocal variability are instantiated in distinct circuits that converge on a motor cortex analogue controlling vocal output. To probe the interplay between learning and variability, we made intracellular recordings from neurons in this area, characterizing how their inputs from the functionally distinct pathways change throughout song development. We found that inputs that drive stereotyped song-patterns are strengthened and pruned, while inputs that induce variability remain unchanged. A simple network model showed that strengthening and pruning of action-specific connections reduces the sensitivity of motor control circuits to variable input and neural 'noise'. This identifies a simple and general mechanism for learning-related regulation of motor variability.

  19. Patterns of call communication between group-housed zebra finches change during the breeding cycle.

    PubMed

    Gill, Lisa F; Goymann, Wolfgang; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2015-10-06

    Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through different stages of the breeding cycle. As birds formed pairs and shifted their reproductive status, their call repertoire composition changed. The recordings revealed that calls occurred non-randomly in fine-tuned vocal interactions and decreased within groups while pair-specific patterns emerged. Call-type combinations of vocal interactions changed within pairs and were associated with successful egg-laying, highlighting a potential fitness relevance of calling dynamics in communication systems.

  20. Kinematics of flap-bounding flight in the zebra finch over a wide range of speeds

    PubMed

    Tobalske; Peacock; Dial

    1999-07-01

    It has been proposed elsewhere that flap-bounding, an intermittent flight style consisting of flapping phases interspersed with flexed-wing bounds, should offer no savings in average mechanical power relative to continuous flapping unless a bird flies 1.2 times faster than its maximum range speed (Vmr). Why do some species use intermittent bounds at speeds slower than 1.2Vmr? The 'fixed-gear hypothesis' suggests that flap-bounding is used to vary mean power output in small birds that are otherwise constrained by muscle physiology and wing anatomy to use a fixed muscle shortening velocity and pattern of wing motion at all flight speeds; the 'body-lift hypothesis' suggests that some weight support during bounds could make flap-bounding flight aerodynamically advantageous in comparison with continuous flapping over most forward flight speeds. To test these predictions, we studied high-speed film recordings (300 Hz) of wing and body motion in zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata, mean mass 13.2 g, N=4) taken as the birds flew in a variable-speed wind tunnel (0-14 m s-1). The zebra finches used flap-bounding flight at all speeds, so their flight style was unique compared with that of birds that facultatively shift from continuous flapping or flap-gliding at slow speeds to flap-bounding at fast speeds. There was a significant effect of flight speed on all measured aspects of wing motion except percentage of the wingbeat spent in downstroke. Changes in angular velocity of the wing indicated that contractile velocity in the pectoralis muscle changed with flight speed, which is not consistent with the fixed-gear hypothesis. Although variation in stroke-plane angle relative to the body, pronation angle of the wing and wing span at mid-upstroke showed that the zebra finch changed within-wingbeat geometries according to speed, a vortex-ring gait with a feathered upstroke appeared to be the only gait used during flapping. In contrast, two small species that use continuous flapping

  1. Increased Mortality in a Colony of Zebra Finches Exposed to Continuous Light

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Jessica M; Molk, Denise M; Treuting, Piper M

    2013-01-01

    Over a 1-mo period, increased morbidity and mortality occurred in a flock of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Complete postmortem examination was performed on 6 of the affected birds, 4 of which subsequently were diagnosed with the avian gastric yeast previously known as megabacteriosis (Macrorhabdus ornithogaster). The remaining 2 birds were diagnosed with a cloacal abscess and with large bowel perforation and peritonitis. All the birds had been prophylactically treated with amphotericin B for megabacteria 2 mo previously. An environmental assessment revealed that the light cycle had been altered, and the birds were being exposed to constant light. With correction of the light cycle, the health of the birds improved dramatically. The remaining birds were treated again with amphotericin B, and baseline mortality returned to normal. The birds in this report show several similarities to previous reports of sleep deprivation syndrome in mammals. PMID:23849414

  2. The use of the geomagnetic field for short distance orientation in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Voss, Joe; Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2007-07-02

    Although the ability to use the Earth's magnetic field for long distance orientation and navigation has been demonstrated in many animals, the search for the appropriate receptor has not yet finished. It is also not entirely clear whether the use of magnetic field information is restricted to specialists like migrating birds, or whether it is a sense that is also suited to short distance orientation by avian species. We successfully trained nonmigratory zebra finches in a four-choice food-search task to use the natural magnetic field as well as an experimentally shifted field for short distance orientation, supporting the view that magnetic field perception may be a sense existing in all bird species. By using a conditioning technique in a standard laboratory animal, our experiments will provide an ideal basis for the search for the physiological mechanisms of magnetic field perception.

  3. Flight performance in the altricial zebra finch: Developmental effects and reproductive consequences.

    PubMed

    Crino, Ondi L; Klaassen van Oorschot, Brett; Crandell, Kristen E; Breuner, Creagh W; Tobalske, Bret W

    2017-04-01

    The environmental conditions animals experience during development can have sustained effects on morphology, physiology, and behavior. Exposure to elevated levels of stress hormones (glucocorticoids, GCs) during development is one such condition that can have long-term effects on animal phenotype. Many of the phenotypic effects of GC exposure during development (developmental stress) appear negative. However, there is increasing evidence that developmental stress can induce adaptive phenotypic changes. This hypothesis can be tested by examining the effect of developmental stress on fitness-related traits. In birds, flight performance is an ideal metric to assess the fitness consequences of developmental stress. As fledglings, mastering takeoff is crucial to avoid bodily damage and escape predation. As adults, takeoff can contribute to mating and foraging success as well as escape and, thus, can affect both reproductive success and survival. We examined the effects of developmental stress on flight performance across life-history stages in zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ). Specifically, we examined the effects of oral administration of corticosterone (CORT, the dominant avian glucocorticoid) during development on ground-reaction forces and velocity during takeoff. Additionally, we tested for associations between flight performance and reproductive success in adult male zebra finches. Developmental stress had no effect on flight performance at all ages. In contrast, brood size (an unmanipulated variable) had sustained, negative effects on takeoff performance across life-history stages with birds from small broods performing better than birds from large broods. Flight performance at 100 days posthatching predicted future reproductive success in males; the best fliers had significantly higher reproductive success. Our results demonstrate that some environmental factors experienced during development (e.g. clutch size) have stronger, more sustained effects than

  4. Dynamic gene expression in the song system of zebra finches during the song learning period.

    PubMed

    Olson, Christopher R; Hodges, Lisa K; Mello, Claudio V

    2015-12-01

    The brain circuitry that controls song learning and production undergoes marked changes in morphology and connectivity during the song learning period in juvenile zebra finches, in parallel to the acquisition, practice and refinement of song. Yet, the genetic programs and timing of regulatory change that establish the neuronal connectivity and plasticity during this critical learning period remain largely undetermined. To address this question, we used in situ hybridization to compare the expression patterns of a set of 30 known robust molecular markers of HVC and/or area X, major telencephalic song nuclei, between adult and juvenile male zebra finches at different ages during development (20, 35, 50 days post-hatch, dph). We found that several of the genes examined undergo substantial changes in expression within HVC or its surrounds, and/or in other song nuclei. They fit into broad patterns of regulation, including those whose expression within HVC during this period increases (COL12A1, COL 21A1, MPZL1, PVALB, and CXCR7) or decreases (e.g., KCNT2, SAP30L), as well as some that show decreased expression in the surrounding tissue with little change within song nuclei (e.g. SV2B, TAC1). These results reveal a broad range of molecular changes that occur in the song system in concert with the song learning period. Some of the genes and pathways identified are potential modulators of the developmental changes associated with the emergence of the adult properties of the song control system, and/or the acquisition of learned vocalizations in songbirds. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Retinal histogenesis in an altricial avian species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, Vieillot 1817).

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Hernán, Guadalupe; Sánchez-Resino, Elena; Hernández-Núñez, Ismael; Marzal, Alfonso; Rodríguez-León, Joaquín; Martín-Partido, Gervasio; Francisco-Morcillo, Javier

    2018-07-01

    Comparative developmental studies have shown that the retina of altricial fish and mammals is incompletely developed at birth, and that, during the first days of life, maturation proceeds rapidly. In contrast, precocial fish and mammals are born with fully differentiated retinas. Concerning birds, knowledge about retinal development is generally restricted to a single order of precocial birds, Galliformes, due to the fact that both the chicken and the Japanese quail are considered model systems. However, comparison of embryonic pre-hatchling retinal development between altricial and precocial birds has been poorly explored. The purpose of this study was to examine the morphogenesis and histogenesis of the retina in the altricial zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, Vieillot 1817) and compare the results with those from previous studies in the precocial chicken. Several maturational features (morphogenesis of the optic vesicle and optic cup, appearance of the first differentiated neurons, the period in which the non-apical cell divisions are observable, and the emergence of the plexiform layers) were found to occur at later stages in the zebra finch than in the chicken. At hatching, the retina of T. guttata showed the typical cytoarchitecture of the mature tissue, although features of immaturity were still observable, such as a ganglion cell layer containing many thick cells, very thin plexiform layers, and poorly developed photoreceptors. Moreover, abundant mitotic activity was detected in the entire retina, even in the regions where the layering was complete. The circumferential marginal zone was very prominent and showed abundant mitotic activity. The partially undifferentiated stage of maturation at hatching makes the T. guttata retina an appropriate model with which to study avian postnatal retinal neurogenesis. © 2018 Anatomical Society.

  6. Lowering prolactin reduces post-hatch parental care in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2018-02-01

    Parental care is a widespread phenomenon observed in many diverse taxa. Neuroendocrine systems have long been thought to play an important role in stimulating the onset of parental behavior. In most birds with altricial young, circulating prolactin (PRL) levels are low during non-breeding times and significantly increase during late incubation and early post-hatch chick care. Because of this pattern, PRL has been suggested to be involved in the initiation of parental care in birds, but rarely has this hypothesis been causally tested. To begin testing the hypothesis, we inhibited the release of endogenous PRL with bromocriptine (BR) on the 3days prior to hatching in incubating parents and the first 2days of post-hatch care, when PRL was found to be highest in zebra finches. Nest temperatures were recorded during all 5days and parental behavior was recorded on days 1-2 post-hatch. In addition to hormonal systems, reproductive experience may also influence parental care; therefore, we tested age-matched inexperienced and experienced pairs in each group. BR either eliminated or drastically reduced chick brooding and feeding behavior, resulting in decreased nest temperatures on days 1 and 2 post-hatch. Experienced control birds fed chicks more than inexperienced birds and control females fed more than males. Chick feeding behavior was positively correlated in control male-female pairs, but not in BR pairs. This is one of the few causal studies to demonstrate that PRL is necessary for post-hatch care in a biparental songbird, and is the first to show this effect in zebra finches. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Dopamine physiology in the basal ganglia of male zebra finches during social stimulation.

    PubMed

    Ihle, Eva C; van der Hart, Marieke; Jongsma, Minke; Tecott, Larry H; Doupe, Allison J

    2015-06-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) is involved in altering neural activity and gene expression in a zebra finch cortical-basal ganglia circuit specialized for singing, upon the shift between solitary singing and singing as a part of courtship. Our objective here was to sample changes in the extracellular concentrations of DA in Area X of adult and juvenile birds, to test the hypothesis that DA levels would change similarly during presentation of a socially salient stimulus in both age groups. We used microdialysis to sample the extracellular milieu of Area X in awake, behaving adult and juvenile male zebra finches, and analysed the dialysate using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. The extracellular levels of DA in Area X increased significantly during both female presentation to adult males and tutor presentation to juvenile males. DA levels were not correlated with the time spent singing. We also reverse-dialysed Area X with pharmacologic agents that act either on DA systems directly or on norepinephrine, and found that all of these agents significantly increased DA levels (3- to 10-fold) in Area X. These findings suggest that changes in extracellular DA levels can be stimulated similarly by very different social contexts (courtship and interaction with tutor), and influenced potently by dopaminergic and noradrenergic drugs. These results raise the possibility that the arousal level or attentional state of the subject (rather than singing behavior) is the common feature eliciting changes in extracellular DA concentration. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Diurnal and Reproductive Stage-Dependent Variation of Parental Behaviour in Captive Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Morvai, Boglárka; Nanuru, Sabine; Mul, Douwe; Kusche, Nina; Milne, Gregory; Székely, Tamás; Komdeur, Jan; Miklósi, Ádám

    2016-01-01

    Parental care plays a key role in ontogeny, life-history trade-offs, sexual selection and intra-familial conflict. Studies focusing on understanding causes and consequences of variation in parental effort need to quantify parental behaviour accurately. The applied methods are, however, diverse even for a given species and type of parental effort, and rarely validated for accuracy. Here we focus on variability of parental behaviour from a methodological perspective to investigate the effect of different samplings on various estimates of parental effort. We used nest box cameras in a captive breeding population of zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a widely used model system of sexual selection, intra-familial dynamics and parental care. We investigated diurnal and reproductive stage-dependent variation in parental effort (including incubation, brooding, nest attendance and number of feedings) based on 12h and 3h continuous video-recordings taken at various reproductive stages. We then investigated whether shorter (1h) sampling periods provided comparable estimates of overall parental effort and division of labour to those of longer (3h) sampling periods. Our study confirmed female-biased division of labour during incubation, and showed that the difference between female and male effort diminishes with advancing reproductive stage. We found individually consistent parental behaviours within given days of incubation and nestling provisioning. Furthermore, parental behaviour was consistent over the different stages of incubation, however, only female brooding was consistent over nestling provisioning. Parental effort during incubation did not predict parental effort during nestling provisioning. Our analyses revealed that 1h sampling may be influenced heavily by stochastic and diurnal variation. We suggest using a single longer sampling period (3h) may provide a consistent and accurate estimate for overall parental effort during incubation in zebra finches. Due to the

  9. Intracerebral estrogen provision increases cytogenesis and neurogenesis in the injured zebra finch brain

    PubMed Central

    Walters, Bradley J.; Alexiades, Nikita G.; Saldanha, Colin J.

    2010-01-01

    To determine whether or not local, injury-induced aromatization and/orestrogen provision can affect cyto-or neuro-genesis following mechanical brain damage, two groups of adult male zebra finches sustained bilateral penetrating brain injuries. The first received contralateral injections of vehicle or the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole. The second group received contalateral injections of fadrozole, or fadrozole with 17β-estradiol. Subsequent to injury, birds were injected with the thymidine analog 5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Two weeks following injury, the birds were perfused, and coronal sections were labeled using antibodies against BrdU and the neuronal proteins HuC/HuD. In a double blind fashion, BrdU positive cells and BrdU/Hu double-labeled cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and at the injury site (INJ) were imaged and sampled. The average numbers of cells per image were compared across brain regions and treatments using repeated measures ANOVAs and, where applicable, post-hoc, pairwise comparisons. Fadrozole administration had no detectable effect on cytogenesis or neurogenesis, however, fadrozole coupled with estradiol significantly increased both measures. The dorsal SVZ had the greatest proportion of new cells that differentiated into neurons, though the highest numbers of BrdU labeled and BrdU, Hu double-labeled cells were detected at the injury site. In the adult zebra finch brain, local estradiol provision can increase cytogenesis and neurogenesis, however, whether or not endogenous glial aromatization is sufficient to similarly affect these processes remains to be seen. PMID:20878945

  10. Hippocampal Aromatization Modulates Spatial Memory and Characteristics of the Synaptic Membrane in the Male Zebra Finch

    PubMed Central

    Makeyeva, Yekaterina V.; Paitel, Elizabeth R.; Pedersen, Alyssa L.; Hon, Angel T.; Gunderson, Jordan A.; Saldanha, Colin J.

    2017-01-01

    The estrogen-synthesizing enzyme aromatase is abundant at the synapse in the zebra finch hippocampus (HP), and its inhibition impairs spatial memory function. To more fully test the role of local estradiol (E2) synthesis in memory, the HP of adult male zebra finches was exposed to either control pellets or those containing the aromatase inhibitor 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione (ATD), ATD and E2, ATD and the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) agonist G1, or the antagonist G15 alone. Birds were tested for spatial memory acquisition and performance, and HP levels of the postsynaptic protein PSD95 were measured. ATD-treated birds took longer to reach criterion than control birds, whereas acquisition in ATD+E2 and ATD+G1 birds was indistinguishable from control and ATD treatments. Interestingly, all G15 birds failed to acquire the task. Following a retention interval, ATD birds took the longest to reach the (formerly) baited cup and made the most mistakes. ATD+E2 animals displayed the lowest retention latencies and made fewer mistakes than ATD-treated birds, and ATD+G1 birds did not significantly differ from controls in retention latencies. The amount of PSD95 in the HP was lowest in ATD-treated animals compared with birds with silicone-only–implanted craniotomies, ATD+E2, and ATD+G1 birds, who did not differ in this expression. Thus, spatial memory acquisition and performance appear aromatase and E2 dependent, an effect more reliably revealed after consolidation and/or recall compared to acquisition. E2 may exert this effect via GPERs, resulting in an increase in PSD95 levels that may modify receptor activity or intracellular signaling pathways to increase synaptic strength. PMID:28324066

  11. Hippocampal Aromatization Modulates Spatial Memory and Characteristics of the Synaptic Membrane in the Male Zebra Finch.

    PubMed

    Bailey, David J; Makeyeva, Yekaterina V; Paitel, Elizabeth R; Pedersen, Alyssa L; Hon, Angel T; Gunderson, Jordan A; Saldanha, Colin J

    2017-04-01

    The estrogen-synthesizing enzyme aromatase is abundant at the synapse in the zebra finch hippocampus (HP), and its inhibition impairs spatial memory function. To more fully test the role of local estradiol (E2) synthesis in memory, the HP of adult male zebra finches was exposed to either control pellets or those containing the aromatase inhibitor 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione (ATD), ATD and E2, ATD and the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) agonist G1, or the antagonist G15 alone. Birds were tested for spatial memory acquisition and performance, and HP levels of the postsynaptic protein PSD95 were measured. ATD-treated birds took longer to reach criterion than control birds, whereas acquisition in ATD+E2 and ATD+G1 birds was indistinguishable from control and ATD treatments. Interestingly, all G15 birds failed to acquire the task. Following a retention interval, ATD birds took the longest to reach the (formerly) baited cup and made the most mistakes. ATD+E2 animals displayed the lowest retention latencies and made fewer mistakes than ATD-treated birds, and ATD+G1 birds did not significantly differ from controls in retention latencies. The amount of PSD95 in the HP was lowest in ATD-treated animals compared with birds with silicone-only-implanted craniotomies, ATD+E2, and ATD+G1 birds, who did not differ in this expression. Thus, spatial memory acquisition and performance appear aromatase and E2 dependent, an effect more reliably revealed after consolidation and/or recall compared to acquisition. E2 may exert this effect via GPERs, resulting in an increase in PSD95 levels that may modify receptor activity or intracellular signaling pathways to increase synaptic strength. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society.

  12. Curation of microarray oligonucleotides and corresponding ESTs/cDNAs used for gene expression analysis in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Lovell, Peter V; Huizinga, Nicole A; Getachew, Abel; Mees, Brianna; Friedrich, Samantha R; Wirthlin, Morgan; Mello, Claudio V

    2018-05-18

    Zebra finches are a major model organism for investigating mechanisms of vocal learning, a trait that enables spoken language in humans. The development of cDNA collections with expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and microarrays has allowed for extensive molecular characterizations of circuitry underlying vocal learning and production. However, poor database curation can lead to errors in transcriptome and bioinformatics analyses, limiting the impact of these resources. Here we used genomic alignments and synteny analysis for orthology verification to curate and reannotate ~ 35% of the oligonucleotides and corresponding ESTs/cDNAs that make-up Agilent microarrays for gene expression analysis in finches. We found that: (1) 5475 out of 43,084 oligos (a) failed to align to the zebra finch genome, (b) aligned to multiple loci, or (c) aligned to Chr_un only, and thus need to be flagged until a better genome assembly is available, or (d) reflect cloning artifacts; (2) Out of 9635 valid oligos examined further, 3120 were incorrectly named, including 1533 with no known orthologs; and (3) 2635 oligos required name update. The resulting curated dataset provides a reference for correcting gene identification errors in previous finch microarrays studies, and avoiding such errors in future studies.

  13. Mercury alters initiation and construction of nests by zebra finches, but not incubation or provisioning behaviors.

    PubMed

    Chin, Stephanie Y; Hopkins, William A; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-11-01

    Mercury is an environmental contaminant that impairs avian reproduction, but the behavioral and physiological mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine whether lifetime dietary exposure to mercury (1.2 µg/g wet weight in food) impacted avian parental behaviors, and how this might influence reproductive success. To distinguish between the direct effects of mercury on parents and offspring, we created four treatment groups of captive-bred zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), with control and mercury-exposed adults raising cross-fostered control or mercury-exposed eggs (from maternal transfer). Control parents were 23% more likely to fledge young than parents exposed to mercury, regardless of egg exposure. Mercury-exposed parents were less likely to initiate nests than controls and spent less time constructing them. Nests of mercury-exposed pairs were lighter, possibly due to an impaired ability to bring nest material into the nestbox. However, nest temperature, incubation behavior, and provisioning rate did not differ between parental treatments. Unexposed control eggs tended to have shorter incubation periods and higher hatching success than mercury-exposed eggs, but there was no effect of parental exposure on these parameters. We accidentally discovered that parent finches transfer some of their body burden of mercury to nestlings during feeding through secretion in the crop. These results suggest that, in mercury-exposed songbirds, pre-laying parental behaviors, combined with direct exposure of embryos to mercury, likely contribute to reduced reproductive success and should be considered in future studies. Further research is warranted in field settings, where parents are exposed to greater environmental challenges and subtle behavioral differences might have more serious consequences than were observed in captivity.

  14. Food for Song: Expression of C-Fos and ZENK in the Zebra Finch Song Nuclei during Food Aversion Learning

    PubMed Central

    Tokarev, Kirill; Tiunova, Anna

    2011-01-01

    Background Specialized neural pathways, the song system, are required for acquiring, producing, and perceiving learned avian vocalizations. Birds that do not learn to produce their vocalizations lack telencephalic song system components. It is not known whether the song system forebrain regions are exclusively evolved for song or whether they also process information not related to song that might reflect their ‘evolutionary history’. Methodology/Principal Findings To address this question we monitored the induction of two immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-Fos and ZENK in various regions of the song system in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in response to an aversive food learning paradigm; this involves the association of a food item with a noxious stimulus that affects the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity and tongue, causing subsequent avoidance of that food item. The motor response results in beak and head movements but not vocalizations. IEGs have been extensively used to map neuro-molecular correlates of song motor production and auditory processing. As previously reported, neurons in two pallial vocal motor regions, HVC and RA, expressed IEGs after singing. Surprisingly, c-Fos was induced equivalently also after food aversion learning in the absence of singing. The density of c-Fos positive neurons was significantly higher than that of birds in control conditions. This was not the case in two other pallial song nuclei important for vocal plasticity, LMAN and Area X, although singing did induce IEGs in these structures, as reported previously. Conclusions/Significance Our results are consistent with the possibility that some of the song nuclei may participate in non-vocal learning and the populations of neurons involved in the two tasks show partial overlap. These findings underscore the previously advanced notion that the specialized forebrain pre-motor nuclei controlling song evolved from circuits involved in behaviors related to feeding. PMID:21695176

  15. Food for song: expression of c-Fos and ZENK in the zebra finch song nuclei during food aversion learning.

    PubMed

    Tokarev, Kirill; Tiunova, Anna; Scharff, Constance; Anokhin, Konstantin

    2011-01-01

    Specialized neural pathways, the song system, are required for acquiring, producing, and perceiving learned avian vocalizations. Birds that do not learn to produce their vocalizations lack telencephalic song system components. It is not known whether the song system forebrain regions are exclusively evolved for song or whether they also process information not related to song that might reflect their 'evolutionary history'. To address this question we monitored the induction of two immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-Fos and ZENK in various regions of the song system in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in response to an aversive food learning paradigm; this involves the association of a food item with a noxious stimulus that affects the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity and tongue, causing subsequent avoidance of that food item. The motor response results in beak and head movements but not vocalizations. IEGs have been extensively used to map neuro-molecular correlates of song motor production and auditory processing. As previously reported, neurons in two pallial vocal motor regions, HVC and RA, expressed IEGs after singing. Surprisingly, c-Fos was induced equivalently also after food aversion learning in the absence of singing. The density of c-Fos positive neurons was significantly higher than that of birds in control conditions. This was not the case in two other pallial song nuclei important for vocal plasticity, LMAN and Area X, although singing did induce IEGs in these structures, as reported previously. Our results are consistent with the possibility that some of the song nuclei may participate in non-vocal learning and the populations of neurons involved in the two tasks show partial overlap. These findings underscore the previously advanced notion that the specialized forebrain pre-motor nuclei controlling song evolved from circuits involved in behaviors related to feeding.

  16. Using Digital Images of the Zebra Finch Song System as a Tool to Teach Organizational Effects of Steroid Hormones: A Free Downloadable Module

    PubMed Central

    Grisham, William; Schottler, Natalie A.; McCauley, Lisa M. Beck; Pham, Anh P.; Ruiz, Maureen L.; Fong, Michelle C.; Cui, Xinran

    2011-01-01

    Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the ease of quantification and experimental manipulation, the zebra finch song system has great potential for use in undergraduate labs. Unfortunately, the underlying costs prohibit use of this system in undergraduate labs. Further, the time required to perform a developmental study renders such undertakings unrealistic within a single academic term. We have overcome these barriers by creating digital tools, including an image library of song nuclei from zebra finch brains. Students using this library replicate and extend a published experiment examining the dose of estradiol required to masculinize the female zebra finch brain. We have used this library for several terms, and students not only obtain significant experimental results but also make gains in understanding content, experimental controls, and inferential statistics (analysis of variance and post hoc tests). We have provided free access to these digital tools at the following website: http://mdcune.psych.ucla.edu/modules/birdsong. PMID:21633071

  17. Blood Mercury Levels of Zebra Finches Are Heritable: Implications for the Evolution of Mercury Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Buck, Kenton A.; Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Cristol, Daniel A.; Swaddle, John P.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a ubiquitous metal contaminant that negatively impacts reproduction of wildlife and has many other sub-lethal effects. Songbirds are sensitive bioindicators of mercury toxicity and may suffer population declines as a result of mercury pollution. Current predictions of mercury accumulation and biomagnification often overlook possible genetic variation in mercury uptake and elimination within species and the potential for evolution in affected populations. We conducted a study of dietary mercury exposure in a model songbird species, maintaining a breeding population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) on standardized diets ranging from 0.0–2.4 μg/g methylmercury. We applied a quantitative genetics approach to examine patterns of variation and heritability of mercury accumulation within dietary treatments using a method of mixed effects modeling known as the 'animal model'. Significant variation in blood mercury accumulation existed within each treatment for birds exposed at the same dietary level; moreover, this variation was highly repeatable for individuals. We observed substantial genetic variation in blood mercury accumulation for birds exposed at intermediate dietary concentrations. Taken together, this is evidence that genetic variation for factors affecting blood mercury accumulation could be acted on by selection. If similar heritability for mercury accumulation exists in wild populations, selection could result in genetic differentiation for populations in contaminated locations, with possible consequences for mercury biomagnification in food webs. PMID:27668745

  18. Stress reactivity, condition, and foraging behavior in zebra finches: effects on boldness, exploration, and sociality.

    PubMed

    Crino, O L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Trompf, Larissa; Mainwaring, Mark C; Griffith, Simon C

    2017-04-01

    The arid and semi-arid zones of Australia are characterized by highly variable and unpredictable environmental conditions which affect resources for flora and fauna. Environments which are highly unpredictable in terms of both resource access and distribution are likely to select for a variety of adaptive behavioral strategies, intrinsically linked to the physiological control of behavior. How unpredictable resource distribution has affected the coevolution of behavioral strategies and physiology has rarely been quantified, particularly not in Australian birds. We used a captive population of wild-derived zebra finches to test the relationships between behavioral strategies relating to food access and physiological responses to stress and body condition. We found that individuals that were in poorer body condition and had higher peak corticosterone levels entered baited feeders earlier in the trapping sequence of birds within the colony. We also found that individuals in poorer body condition fed in smaller social groups. Our data show that the foraging decisions which individuals make represent not only a trade-off between food access and risk of exposure, but their underlying physiological response to stress. Our data also suggest fundamental links between social networks and physiological parameters, which largely remain untested. These data demonstrate the fundamental importance of physiological mechanisms in controlling adaptive behavioral strategies and the dynamic interplay between physiological control of behavior and life-history evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Behavior-linked FoxP2 regulation enables zebra finch vocal learning.

    PubMed

    Heston, Jonathan B; White, Stephanie A

    2015-02-18

    Mutations in the FOXP2 transcription factor cause an inherited speech and language disorder, but how FoxP2 contributes to learning of these vocal communication signals remains unclear. FoxP2 is enriched in corticostriatal circuits of both human and songbird brains. Experimental knockdown of this enrichment in song control neurons of the zebra finch basal ganglia impairs tutor song imitation, indicating that adequate FoxP2 levels are necessary for normal vocal learning. In unmanipulated birds, vocal practice acutely downregulates FoxP2, leading to increased vocal variability and dynamic regulation of FoxP2 target genes. To determine whether this behavioral regulation is important for song learning, here, we used viral-driven overexpression of FoxP2 to counteract its downregulation. This manipulation disrupted the acute effects of song practice on vocal variability and caused inaccurate song imitation. Together, these findings indicate that dynamic behavior-linked regulation of FoxP2, rather than absolute levels, is critical for vocal learning. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/352885-10$15.00/0.

  20. Maternal antibody transfer can lead to suppression of humoral immunity in developing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    Maternally transferred antibodies have been documented in a wide range of taxa and are thought to adaptively provide protection against parasites and pathogens while the offspring immune system is developing. In most birds, transfer occurs when females deposit immunoglobulin Y into the egg yolk, and it is proportional to the amount in the female's plasma. Maternal antibodies can provide short-term passive protection as well as specific and nonspecific immunological priming, but high levels of maternal antibody can result in suppression of the offspring's humoral immune response. We injected adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with one of two antigens (lipopolysaccharide [LPS] or keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH]) or a control and then injected offspring with LPS, KLH, or a control on days 5 and 28 posthatch to examine the impact of maternally transferred antibodies on the ontogeny of the offspring's humoral immune system. We found that offspring of females exposed to KLH had elevated levels of KLH-reactive antibody over the first 17-28 days posthatch but reduced KLH-specific antibody production between days 28 and 36. We also found that offspring exposed to either LPS or KLH exhibited reduced total antibody levels, compared to offspring that received a control injection. These results indicate that high levels of maternal antibodies or antigen exposure during development can have negative repercussions on short-term antibody production and may have long-term fitness repercussions for the offspring.

  1. Maternal Antibody Transfer Can Lead to Suppression of Humoral Immunity in Developing Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L.

    2015-01-01

    Maternally transferred antibodies have been documented in a wide range of taxa and are thought to adaptively provide protection against parasites and pathogens while the offspring immune system is developing. In most birds, transfer occurs when females deposit immunoglobulin Y into the egg yolk, and it is proportional to the amount in the female’s plasma. Maternal antibodies can provide short-term passive protection as well as specific and nonspecific immunological priming, but high levels of maternal antibody can result in suppression of the offspring’s humoral immune response. We injected adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with one of two antigens (lipo-polysaccharide [LPS] or keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH]) or a control and then injected offspring with LPS, KLH, or a control on days 5 and 28 posthatch to examine the impact of maternally transferred antibodies on the ontogeny of the offspring’s humoral immune system. We found that offspring of females exposed to KLH had elevated levels of KLH-reactive antibody over the first 17–28 days posthatch but reduced KLH-specific antibody production between days 28 and 36. We also found that offspring exposed to either LPS or KLH exhibited reduced total antibody levels, compared to offspring that received a control injection. These results indicate that high levels of maternal antibodies or antigen exposure during development can have negative repercussions on short-term antibody production and may have long-term fitness repercussions for the offspring. PMID:25244385

  2. Development of sexual partner preference in the zebra finch: a socially monogamous, pair-bonding animal.

    PubMed

    Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2002-02-01

    Zebra finches are group living socially monogamous birds that pair for life. Partner preference is strongly sexually differentiated: males prefer to pair with females and females prefer to pair with males. Where do these preferences come from? What occurs during development that produces adult birds that pair with the opposite sex? There is surprisingly little animal research that addresses such questions, especially in species that form pair-bonds. Our research program focuses on two processes that may be involved in the development of adult sexual-partner preference: (1) early (possibly organizational) hormone actions and (2) social experience. Females treated with estradiol or fadrozole (an estrogen synthesis inhibitor) as nestlings or embryos showed masculinized sexual-partner preference as adults, preferring to pair with other females even when potential male partners were available. Removal of adult males from breeding cages, so that young birds were not exposed to males or to male-female pairs during development, eliminated sex-typical partner preferences; these birds were equally interested in both sexes and were more likely than controls to pair with a same-sex partner. These experiments provide insights into the development of sexual-partner preference that may be applicable to other group living pair-bonding animals with biparental care. They also contribute to the foundation of animal research that is necessary for a biological approach to understanding the pair-bonding component of human sexual orientation.

  3. Experimental Infection and Clearance of Coccidian Parasites in Mercury-Exposed Zebra Finches.

    PubMed

    Ebers Smith, Jessica H; Cristol, Daniel A; Swaddle, John P

    2018-01-01

    Mercury is a globally distributed, persistent environmental contaminant that affects the health of many taxa. It can suppress the immune system, which often plays a role in defense against parasites. However, there have been few investigations of whether mercury affects the abilities of animals to resist parasitic infection. Here, we exposed zebra finches to a lifetime dietary exposure of methylmercury (1.2 μg/g wet weight) and experimentally infected them with coccidian parasites to examine the effect of methylmercury exposure on parasitic infection. The mercury-exposed birds did not have an altered immune response (heterophil:lymphocyte ratio) nor a reduced ability to clear the infection. However, mercury-exposed birds tended to have higher parasite loads at the time when we expected the greatest immune response (2-3 weeks post-infection). Although mercury did not greatly influence the infection-course of this parasite in captivity, responses may be more accentuated in the wild where birds face additional immune challenges.

  4. Impulsiveness does not prevent cooperation from emerging but reduces its occurrence: an experiment with zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Chia, Camille; Dubois, Frédérique

    2017-08-17

    Reciprocal altruism, the most probable mechanism for cooperation among unrelated individuals, can be modelled as a Prisoner's Dilemma. This game predicts that cooperation should evolve whenever the players, who expect to interact repeatedly, make choices contingent to their partner's behaviour. Experimental evidence, however, indicates that reciprocity is rare among animals. One reason for this would be that animals are very impulsive compared to humans. Several studies have reported that temporal discounting (that is, strong preferences for immediate benefits) has indeed a negative impact on the occurrence of cooperation. Yet, the role of impulsive action, another facet of impulsiveness, remains unexplored. Here, we conducted a laboratory experiment in which male and female zebra finches (Taenyopigia guttata) were paired assortatively with respect to their level of impulsive action and then played an alternating Prisoner's Dilemma. As anticipated, we found that self-controlled pairs achieved high levels of cooperation by using a Generous Tit-for-Tat strategy, while impulsive birds that cooperated at a lower level, chose to cooperate with a fixed probability. If the inability of impulsive individuals to use reactive strategies are due to their reduced working memory capacity, thus our findings might contribute to explaining interspecific differences in cooperative behaviour.

  5. Increased fat catabolism sustains water balance during fasting in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Rutkowska, Joanna; Sadowska, Edyta T; Cichoń, Mariusz; Bauchinger, Ulf

    2016-09-01

    Patterns of physiological flexibility in response to fasting are well established, but much less is known about the contribution of water deprivation to the observed effects. We investigated body composition and energy and water budget in three groups of zebra finches: birds with access to food and water, food-deprived birds having access to drinking water and food-and-water-deprived birds. Animals were not stimulated by elevated energy expenditure and they were in thermoneutral conditions; thus, based on previous studies, water balance of fasting birds was expected to be maintained by increased catabolism of proteins. In contrast to this expectation, we found that access to water did not prevent reduction of proteinaceous tissue, but it saved fat reserves of the fasting birds. Thus, water balance of birds fasting without access to water seemed to be maintained by elevated fat catabolism, which generated 6 times more metabolic water compared with that in birds that had access to water. Therefore, we revise currently established views and propose fat to serve as the primary source for metabolic water production. Previously assumed increased protein breakdown for maintenance of water budget would occur if fat stores were depleted or if fat catabolism reached its upper limits due to high energy demands. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Selective impairment of song learning following lesions of a forebrain nucleus in the juvenile zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Sohrabji, F; Nordeen, E J; Nordeen, K W

    1990-01-01

    Area X, a large sexually dimorphic nucleus in the avian ventral forebrain, is part of a highly discrete system of interconnected nuclei that have been implicated in either song learning or adult song production. Previously, this nucleus has been included in the song system because of its substantial connections with other vocal control nuclei, and because its volume is positively correlated with the capacity for song. In order to directly assess the role of Area X in song behavior, this nucleus was bilaterally lesioned in both juvenile and adult zebra finches, using ibotenic acid. We report here that lesioning Area X disrupts normal song development in juvenile birds, but does not affect the production of stereotyped song by adult birds. Although juvenile-lesioned birds were consistently judged as being in earlier stages of vocal development than age-matched controls, they continued to produce normal song-like vocalizations. Thus, unlike the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum, another avian forebrain nucleus implicated in song learning, Area X does not seem to be necessary for sustaining production of juvenile song. Rather, the behavioral results suggest Area X is important for either the acquisition of a song model or the improvement of song through vocal practice.

  7. Patterns of call communication between group-housed zebra finches change during the breeding cycle

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Lisa F; Goymann, Wolfgang; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through different stages of the breeding cycle. As birds formed pairs and shifted their reproductive status, their call repertoire composition changed. The recordings revealed that calls occurred non-randomly in fine-tuned vocal interactions and decreased within groups while pair-specific patterns emerged. Call-type combinations of vocal interactions changed within pairs and were associated with successful egg-laying, highlighting a potential fitness relevance of calling dynamics in communication systems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07770.001 PMID:26441403

  8. Divorce in the socially monogamous zebra finch: Hormonal mechanisms and reproductive consequences.

    PubMed

    Crino, Ondi L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Fanson, Benjamin G; Hurley, Laura L; Smiley, Kristina O; Griffith, Simon C

    2017-01-01

    Up to 80% of all bird species are socially monogamous. Divorce (switching partners) or pair disruption (due to the death of a partner) has been associated with decreased reproductive success, suggesting social monogamy is a strategy that may maximize fitness via coordination between partners. Previous studies have demonstrated the effects of divorce and pair disruption on immediate reproductive success. Here, we used a paired experimental design in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine the hormonal mechanisms that modulate parental behavior and reproductive success in response to a partnership change (hereafter divorce). Specifically, we examined the effects of divorce on the avian stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) in both parents and nestlings, parental behaviors (incubation and nestling provisioning), prolactin (PRL), and reproductive success. We found that divorce resulted in delayed clutch initiation, reduced clutch mass, and an increase in nestling CORT response to a standardized stressor. These effects on reproductive investment and chick CORT response were not clearly determined by parental endocrine responses. Divorce had no effect on the level of parental CORT. PRL levels were highly correlated within a pair regardless of treatment, were negatively related to the investment that males made in incubation, and increased in experimental males as a result of pair disruption. This study demonstrates the fundamental impact which divorce has not only on reproduction, but also the physiological stress responses of offspring and suggests that in socially monogamous animals the maintenance of a stable partnership over time could be advantageous for long term fitness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Carbachol-Induced Reduction in the Activity of Adult Male Zebra Finch RA Projection Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Wei; Wang, Song-Hua; Li, Dong-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Cholinergic mechanism is involved in motor behavior. In songbirds, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) is a song premotor nucleus in the pallium and receives cholinergic inputs from the basal forebrain. The activity of projection neurons in RA determines song motor behavior. Although many evidences suggest that cholinergic system is implicated in song production, the cholinergic modulation of RA is not clear until now. In the present study, the electrophysiological effects of carbachol, a nonselective cholinergic receptor agonist, were investigated on the RA projection neurons of adult male zebra finches through whole-cell patch-clamp techniques in vitro. Our results show that carbachol produced a significant decrease in the spontaneous and evoked action potential (AP) firing frequency of RA projection neurons, accompanying a hyperpolarization of the membrane potential, an increase in the evoked AP latency, afterhyperpolarization (AHP) peak amplitude, and AHP time to peak, and a decrease in the membrane input resistance, membrane time constant, and membrane capacitance. These results indicate that carbachol reduces the activity of RA projection neurons by hyperpolarizing the resting membrane potential and increasing the AHP and the membrane conductance, suggesting that the cholinergic modulation of RA may play an important role in song production. PMID:26904300

  10. Carbachol-Induced Reduction in the Activity of Adult Male Zebra Finch RA Projection Neurons.

    PubMed

    Meng, Wei; Wang, Song-Hua; Li, Dong-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Cholinergic mechanism is involved in motor behavior. In songbirds, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) is a song premotor nucleus in the pallium and receives cholinergic inputs from the basal forebrain. The activity of projection neurons in RA determines song motor behavior. Although many evidences suggest that cholinergic system is implicated in song production, the cholinergic modulation of RA is not clear until now. In the present study, the electrophysiological effects of carbachol, a nonselective cholinergic receptor agonist, were investigated on the RA projection neurons of adult male zebra finches through whole-cell patch-clamp techniques in vitro. Our results show that carbachol produced a significant decrease in the spontaneous and evoked action potential (AP) firing frequency of RA projection neurons, accompanying a hyperpolarization of the membrane potential, an increase in the evoked AP latency, afterhyperpolarization (AHP) peak amplitude, and AHP time to peak, and a decrease in the membrane input resistance, membrane time constant, and membrane capacitance. These results indicate that carbachol reduces the activity of RA projection neurons by hyperpolarizing the resting membrane potential and increasing the AHP and the membrane conductance, suggesting that the cholinergic modulation of RA may play an important role in song production.

  11. Early-Life Stress Triggers Juvenile Zebra Finches to Switch Social Learning Strategies.

    PubMed

    Farine, Damien R; Spencer, Karen A; Boogert, Neeltje J

    2015-08-17

    Stress during early life can cause disease and cognitive impairment in humans and non-humans alike. However, stress and other environmental factors can also program developmental pathways. We investigate whether differential exposure to developmental stress can drive divergent social learning strategies between siblings. In many species, juveniles acquire essential foraging skills by copying others: they can copy peers (horizontal social learning), learn from their parents (vertical social learning), or learn from other adults (oblique social learning). However, whether juveniles' learning strategies are condition dependent largely remains a mystery. We found that juvenile zebra finches living in flocks socially learned novel foraging skills exclusively from adults. By experimentally manipulating developmental stress, we further show that social learning targets are phenotypically plastic. While control juveniles learned foraging skills from their parents, their siblings, exposed as nestlings to experimentally elevated stress hormone levels, learned exclusively from unrelated adults. Thus, early-life conditions triggered individuals to switch strategies from vertical to oblique social learning. This switch could arise from stress-induced differences in developmental rate, cognitive and physical state, or the use of stress as an environmental cue. Acquisition of alternative social learning strategies may impact juveniles' fit to their environment and ultimately change their developmental trajectories. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Behavior-Linked FoxP2 Regulation Enables Zebra Finch Vocal Learning

    PubMed Central

    Heston, Jonathan B.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the FOXP2 transcription factor cause an inherited speech and language disorder, but how FoxP2 contributes to learning of these vocal communication signals remains unclear. FoxP2 is enriched in corticostriatal circuits of both human and songbird brains. Experimental knockdown of this enrichment in song control neurons of the zebra finch basal ganglia impairs tutor song imitation, indicating that adequate FoxP2 levels are necessary for normal vocal learning. In unmanipulated birds, vocal practice acutely downregulates FoxP2, leading to increased vocal variability and dynamic regulation of FoxP2 target genes. To determine whether this behavioral regulation is important for song learning, here, we used viral-driven overexpression of FoxP2 to counteract its downregulation. This manipulation disrupted the acute effects of song practice on vocal variability and caused inaccurate song imitation. Together, these findings indicate that dynamic behavior-linked regulation of FoxP2, rather than absolute levels, is critical for vocal learning. PMID:25698728

  13. Mitochondria-targeted molecules determine the redness of the zebra finch bill.

    PubMed

    Cantarero, Alejandro; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2017-10-01

    The evolution and production mechanisms of red carotenoid-based ornaments in animals are poorly understood. Recently, it has been suggested that enzymes transforming yellow carotenoids to red pigments (ketolases) in animal cells may be positioned in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) intimately linked to the electron transport chain. These enzymes may mostly synthesize coenzyme Q 10 (coQ 10 ), a key redox-cycler antioxidant molecularly similar to yellow carotenoids. It has been hypothesized that this shared pathway favours the evolution of red traits as sexually selected individual quality indices by revealing a well-adjusted oxidative metabolism. We administered mitochondria-targeted molecules to male zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) measuring their bill redness, a trait produced by transforming yellow carotenoids. One molecule included coQ 10 (mitoquinone mesylate, MitoQ) and the other one (decyl-triphenylphosphonium; dTPP) has the same structure without the coQ 10 aromatic ring. At the highest dose, the bill colour of MitoQ and dTPP birds strongly differed: MitoQ birds' bills were redder and dTPP birds showed paler bills even compared to birds injected with saline only. These results suggest that ketolases are indeed placed at the IMM and that coQ 10 antioxidant properties may improve their efficiency. The implications for evolutionary theories of sexual signalling are discussed. © 2017 The Author(s).

  14. Heterologous Synapsis and Crossover Suppression in Heterozygotes for a Pericentric Inversion in the Zebra Finch.

    PubMed

    del Priore, Lucía; Pigozzi, María I

    2015-01-01

    In the zebra finch, 2 alternative morphs regarding centromere position were described for chromosome 6. This polymorphism was interpreted to be the result of a pericentric inversion, but other causes of the centromere repositioning were not ruled out. We used immunofluorescence localization to examine the distribution of MLH1 foci on synaptonemal complexes to test the prediction that pericentric inversions cause synaptic irregularities and/or crossover suppression in heterozygotes. We found complete suppression of crossing over in the region involved in the rearrangement in male and female heterozygotes. In contrast, the same region showed high levels of crossing over in homozygotes for the acrocentric form of this chromosome. No inversion loops or synaptic irregularities were detected along bivalent 6 in heterozygotes suggesting that heterologous pairing is achieved during zygotene or early pachytene. Altogether these findings strongly indicate that the polymorphic chromosome 6 originated by a pericentric inversion. Since inversions are common rearrangements in karyotypic evolution in birds, it seems likely that early heterologous pairing could help to fix these rearrangements, preventing crossing overs in heterozygotes and their deleterious effects on fertility. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Metabolic and Respiratory Costs of Increasing Song Amplitude in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Zollinger, Sue Anne; Goller, Franz; Brumm, Henrik

    2011-01-01

    Bird song is a widely used model in the study of animal communication and sexual selection, and several song features have been shown to reflect the quality of the singer. Recent studies have demonstrated that song amplitude may be an honest signal of current condition in males and that females prefer high amplitude songs. In addition, birds raise the amplitude of their songs to communicate in noisy environments. Although it is generally assumed that louder song should be more costly to produce, there has been little empirical evidence to support this assumption. We tested the assumption by measuring oxygen consumption and respiratory patterns in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) singing at different amplitudes in different background noise conditions. As background noise levels increased, birds significantly increased the sound pressure level of their songs. We found that louder songs required significantly greater subsyringeal air sac pressure than quieter songs. Though increased pressure is probably achieved by increasing respiratory muscle activity, these increases did not correlate with measurable increases in oxygen consumption. In addition, we found that oxygen consumption increased in higher background noise, independent of singing behaviour. This observation supports previous research in mammals showing that high levels of environmental noise can induce physiological stress responses. While our study did not find that increasing vocal amplitude increased metabolic costs, further research is needed to determine whether there are other non-metabolic costs of singing louder or costs associated with chronic noise exposure. PMID:21915258

  16. Active immunization against vasoactive intestinal polypeptide decreases neuronal recruitment and inhibits reproduction in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Vistoropsky, Yulia; Heiblum, Rachel; Smorodinsky, Nechama-Ina; Barnea, Anat

    2016-08-15

    Neurogenesis and neuronal recruitment occur in adult brains of many vertebrates, and the hypothesis is that these phenomena contribute to the brain plasticity that enables organisms to adjust to environmental changes. In mammals, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is known to have many neuroprotective properties, but in the avian brain, although widely distributed, its role in neuronal recruitment is not yet understood. In the present study we actively immunized adult zebra finches against VIP conjugated to KLH and compared neuronal recruitment in their brains, with brains of control birds, which were immunized against KLH. We looked at two forebrain regions: the nidopallium caudale (NC), which plays a role in vocal communication, and the hippocampus (HC), which is involved in the processing of spatial information. Our data demonstrate that active immunization against VIP reduces neuronal recruitment, inhibits reproduction, and induces molting, with no change in plasma prolactin levels. Thus, our observations suggest that VIP has a direct positive role in neuronal recruitment and reproduction in birds. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2516-2528, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. PHA-stimulated immune-responsiveness in mercury-dosed zebra finches does not match results from environmentally exposed songbirds.

    PubMed

    Caudill, Mitchell T; Spear, Eliza L; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2015-04-01

    Dietary mercury exposure is associated with suppressed immune responsiveness in birds. This study examined the immune-responsiveness of domestic zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) experimentally exposed to mercury through their diet. We used the phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin-swelling test to assay the effect of two modes of mercury exposure. Some finches received exposure to mercury only after reaching sexual maturity, while others were maintained on a mercury-dosed diet throughout life, including development. Each bird received one of five dietary concentrations of methylmercury cysteine (0.0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.2 or 2.4 ppm). In contrast to a study on wild songbirds at a mercury-contaminated site, we detected no relationship between mercury level and immunological response to PHA, regardless of mode of exposure. This result represents the first major difference found by our laboratory between wild birds exposed to environmental mercury and captive birds experimentally exposed to mercury.

  18. Early exposure to 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99) affects mating behavior of zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Eng, Margaret L; Elliott, John E; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A; Letcher, Robert J; Williams, Tony D

    2012-05-01

    2,2',4,4',5-Pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99) is a brominated flame retardant congener that has pervaded global food chains, being reported in avian egg and tissue samples throughout the world. Its effects on birds are not well known, but there is evidence in exposed mammals that it directly mediates and causes neurotoxicity, alters thyroid hormone homeostasis, and lowers sex steroid hormone concentrations. In birds, those processes could disrupt the song-control system and male mating behavior. In this study, the effects of nestling exposure to environmentally relevant levels of BDE-99 were assessed in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). A tissue residue study in which zebra finch nestlings were orally exposed to 0, 2.5, 15.8, or 50.7 ng BDE-99/g body weight (bw) per day over the 21-day nesting period validated dosing methods and confirmed dose levels were environmentally relevant (332.7 ± 141.0 to 4450.2 ± 1396.2 ng/g plasma lipid). A full-scale study exposing nestlings to 0, 2.5, 15.8, 50.7, or 173.8 ng BDE-99/g bw/day was carried out to investigate long-term effects of BDE-99 on the adult song-control nuclei volumes, song quality, and male mating behavior. Early exposure to BDE-99 had significant effects on male mating behavior and the response of clean experienced females to exposed males. There was no effect on male song-control nuclei or song quality, and there were nondose-dependent effects on female song-control nuclei. The results demonstrate that early exposure to environmentally relevant levels of BDE-99 affects the behavior of zebra finches.

  19. Knockdown of FoxP2 alters spine density in Area X of the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Schulz, S B; Haesler, S; Scharff, C; Rochefort, C

    2010-10-01

    Mutations in the gene encoding the transcription factor FoxP2 impair human speech and language. We have previously shown that deficits in vocal learning occur in zebra finches after reduction of FoxP2 in Area X, a striatal nucleus involved in song acquisition. We recently showed that FoxP2 is expressed in newly generated spiny neurons (SN) in adult Area X as well as in the ventricular zone (VZ) from which the SN originates. Moreover, their recruitment to Area X increases transiently during the song learning phase. The present report therefore investigated whether FoxP2 is involved in the structural plasticity of Area X. We assessed the proliferation, differentiation and morphology of SN after lentivirally mediated knockdown of FoxP2 in Area X or in the VZ during the song learning phase. Proliferation rate was not significantly affected by knockdown of FoxP2 in the VZ. In addition, FoxP2 reduction both in the VZ and in Area X did not affect the number of new neurons in Area X. However, at the fine-structural level, SN in Area X bore fewer spines after FoxP2 knockdown. This effect was even more pronounced when neurons received the knockdown before differentiation, i.e. as neuroblasts in the VZ. These results suggest that FoxP2 might directly or indirectly regulate spine dynamics in Area X and thereby influence song plasticity. Together, these data present the first evidence for a role of FoxP2 in the structural plasticity of dendritic spines and complement the emerging evidence of physiological synaptic plasticity in FoxP2 mouse models. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society. No claim to original US government works.

  20. Effect of laying sequence on egg mercury in captive zebra finches: an interpretation considering individual variation.

    PubMed

    Ou, Langbo; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2015-08-01

    Bird eggs are used widely as noninvasive bioindicators for environmental mercury availability. Previous studies, however, have found varying relationships between laying sequence and egg mercury concentrations. Some studies have reported that the mercury concentration was higher in first-laid eggs or declined across the laying sequence, whereas in other studies mercury concentration was not related to egg order. Approximately 300 eggs (61 clutches) were collected from captive zebra finches dosed throughout their reproductive lives with methylmercury (0.3 μg/g, 0.6 μg/g, 1.2 μg/g, or 2.4 μg/g wet wt in diet); the total mercury concentration (mean ± standard deviation [SD] dry wt basis) of their eggs was 7.03 ± 1.38 μg/g, 14.15 ± 2.52 μg/g, 26.85 ± 5.85 μg/g, and 49.76 ± 10.37 μg/g, respectively (equivalent to fresh wt egg mercury concentrations of 1.24 μg/g, 2.50 μg/g, 4.74 μg/g, and 8.79 μg/g). The authors observed a significant decrease in the mercury concentration of successive eggs when compared with the first egg and notable variation between clutches within treatments. The mercury level of individual females within and among treatments did not alter this relationship. Based on the results, sampling of a single egg in each clutch from any position in the laying sequence is sufficient for purposes of population risk assessment, but it is not recommended as a proxy for individual female exposure or as an estimate of average mercury level within the clutch. © 2015 SETAC.

  1. De novo establishment of wild-type song culture in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Fehér, Olga; Wang, Haibin; Saar, Sigal; Mitra, Partha P; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2009-05-28

    Culture is typically viewed as consisting of traits inherited epigenetically, through social learning. However, cultural diversity has species-typical constraints, presumably of genetic origin. A celebrated, if contentious, example is whether a universal grammar constrains syntactic diversity in human languages. Oscine songbirds exhibit song learning and provide biologically tractable models of culture: members of a species show individual variation in song and geographically separated groups have local song dialects. Different species exhibit distinct song cultures, suggestive of genetic constraints. Without such constraints, innovations and copying errors should cause unbounded variation over multiple generations or geographical distance, contrary to observations. Here we report an experiment designed to determine whether wild-type song culture might emerge over multiple generations in an isolated colony founded by isolates, and, if so, how this might happen and what type of social environment is required. Zebra finch isolates, unexposed to singing males during development, produce song with characteristics that differ from the wild-type song found in laboratory or natural colonies. In tutoring lineages starting from isolate founders, we quantified alterations in song across tutoring generations in two social environments: tutor-pupil pairs in sound-isolated chambers and an isolated semi-natural colony. In both settings, juveniles imitated the isolate tutors but changed certain characteristics of the songs. These alterations accumulated over learning generations. Consequently, songs evolved towards the wild-type in three to four generations. Thus, species-typical song culture can appear de novo. Our study has parallels with language change and evolution. In analogy to models in quantitative genetics, we model song culture as a multigenerational phenotype partly encoded genetically in an isolate founding population, influenced by environmental variables and taking

  2. Early life stress increases testosterone and corticosterone and alters stress physiology in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Zito, J Bayley; Hanna, Angy; Kadoo, Nora; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2017-09-01

    Early life stress has enduring effects on behavior and physiology. However, the effects on hormones and stress physiology remain poorly understood. In the present study, parents of zebra finches of both sexes were exposed to an increased foraging paradigm from 3 to 33days post hatching. Plasma and brains were collected from chicks at 3 developmental time points: post hatching days 25, 60 and adulthood. Plasma was assayed for testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), and corticosterone (CORT). The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus was assessed for corticotrophin releasing factor (CRH) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression. As expected, body mass was lower in nutritionally stressed animals compared to controls at multiple ages. Nutritionally stressed animals overall had higher levels of CORT than did control and this was particularly apparent in females at post hatching day 25. Nutritionally stressed animals also had a higher number of cells expressing CRH and GR in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus than did controls. There was an interaction, such that both measures were higher in control animals at PHD 25, but higher in NS animals by adulthood. Females, regardless of treatment, had higher circulating CORT and a higher number of cells expressing CRH than did males. Nutritionally stressed animals also had higher levels of T than did control animals, and this difference was greatest for males at post hatching day 60. There were no effects of nutritional stress on E2. These findings suggest that nutritional stress during development has long-lasting effects on testosterone and stress physiology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Pauses enhance chunk recognition in song element strings by zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Spierings, Michelle; de Weger, Anouk; Ten Cate, Carel

    2015-07-01

    When learning a language, it is crucial to know which syllables of a continuous sound string belong together as words. Human infants achieve this by attending to pauses between words or to the co-occurrence of syllables. It is not only humans that can segment a continuous string. Songbirds learning their song tend to copy 'chunks' from one or more tutors' songs and combine these into their own song. In the tutor songs, these chunks are often separated by pauses and a high co-occurrence of elements, suggesting that these features affect chunking and song learning. We examined experimentally whether the presence of pauses and element co-occurrence affect the ability of adult zebra finches to discriminate strings of song elements. Using a go/no-go design, two groups of birds were trained to discriminate between two strings. In one group (Pause-group), pauses were inserted between co-occurring element triplets in the strings, and in the other group (No-pause group), both strings were continuous. After making a correct discrimination, an individual proceeded to a reversal training using string segments. Segments were element triplets consistent in co-occurrence, triplets that were partly consistent in composition and triplets consisting of elements that did not co-occur in the strings. The Pause-group was faster in discriminating between the two strings. This group also responded differently to consistent triplets in the reversal training, compared to inconsistent triplets. The No-pause group did not differentiate among the triplet types. These results indicate that pauses in strings of song elements aid song discrimination and memorization of co-occurring element groups.

  4. Effects of acute corticosterone treatment on partner preferences in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    LaPlante, Kimberly A; Huremovic, Enida; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2014-04-01

    Stress alters physiology and behavior across species. Most research on the effects of stress on behavior uses chronic stressors, and most are correlational. The effects of acute stressors on physiology and behavior have been mixed. Here, we use zebra finches, a highly gregarious species that forms long-term pair bonds, to test the effects of an acute corticosterone (CORT) on opposite-sex partner preferences over a same-sex individual or a group (the latter is a highly appealing option). We had two competing hypotheses. First, we predicted that acute CORT would alter preferences for the opposite sex bird in both conditions in both sexes. However, since there is a sex difference in the effects of CORT on partner preferences in voles, these effects may be more pronounced in males than in females. To test our hypotheses, we administered 2 doses of CORT (10μg and 20μg) or vehicle (control) using a repeated measures design. In the male vs. female test, there was a significant Sex by Treatment interaction, such that in males, 10μg CORT increased preferences for a female over the male compared to when these same males were treated with saline at baseline. There were no effects of treatment in females. In the opposite-sex vs. group condition, there was an overall effect of Treatment, such that the 10μg dose increased preference for the opposite-sex individual over both saline treatments, regardless of sex. These findings further our understanding of the effects of an acute stressor on sexual partner preferences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Experimental exposure to urban and pink noise affects brain development and song learning in zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Curcio, Michael T.; Swaddle, John P.; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Recently, numerous studies have observed changes in bird vocalizations—especially song—in urban habitats. These changes are often interpreted as adaptive, since they increase the active space of the signal in its environment. However, the proximate mechanisms driving cross-generational changes in song are still unknown. We performed a captive experiment to identify whether noise experienced during development affects song learning and the development of song-control brain regions. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were bred while exposed, or not exposed, to recorded traffic urban noise (Study 1) or pink noise (Study 2). We recorded the songs of male offspring and compared these to fathers’ songs. We also measured baseline corticosterone and measured the size of song-control brain regions when the males reached adulthood (Study 1 only). While male zebra finches tended to copy syllables accurately from tutors regardless of noise environment, syntax (the ordering of syllables within songs) was incorrectly copied affected by juveniles exposed to noise. Noise did not affect baseline corticosterone, but did affect the size of brain regions associated with song learning: these regions were smaller in males that had been had been exposed to recorded traffic urban noise in early development. These findings provide a possible mechanism by which noise affects behaviour, leading to potential population differences between wild animals occupying noisier urban environments compared with those in quieter habitats. PMID:27602270

  6. Experimental exposure to urban and pink noise affects brain development and song learning in zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Potvin, Dominique A; Curcio, Michael T; Swaddle, John P; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    Recently, numerous studies have observed changes in bird vocalizations-especially song-in urban habitats. These changes are often interpreted as adaptive, since they increase the active space of the signal in its environment. However, the proximate mechanisms driving cross-generational changes in song are still unknown. We performed a captive experiment to identify whether noise experienced during development affects song learning and the development of song-control brain regions. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were bred while exposed, or not exposed, to recorded traffic urban noise (Study 1) or pink noise (Study 2). We recorded the songs of male offspring and compared these to fathers' songs. We also measured baseline corticosterone and measured the size of song-control brain regions when the males reached adulthood (Study 1 only). While male zebra finches tended to copy syllables accurately from tutors regardless of noise environment, syntax (the ordering of syllables within songs) was incorrectly copied affected by juveniles exposed to noise. Noise did not affect baseline corticosterone, but did affect the size of brain regions associated with song learning: these regions were smaller in males that had been had been exposed to recorded traffic urban noise in early development. These findings provide a possible mechanism by which noise affects behaviour, leading to potential population differences between wild animals occupying noisier urban environments compared with those in quieter habitats.

  7. The influence of inherited plumage colour morph on morphometric traits and breeding investment in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Krause, E Tobias; Krüger, Oliver; Hoffman, Joseph I

    2017-01-01

    Melanin-based plumage polymorphism occurs in many wild bird populations and has been linked to fitness variation in several species. These fitness differences often arise as a consequence of variation in traits such as behaviour, immune responsiveness, body size and reproductive investment. However, few studies have controlled for genetic differences between colour morphs that could potentially generate artefactual associations between plumage colouration and trait variation. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) as a model system in order to evaluate whether life-history traits such as adult body condition and reproductive investment could be influenced by plumage morph. To maximise any potential differences, we selected wild-type and white plumage morphs, which differ maximally in their extent of melanisation, while using a controlled three-generation breeding design to homogenise the genetic background. We found that F2 adults with white plumage colouration were on average lighter and had poorer body condition than wild-type F2 birds. However, they appeared to compensate for this by reproducing earlier and producing heavier eggs relative to their own body mass. Our study thus reveals differences in morphological and life history traits that could be relevant to fitness variation, although further studies will be required to evaluate fitness effects under natural conditions as well as to characterise any potential fitness costs of compensatory strategies in white zebra finches.

  8. The influence of inherited plumage colour morph on morphometric traits and breeding investment in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Krüger, Oliver

    2017-01-01

    Melanin-based plumage polymorphism occurs in many wild bird populations and has been linked to fitness variation in several species. These fitness differences often arise as a consequence of variation in traits such as behaviour, immune responsiveness, body size and reproductive investment. However, few studies have controlled for genetic differences between colour morphs that could potentially generate artefactual associations between plumage colouration and trait variation. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) as a model system in order to evaluate whether life-history traits such as adult body condition and reproductive investment could be influenced by plumage morph. To maximise any potential differences, we selected wild-type and white plumage morphs, which differ maximally in their extent of melanisation, while using a controlled three-generation breeding design to homogenise the genetic background. We found that F2 adults with white plumage colouration were on average lighter and had poorer body condition than wild-type F2 birds. However, they appeared to compensate for this by reproducing earlier and producing heavier eggs relative to their own body mass. Our study thus reveals differences in morphological and life history traits that could be relevant to fitness variation, although further studies will be required to evaluate fitness effects under natural conditions as well as to characterise any potential fitness costs of compensatory strategies in white zebra finches. PMID:29190647

  9. Effects of early developmental conditions on innate immunity are only evident under favourable adult conditions in zebra finches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Coster, Greet; Verhulst, Simon; Koetsier, Egbert; de Neve, Liesbeth; Briga, Michael; Lens, Luc

    2011-12-01

    Long-term effects of unfavourable conditions during development can be expected to depend on the quality of the environment experienced by the same individuals during adulthood. Yet, in the majority of studies, long-term effects of early developmental conditions have been assessed under favourable adult conditions only. The immune system might be particularly vulnerable to early environmental conditions as its development, maintenance and use are thought to be energetically costly. Here, we studied the interactive effects of favourable and unfavourable conditions during nestling and adult stages on innate immunity (lysis and agglutination scores) of captive male and female zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata). Nestling environmental conditions were manipulated by a brood size experiment, while a foraging cost treatment was imposed on the same individuals during adulthood. This combined treatment showed that innate immunity of adult zebra finches is affected by their early developmental conditions and varies between both sexes. Lysis scores, but not agglutination scores, were higher in individuals raised in small broods and in males. However, these effects were only present in birds that experienced low foraging costs. This study shows that the quality of the adult environment may shape the long-term consequences of early developmental conditions on innate immunity, as long-term effects of nestling environment were only evident under favourable adult conditions.

  10. Sex-biased investment in yolk androgens depends on female quality and laying order in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, Lucy; Rutstein, Alison N.; Hazon, Neil; Graves, Jefferson A.

    2005-04-01

    The Trivers-Willard hypothesis predicts sex biases in parental investment according to parental condition. In addition, parents may need to sex bias their investment if there is an asymmetry between the sexes in offspring fitness under different conditions. For studying maternal differential investment, egg resources are ideal subjects because they are self contained and allocated unequivocally by the female. Recent studies show that yolk androgens can be beneficial to offspring, so here we test for sex-biased investment with maternal investment of yolk testosterone (T) in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) eggs. From the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, we predicted females to invest more in male eggs in optimum circumstances (e.g. good-condition mother, early-laid egg), and more in female eggs under suboptimal conditions (e.g. poor-condition mother, late-laid egg). This latter prediction is also because in this species there is a female nestling disadvantage in poor conditions and we expected mothers to help compensate for this in female eggs. Indeed, we found more yolk T in female than male eggs. Moreover, in accordance with our predictions, yolk T in male eggs increased with maternal quality relative to female eggs, and decreased with laying order relative to female eggs. This supports our predictions for the different needs and value of male and female offspring in zebra finches. Our results support the idea that females may use yolk androgens as a tool to adaptively manipulate the inequalities between different nestlings.

  11. Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?

    PubMed

    Schielzeth, H; Burger, C; Bolund, E; Forstmeier, W

    2008-09-01

    Sexual imprinting on discrete variation that serves the identification of species, morphs or sexes is well documented. By contrast, sexual imprinting on continuous variation leading to individual differences in mating preferences within a single species, morph and sex has been studied only once (in humans). We measured female preferences in a captive population of wild-type zebra finches. Individual cross-fostering ensured that all subjects grew up with unrelated foster parents and nest mates. Females from two cohorts (N = 113) were given a simultaneous choice between (two or four) unfamiliar males, one of which was a genetic son of their foster parents (SFP). We found no significant overall preference for the SFP (combined effect size d = 0.14 +/- 0.15). Additionally, we tested if foster parent traits could potentially explain between-female variation in preferences. However, neither the effectiveness of cooperation between the parents nor male contribution to parental care affected female preferences for the son of the foster father. We conclude that at least in zebra finches sexual imprinting is not a major source of between-individual variation in mating preferences.

  12. Developmental effects of vasotocin and nonapeptide receptors on early social attachment and affiliative behavior in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Baran, Nicole M; Sklar, Nathan C; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-02-01

    Zebra finches demonstrate selective affiliation between juvenile offspring and parents, which, like affiliation between pair partners, is characterized by proximity, vocal communication and contact behaviors. This experiment tested the hypothesis that the nonapeptide arginine vasotocin (AVT, avian homologue of vasopressin) and nonapeptide receptors play a role prior to fledging in the development of affiliative behavior. Zebra finch hatchlings of both sexes received daily intracranial injections (post-hatch days 2-8) of either AVT, Manning Compound (MC, a potent V1a receptor antagonist) or saline (vehicle control). The social development of both sexes was assessed by measuring responsiveness to isolation from the family and subsequent reunion with the male parent after fledging. In addition, we assessed the changes in affiliation with the parents, unfamiliar males, and unfamiliar females each week throughout juvenile development. Compared to controls, MC subjects showed decreased attachment to the parents and MC males did not show the normal increase in affiliative interest in opposite sex individuals as they reached reproductive maturity. In contrast, AVT subjects showed a sustained affiliative interest in parents throughout development, and males showed increased interest in opposite sex conspecifics as they matured. These results provide the first evidence suggesting that AVT and nonapeptide receptors play organizational roles in social development in a bird. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Growth and atrophy of neurons labeled at their birth in a song nucleus of the zebra finch

    SciT

    Konishi, M.; Akutagawa, E.

    1990-05-01

    The robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) is one of the forebrain nuclei that control song production in birds. In the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), this nucleus contains more and larger neurons in the male than in the female. A single injection of tritiated thymidine into the egg on the 6th or 7th day of incubation resulted in labeling of many RA neurons with tritium. The size of tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them did not differ between the sexes at 15 days after hatching. In the adult brain, tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them weremore » much larger in the male than in the female. Also, tritium-labeled RA neurons were large in females which received an implant of estrogen immediately after hatching. The gender differences in the neuron size and nuclear volume of the zebra finch RA are, therefore, due not to the replacement of old neurons by new ones during development but to the growth and atrophy of neurons born before hatching. Similarly, the masculinizing effects of estrogen on the female RA are due not to neuronal replacement but to the prevention of atrophy and promotion of growth in preexisting neurons.« less

  14. Overexpression of human NR2B receptor subunit in LMAN causes stuttering and song sequence changes in adult zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Chen, Liang-Fu; Fridel, Emma E; Klein, Marguerita E; Senft, Rebecca A; Sarkar, Abhra; Jarvis, Erich D

    2017-04-21

    Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) learn to produce songs in a manner reminiscent of spoken language development in humans. One candidate gene implicated in influencing learning is the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype 2B glutamate receptor (NR2B). Consistent with this idea, NR2B levels are high in the song learning nucleus LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium) during juvenile vocal learning, and decreases to low levels in adults after learning is complete and the song becomes more stereotyped. To test for the role of NR2B in generating song plasticity, we manipulated NR2B expression in LMAN of adult male zebra finches by increasing its protein levels to those found in juvenile birds, using a lentivirus containing the full-length coding sequence of the human NR2B subunit. We found that increased NR2B expression in adult LMAN induced increases in song sequence diversity and slower song tempo more similar to juvenile songs, but also increased syllable repetitions similar to stuttering. We did not observe these effects in control birds with overexpression of NR2B outside of LMAN or with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) in LMAN. Our results suggest that low NR2B subunit expression in adult LMAN is important in conserving features of stereotyped adult courtship song.

  15. Colour Cues That Are Not Directly Attached to the Body of Males Do Not Influence the Mate Choice of Zebra Finches.

    PubMed

    Krause, E Tobias

    2016-01-01

    Mate choice decisions of female zebra finches are generally thought to rely on the assessment of male quality, which includes the specific ornamentation of males. A commonly used paradigm to experimentally manipulate a male's attractiveness is to add a coloured leg ring to the bird. Some studies have shown that female zebra finches prefer or alter their investment in males that have an additional red leg ring compared with males with green leg rings. Whether the coloured artificial ornaments need to be attached to the male's body or whether environmental colouration could have a similar effect on male attractiveness remains unclear. Here, I investigated this novel context to determine whether female choice between males is affected by environmental colour cues that are not directly attached to the male's body in four experiments involving 220 zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). A first experiment revealed that females chose males with red colour cues in the environmental background over males with green cues in the background. Based on this finding, I conducted follow-up experiments to obtain a deeper understanding of how environmental colour cues affect mate choice. Therefore, I examined whether female choice behaviour or male behaviour was altered in two additional experiments. Both experiments failed to show any effects of environmental colour cues on female choice or on male behaviour. Therefore, I replicated the initial experiment in a fourth experiment. Again replication failed; thus, the initial results indicating that environmental colouration affects mate choice behaviour of female zebra finches were not supported by the three subsequent experiments; thus, the outcome of the first experiment seems to be a false positive. Taking my results together, I found no robust support for the idea that environmental colour cues that are not directly attached to the body of male zebra finches affect female mate choice decisions.

  16. De novo establishment of wild-type song culture in the zebra finch

    PubMed Central

    Feher, Olga; Wang, Haibin; Saar, Sigal; Mitra, Partha P.; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2009-01-01

    What sort of culture would evolve in an island colony of naive founders? This question cannot be studied experimentally in humans. We performed the analogous experiment using socially learned birdsong. Culture is typically viewed as consisting of traits inherited epigenetically, via social learning. However, cultural diversity has species-typical constraints1, presumably of genetic origin. A celebrated, if contentious, example is whether a universal grammar constrains syntactic diversity in human languages2. Oscine songbirds exhibit song learning and provide biologically tractable models of culture: members of a species show individual variation in song3 and geographically separated groups have local song dialects 4,5. Different species exhibit distinct song cultures6,7, suggestive of genetic constraints8,9. Absent such constraints, innovations and copying errors should cause unbounded variation over multiple generations or geographical distance, contrary to observations9. We asked if wild-type song culture might emerge over multiple generations in an isolated colony founded by isolates, and if so, how this might happen and what type of social environment is required10. Zebra finch isolates, unexposed to singing males during development, produce song with characteristics that differ from the wild-type song found in laboratory11 or natural colonies. In tutoring lineages starting from isolate founders, we quantified alterations in song across tutoring generations in two social environments: tutor-pupil pairs in sound-isolated chambers and an isolated semi-natural colony. In both settings, juveniles imitated the isolate tutors, but changed certain characteristics of the songs. These alterations accumulated over learning generations. Consequently, songs evolved toward the wild-type in 3–4 generations. Thus, species-typical song culture can appear de novo. Our study has parallels with language change and evolution12,13. In analogy to models in quantitative genetics14

  17. Cannabinoid mitigation of neuronal morphological change important to development and learning: insight from a zebra finch model of psychopharmacology.

    PubMed

    Soderstrom, Ken; Gilbert, Marcoita T

    2013-03-19

    Normal CNS development proceeds through late-postnatal stages of adolescent development. The activity-dependence of this development underscores the significance of CNS-active drug exposure prior to completion of brain maturation. Exogenous modulation of signaling important in regulating normal development is of particular concern. This mini-review presents a summary of the accumulated behavioral, physiological and biochemical evidence supporting such a key regulatory role for endocannabinoid signaling during late-postnatal CNS development. Our focus is on the data obtained using a unique zebra finch model of developmental psychopharmacology. This animal has allowed investigation of neuronal morphological effects essential to establishment and maintenance of neural circuitry, including processes related to synaptogenesis and dendritic spine dynamics. Altered neurophysiology that follows exogenous cannabinoid exposure during adolescent development has the potential to persistently alter cognition, learning and memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Features of the Retinotopic Representation in the Visual Wulst of a Laterally Eyed Bird, the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Neethu; Löwel, Siegrid; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The visual wulst of the zebra finch comprises at least two retinotopic maps of the contralateral eye. As yet, it is not known how much of the visual field is represented in the wulst neuronal maps, how the organization of the maps is related to the retinal architecture, and how information from the ipsilateral eye is involved in the activation of the wulst. Here, we have used autofluorescent flavoprotein imaging and classical anatomical methods to investigate such characteristics of the most posterior map of the multiple retinotopic representations. We found that the visual wulst can be activated by visual stimuli from a large part of the visual field of the contralateral eye. Horizontally, the visual field representation extended from -5° beyond the beak tip up to +125° laterally. Vertically, a small strip from -10° below to about +25° above the horizon activated the visual wulst. Although retinal ganglion cells had a much higher density around the fovea and along a strip extending from the fovea towards the beak tip, these areas were not overrepresented in the wulst map. The wulst area activated from the foveal region of the ipsilateral eye, overlapped substantially with the middle of the three contralaterally activated regions in the visual wulst, and partially with the other two. Visual wulst activity evoked by stimulation of the frontal visual field was stronger with contralateral than with binocular stimulation. This confirms earlier electrophysiological studies indicating an inhibitory influence of the activation of the ipsilateral eye on wulst activity elicited by stimulating the contralateral eye. The lack of a foveal overrepresentation suggests that identification of objects may not be the primary task of the zebra finch visual wulst. Instead, this brain area may be involved in the processing of visual information necessary for spatial orientation. PMID:25853253

  19. Food, stress, and reproduction: short-term fasting alters endocrine physiology and reproductive behavior in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Sharon E; Stamplis, Teresa B; Barrington, William T; Weida, Nicholas; Hudak, Casey A

    2010-07-01

    Stress is thought to be a potent suppressor of reproduction. However, the vast majority of studies focus on the relationship between chronic stress and reproductive suppression, despite the fact that chronic stress is rare in the wild. We investigated the role of fasting in altering acute stress physiology, reproductive physiology, and reproductive behavior of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with several goals in mind. First, we wanted to determine if acute fasting could stimulate an increase in plasma corticosterone and a decrease in corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and testosterone. We then investigated whether fasting could alter expression of undirected song and courtship behavior. After subjecting males to fasting periods ranging from 1 to 10h, we collected plasma to measure corticosterone, CBG, and testosterone. We found that plasma corticosterone was elevated, and testosterone was decreased after 4, 6, and 10h of fasting periods compared with samples collected from the same males during nonfasted (control) periods. CBG was lower than control levels only after 10h of fasting. We also found that, coincident with these endocrine changes, males sang less and courted females less vigorously following short-term fasting relative to control conditions. Our data demonstrate that acute fasting resulted in rapid changes in endocrine physiology consistent with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activation and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis deactivation. Fasting also inhibited reproductive behavior. We suggest that zebra finches exhibit physiological and behavioral flexibility that makes them an excellent model system for studying interactions of acute stress and reproduction. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Sex Differences in Brain Thyroid Hormone Levels during Early Post-Hatching Development in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Shinji; Hayase, Shin; Aoki, Naoya; Takehara, Akihiko; Ishigohoka, Jun; Matsushima, Toshiya; Wada, Kazuhiro; Homma, Koichi J

    2017-01-01

    Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4) in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.

  1. Song tutoring in presinging zebra finch juveniles biases a small population of higher-order song-selective neurons toward the tutor song.

    PubMed

    Adret, Patrice; Meliza, C Daniel; Margoliash, Daniel

    2012-10-01

    We explored physiological changes correlated with song tutoring by recording the responses of caudal nidopallium neurons of zebra finches aged P21-P24 (days post hatching) to a broad spectrum of natural and synthetic stimuli. Those birds raised with their fathers tended to show behavioral evidence of song memorization but not of singing; thus auditory responses were not confounded by the birds' own vocalizations. In study 1, 37 of 158 neurons (23%) in 17 of 22 tutored and untutored birds were selective for only 1 of 10 stimuli comprising broadband signals, early juvenile songs and calls, female calls, and adult songs. Approximately 30% of the selective neurons (12/37 neurons in 9 birds) were selective for adult conspecific songs. All these were found in the song system nuclei HVC and paraHVC. Of 122 neurons (17 birds) in tutored birds, all of the conspecific song-selective neurons (8 neurons in 6 birds) were selective for the adult tutor song; none was selective for unfamiliar song. In study 2 with a different sampling strategy, we found that 11 of 12 song-selective neurons in 6 of 7 birds preferred the tutor song; none preferred unfamiliar or familiar conspecific songs. Most of these neurons were found in caudal lateral nidopallium (NCL) below HVC. Thus by the time a bird begins to sing, there are small numbers of tutor song-selective neurons distributed in several forebrain regions. We hypothesize that a small population of higher-order auditory neurons is innately selective for complex features of behaviorally relevant stimuli and these responses are modified by specific perceptual/social experience during development.

  2. Song tutoring in presinging zebra finch juveniles biases a small population of higher-order song-selective neurons toward the tutor song

    PubMed Central

    Adret, Patrice; Meliza, C. Daniel

    2012-01-01

    We explored physiological changes correlated with song tutoring by recording the responses of caudal nidopallium neurons of zebra finches aged P21–P24 (days post hatching) to a broad spectrum of natural and synthetic stimuli. Those birds raised with their fathers tended to show behavioral evidence of song memorization but not of singing; thus auditory responses were not confounded by the birds' own vocalizations. In study 1, 37 of 158 neurons (23%) in 17 of 22 tutored and untutored birds were selective for only 1 of 10 stimuli comprising broadband signals, early juvenile songs and calls, female calls, and adult songs. Approximately 30% of the selective neurons (12/37 neurons in 9 birds) were selective for adult conspecific songs. All these were found in the song system nuclei HVC and paraHVC. Of 122 neurons (17 birds) in tutored birds, all of the conspecific song-selective neurons (8 neurons in 6 birds) were selective for the adult tutor song; none was selective for unfamiliar song. In study 2 with a different sampling strategy, we found that 11 of 12 song-selective neurons in 6 of 7 birds preferred the tutor song; none preferred unfamiliar or familiar conspecific songs. Most of these neurons were found in caudal lateral nidopallium (NCL) below HVC. Thus by the time a bird begins to sing, there are small numbers of tutor song-selective neurons distributed in several forebrain regions. We hypothesize that a small population of higher-order auditory neurons is innately selective for complex features of behaviorally relevant stimuli and these responses are modified by specific perceptual/social experience during development. PMID:22786956

  3. C-fos induction in forebrain areas of two different visual pathways during consolidation of sexual imprinting in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2006-10-16

    Two forebrain areas in the hyperpallium apicale and in the lateral nidopallium of isolated male zebra finches are highly active (2-deoxyglucose technique) on exposure to females for the first time, that is first courtship. These areas also demonstrate enhanced neuronal plasticity when screened with c-fos immunocytochemistry. Both are areas involved in the processing of visual information conveyed by the two major visual pathways in birds, strengthening our hypothesis that courtship in the zebra finch is a visually guided behaviour. First courtship and chased birds show enhanced c-fos induction in the hyperpallial area, which could represent neuronal activity reflecting changes in the immediate environment. The enhanced expression of fos in first courtship birds in lateral nidopallial neurons indicates imminent long-lasting changes at the synaptic level that form the substrate for imprinting, a stable form of learning in birds.

  4. Differential coexpression of FoxP1, FoxP2, and FoxP4 in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song system.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, Ezequiel; Tokarev, Kirill; Düring, Daniel N; Retamosa, Eva Camarillo; Weiss, Michael; Arpenik, Nshdejan; Scharff, Constance

    2015-06-15

    Heterozygous disruptions of the Forkhead transcription factor FoxP2 impair acquisition of speech and language. Experimental downregulation in brain region Area X of the avian ortholog FoxP2 disrupts song learning in juvenile male zebra finches. In vitro, transcriptional activity of FoxP2 requires dimerization with itself or with paralogs FoxP1 and FoxP4. Whether this is the case in vivo is unknown. To provide the means for future functional studies we cloned FoxP4 from zebra finches and compared regional and cellular coexpression of FoxP1, FoxP2, and FoxP4 mRNA and protein in brains of juvenile and adult male zebra finches. In the telencephalic song nuclei HVC, RA, and Area X, the three investigated FoxPs were either expressed alone or occurred in specific combinations with each other, as shown by double in situ hybridization and triple immunohistochemistry. FoxP1 and FoxP4 but not FoxP2 were expressed in RA and in the HVCRA and HVCX projection neurons. In Area X and the surrounding striatum the density of neurons expressing all three FoxPs together or FoxP1 and FoxP4 together was significantly higher than the density of neurons expressing other combinations. Interestingly, the proportions of Area X neurons expressing particular combinations of FoxPs remained constant at all ages. In addition, FoxP-expressing neurons in adult Area X express dopamine receptors 1A, 1B, and 2. Together, these data provide the first evidence that Area X neurons can coexpress all avian FoxP subfamily members, thus allowing for a variety of regulatory possibilities via heterodimerization that could impact song behavior in zebra finches. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions: a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Tschirren, B; Rutstein, A N; Postma, E; Mariette, M; Griffith, S C

    2009-02-01

    Divergent selection pressures among populations can result not only in significant differentiation in morphology, physiology and behaviour, but also in how these traits are related to each other, thereby driving the processes of local adaptation and speciation. In the Australian zebra finch, we investigated whether domesticated stock, bred in captivity over tens of generations, differ in their response to a life-history manipulation, compared to birds taken directly from the wild. In a 'common aviary' experiment, we thereto experimentally manipulated the environmental conditions experienced by nestlings early in life by means of a brood size manipulation, and subsequently assessed its short- and long-term consequences on growth, ornamentation, immune function and reproduction. As expected, we found that early environmental conditions had a marked effect on both short- and long-term morphological and life-history traits in all birds. However, although there were pronounced differences between wild and domesticated birds with respect to the absolute expression of many of these traits, which are indicative of the different selection pressures wild and domesticated birds were exposed to in the recent past, manipulated rearing conditions affected morphology and ornamentation of wild and domesticated finches in a very similar way. This suggests that despite significant differentiation between wild and domesticated birds, selection has not altered the relationships among traits. Thus, life-history strategies and investment trade-offs may be relatively stable and not easily altered by selection. This is a reassuring finding in the light of the widespread use of domesticated birds in studies of life-history evolution and sexual selection, and suggests that adaptive explanations may be legitimate when referring to captive bird studies.

  6. CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor Activation Dose-Dependently Modulates Neuronal Activity within Caudal but not Rostral Song Control Regions of Adult Zebra Finch Telencephalon

    PubMed Central

    Soderstrom, Ken; Tian, Qiyu

    2008-01-01

    CB1 cannabinoid receptors are distinctly expressed at high density within several regions of zebra finch telencephalon including those known to be involved in song learning (lMAN and Area X) and production (HVC and RA). Because: (1) exposure to cannabinoid agonists during developmental periods of auditory and sensory-motor song learning alters song patterns produced later in adulthood and; (2) densities of song region expression of CB1 waxes-and-wanes during song learning, it is becoming clear that CB1 receptor-mediated signaling is important to normal processes of vocal development. To better understand mechanisms involved in cannabinoid modulation of vocal behavior we have investigated the dose-response relationship between systemic cannabinoid exposure and changes in neuronal activity (as indicated by expression of the transcription factor, c-Fos) within telencephalic brain regions with established involvement in song learning and/or control. In adults we have found that low doses (0.1 mg/kg) of the cannabinoid agonist WIN-55212-2 decrease neuronal activity (as indicated by densities of c-fos-expressing nuclei) within vocal motor regions of caudal telencephalon (HVC and RA) while higher doses (3 mg/kg) stimulate activity. Both effects were reversed by pretreatment with the CB1-selective antagonist rimonabant. Interestingly, no effects of cannabinoid treatment were observed within the rostral song regions lMAN and Area X, despite distinct and dense CB1 receptor expression within these areas. Overall, our results demonstrate that, depending on dosage, CB1 agonism can both inhibit and stimulate neuronal activity within brain regions controlling adult vocal motor output, implicating involvement of multiple CB1-sensitive neuronal circuits. PMID:18509622

  7. MC1R Genotype and Plumage Colouration in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata): Population Structure Generates Artefactual Associations

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Joseph I.; Krause, E. Tobias; Lehmann, Katrin; Krüger, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding region in 162 zebra finches comprising 79 wild type and 83 white individuals from five stocks. Allelic counts differed significantly between the two plumage morphs at multiple segregating sites, but these were mostly synonymous. To provide a control, the birds were genotyped at eight microsatellites and subjected to Bayesian cluster analysis, revealing two distinct groups. We therefore crossed wild type with white individuals and backcrossed the F1s with white birds. No significant associations were detected in the resulting offspring, suggesting that our original findings were a byproduct of genome-wide divergence. Our results are consistent with a previous study that found no association between MC1R polymorphism and plumage coloration in leaf warblers. They also contribute towards a growing body of evidence suggesting that care should be taken to quantify, and where necessary control for, population structure in association studies. PMID:24489736

  8. Deprivation of maternal care has long-lasting consequences for the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis of zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Sunayana B.; Arterbery, Adam S.; Fergus, Daniel J.; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Early-life stress caused by the deprivation of maternal care has been shown to have long-lasting effects on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis in offspring of uniparental mammalian species. We asked if deprivation of maternal care in biparental species alters stress responsiveness of offspring, using a biparental avian species—the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata. In our experiment, one group of birds was raised by both male and female parents (control), and another was raised by males alone (maternally deprived). During adulthood, offspring of both groups were subjected to two stressors (restraint and isolation), and corticosterone concentrations were measured. Additionally, we measured baseline levels of the two corticosteroid receptors—glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR)—in the hippocampus, hypothalamus and cerebellum. Our results suggest that maternally deprived offspring are hyper-responsive to isolation in comparison with controls. Furthermore, mRNA levels of both GR and MR receptors are altered in maternally deprived offspring in comparison with controls. Thus, absence of maternal care has lasting consequences for HPA function in a biparental species where paternal care is available. PMID:21775332

  9. Laying-sequence-specific variation in yolk oestrogen levels, and relationship to plasma oestrogen in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Tony D.; Ames, Caroline E.; Kiparissis, Yiannis; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine E.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between plasma and yolk oestrogens in laying female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) by manipulating plasma oestradiol (E2) levels, via injection of oestradiol-17β, in a sequence-specific manner to maintain chronically high plasma levels for later-developing eggs (contrasting with the endogenous pattern of decreasing plasma E2 concentrations during laying). We report systematic variation in yolk oestrogen concentrations, in relation to laying sequence, similar to that widely reported for androgenic steroids. In sham-manipulated females, yolk E2 concentrations decreased with laying sequence. However, in E2-treated females plasma E2 levels were higher during the period of rapid yolk development of later-laid eggs, compared with control females. As a consequence, we reversed the laying-sequence-specific pattern of yolk E2: in E2-treated females, yolk E2 concentrations increased with laying-sequence. In general therefore, yolk E2 levels were a direct reflection of plasma E2 levels. However, in control females there was some inter-individual variability in the endogenous pattern of plasma E2 levels through the laying cycle which could generate variation in sequence-specific patterns of yolk hormone levels even if these primarily reflect circulating steroid levels. PMID:15695208

  10. An examination of the effect of aerosolized permanone insecticide on zebra finch susceptibility to West Nile virus

    Jankowski, Mark D.; Murray, E. Moore; Hofmeister, Erik K.

    2017-01-01

    West Nile virus is primarily maintained cryptically primarily in avian (Passerine) populations where it is transmitted by Culex spp. mosquitoes. Mosquito control measures currently include physical activities to reduce mosquito breeding sites, the application of mosquito larvicides, or aerosolized insecticides to kill adults (adulticides) when arboviral diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV) or Zika virus are detected in mosquito populations. Organochlorine, organohosphorus, carbamate and pyrethroid insecticides are often used. Previous work suggests an effect of pyrethroids on the immune system in a variety of vertebrates. We examined the effects of exposure to aerosolized Permanone® 30:30 insecticide (permethrin and piperonyl butoxide in soy oil vehicle) at ∼103−106x potential environmental concentrations on the response of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to experimental challenge with WNV. Compared to vehicle control birds, WNV outcome was unchanged (65% of birds produced a viremia) in the ‘low’ exposure (9.52 mg/m3±3.13 SD permethrin) group, but reduced in the ‘high’ exposure (mean 376.5 mg/m3±27.9 SD permethrin) group (30% were viremic) (p < 0.05). After clearing WNV infection, birds treated with Permanone regained less body mass than vehicle treated birds (p < 0.001). Our study suggests that exposure to aerosolized Permanone insecticide at levels exceeding typical application rates has the potential to not change or mildly enhance a bird's resistance to WNV.

  11. Genoarchitecture of the extended amygdala in zebra finch, and expression of FoxP2 in cell corridors of different genetic profile.

    PubMed

    Vicario, Alba; Mendoza, Ezequiel; Abellán, Antonio; Scharff, Constance; Medina, Loreta

    2017-01-01

    We used a battery of genes encoding transcription factors (Pax6, Islet1, Nkx2.1, Lhx6, Lhx5, Lhx9, FoxP2) and neuropeptides to study the extended amygdala in developing zebra finches. We identified different components of the central extended amygdala comparable to those found in mice and chickens, including the intercalated amygdalar cells, the central amygdala, and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Many cells likely originate in the dorsal striatal domain, ventral striatal domain, or the pallidal domain, as is the case in mice and chickens. Moreover, a cell subpopulation of the central extended amygdala appears to originate in the prethalamic eminence. As a general principle, these different cells with specific genetic profiles and embryonic origin form separate or partially intermingled cell corridors along the extended amygdala, which may be involved in different functional pathways. In addition, we identified the medial amygdala of the zebra finch. Like in the chickens and mice, it is located in the subpallium and is rich in cells of pallido-preoptic origin, containing minor subpopulations of immigrant cells from the ventral pallium, alar hypothalamus and prethalamic eminence. We also proposed that the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis is composed of several parallel cell corridors with different genetic profile and embryonic origin: preoptic, pallidal, hypothalamic, and prethalamic. Several of these cell corridors with distinct origin express FoxP2, a transcription factor implicated in synaptic plasticity. Our results pave the way for studies using zebra finches to understand the neural basis of social behavior, in which the extended amygdala is involved.

  12. Sexually dimorphic expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 in the song control nuclei of juvenile zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2010-01-01

    Studies evaluating the role of steroid hormones in sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system have produced complicated and at times paradoxical results, and indicate that additional factors may be critical. Therefore, in a previous study we initiated a screen for differential gene expression in the telencephalon of developing male and female zebra finches. The use of cDNA microarrays and real-time quantitative PCR revealed increased expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37) in the male forebrain as a whole. Preliminary in situ hybridization data then indicated enhanced expression of both these genes in song control regions. Two experiments in the present study quantified the mRNA expression. The first utilized 25-day-old male and female zebra finches. The second compared a separate set of juveniles to adults of both sexes to both re-confirm enhanced expression in juvenile males and to determine whether it is limited to developing animals. In Experiment 1, males exhibited increased expression of both RPL17 and RPL37 compared to females in Area X, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and the ventral ventricular zone (VVZ), which may provide neurons to Area X. Experiment 2 replicated the sexually dimorphic expression of these genes at post-hatching day 25, and documented that the sex differences are eliminated or greatly reduced in adults. The results are consistent with the idea that these ribosomal proteins may influence sexual differentiation of Area X and RA, potentially regulating the genesis and/or survival of neurons. PMID:16938280

  13. Sexually dimorphic expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 in the song control nuclei of juvenile zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2006-12-18

    Studies evaluating the role of steroid hormones in sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system have produced complicated and at times paradoxical results, and indicate that additional factors may be critical. Therefore, in a previous study we initiated a screen for differential gene expression in the telencephalon of developing male and female zebra finches. The use of cDNA microarrays and real-time quantitative PCR revealed increased expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37) in the male forebrain as a whole. Preliminary in situ hybridization data then indicated enhanced expression of both these genes in song control regions. Two experiments in the present study quantified the mRNA expression. The first utilized 25-day-old male and female zebra finches. The second compared a separate set of juveniles to adults of both sexes to both re-confirm enhanced expression in juvenile males and to determine whether it is limited to developing animals. In Experiment 1, males exhibited increased expression of both RPL17 and RPL37 compared to females in Area X, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and the ventral ventricular zone (VVZ), which may provide neurons to Area X. Experiment 2 replicated the sexually dimorphic expression of these genes at post-hatching day 25, and documented that the sex differences are eliminated or greatly reduced in adults. The results are consistent with the idea that these ribosomal proteins may influence sexual differentiation of Area X and RA, potentially regulating the genesis and/or survival of neurons.

  14. Protein-Protein Interaction Among the FoxP Family Members and their Regulation of Two Target Genes, VLDLR and CNTNAP2 in the Zebra Finch Song System

    PubMed Central

    Mendoza, Ezequiel; Scharff, Constance

    2017-01-01

    The Forkhead transcription factor FOXP2 is implicated in speech perception and production. The avian homolog, FoxP21 contributes to song learning and production in birds. In human cell lines, transcriptional activity of FOXP2 requires homo-dimerization or dimerization with paralogs FOXP1 or FOXP4. Whether FoxP dimerization occurs in the brain is unknown. We recently showed that FoxP1, FoxP2 and FoxP4 (FoxP1/2/4) proteins are co-expressed in neurons of Area X, a song control region in zebra finches. We now report on dimer- and oligomerization of zebra finch FoxPs and how this affects transcription. In cell lines and in the brain we identify homo- and hetero-dimers, and an oligomer composed of FoxP1/2/4. We further show that FoxP1/2 but not FoxP4 bind to the regulatory region of the target gene Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2). In addition, we demonstrate that FoxP1/4 bind to the regulatory region of very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), as has been shown for FoxP2 previously. Interestingly, FoxP1/2/4 individually or in combinations regulate the promoters for SV40, zebra finch VLDLR and CNTNAP2 differentially. These data exemplify the potential for complex transcriptional regulation of FoxP1/2/4, highlighting the need for future functional studies dissecting their differential regulation in the brain. PMID:28507505

  15. Effect of septal lesions on male song and aggression in the colonial zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and the territorial field sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

    PubMed

    Goodson, J L; Eibach, R; Sakata, J; Adkins-Regan, E

    1999-01-01

    The present investigation assessed the effect of lesions of the septum on male courtship and aggression in the territorial field sparrow (Spizella pusilla) and the colonial zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). In addition, pair-bonding and a variety of other social behaviors were examined in the zebra finch and dawn song (both the strictly agonistic song type and the multipurpose song type) was examined in the field sparrow. Zebra finches were tested in three phases both before and after receiving bilateral electrolytic lesions of the septum or sham surgery. These phases were: (1) competition tests in which a subject and a stimulus male were exposed to a female in an adjacent cage; (2) sexual behavior tests with a female; and (3) 10-day group cage tests in which subjects were in a mixed-sex environment. Aggressive behaviors (chases, threats, beak fences and pecks) were significantly reduced by septal lesions but not by sham surgery. Directed song (courtship) was significantly reduced in sexual behavior tests, with similar trends in other testing phases. Male field sparrows were tested 2 days pre-surgery and 2 days post-surgery in outdoor aviaries placed in their natural habitat. Tests consisted of dawn song observations and observations of courtship and aggression following introduction of a female to the subject's aviary, which was followed 10 min later by the introduction of another male (without removing the female). Septal lesions significantly facilitated both overt aggression (chases) and the number of simple (multi-purpose) songs. These results provide evidence that the septum participates in the regulation of male aggression and song in songbirds, and further suggest that variations in septal function may exist between territorial and colonial species.

  16. Effect of septal lesions on male song and aggression in the colonial zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and the territorial field sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

    PubMed

    Goodson, J L; Eibach, R; Sakata, J; Adkins-Regan, E

    1999-05-01

    The present investigation assessed the effect of lesions of the septum on male courtship and aggression in the territorial field sparrow (Spizella pusilla) and the colonial zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). In addition, pair-bonding and a variety of other social behaviors were examined in the zebra finch and dawn song (both the strictly agonistic song type and the multipurpose song type) was examined in the field sparrow. Zebra finches were tested in three phases both before and after receiving bilateral electrolytic lesions of the septum or sham surgery. These phases were: (1) competition tests in which a subject and a stimulus male were exposed to a female in an adjacent cage; (2) sexual behavior tests with a female; and (3) 10-day group cage tests in which subjects were in a mixed-sex environment. Aggressive behaviors (chases, threats, beak fences and pecks) were significantly reduced by septal lesions but not by sham surgery. Directed song (courtship) was significantly reduced in sexual behavior tests, with similar trends in other testing phases. Male field sparrows were tested 2 days pre-surgery and 2 days post-surgery in outdoor aviaries placed in their natural habitat. Tests consisted of dawn song observations and observations of courtship and aggression following introduction of a female to the subject's aviary, which was followed 10 min later by the introduction of another male (without removing the female). Septal lesions significantly facilitated both overt aggression (chases) and the number of simple (multi-purpose) songs. These results provide evidence that the septum participates in the regulation of male aggression and song in songbirds, and further suggest that variations in septal function may exist between territorial and colonial species.

  17. Developmental Experience Alters Information Coding in Auditory Midbrain and Forebrain Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Woolley, Sarah M. N.; Hauber, Mark E.; Theunissen, Frederic E.

    2010-01-01

    In songbirds, species identity and developmental experience shape vocal behavior and behavioral responses to vocalizations. The interaction of species identity and developmental experience may also shape the coding properties of sensory neurons. We tested whether responses of auditory midbrain and forebrain neurons to songs differed between species and between groups of conspecific birds with different developmental exposure to song. We also compared responses of individual neurons to conspecific and heterospecific songs. Zebra and Bengalese finches that were raised and tutored by conspecific birds, and zebra finches that were cross-tutored by Bengalese finches were studied. Single-unit responses to zebra and Bengalese finch songs were recorded and analyzed by calculating mutual information, response reliability, mean spike rate, fluctuations in time-varying spike rate, distributions of time-varying spike rates, and neural discrimination of individual songs. Mutual information quantifies a response’s capacity to encode information about a stimulus. In midbrain and forebrain neurons, mutual information was significantly higher in normal zebra finch neurons than in Bengalese finch and cross-tutored zebra finch neurons, but not between Bengalese finch and cross-tutored zebra finch neurons. Information rate differences were largely due to spike rate differences. Mutual information did not differ between responses to conspecific and heterospecific songs. Therefore, neurons from normal zebra finches encoded more information about songs than did neurons from other birds, but conspecific and heterospecific songs were encoded equally. Neural discrimination of songs and mutual information were highly correlated. Results demonstrate that developmental exposure to vocalizations shapes the information coding properties of songbird auditory neurons. PMID:20039264

  18. Carotenoids buffer the acute phase response on fever, sickness behavior and rapid bill color change in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    George, Deanna B; Schneider, Brent C; McGraw, Kevin J; Ardia, Daniel R

    2017-08-15

    Carotenoids are finite resources that animals can allocate to self-maintenance, attractiveness or reproduction. Here we test how carotenoids affect the acute phase response (APR), an intense rapid systemic response characterized by fever, sickness behavior and production of acute phase proteins, which serves to reduce pathogen persistence. We conducted a 2×2 factorial design experiment in captive adult male and female zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) to determine the effects of carotenoid supplementation on the intensity of the APR. We measured changes in feeding rate, activity level and body temperature of the birds. We found that, relative to unsupplemented controls, carotenoid-supplemented birds exhibited less severe reductions in feeding and activity, smaller increases in body temperature and lower circulating levels of haptoglobin (an acute phase protein) 24 h after inducing an APR. Among supplemented individuals, those with higher blood carotenoid levels exhibited a lower reduction in activity rate after 24 h. Forty-eight hours after APR induction, birds exhibited a significant decrease in plasma carotenoid levels and a decrease in bill hue, with less reduction in hue in carotenoid-supplemented individuals. These results demonstrate that carotenoids can alleviate several important behavioral and physiological effects of an APR and that bill color can change rapidly following induction of the costly APR immune defense. In particular, immune activation may have caused birds to preferentially draw down carotenoids from the bloodstream, ostensibly for use in health. Rapid bill color changes over a 48-h period support growing evidence that bills may serve as short-term signals of health and condition. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Correlates of male fitness in captive zebra finches--a comparison of methods to disentangle genetic and environmental effects.

    PubMed

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Schielzeth, Holger; Forstmeier, Wolfgang

    2011-11-08

    It is a common observation in evolutionary studies that larger, more ornamented or earlier breeding individuals have higher fitness, but that body size, ornamentation or breeding time does not change despite of sometimes substantial heritability for these traits. A possible explanation for this is that these traits do not causally affect fitness, but rather happen to be indirectly correlated with fitness via unmeasured non-heritable aspects of condition (e.g. undernourished offspring grow small and have low fitness as adults due to poor health). Whether this explanation applies to a specific case can be examined by decomposing the covariance between trait and fitness into its genetic and environmental components using pedigree-based animal models. We here examine different methods of doing this for a captive zebra finch population where male fitness was measured in communal aviaries in relation to three phenotypic traits (tarsus length, beak colour and song rate). Our case study illustrates how methods that regress fitness over breeding values for phenotypic traits yield biased estimates as well as anti-conservative standard errors. Hence, it is necessary to estimate the genetic and environmental covariances between trait and fitness directly from a bivariate model. This method, however, is very demanding in terms of sample sizes. In our study parameter estimates of selection gradients for tarsus were consistent with the hypothesis of environmentally induced bias (βA=0.035±0.25 (SE), βE=0.57±0.28 (SE)), yet this differences between genetic and environmental selection gradients falls short of statistical significance. To examine the generality of the idea that phenotypic selection gradients for certain traits (like size) are consistently upwardly biased by environmental covariance a meta-analysis across study systems will be needed.

  20. Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success and Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study with Adult- or Lifetime-Exposure in Zebra Finch

    PubMed Central

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID

  1. Transient and permanent effects of suboptimal incubation temperatures on growth, metabolic rate, immune function and adrenocortical responses in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Wada, Haruka; Kriengwatana, Buddhamas; Allen, Natalie; Schmidt, Kimberly L; Soma, Kiran K; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2015-09-01

    In birds, incubation temperature can vary by several degrees Celsius among nests of a given species. Parents may alter incubation temperature to cope with environmental conditions and/or to manipulate embryonic development, and such changes in incubation behavior could have long-lasting effects on offspring phenotype. To investigate short- and long-term effects of suboptimal incubation temperatures on survival and physiological functions in zebra finches, eggs were incubated at 36.2, 37.4 or 38.4 °C for the entire incubation period. The post-hatch environment was identical among the treatment groups. We found that hatching success was lowest in the 38.4 °C group, while post-hatch survival was lowest in the 36.2 °C group. Incubation temperature had sex-specific effects on offspring phenotype: incubation temperatures affected body mass (Mb) but not physiological parameters of males and conversely, the physiological parameters but not Mb of females. Specifically, males from the 38.4 °C group weighed significantly less than males from the 36.2 °C group from the nestling period to adulthood, whereas females from different incubation temperature groups did not differ in Mb. In contrast, females incubated at 36.2 °C had transient but significantly elevated basal metabolic rate and adrenocortical responses during the nestling and fledgling periods, whereas no treatment effect was observed in males. Innate immunity was not affected by incubation temperature in either sex. These results suggest that a 1 °C deviation from what is considered an optimal incubation temperature can lower offspring performance and offspring survival. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. An examination of the effect of aerosolized Permanone insecticide on zebra finch susceptibility to West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Jankowski, Mark D; Moore, Murray E; Hofmeister, Erik K

    2017-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is maintained cryptically primarily in avian (passerine) populations, where it is transmitted by Culex spp. mosquitoes. Mosquito-control measures currently include physical activities to reduce mosquito-breeding sites and the application of mosquito larvicides or aerosolized insecticides to kill adults (adulticides) when arboviral diseases such as WNV or Zika virus are detected in mosquito populations. Organochlorine, organophosphorus, carbamate, and pyrethroid insecticides are often used. Previous work suggests an effect of pyrethroids on the immune system in a variety of vertebrates. We examined the effects of exposure to aerosolized Permanone® 30:30 insecticide (permethrin and piperonyl butoxide in soy oil vehicle) at approximately 10 3 to 10 6 times potential environmental concentrations on the response of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to experimental challenge with WNV. Compared to vehicle control birds, WNV outcome was unchanged (65% of birds produced a viremia) in the "low" exposure (9.52 ± 3.13 mg/m 3 standard deviation [SD] permethrin) group but reduced in the "high" exposure (mean 376.5 ± 27.9 mg/m 3 SD permethrin) group (30% were viremic; p < 0.05). After clearing WNV infection, birds treated with Permanone regained less body mass than vehicle-treated birds (p < 0.001). The present study suggests that exposure to aerosolized Permanone insecticide at levels exceeding typical application rates has the potential to not change or to mildly enhance a bird's resistance to WNV. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:3376-3386. Published 2017 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America. Published 2017 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  3. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Honarmand, Mariam; Krause, E Tobias; Naguib, Marc

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a) low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b) low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c) high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.

  4. Correlates of male fitness in captive zebra finches - a comparison of methods to disentangle genetic and environmental effects

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Backgound It is a common observation in evolutionary studies that larger, more ornamented or earlier breeding individuals have higher fitness, but that body size, ornamentation or breeding time does not change despite of sometimes substantial heritability for these traits. A possible explanation for this is that these traits do not causally affect fitness, but rather happen to be indirectly correlated with fitness via unmeasured non-heritable aspects of condition (e.g. undernourished offspring grow small and have low fitness as adults due to poor health). Whether this explanation applies to a specific case can be examined by decomposing the covariance between trait and fitness into its genetic and environmental components using pedigree-based animal models. We here examine different methods of doing this for a captive zebra finch population where male fitness was measured in communal aviaries in relation to three phenotypic traits (tarsus length, beak colour and song rate). Results Our case study illustrates how methods that regress fitness over breeding values for phenotypic traits yield biased estimates as well as anti-conservative standard errors. Hence, it is necessary to estimate the genetic and environmental covariances between trait and fitness directly from a bivariate model. This method, however, is very demanding in terms of sample sizes. In our study parameter estimates of selection gradients for tarsus were consistent with the hypothesis of environmentally induced bias (βA = 0.035 ± 0.25 (SE), βE = 0.57 ± 0.28 (SE)), yet this differences between genetic and environmental selection gradients falls short of statistical significance. Conclusions To examine the generality of the idea that phenotypic selection gradients for certain traits (like size) are consistently upwardly biased by environmental covariance a meta-analysis across study systems will be needed. PMID:22067225

  5. Activation Changes in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Brain Areas Evoked by Alterations of the Earth Magnetic Field

    PubMed Central

    Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many animals are able to perceive the earth magnetic field and to use it for orientation and navigation within the environment. The mechanisms underlying the perception and processing of magnetic field information within the brain have been thoroughly studied, especially in birds, but are still obscure. Three hypotheses are currently discussed, dealing with ferromagnetic particles in the beak of birds, with the same sort of particles within the lagena organs, or describing magnetically influenced radical-pair processes within retinal photopigments. Each hypothesis is related to a well-known sensory organ and claims parallel processing of magnetic field information with somatosensory, vestibular and visual input, respectively. Changes in activation within nuclei of the respective sensory systems have been shown previously. Most of these previous experiments employed intensity enhanced magnetic stimuli or lesions. We here exposed unrestrained zebra finches to either a stationary or a rotating magnetic field of the local intensity and inclination. C-Fos was used as an activity marker to examine whether the two treatments led to differences in fourteen brain areas including nuclei of the somatosensory, vestibular and visual system. An ANOVA revealed an overall effect of treatment, indicating that the magnetic field change was perceived by the birds. While the differences were too small to be significant in most areas, a significant enhancement of activation by the rotating stimulus was found in a hippocampal subdivision. Part of the hyperpallium showed a strong, nearly significant, increase. Our results are compatible with previous studies demonstrating an involvement of at least three different sensory systems in earth magnetic field perception and suggest that these systems, probably less elaborated, may also be found in nonmigrating birds. PMID:22679515

  6. Activation changes in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain areas evoked by alterations of the earth magnetic field.

    PubMed

    Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many animals are able to perceive the earth magnetic field and to use it for orientation and navigation within the environment. The mechanisms underlying the perception and processing of magnetic field information within the brain have been thoroughly studied, especially in birds, but are still obscure. Three hypotheses are currently discussed, dealing with ferromagnetic particles in the beak of birds, with the same sort of particles within the lagena organs, or describing magnetically influenced radical-pair processes within retinal photopigments. Each hypothesis is related to a well-known sensory organ and claims parallel processing of magnetic field information with somatosensory, vestibular and visual input, respectively. Changes in activation within nuclei of the respective sensory systems have been shown previously. Most of these previous experiments employed intensity enhanced magnetic stimuli or lesions. We here exposed unrestrained zebra finches to either a stationary or a rotating magnetic field of the local intensity and inclination. C-Fos was used as an activity marker to examine whether the two treatments led to differences in fourteen brain areas including nuclei of the somatosensory, vestibular and visual system. An ANOVA revealed an overall effect of treatment, indicating that the magnetic field change was perceived by the birds. While the differences were too small to be significant in most areas, a significant enhancement of activation by the rotating stimulus was found in a hippocampal subdivision. Part of the hyperpallium showed a strong, nearly significant, increase. Our results are compatible with previous studies demonstrating an involvement of at least three different sensory systems in earth magnetic field perception and suggest that these systems, probably less elaborated, may also be found in nonmigrating birds.

  7. Small molecule analysis and imaging of fatty acids in the zebra finch song system using time-of-flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Amaya, Kensey R; Sweedler, Jonathan V; Clayton, David F

    2011-08-01

    Fatty acids are central to brain metabolism and signaling, but their distributions within complex brain circuits have been difficult to study. Here we applied an emerging technique, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), to image specific fatty acids in a favorable model system for chemical analyses of brain circuits, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). The zebra finch, a songbird, produces complex learned vocalizations under the control of an interconnected set of discrete, dedicated brain nuclei 'song nuclei'. Using ToF-SIMS, the major song nuclei were visualized by virtue of differences in their content of essential and non-essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids (arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) showed distinctive distributions across the song nuclei, and the 18-carbon fatty acids stearate and oleate discriminated the different core and shell subregions of the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium. Principal component analysis of the spectral data set provided further evidence of chemical distinctions between the song nuclei. By analyzing the robust nucleus of the arcopallium at three different ages during juvenile song learning, we obtain the first direct evidence of changes in lipid content that correlate with progression of song learning. The results demonstrate the value of ToF-SIMS to study lipids in a favorable model system for probing the function of lipids in brain organization, development and function. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  8. The Vocal Repertoire of the Domesticated Zebra Finch: a Data Driven Approach to Decipher the Information-bearing Acoustic Features of Communication Signals

    PubMed Central

    Elie, Julie E.; Theunissen, Frédéric E.

    2018-01-01

    Although a universal code for the acoustic features of animal vocal communication calls may not exist, the thorough analysis of the distinctive acoustical features of vocalization categories is important not only to decipher the acoustical code for a specific species but also to understand the evolution of communication signals and the mechanisms used to produce and understand them. Here, we recorded more than 8,000 examples of almost all the vocalizations of the domesticated zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata: vocalizations produced to establish contact, to form and maintain pair bonds, to sound an alarm, to communicate distress or to advertise hunger or aggressive intents. We characterized each vocalization type using complete representations that avoided any a priori assumptions on the acoustic code, as well as classical bioacoustics measures that could provide more intuitive interpretations. We then used these acoustical features to rigorously determine the potential information-bearing acoustical features for each vocalization type using both a novel regularized classifier and an unsupervised clustering algorithm. Vocalization categories are discriminated by the shape of their frequency spectrum and by their pitch saliency (noisy to tonal vocalizations) but not particularly by their fundamental frequency. Notably, the spectral shape of zebra finch vocalizations contains peaks or formants that vary systematically across categories and that would be generated by active control of both the vocal organ (source) and the upper vocal tract (filter). PMID:26581377

  9. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Han, Binyue; Li, Yan; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.

  10. Early-developmental stress, repeatability, and canalization in a suite of physiological and behavioral traits in female zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Careau, Vincent; Buttemer, William A; Buchanan, Katherine L

    2014-10-01

    Adaptive developmental plasticity allows individuals experiencing poor environmental conditions in early life to adjust their life-history strategy in order to prioritize short-term fitness benefits and maximize reproductive output in challenging environments. Much research has been conducted to test whether such adoption of a "faster" life-history strategy is accompanied by concordant changes in behavior and physiology, with mixed results. As research in this field has focused on comparison of mean-level responses of treatment groups, few studies include repeated measures of response variables and the effect that developmental stress may have on repeatability per se. We investigated how early-developmental stress affects the mean expression of (and repeatability in) a variety of behavioral and physiological traits in female zebra finches. We predicted that: (1) individuals subjected to nutritional restriction in the nestling phase would have higher feeding and activity rates, with associated increases in hematocrit and basal metabolic rates (BMRs), (2) nutritional restriction in early life would alter adults' stress-induced corticosterone level, and (3) developmental stress would, respectively, influence the amount of among-individual and within-individual variation in behavioral and physiological traits, hence affecting the repeatability of these traits. In comparison to control females, stressed females did not differ in activity rate or stress-induced corticosterone level, but they did have higher levels of feeding, hematocrit, and BMR. Among-individual variance and repeatability were generally higher in stressed females than in controls. Finally, we found that developmental dietary restriction significantly reduced the amount of within-individual variance both in activity rate in the novel environment and in stress-induced corticosterone level. Our results not only confirm previous findings on the effect of early-developmental stress on BMR, but also extend

  11. Developmental pattern of diacylglycerol lipase-α (DAGLα) immunoreactivity in brain regions important for song learning and control in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Soderstrom, Ken; Wilson, Ashley R

    2013-11-01

    Zebra finch song is a learned behavior dependent upon successful progress through a sensitive period of late-postnatal development. This learning is associated with maturation of distinct brain nuclei and the fiber tract interconnections between them. We have previously found remarkably distinct and dense CB1 cannabinoid receptor expression within many of these song control brain regions, implying a normal role for endocannabinoid signaling in vocal learning. Activation of CB1 receptors via daily treatments with exogenous agonist during sensorimotor stages of song learning (but not in adulthood) results in persistent alteration of song patterns. Now we are working to understand physiological changes responsible for this cannabinoid-altered vocal learning. We have found that song-altering developmental treatments are associated with changes in expression of endocannabinoid signaling elements, including CB1 receptors and the principal CNS endogenous agonist, 2-AG. Within CNS, 2-AG is produced largely through activity of the α isoform of the enzyme diacylglycerol lipase (DAGLα). To better appreciate the role of 2-AG production in normal vocal development we have determined the spatial distribution of DAGLα expression within zebra finch CNS during vocal development. Early during vocal development at 25 days, DAGLα staining is typically light and of fibroid processes. Staining peaks late in the sensorimotor stage of song learning at 75 days and is characterized by fiber, neuropil and some staining of both small and large cell somata. Results provide insight to the normal role for endocannabinoid signaling in the maturation of brain regions responsible for song learning and vocal-motor output, and suggest mechanisms by which exogenous cannabinoid exposure alters acquisition of this form of vocal communication. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Early life conditions that impact song learning in male zebra finches also impact neural and behavioral responses to song in females.

    PubMed

    Sewall, Kendra B; Anderson, Rindy C; Soha, Jill A; Peters, Susan; Nowicki, Stephen

    2018-04-20

    Early life stressors can impair song in songbirds by negatively impacting brain development and subsequent learning. Even in species in which only males sing, early life stressors might also impact female behavior and its underlying neural mechanisms, but fewer studies have examined this possibility. We manipulated brood size in zebra finches to simultaneously examine the effects of developmental stress on male song learning and female behavioral and neural response to song. Although adult male HVC volume was unaffected, we found that males from larger broods imitated tutor song less accurately. In females, early condition did not affect the direction of song preference: all females preferred tutor song over unfamiliar song in an operant test. However, treatment did affect the magnitude of behavioral response to song: females from larger broods responded less during song preference trials. This difference in activity level did not reflect boldness per se, as a separate measure of this trait did not differ with brood size. Additionally, in females we found a treatment effect on expression of the immediate early gene ZENK in response to tutor song in brain regions involved in song perception (dNCM) and social motivation (LSc.vl, BSTm, TnA), but not in a region implicated in song memory (CMM). These results are consistent with the hypothesis that developmental stressors that impair song learning in male zebra finches also influence perceptual and/or motivational processes in females. However, our results suggest that the learning of tutor song by females is robust to disturbance by developmental stress. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Effects of estradiol on incorporation of new cells in the developing zebra finch song system: potential relationship to expression of ribosomal proteins L17 and L37.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2009-06-01

    Mechanisms regulating masculinization of the zebra finch song system are unclear; both estradiol and sex-specific genes may be important. This study was designed to investigate relationships between estrogen and ribosomal proteins (RPL17 and RPL37; sex-linked genes) that exhibit greater expression in song control nuclei in juvenile males than females. Four studies on zebra finches were conducted using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injections on posthatching days 6-10 with immunohistochemistry for the ribosomal proteins and the neuronal marker HuC/D at day 25. Volumes of brain regions were also assessed in Nissl-stained tissue. Most BrdU+ cells expressed RPL17 and RPL37. The density and percentage of cells co-expressing BrdU and HuC/D was greatest in Area X. The density of BrdU+ cells in Area X (or its equivalent) and the percentage of these cells that were neurons were greater in males than females. In RA and HVC, total BrdU+ cells were increased in males. A variety of effects of estradiol were also detected, including inducing an Area X in females with a masculine total number of BrdU+ cells, and increasing the volume and percentage of new neurons in the HVC of females. The same manipulation in males decreased the density of BrdU+ cells in Area X, total number of BrdU+ cells in RA, and density of new neurons in HVC and RA. These data are consistent with the idea that RPL17, RPL37, and estradiol might all influence sexual differentiation, perhaps with the hormone and proteins interacting, such that an appropriate balance is required for normal development.

  14. Effects of Estradiol on Incorporation of New Cells in the Developing Zebra Finch Song System: Potential Relationship to Expression of Ribosomal Proteins L17 and L37

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms regulating masculinization of the zebra finch song system are unclear; both estradiol and sex-specific genes may be important. This study was designed to investigate relationships between estrogen and ribosomal proteins (RPL17 and RPL37; sex-linked genes) that exhibit greater expression in song control nuclei in juvenile males than females. Four studies on zebra finches were conducted using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injections on posthatching days 6-10 with immunohistochemistry for the ribosomal proteins and the neuronal marker HuC/D at day 25. Volumes of brain regions were also assessed in Nissl-stained tissue. Most BrdU+ cells expressed RPL17 and RPL37. The density and percentage of cells co-expressing BrdU and HuC/D was greatest in Area X. The density of BrdU+ cells in Area X (or its equivalent) and the percentage of these cells that were neurons were greater in males than females. In RA and HVC, total BrdU+ cells were increased in males. A variety of effects of estradiol were also detected, including inducing an Area X in females with a masculine total number of BrdU+ cells, and increasing the volume and percentage of new neurons in the HVC of females. The same manipulation in males decreased the density of BrdU+ cells in Area X, total number of BrdU+ cells in RA, and density of new neurons in HVC and RA. These data are consistent with the ideas that RPL17, RPL37, and estradiol might all influence sexual differentiation, perhaps with the hormone and proteins interacting, such that an appropriate balance is required for normal development. PMID:19373862

  15. Individual variation in body burden, lipid status, and reproductive investment is related to maternal transfer of a brominated diphenyl ether (BDE-99) to eggs in the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Eng, Margaret L; Elliott, John E; Letcher, Robert J; Williams, Tony D

    2013-02-01

    Avian eggs are exposed to hydrophobic contaminants through maternal transfer. How maternal transfer of contaminants within a species is influenced by individual variation in characteristics such as body burden, yolk precursor levels, or reproductive investment is not understood. The authors investigated sources of variation in the maternal transfer of 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99) in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). The authors dosed adult female zebra finches with levels of BDE-99 relevant to exposure in wild birds (0, 33.7 or 173.8 ng/g body wt/d) for three weeks prior to pairing. Maternal BDE-99 and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) in plasma were measured during egg formation and at clutch completion, and BDE-99 was measured in the corresponding egg. The lipid-normalized egg-to-maternal tissue BDE-99 relationship decreased with increasing maternal burden. Individual variation in maternal VLDL was related to BDE-99 transfer to the eggs when BDE-99 was at background levels in control birds, but not when BDE-99 was elevated in dosed birds. The decrease in maternal plasma BDE-99 over the laying period was only significant (p < 0.05) in the high-dose birds. Finally, the decrease in BDE-99 in maternal plasma during egg-laying was significantly positively correlated with clutch mass in the high-dose group. These results suggest that the relationship between maternal and egg contaminant levels can be highly variable. This has significant implications for using eggs as indicators of adult or environmental concentrations. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  16. miR-9 and miR-140-5p target FoxP2 and are regulated as a function of the social context of singing behavior in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Shi, Zhimin; Luo, Guanzheng; Fu, Lijuan; Fang, Zhide; Wang, XiuJie; Li, XiaoChing

    2013-10-16

    Mutations in the FOXP2 gene cause speech and language impairments, accompanied by structural and functional abnormalities in brain regions underlying speech-related sensory-motor processing, including the striatum and cerebellum. The sequence and expression patterns of FOXP2 are highly conserved among higher vertebrates. In the zebra finch brain, FoxP2 is expressed in Area X, a striatal nucleus required for vocal learning, and reduced FoxP2 expression impairs dendritic development and vocal learning. The FoxP2 gene encodes a transcription factor that controls the expression of many downstream genes. However, how FOXP2 gene expression is regulated is not clearly understood. miRNAs regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by targeting the 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNAs, leading to translational suppression or mRNA degradation. In this study, we identified miR-9 and miR-140-5p as potential regulators of the FoxP2 gene. We show that both miR-9 and miR-140-5p target specific sequences in the FoxP2 3'-UTR and downregulate FoxP2 protein and mRNA expression in vitro. We also show that the expression of miR-9 and miR-140-5p in Area X of the zebra finch brain is regulated during song development in juvenile zebra finches. We further show that in adult zebra finches the expression of miR-9 and miR-140-5p in Area X is regulated as a function of the social context of song behavior in males singing undirected songs. Our findings reveal a post-transcriptional mechanism that regulates FoxP2 expression and suggest that social vocal behavior can influence the basal ganglia circuit controlling vocal learning via a miRNA-FoxP2 gene regulatory network.

  17. miR-9 and miR-140-5p Target FoxP2 and Are Regulated as a Function of the Social Context of Singing Behavior in Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Zhimin; Luo, Guanzheng; Fu, Lijuan; Fang, Zhide; Wang, XiuJie

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in the FOXP2 gene cause speech and language impairments, accompanied by structural and functional abnormalities in brain regions underlying speech-related sensory-motor processing, including the striatum and cerebellum. The sequence and expression patterns of FOXP2 are highly conserved among higher vertebrates. In the zebra finch brain, FoxP2 is expressed in Area X, a striatal nucleus required for vocal learning, and reduced FoxP2 expression impairs dendritic development and vocal learning. The FoxP2 gene encodes a transcription factor that controls the expression of many downstream genes. However, how FOXP2 gene expression is regulated is not clearly understood. miRNAs regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by targeting the 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNAs, leading to translational suppression or mRNA degradation. In this study, we identified miR-9 and miR-140-5p as potential regulators of the FoxP2 gene. We show that both miR-9 and miR-140-5p target specific sequences in the FoxP2 3′-UTR and downregulate FoxP2 protein and mRNA expression in vitro. We also show that the expression of miR-9 and miR-140-5p in Area X of the zebra finch brain is regulated during song development in juvenile zebra finches. We further show that in adult zebra finches the expression of miR-9 and miR-140-5p in Area X is regulated as a function of the social context of song behavior in males singing undirected songs. Our findings reveal a post-transcriptional mechanism that regulates FoxP2 expression and suggest that social vocal behavior can influence the basal ganglia circuit controlling vocal learning via a miRNA-FoxP2 gene regulatory network. PMID:24133256

  18. CNTNAP2 is a direct FoxP2 target in vitro and in vivo in zebra finches: complex regulation by age and activity.

    PubMed

    Adam, I; Mendoza, E; Kobalz, U; Wohlgemuth, S; Scharff, C

    2017-07-01

    Mutations of FOXP2 are associated with altered brain structure, including the striatal part of the basal ganglia, and cause a severe speech and language disorder. Songbirds serve as a tractable neurobiological model for speech and language research. Experimental downregulation of FoxP2 in zebra finch Area X, a nucleus of the striatal song control circuitry, affects synaptic transmission and spine densities. It also renders song learning and production inaccurate and imprecise, similar to the speech impairment of patients carrying FOXP2 mutations. Here we show that experimental downregulation of FoxP2 in Area X using lentiviral vectors leads to reduced expression of CNTNAP2, a FOXP2 target gene in humans. In addition, natural downregulation of FoxP2 by age or by singing also downregulated CNTNAP2 expression. Furthermore, we report that FoxP2 binds to and activates the avian CNTNAP2 promoter in vitro. Taken together these data establish CNTNAP2 as a direct FoxP2 target gene in songbirds, likely affecting synaptic function relevant for song learning and song maintenance. © 2017 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior published by International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Sex- and age-related differences in ribosomal proteins L17 and L37, as well as androgen receptor protein, in the song control system of zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Tang, Y P; Wade, J

    2010-12-29

    The zebra finch song system is sexually dimorphic--only males sing, and the morphology of forebrain regions controlling the learning and production of this song is greatly enhanced in males compared to females. Masculinization appears to involve effects of steroid hormones as well as other factors, perhaps including the expression of sex chromosome genes (males: ZZ, females: ZW). The present study investigated three proteins--two encoded by Z-linked genes, ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37), including their co-localization with androgen receptor (AR), from post-hatching day 25 to adulthood. Extensive co-expression of AR with the ribosomal proteins was detected in the three song nuclei investigated (HVC, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and Area X) across these ages. In general, more cells expressed each of these proteins in males compared to females, and the sex differences increased as animals matured. Specific patterns differed across regions and between RPL17 and RPL37, which suggest potential roles of one or both of these proteins in the incorporation and/or differentiation of song system cells. Copyright © 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Sex- and Age-Related Differences in Ribosomal Proteins L17 and L37, as well as Androgen Receptor Protein, in the Song Control System of Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2010-01-01

    The zebra finch song system is sexually dimorphic – only males sing, and the morphology of forebrain regions controlling the learning and production of this song is greatly enhanced in males compared to females. Masculinization appears to involve effects of steroid hormones as well as other factors, perhaps including the expression of sex chromosome genes (males: ZZ, females: ZW). The present study investigated three proteins – two encoded by Z-linked genes, ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL 17 and RPL37), including their co-localization with androgen receptor (AR), from post-hatching day 25 to adulthood. Extensive co-expression of AR with the ribosomal proteins was detected in the three song nuclei investigated (HVC, RA, and Area X) across these ages. In general, more cells expressed each of these proteins in males compared to females, and the sex differences increased as animals matured. Specific patterns differed across regions and between RPL17 and RPL37, which suggest potential roles of one or both of these proteins in the incorporation and/or differentiation of song system cells. PMID:20933575

  1. Immunohistochemical localization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CARTp) in the brain of the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Gutierrez-Ibanez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Jensen, Megan; Graham, David J; Pogány, Ákos; Mongomery, Benjamin C; Stafford, James L; Luksch, Harald; Wylie, Douglas R

    2016-12-15

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptides (CARTp) are neuropeptides that act as neurotransmitters in the brain of vertebrates. The expression of CARTp has been characterized in teleosts, amphibians, and several mammalian species, but comparative data in reptiles and birds are nonexistent. In this study, we show the distribution of immunoreactivity against CART peptides (CARTp-ir) in the brains of two bird species: the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the brains of both, but no major differences between the two species. As in mammals, teleost fish, and amphibians, CARTp-ir terminals and cells were abundant in subpallial regions, particularly the striatum and nucleus accumbens. We also found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the hypothalamus, and a large number of CARTp-ir terminals in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, periaqueductal gray, parabrachial nucleus, and dorsal vagal complex. However, in contrast to other vertebrates, CARTp-ir was not found in the olfactory bulb. In addition there was almost no CARTp-ir in the pallium or the hippocampal formation, and little CARTp-ir in the cerebellum. The conserved expression of CARTp in the subpallium, hypothalamus, and dorsal vagal complex of birds suggests that some of the functions of CARTp, such as regulation of food intake and interactions with the social control network and mesolimbic reward system, are conserved among vertebrates. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3747-3773, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Afferentation of the lateral nidopallium: A tracing study of a brain area involved in sexual imprinting in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2006-08-23

    The lateral forebrain of zebra finches that comprises parts of the lateral nidopallium and parts of the lateral mesopallium is supposed to be involved in the storage and processing of visual information acquired by an early learning process called sexual imprinting. This information is later used to select an appropriate sexual partner for courtship behavior. Being involved in such a complicated behavioral task, the lateral nidopallium should be an integrative area receiving input from many other regions of the brain. Our experiments indeed show that the lateral nidopallium receives input from a variety of telencephalic regions including the primary and secondary areas of both visual pathways, the globus pallidus, the caudolateral nidopallium functionally comparable to the prefrontal cortex, the caudomedial nidopallium involved in song perception and storage of song-related memories, and some parts of the arcopallium. There are also a number of thalamic, mesencephalic, and brainstem efferents including the catecholaminergic locus coeruleus and the unspecific activating reticular formation. The spatial distribution of afferents suggests a compartmentalization of the lateral nidopallium into several subdivisions. Based on its connections, the lateral nidopallium should be considered as an area of higher order processing of visual information coming from the tectofugal and the thalamofugal visual pathways. Other sensory modalities and also motivational factors from a variety of brain areas are also integrated here. These findings support the idea of an involvement of the lateral nidopallium in imprinting and the control of courtship behavior.

  3. Higher growth rate and gene expression in male zebra finch embryos are independent of manipulation of maternal steroids in the eggs.

    PubMed

    Lutyk, Dorota; Tagirov, Makhsud; Drobniak, Szymon; Rutkowska, Joanna

    2017-12-01

    Sexual dimorphism in prenatal development is widespread among vertebrates, including birds. Its mechanism remains unclear, although it has been attributed to the effect of maternal steroid hormones. The aim of this study was to investigate how increased levels of steroid hormones in the eggs influence early embryonic development of male and female offspring. We also asked whether maternal hormones take part in the control of sex-specific expression of the genes involved in prenatal development. We experimentally manipulated hormones' concentrations in the egg yolk by injecting zebra finch females prior to ovulation with testosterone or corticosterone. We assessed growth rate and expression levels of CDK7, FBP1 and GHR genes in 37h-old embryos. We found faster growth and higher expression of two studied genes in male compared to female embryos. Hormonal treatment, despite clearly differentiating egg steroid levels, had no effect on the sex-specific pattern of the embryonic gene expression, even though we confirmed expression of receptors of androgens and glucocorticoids at such an early stage of development. Thus, our study shows high stability of the early sex differences in the embryonic development before the onset of sexual differentiation and indicates their independence of maternal hormones in the egg. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Turnover of muscle lipids and response to exercise differ between neutral and polar fractions in a model songbird, the zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Carter, Wales A; Cooper-Mullin, Clara; McWilliams, Scott R

    2018-03-19

    The turnover rates of tissues and their constituent molecules give us insights into animals' physiological demands and their functional flexibility over time. Thus far, most studies of this kind have focused on protein turnover, and few have considered lipid turnover despite an increasing appreciation of the functional diversity of this class of molecules. We measured the turnover rates of neutral and polar lipids from the pectoralis muscles of a model songbird, the zebra finch ( Taeniopygia guttata , N =65), in a 256 day C 3 /C 4 diet shift experiment, with tissue samples taken at 10 time points. We also manipulated the physiological state of a subset of these birds with a 10 week flight training regimen to test the effect of exercise on lipid turnover. We measured lipid δ 13 C values via isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) and estimated turnover in different fractions and treatment groups with non-linear mixed-effect regression. We found a significant difference between the mean retention times (τ) of neutral and polar lipids ( t 119 =-2.22, P =0.028), with polar lipids (τ=11.80±1.28 days) having shorter retention times than neutral lipids (τ=19.47±3.22 days). When all birds were considered, we also found a significant decrease in the mean retention time of polar lipids in exercised birds relative to control birds (difference=-2.2±1.83 days, t 56 =-2.37, P =0.021), but not neutral lipids (difference=4.2± 7.41 days, t 56 =0.57, P =0.57). A larger, more variable neutral lipid pool and the exposure of polar lipids in mitochondrial membranes to oxidative damage and increased turnover provide mechanisms consistent with our results. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Genomic Landscape of Long Terminal Repeat Retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) and Solo LTRs as Shaped by Ectopic Recombination in Chicken and Zebra Finch.

    PubMed

    Ji, Yanzhu; DeWoody, J Andrew

    2016-06-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are nearly ubiquitous among eukaryotic genomes, but TE contents vary dramatically among phylogenetic lineages. Several mechanisms have been proposed as drivers of TE dynamics in genomes, including the fixation/loss of a particular TE insertion by selection or drift as well as structural changes in the genome due to mutation (e.g., recombination). In particular, recombination can have a significant and directional effect on the genomic TE landscape. For example, ectopic recombination removes internal regions of long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) as well as one long terminal repeat (LTR), resulting in a solo LTR. In this study, we focus on the intra-species dynamics of LTR-RTs and solo LTRs in bird genomes. The distribution of LTR-RTs and solo LTRs in birds is intriguing because avian recombination rates vary widely within a given genome. We used published linkage maps and whole genome assemblies to study the relationship between recombination rates and LTR-removal events in the chicken and zebra finch. We hypothesized that regions with low recombination rates would harbor more full-length LTR-RTs (and fewer solo LTRs) than regions with high recombination rates. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the ratio of full-length LTR-RTs and solo LTRs across chromosomes, across non-overlapping megabase windows, and across physical features (i.e., centromeres and telomeres). The chicken data statistically supported the hypothesis that recombination rates are inversely correlated with the ratio of full-length to solo LTRs at both the chromosome level and in 1-Mb non-overlapping windows. We also found that the ratio of full-length to solo LTRs near chicken telomeres was significantly lower than those ratios near centromeres. Our results suggest a potential role of ectopic recombination in shaping the chicken LTR-RT genomic landscape.

  6. Circulating breeding and pre-breeding prolactin and LH are not associated with clutch size in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Ryan, Calen P; Dawson, Alistair; Sharp, Peter J; Meddle, Simone L; Williams, Tony D

    2014-06-01

    Clutch size is a fundamental predictor of avian fitness, widely-studied from evolutionary and ecological perspectives, but surprisingly little is known about the physiological mechanisms regulating clutch size variation. The only formal mechanistic hypothesis for avian clutch-size determination predicts an anti-gonadal effect of circulating prolactin (PRL) via the inhibition of luteinizing hormone (LH), and has become widely-accepted despite little experimental support. Here we investigated the relationship between pre-breeding and breeding plasma PRL and LH and clutch-size in captive-breeding female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Using a repeated-measures design, we followed individual females from pre-breeding, through multiple breeding attempts, and attempted to decrease PRL using the D2-receptor agonist, bromocriptine. Clutch size was independent of variation in pre-breeding PRL or LH, although pre-breeding LH was negatively correlated with the time between pairing and the onset of laying. Clutch size was independent of variation in plasma PRL on all days of egg-laying. Bromocriptine treatment had no effect on plasma PRL, but in this breeding attempt clutch size was also independent of plasma PRL. Finally, we found no evidence for an inverse relationship between plasma PRL and LH levels, as predicted if PRL had inhibitory effects via LH. Thus, our data fail to provide any support for the involvement of circulating PRL in clutch size determination. These findings suggest that alternative models for hormonal control of avian clutch size need to be considered, perhaps involving downstream regulation of plasma PRL at the level of the ovary, or other hormones that have not been considered to date. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Effects of the social environment during adolescence on the development of social behaviour, hormones and morphology in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Bölting, Stefanie; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus

    2017-01-01

    Individual differences in behaviour are widespread in the animal kingdom and often influenced by the size or composition of the social group during early development. In many vertebrates the effects of social interactions early in life on adult behaviour are mediated by changes in maturation and physiology. Specifically, increases in androgens and glucocorticoids in response to social stimulation seem to play a prominent role in shaping behaviour during development. In addition to the prenatal and early postnatal phase, adolescence has more recently been identified as an important period during which adult behaviour and physiology are shaped by the social environment, which so far has been studied mostly in mammals. We raised zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) under three environmental conditions differing in social complexity during adolescence - juvenile pairs, juvenile groups, and mixed-age groups - and studied males' behavioural, endocrine, and morphological maturation, and later their adult behaviour. As expected, group-housed males exhibited higher frequencies of social interactions. Group housing also enhanced song during adolescence, plumage development, and the frequency and intensity of adult courtship and aggression. Some traits, however, were affected more in juvenile groups and others in mixed-age groups. Furthermore, a testosterone peak during late adolescence was suppressed in groups with adults. In contrast, corticosterone concentrations did not differ between rearing environments. Unexpectedly, adult courtship in a test situation was lowest in pair-reared males and aggression depended upon the treatment of the opponent with highest rates shown by group-reared males towards pair-reared males. This contrasts with previous findings, possibly due to differences in photoperiod and the acoustic environment. Our results support the idea that effects of the adolescent social environment on adult behaviour in vertebrates are mediated by changes in

  8. Meaning in the avian auditory cortex: Neural representation of communication calls

    PubMed Central

    Elie, Julie E; Theunissen, Frédéric E

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how the brain extracts the behavioral meaning carried by specific vocalization types that can be emitted by various vocalizers and in different conditions is a central question in auditory research. This semantic categorization is a fundamental process required for acoustic communication and presupposes discriminative and invariance properties of the auditory system for conspecific vocalizations. Songbirds have been used extensively to study vocal learning, but the communicative function of all their vocalizations and their neural representation has yet to be examined. In our research, we first generated a library containing almost the entire zebra finch vocal repertoire and organized communication calls along 9 different categories based on their behavioral meaning. We then investigated the neural representations of these semantic categories in the primary and secondary auditory areas of 6 anesthetized zebra finches. To analyze how single units encode these call categories, we described neural responses in terms of their discrimination, selectivity and invariance properties. Quantitative measures for these neural properties were obtained using an optimal decoder based both on spike counts and spike patterns. Information theoretic metrics show that almost half of the single units encode semantic information. Neurons achieve higher discrimination of these semantic categories by being more selective and more invariant. These results demonstrate that computations necessary for semantic categorization of meaningful vocalizations are already present in the auditory cortex and emphasize the value of a neuro-ethological approach to understand vocal communication. PMID:25728175

  9. Sex differences in the representation of call stimuli in a songbird secondary auditory area

    PubMed Central

    Giret, Nicolas; Menardy, Fabien; Del Negro, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how communication sounds are encoded in the central auditory system is critical to deciphering the neural bases of acoustic communication. Songbirds use learned or unlearned vocalizations in a variety of social interactions. They have telencephalic auditory areas specialized for processing natural sounds and considered as playing a critical role in the discrimination of behaviorally relevant vocal sounds. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species, forms lifelong pair bonds. Only male zebra finches sing. However, both sexes produce the distance call when placed in visual isolation. This call is sexually dimorphic, is learned only in males and provides support for individual recognition in both sexes. Here, we assessed whether auditory processing of distance calls differs between paired males and females by recording spiking activity in a secondary auditory area, the caudolateral mesopallium (CLM), while presenting the distance calls of a variety of individuals, including the bird itself, the mate, familiar and unfamiliar males and females. In males, the CLM is potentially involved in auditory feedback processing important for vocal learning. Based on both the analyses of spike rates and temporal aspects of discharges, our results clearly indicate that call-evoked responses of CLM neurons are sexually dimorphic, being stronger, lasting longer, and conveying more information about calls in males than in females. In addition, how auditory responses vary among call types differ between sexes. In females, response strength differs between familiar male and female calls. In males, temporal features of responses reveal a sensitivity to the bird's own call. These findings provide evidence that sexual dimorphism occurs in higher-order processing areas within the auditory system. They suggest a sexual dimorphism in the function of the CLM, contributing to transmit information about the self-generated calls in males and to storage of information about the

  10. Sex differences in the representation of call stimuli in a songbird secondary auditory area.

    PubMed

    Giret, Nicolas; Menardy, Fabien; Del Negro, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how communication sounds are encoded in the central auditory system is critical to deciphering the neural bases of acoustic communication. Songbirds use learned or unlearned vocalizations in a variety of social interactions. They have telencephalic auditory areas specialized for processing natural sounds and considered as playing a critical role in the discrimination of behaviorally relevant vocal sounds. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species, forms lifelong pair bonds. Only male zebra finches sing. However, both sexes produce the distance call when placed in visual isolation. This call is sexually dimorphic, is learned only in males and provides support for individual recognition in both sexes. Here, we assessed whether auditory processing of distance calls differs between paired males and females by recording spiking activity in a secondary auditory area, the caudolateral mesopallium (CLM), while presenting the distance calls of a variety of individuals, including the bird itself, the mate, familiar and unfamiliar males and females. In males, the CLM is potentially involved in auditory feedback processing important for vocal learning. Based on both the analyses of spike rates and temporal aspects of discharges, our results clearly indicate that call-evoked responses of CLM neurons are sexually dimorphic, being stronger, lasting longer, and conveying more information about calls in males than in females. In addition, how auditory responses vary among call types differ between sexes. In females, response strength differs between familiar male and female calls. In males, temporal features of responses reveal a sensitivity to the bird's own call. These findings provide evidence that sexual dimorphism occurs in higher-order processing areas within the auditory system. They suggest a sexual dimorphism in the function of the CLM, contributing to transmit information about the self-generated calls in males and to storage of information about the

  11. Sensorimotor nucleus NIf is necessary for auditory processing but not vocal motor output in the avian song system.

    PubMed

    Cardin, Jessica A; Raksin, Jonathan N; Schmidt, Marc F

    2005-04-01

    Sensorimotor integration in the avian song system is crucial for both learning and maintenance of song, a vocal motor behavior. Although a number of song system areas demonstrate both sensory and motor characteristics, their exact roles in auditory and premotor processing are unclear. In particular, it is unknown whether input from the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf), which exhibits both sensory and premotor activity, is necessary for both auditory and premotor processing in its target, HVC. Here we show that bilateral NIf lesions result in long-term loss of HVC auditory activity but do not impair song production. NIf is thus a major source of auditory input to HVC, but an intact NIf is not necessary for motor output in adult zebra finches.

  12. At the interface of the auditory and vocal motor systems: NIf and its role in vocal processing, production and learning.

    PubMed

    Lewandowski, Brian; Vyssotski, Alexei; Hahnloser, Richard H R; Schmidt, Marc

    2013-06-01

    Communication between auditory and vocal motor nuclei is essential for vocal learning. In songbirds, the nucleus interfacialis of the nidopallium (NIf) is part of a sensorimotor loop, along with auditory nucleus avalanche (Av) and song system nucleus HVC, that links the auditory and song systems. Most of the auditory information comes through this sensorimotor loop, with the projection from NIf to HVC representing the largest single source of auditory information to the song system. In addition to providing the majority of HVC's auditory input, NIf is also the primary driver of spontaneous activity and premotor-like bursting during sleep in HVC. Like HVC and RA, two nuclei critical for song learning and production, NIf exhibits behavioral-state dependent auditory responses and strong motor bursts that precede song output. NIf also exhibits extended periods of fast gamma oscillations following vocal production. Based on the converging evidence from studies of physiology and functional connectivity it would be reasonable to expect NIf to play an important role in the learning, maintenance, and production of song. Surprisingly, however, lesions of NIf in adult zebra finches have no effect on song production or maintenance. Only the plastic song produced by juvenile zebra finches during the sensorimotor phase of song learning is affected by NIf lesions. In this review, we carefully examine what is known about NIf at the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral levels. We reexamine conclusions drawn from previous studies in the light of our current understanding of the song system, and establish what can be said with certainty about NIf's involvement in song learning, maintenance, and production. Finally, we review recent theories of song learning integrating possible roles for NIf within these frameworks and suggest possible parallels between NIf and sensorimotor areas that form part of the neural circuitry for speech processing in humans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier

  13. At the interface of the auditory and vocal motor systems: NIf and its role in vocal processing, production and learning

    PubMed Central

    Lewandowski, Brian; Vyssotski, Alexei; Hahnloser, Richard H.R.; Schmidt, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Communication between auditory and vocal motor nuclei is essential for vocal learning. In songbirds, the nucleus interfacialis of the nidopallium (NIf) is part of a sensorimotor loop, along with auditory nucleus avalanche (Av) and song system nucleus HVC, that links the auditory and song systems. Most of the auditory information comes through this sensorimotor loop, with the projection from NIf to HVC representing the largest single source of auditory information to the song system. In addition to providing the majority of HVC’s auditory input, NIf is also the primary driver of spontaneous activity and premotor-like bursting during sleep in HVC. Like HVC and RA, two nuclei critical for song learning and production, NIf exhibits behavioral-state dependent auditory responses and strong motor bursts that precede song output. NIf also exhibits extended periods of fast gamma oscillations following vocal production. Based on the converging evidence from studies of physiology and functional connectivity it would be reasonable to expect NIf to play an important role in the learning, maintenance, and production of song. Surprisingly, however, lesions of NIf in adult zebra finches have no effect on song production or maintenance. Only the plastic song produced by juvenile zebra finches during the sensorimotor phase of song learning is affected by NIf lesions. In this review, we carefully examine what is known about NIf at the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral levels. We reexamine conclusions drawn from previous studies in the light of our current understanding of the song system, and establish what can be said with certainty about NIf’s involvement in song learning, maintenance, and production. Finally, we review recent theories of song learning integrating possible roles for NIf within these frameworks and suggest possible parallels between NIf and sensorimotor areas that form part of the neural circuitry for speech processing in humans. PMID:23603062

  14. Conserved mechanisms of vocalization coding in mammalian and songbird auditory midbrain.

    PubMed

    Woolley, Sarah M N; Portfors, Christine V

    2013-11-01

    The ubiquity of social vocalizations among animals provides the opportunity to identify conserved mechanisms of auditory processing that subserve communication. Identifying auditory coding properties that are shared across vocal communicators will provide insight into how human auditory processing leads to speech perception. Here, we compare auditory response properties and neural coding of social vocalizations in auditory midbrain neurons of mammalian and avian vocal communicators. The auditory midbrain is a nexus of auditory processing because it receives and integrates information from multiple parallel pathways and provides the ascending auditory input to the thalamus. The auditory midbrain is also the first region in the ascending auditory system where neurons show complex tuning properties that are correlated with the acoustics of social vocalizations. Single unit studies in mice, bats and zebra finches reveal shared principles of auditory coding including tonotopy, excitatory and inhibitory interactions that shape responses to vocal signals, nonlinear response properties that are important for auditory coding of social vocalizations and modulation tuning. Additionally, single neuron responses in the mouse and songbird midbrain are reliable, selective for specific syllables, and rely on spike timing for neural discrimination of distinct vocalizations. We propose that future research on auditory coding of vocalizations in mouse and songbird midbrain neurons adopt similar experimental and analytical approaches so that conserved principles of vocalization coding may be distinguished from those that are specialized for each species. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Communication Sounds and the Brain: New Directions and Perspectives". Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. How visual cues for when to listen aid selective auditory attention.

    PubMed

    Varghese, Lenny A; Ozmeral, Erol J; Best, Virginia; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G

    2012-06-01

    Visual cues are known to aid auditory processing when they provide direct information about signal content, as in lip reading. However, some studies hint that visual cues also aid auditory perception by guiding attention to the target in a mixture of similar sounds. The current study directly tests this idea for complex, nonspeech auditory signals, using a visual cue providing only timing information about the target. Listeners were asked to identify a target zebra finch bird song played at a random time within a longer, competing masker. Two different maskers were used: noise and a chorus of competing bird songs. On half of all trials, a visual cue indicated the timing of the target within the masker. For the noise masker, the visual cue did not affect performance when target and masker were from the same location, but improved performance when target and masker were in different locations. In contrast, for the chorus masker, visual cues improved performance only when target and masker were perceived as coming from the same direction. These results suggest that simple visual cues for when to listen improve target identification by enhancing sounds near the threshold of audibility when the target is energetically masked and by enhancing segregation when it is difficult to direct selective attention to the target. Visual cues help little when target and masker already differ in attributes that enable listeners to engage selective auditory attention effectively, including differences in spectrotemporal structure and in perceived location.

  16. From electromyographic activity to frequency modulation in zebra finch song.

    PubMed

    Döppler, Juan F; Bush, Alan; Goller, Franz; Mindlin, Gabriel B

    2018-02-01

    Behavior emerges from the interaction between the nervous system and peripheral devices. In the case of birdsong production, a delicate and fast control of several muscles is required to control the configuration of the syrinx (the avian vocal organ) and the respiratory system. In particular, the syringealis ventralis muscle is involved in the control of the tension of the vibrating labia and thus affects the frequency modulation of the sound. Nevertheless, the translation of the instructions (which are electrical in nature) into acoustical features is complex and involves nonlinear, dynamical processes. In this work, we present a model of the dynamics of the syringealis ventralis muscle and the labia, which allows calculating the frequency of the generated sound, using as input the electrical activity recorded in the muscle. In addition, the model provides a framework to interpret inter-syllabic activity and hints at the importance of the biomechanical dynamics in determining behavior.

  17. Sensory Coding and Sensitivity to Local Estrogens Shift during Critical Period Milestones in the Auditory Cortex of Male Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Vocal learning occurs during an experience-dependent, age-limited critical period early in development. In songbirds, vocal learning begins when presinging birds acquire an auditory memory of their tutor’s song (sensory phase) followed by the onset of vocal production and refinement (sensorimotor phase). Hearing is necessary throughout the vocal learning critical period. One key brain area for songbird auditory processing is the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a telencephalic region analogous to mammalian auditory cortex. Despite NCM’s established role in auditory processing, it is unclear how the response properties of NCM neurons may shift across development. Moreover, communication processing in NCM is rapidly enhanced by local 17β-estradiol (E2) administration in adult songbirds; however, the function of dynamically fluctuating E2 in NCM during development is unknown. We collected bilateral extracellular recordings in NCM coupled with reverse microdialysis delivery in juvenile male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) across the vocal learning critical period. We found that auditory-evoked activity and coding accuracy were substantially higher in the NCM of sensory-aged animals compared to sensorimotor-aged animals. Further, we observed both age-dependent and lateralized effects of local E2 administration on sensory processing. In sensory-aged subjects, E2 decreased auditory responsiveness across both hemispheres; however, a similar trend was observed in age-matched control subjects. In sensorimotor-aged subjects, E2 dampened auditory responsiveness in left NCM but enhanced auditory responsiveness in right NCM. Our results reveal an age-dependent physiological shift in auditory processing and lateralized E2 sensitivity that each precisely track a key neural “switch point” from purely sensory (pre-singing) to sensorimotor (singing) in developing songbirds. PMID:29255797

  18. Sensory Coding and Sensitivity to Local Estrogens Shift during Critical Period Milestones in the Auditory Cortex of Male Songbirds.

    PubMed

    Vahaba, Daniel M; Macedo-Lima, Matheus; Remage-Healey, Luke

    2017-01-01

    Vocal learning occurs during an experience-dependent, age-limited critical period early in development. In songbirds, vocal learning begins when presinging birds acquire an auditory memory of their tutor's song (sensory phase) followed by the onset of vocal production and refinement (sensorimotor phase). Hearing is necessary throughout the vocal learning critical period. One key brain area for songbird auditory processing is the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a telencephalic region analogous to mammalian auditory cortex. Despite NCM's established role in auditory processing, it is unclear how the response properties of NCM neurons may shift across development. Moreover, communication processing in NCM is rapidly enhanced by local 17β-estradiol (E2) administration in adult songbirds; however, the function of dynamically fluctuating E 2 in NCM during development is unknown. We collected bilateral extracellular recordings in NCM coupled with reverse microdialysis delivery in juvenile male zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) across the vocal learning critical period. We found that auditory-evoked activity and coding accuracy were substantially higher in the NCM of sensory-aged animals compared to sensorimotor-aged animals. Further, we observed both age-dependent and lateralized effects of local E 2 administration on sensory processing. In sensory-aged subjects, E 2 decreased auditory responsiveness across both hemispheres; however, a similar trend was observed in age-matched control subjects. In sensorimotor-aged subjects, E 2 dampened auditory responsiveness in left NCM but enhanced auditory responsiveness in right NCM. Our results reveal an age-dependent physiological shift in auditory processing and lateralized E 2 sensitivity that each precisely track a key neural "switch point" from purely sensory (pre-singing) to sensorimotor (singing) in developing songbirds.

  19. Different mechanisms are responsible for dishabituation of electrophysiological auditory responses to a change in acoustic identity than to a change in stimulus location.

    PubMed

    Smulders, Tom V; Jarvis, Erich D

    2013-11-01

    Repeated exposure to an auditory stimulus leads to habituation of the electrophysiological and immediate-early-gene (IEG) expression response in the auditory system. A novel auditory stimulus reinstates this response in a form of dishabituation. This has been interpreted as the start of new memory formation for this novel stimulus. Changes in the location of an otherwise identical auditory stimulus can also dishabituate the IEG expression response. This has been interpreted as an integration of stimulus identity and stimulus location into a single auditory object, encoded in the firing patterns of the auditory system. In this study, we further tested this hypothesis. Using chronic multi-electrode arrays to record multi-unit activity from the auditory system of awake and behaving zebra finches, we found that habituation occurs to repeated exposure to the same song and dishabituation with a novel song, similar to that described in head-fixed, restrained animals. A large proportion of recording sites also showed dishabituation when the same auditory stimulus was moved to a novel location. However, when the song was randomly moved among 8 interleaved locations, habituation occurred independently of the continuous changes in location. In contrast, when 8 different auditory stimuli were interleaved all from the same location, a separate habituation occurred to each stimulus. This result suggests that neuronal memories of the acoustic identity and spatial location are different, and that allocentric location of a stimulus is not encoded as part of the memory for an auditory object, while its acoustic properties are. We speculate that, instead, the dishabituation that occurs with a change from a stable location of a sound is due to the unexpectedness of the location change, and might be due to different underlying mechanisms than the dishabituation and separate habituations to different acoustic stimuli. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Insights into the evolution of Darwin’s finches from comparative analysis of the Geospiza magnirostris genome sequence

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A classical example of repeated speciation coupled with ecological diversification is the evolution of 14 closely related species of Darwin’s (Galápagos) finches (Thraupidae, Passeriformes). Their adaptive radiation in the Galápagos archipelago took place in the last 2–3 million years and some of the molecular mechanisms that led to their diversification are now being elucidated. Here we report evolutionary analyses of genome of the large ground finch, Geospiza magnirostris. Results 13,291 protein-coding genes were predicted from a 991.0 Mb G. magnirostris genome assembly. We then defined gene orthology relationships and constructed whole genome alignments between the G. magnirostris and other vertebrate genomes. We estimate that 15% of genomic sequence is functionally constrained between G. magnirostris and zebra finch. Genic evolutionary rate comparisons indicate that similar selective pressures acted along the G. magnirostris and zebra finch lineages suggesting that historical effective population size values have been similar in both lineages. 21 otherwise highly conserved genes were identified that each show evidence for positive selection on amino acid changes in the Darwin's finch lineage. Two of these genes (Igf2r and Pou1f1) have been implicated in beak morphology changes in Darwin’s finches. Five of 47 genes showing evidence of positive selection in early passerine evolution have cilia related functions, and may be examples of adaptively evolving reproductive proteins. Conclusions These results provide insights into past evolutionary processes that have shaped G. magnirostris genes and its genome, and provide the necessary foundation upon which to build population genomics resources that will shed light on more contemporaneous adaptive and non-adaptive processes that have contributed to the evolution of the Darwin’s finches. PMID:23402223

  1. Control of Phasic Firing by a Background Leak Current in Avian Forebrain Auditory Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dagostin, André A.; Lovell, Peter V.; Hilscher, Markus M.; Mello, Claudio V.; Leão, Ricardo M.

    2015-01-01

    Central neurons express a variety of neuronal types and ion channels that promote firing heterogeneity among their distinct neuronal populations. Action potential (AP) phasic firing, produced by low-threshold voltage-activated potassium currents (VAKCs), is commonly observed in mammalian brainstem neurons involved in the processing of temporal properties of the acoustic information. The avian caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) is an auditory area analogous to portions of the mammalian auditory cortex that is involved in the perceptual discrimination and memorization of birdsong and shows complex responses to auditory stimuli We performed in vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in brain slices from adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and observed that half of NCM neurons fire APs phasically in response to membrane depolarizations, while the rest fire transiently or tonically. Phasic neurons fired APs faster and with more temporal precision than tonic and transient neurons. These neurons had similar membrane resting potentials, but phasic neurons had lower membrane input resistance and time constant. Surprisingly phasic neurons did not express low-threshold VAKCs, which curtailed firing in phasic mammalian brainstem neurons, having similar VAKCs to other NCM neurons. The phasic firing was determined not by VAKCs, but by the potassium background leak conductances, which was more prominently expressed in phasic neurons, a result corroborated by pharmacological, dynamic-clamp, and modeling experiments. These results reveal a new role for leak currents in generating firing diversity in central neurons. PMID:26696830

  2. EGR-1 Expression in Catecholamine-synthesizing Neurons Reflects Auditory Learning and Correlates with Responses in Auditory Processing Areas.

    PubMed

    Dai, Jennifer B; Chen, Yining; Sakata, Jon T

    2018-05-21

    Distinguishing between familiar and unfamiliar individuals is an important task that shapes the expression of social behavior. As such, identifying the neural populations involved in processing and learning the sensory attributes of individuals is important for understanding mechanisms of behavior. Catecholamine-synthesizing neurons have been implicated in sensory processing, but relatively little is known about their contribution to auditory learning and processing across various vertebrate taxa. Here we investigated the extent to which immediate early gene expression in catecholaminergic circuitry reflects information about the familiarity of social signals and predicts immediate early gene expression in sensory processing areas in songbirds. We found that male zebra finches readily learned to differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar acoustic signals ('songs') and that playback of familiar songs led to fewer catecholaminergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (but not in the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra, or periaqueductal gray) expressing the immediate early gene, EGR-1, than playback of unfamiliar songs. The pattern of EGR-1 expression in the locus coeruleus was similar to that observed in two auditory processing areas implicated in auditory learning and memory, namely the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) and the caudal medial mesopallium (CMM), suggesting a contribution of catecholamines to sensory processing. Consistent with this, the pattern of catecholaminergic innervation onto auditory neurons co-varied with the degree to which song playback affected the relative intensity of EGR-1 expression. Together, our data support the contention that catecholamines like norepinephrine contribute to social recognition and the processing of social information. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. An Avian Basal Ganglia-Forebrain Circuit Contributes Differentially to Syllable Versus Sequence Variability of Adult Bengalese Finch Song

    PubMed Central

    Hampton, Cara M.; Sakata, Jon T.; Brainard, Michael S.

    2009-01-01

    Behavioral variability is important for motor skill learning but continues to be present and actively regulated even in well-learned behaviors. In adult songbirds, two types of song variability can persist and are modulated by social context: variability in syllable structure and variability in syllable sequencing. The degree to which the control of both types of adult variability is shared or distinct remains unknown. The output of a basal ganglia-forebrain circuit, LMAN (the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium), has been implicated in song variability. For example, in adult zebra finches, neurons in LMAN actively control the variability of syllable structure. It is unclear, however, whether LMAN contributes to variability in adult syllable sequencing because sequence variability in adult zebra finch song is minimal. In contrast, Bengalese finches retain variability in both syllable structure and syllable sequencing into adulthood. We analyzed the effects of LMAN lesions on the variability of syllable structure and sequencing and on the social modulation of these forms of variability in adult Bengalese finches. We found that lesions of LMAN significantly reduced the variability of syllable structure but not of syllable sequencing. We also found that LMAN lesions eliminated the social modulation of the variability of syllable structure but did not detect significant effects on the modulation of sequence variability. These results show that LMAN contributes differentially to syllable versus sequence variability of adult song and suggest that these forms of variability are regulated by distinct neural pathways. PMID:19357331

  4. Single Neurons in the Avian Auditory Cortex Encode Individual Identity and Propagation Distance in Naturally Degraded Communication Calls.

    PubMed

    Mouterde, Solveig C; Elie, Julie E; Mathevon, Nicolas; Theunissen, Frédéric E

    2017-03-29

    One of the most complex tasks performed by sensory systems is "scene analysis": the interpretation of complex signals as behaviorally relevant objects. The study of this problem, universal to species and sensory modalities, is particularly challenging in audition, where sounds from various sources and localizations, degraded by propagation through the environment, sum to form a single acoustical signal. Here we investigated in a songbird model, the zebra finch, the neural substrate for ranging and identifying a single source. We relied on ecologically and behaviorally relevant stimuli, contact calls, to investigate the neural discrimination of individual vocal signature as well as sound source distance when calls have been degraded through propagation in a natural environment. Performing electrophysiological recordings in anesthetized birds, we found neurons in the auditory forebrain that discriminate individual vocal signatures despite long-range degradation, as well as neurons discriminating propagation distance, with varying degrees of multiplexing between both information types. Moreover, the neural discrimination performance of individual identity was not affected by propagation-induced degradation beyond what was induced by the decreased intensity. For the first time, neurons with distance-invariant identity discrimination properties as well as distance-discriminant neurons are revealed in the avian auditory cortex. Because these neurons were recorded in animals that had prior experience neither with the vocalizers of the stimuli nor with long-range propagation of calls, we suggest that this neural population is part of a general-purpose system for vocalizer discrimination and ranging. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding how the brain makes sense of the multitude of stimuli that it continually receives in natural conditions is a challenge for scientists. Here we provide a new understanding of how the auditory system extracts behaviorally relevant information

  5. He hears, she hears: are there sex differences in auditory processing?

    PubMed

    Yoder, Kathleen M; Phan, Mimi L; Lu, Kai; Vicario, David S

    2015-03-01

    Songbirds learn individually unique songs through vocal imitation and use them in courtship and territorial displays. Previous work has identified a forebrain auditory area, the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), that appears specialized for discriminating and remembering conspecific vocalizations. In zebra finches (ZFs), only males produce learned vocalizations, but both sexes process these and other signals. This study assessed sex differences in auditory processing by recording extracellular multiunit activity at multiple sites within NCM. Juvenile female ZFs (n = 46) were reared in individual isolation and artificially tutored with song. In adulthood, songs were played back to assess auditory responses, stimulus-specific adaptation, neural bias for conspecific song, and memory for the tutor's song, as well as recently heard songs. In a subset of females (n = 36), estradiol (E2) levels were manipulated to test the contribution of E2, known to be synthesized in the brain, to auditory responses. Untreated females (n = 10) showed significant differences in response magnitude and stimulus-specific adaptation compared to males reared in the same paradigm (n = 9). In hormone-manipulated females, E2 augmentation facilitated the memory for recently heard songs in adulthood, but neither E2 augmentation (n = 15) nor E2 synthesis blockade (n = 9) affected tutor song memory or the neural bias for conspecific song. The results demonstrate subtle sex differences in processing communication signals, and show that E2 levels in female songbirds can affect the memory for songs of potential suitors, thus contributing to the process of mate selection. The results also have potential relevance to clinical interventions that manipulate E2 in human patients. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) with auditory stimulation in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Van Ruijssevelt, Lisbeth; De Groof, Geert; Van der Kant, Anne; Poirier, Colline; Van Audekerke, Johan; Verhoye, Marleen; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2013-06-03

    The neurobiology of birdsong, as a model for human speech, is a pronounced area of research in behavioral neuroscience. Whereas electrophysiology and molecular approaches allow the investigation of either different stimuli on few neurons, or one stimulus in large parts of the brain, blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) allows combining both advantages, i.e. compare the neural activation induced by different stimuli in the entire brain at once. fMRI in songbirds is challenging because of the small size of their brains and because their bones and especially their skull comprise numerous air cavities, inducing important susceptibility artifacts. Gradient-echo (GE) BOLD fMRI has been successfully applied to songbirds (1-5) (for a review, see (6)). These studies focused on the primary and secondary auditory brain areas, which are regions free of susceptibility artifacts. However, because processes of interest may occur beyond these regions, whole brain BOLD fMRI is required using an MRI sequence less susceptible to these artifacts. This can be achieved by using spin-echo (SE) BOLD fMRI (7,8) . In this article, we describe how to use this technique in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), which are small songbirds with a bodyweight of 15-25 g extensively studied in behavioral neurosciences of birdsong. The main topic of fMRI studies on songbirds is song perception and song learning. The auditory nature of the stimuli combined with the weak BOLD sensitivity of SE (compared to GE) based fMRI sequences makes the implementation of this technique very challenging.

  7. A house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) spleen transcriptome reveals intra- and interspecific patterns of gene expression, alternative splicing and genetic diversity in passerines.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qu; Hill, Geoffrey E; Edwards, Scott V; Backström, Niclas

    2014-04-24

    With its plumage color dimorphism and unique history in North America, including a recent population expansion and an epizootic of Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), the house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a model species for studying sexual selection, plumage coloration and host-parasite interactions. As part of our ongoing efforts to make available genomic resources for this species, here we report a transcriptome assembly derived from genes expressed in spleen. We characterize transcriptomes from two populations with different histories of demography and disease exposure: a recently founded population in the eastern US that has been exposed to MG for over a decade and a native population from the western range that has never been exposed to MG. We utilize this resource to quantify conservation in gene expression in passerine birds over approximately 50 MY by comparing splenic expression profiles for 9,646 house finch transcripts and those from zebra finch and find that less than half of all genes expressed in spleen in either species are expressed in both species. Comparative gene annotations from several vertebrate species suggest that the house finch transcriptomes contain ~15 genes not yet found in previously sequenced vertebrate genomes. The house finch transcriptomes harbour ~85,000 SNPs, ~20,000 of which are non-synonymous. Although not yet validated by biological or technical replication, we identify a set of genes exhibiting differences between populations in gene expression (n = 182; 2% of all transcripts), allele frequencies (76 FST ouliers) and alternative splicing as well as genes with several fixed non-synonymous substitutions; this set includes genes with functions related to double-strand break repair and immune response. The two house finch spleen transcriptome profiles will add to the increasing data on genome and transcriptome sequence information from natural populations. Differences in splenic expression between house finch and zebra finch

  8. A house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) spleen transcriptome reveals intra- and interspecific patterns of gene expression, alternative splicing and genetic diversity in passerines

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background With its plumage color dimorphism and unique history in North America, including a recent population expansion and an epizootic of Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), the house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a model species for studying sexual selection, plumage coloration and host-parasite interactions. As part of our ongoing efforts to make available genomic resources for this species, here we report a transcriptome assembly derived from genes expressed in spleen. Results We characterize transcriptomes from two populations with different histories of demography and disease exposure: a recently founded population in the eastern US that has been exposed to MG for over a decade and a native population from the western range that has never been exposed to MG. We utilize this resource to quantify conservation in gene expression in passerine birds over approximately 50 MY by comparing splenic expression profiles for 9,646 house finch transcripts and those from zebra finch and find that less than half of all genes expressed in spleen in either species are expressed in both species. Comparative gene annotations from several vertebrate species suggest that the house finch transcriptomes contain ~15 genes not yet found in previously sequenced vertebrate genomes. The house finch transcriptomes harbour ~85,000 SNPs, ~20,000 of which are non-synonymous. Although not yet validated by biological or technical replication, we identify a set of genes exhibiting differences between populations in gene expression (n = 182; 2% of all transcripts), allele frequencies (76 FST ouliers) and alternative splicing as well as genes with several fixed non-synonymous substitutions; this set includes genes with functions related to double-strand break repair and immune response. Conclusions The two house finch spleen transcriptome profiles will add to the increasing data on genome and transcriptome sequence information from natural populations. Differences in splenic expression between

  9. Effects of background noise on acoustic characteristics of Bengalese finch songs.

    PubMed

    Shiba, Shintaro; Okanoya, Kazuo; Tachibana, Ryosuke O

    2016-12-01

    Online regulation of vocalization in response to auditory feedback is one of the essential issues for vocal communication. One such audio-vocal interaction is the Lombard effect, an involuntary increase in vocal amplitude in response to the presence of background noise. Along with vocal amplitude, other acoustic characteristics, including fundamental frequency (F0), also change in some species. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica) are a suitable model for comparative, ethological, and neuroscientific studies on audio-vocal interaction because they require real-time auditory feedback of their own songs to maintain normal singing. Here, the changes in amplitude and F0 with a focus on the distinct song elements (i.e., notes) of Bengalese finches under noise presentation are demonstrated. To accurately analyze these acoustic characteristics, two different bandpass-filtered noises at two levels of sound intensity were used. The results confirmed that the Lombard effect occurs at the note level of Bengalese finch song. Further, individually specific modes of changes in F0 are shown. These behavioral changes suggested the vocal control mechanisms on which the auditory feedback is based have a predictable effect on amplitude, but complex spectral effects on individual note production.

  10. Neural responses in songbird forebrain reflect learning rates, acquired salience, and stimulus novelty after auditory discrimination training.

    PubMed

    Bell, Brittany A; Phan, Mimi L; Vicario, David S

    2015-03-01

    How do social interactions form and modulate the neural representations of specific complex signals? This question can be addressed in the songbird auditory system. Like humans, songbirds learn to vocalize by imitating tutors heard during development. These learned vocalizations are important in reproductive and social interactions and in individual recognition. As a model for the social reinforcement of particular songs, male zebra finches were trained to peck for a food reward in response to one song stimulus (GO) and to withhold responding for another (NoGO). After performance reached criterion, single and multiunit neural responses to both trained and novel stimuli were obtained from multiple electrodes inserted bilaterally into two songbird auditory processing areas [caudomedial mesopallium (CMM) and caudomedial nidopallium (NCM)] of awake, restrained birds. Neurons in these areas undergo stimulus-specific adaptation to repeated song stimuli, and responses to familiar stimuli adapt more slowly than to novel stimuli. The results show that auditory responses differed in NCM and CMM for trained (GO and NoGO) stimuli vs. novel song stimuli. When subjects were grouped by the number of training days required to reach criterion, fast learners showed larger neural responses and faster stimulus-specific adaptation to all stimuli than slow learners in both areas. Furthermore, responses in NCM of fast learners were more strongly left-lateralized than in slow learners. Thus auditory responses in these sensory areas not only encode stimulus familiarity, but also reflect behavioral reinforcement in our paradigm, and can potentially be modulated by social interactions. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  11. Exploring vocal recovery after cranial nerve injury in Bengalese finches.

    PubMed

    Urbano, Catherine M; Peterson, Jennifer R; Cooper, Brenton G

    2013-02-08

    Songbirds and humans use auditory feedback to acquire and maintain their vocalizations. The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) is a songbird species that rapidly modifies its vocal output to adhere to an internal song memory. In this species, the left side of the bipartite vocal organ is specialized for producing louder, higher frequencies (≥2.2kHz) and denervation of the left vocal muscles eliminates these notes. Thus, the return of higher frequency notes after cranial nerve injury can be used as a measure of vocal recovery. Either the left or right side of the syrinx was denervated by resection of the tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve. Histologic analyses of syringeal muscle tissue showed significant muscle atrophy in the denervated side. After left nerve resection, songs were mainly composed of lower frequency syllables, but three out of five birds recovered higher frequency syllables. Right nerve resection minimally affected phonology, but it did change song syntax; syllable sequence became abnormally stereotyped after right nerve resection. Therefore, damage to the neuromuscular control of sound production resulted in reduced motor variability, and Bengalese finches are a potential model for functional vocal recovery following cranial nerve injury. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Sex differences in audiovisual discrimination learning by Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica).

    PubMed

    Seki, Yoshimasa; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2008-02-01

    Both visual and auditory information are important for songbirds, especially in developmental and sexual contexts. To investigate bimodal cognition in songbirds, the authors conducted audiovisual discrimination training in Bengalese finches. The authors used two types of stimulus: an "artificial stimulus," which is a combination of simple figures and sound, and a "biological stimulus," consisting of video images of singing males along with their songs. The authors found that while both sexes predominantly used visual cues in the discrimination tasks, males tended to be more dependent on auditory information for the biological stimulus. Female responses were always dependent on the visual stimulus for both stimulus types. Only males changed their discrimination strategy according to stimulus type. Although males used both visual and auditory cues for the biological stimulus, they responded to the artificial stimulus depending only on visual information, as the females did. These findings suggest a sex difference in innate auditory sensitivity. (c) 2008 APA.

  13. A comparison of spontaneous problem-solving abilities in three estrildid finch (Taeniopygia guttata, Lonchura striata var. domestica, Stagonopleura guttata) species.

    PubMed

    Schmelz, Martin; Krüger, Oliver; Call, Josep; Krause, E Tobias

    2015-11-01

    Cognition has been extensively studied in primates while other, more distantly related taxa have been neglected for a long time. More recently, there has been an increased interest in avian cognition, with the focus mostly on big-brained species like parrots and corvids. However, the majority of bird species has never systematically been studied in diverse cognitive tasks other than memory and learning tasks, so not much can yet be concluded about the relevant factors for the evolution of cognition. Here we examined 3 species of the estrildid finch family in problem-solving tasks. These granivorous, non-tool-using birds are distributed across 3 continents and are not known for high levels of innovation or spontaneous problem solving in the wild. In this study, our aim was to find such abilities in these species, assess what role domestication might play with a comparison of 4 genetically separated zebra finch strains, and to look for between-species differences between zebra finches, Bengalese finches, and diamond firetails. Furthermore, we established a 3-step spontaneous problem-solving procedure with increasing levels of complexity. Results showed that some estrildid finches were generally capable of spontaneously solving problems of variable complexity to obtain food. We found striking differences in these abilities between species, but not between strains within species, and offer a discussion of potential reasons. Our established methodology can now be applied to a larger number of bird species for phylogenetic comparisons on the behavioral level to get a deeper understanding of the evolution of cognitive abilities. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Development of neural responsivity to vocal sounds in higher level auditory cortex of songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C.

    2014-01-01

    Like humans, songbirds learn vocal sounds from “tutors” during a sensitive period of development. Vocal learning in songbirds therefore provides a powerful model system for investigating neural mechanisms by which memories of learned vocal sounds are stored. This study examined whether NCM (caudo-medial nidopallium), a region of higher level auditory cortex in songbirds, serves as a locus where a neural memory of tutor sounds is acquired during early stages of vocal learning. NCM neurons respond well to complex auditory stimuli, and evoked activity in many NCM neurons habituates such that the response to a stimulus that is heard repeatedly decreases to approximately one-half its original level (stimulus-specific adaptation). The rate of neural habituation serves as an index of familiarity, being low for familiar sounds, but high for novel sounds. We found that response strength across different song stimuli was higher in NCM neurons of adult zebra finches than in juveniles, and that only adult NCM responded selectively to tutor song. The rate of habituation across both tutor song and novel conspecific songs was lower in adult than in juvenile NCM, indicating higher familiarity and a more persistent response to song stimuli in adults. In juvenile birds that have memorized tutor vocal sounds, neural habituation was higher for tutor song than for a familiar conspecific song. This unexpected result suggests that the response to tutor song in NCM at this age may be subject to top-down influences that maintain the tutor song as a salient stimulus, despite its high level of familiarity. PMID:24694936

  15. Principles of auditory processing differ between sensory and premotor structures of the songbird forebrain

    PubMed Central

    Vicario, David S.

    2017-01-01

    Sensory and motor brain structures work in collaboration during perception. To evaluate their respective contributions, the present study recorded neural responses to auditory stimulation at multiple sites simultaneously in both the higher-order auditory area NCM and the premotor area HVC of the songbird brain in awake zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Bird’s own song (BOS) and various conspecific songs (CON) were presented in both blocked and shuffled sequences. Neural responses showed plasticity in the form of stimulus-specific adaptation, with markedly different dynamics between the two structures. In NCM, the response decrease with repetition of each stimulus was gradual and long-lasting and did not differ between the stimuli or the stimulus presentation sequences. In contrast, HVC responses to CON stimuli decreased much more rapidly in the blocked than in the shuffled sequence. Furthermore, this decrease was more transient in HVC than in NCM, as shown by differential dynamics in the shuffled sequence. Responses to BOS in HVC decreased more gradually than to CON stimuli. The quality of neural representations, computed as the mutual information between stimuli and neural activity, was higher in NCM than in HVC. Conversely, internal functional correlations, estimated as the coherence between recording sites, were greater in HVC than in NCM. The cross-coherence between the two structures was weak and limited to low frequencies. These findings suggest that auditory communication signals are processed according to very different but complementary principles in NCM and HVC, a contrast that may inform study of the auditory and motor pathways for human speech processing. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Neural responses to auditory stimulation in sensory area NCM and premotor area HVC of the songbird forebrain show plasticity in the form of stimulus-specific adaptation with markedly different dynamics. These two structures also differ in stimulus representations and internal

  16. Differential accumulation and pigmenting ability of dietary carotenoids in colorful finches.

    PubMed

    McGraw, Kevin J; Hill, Geoffrey E; Navara, Kristen J; Parker, Robert S

    2004-01-01

    Many animals develop bright red, orange, or yellow carotenoid pigmentation that they use to attract mates. Colorful carotenoid pigments are acquired from the diet and are either directly incorporated as integumentary colorants or metabolized into other forms before deposition. Because animals often obtain several different carotenoids from plant and animal food sources, it is possible that these pigments are accumulated at different levels in the body and may play unique roles in shaping the ultimate color expression of individuals. We studied patterns of carotenoid accumulation and integumentary pigmentation in two colorful finch species--the American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) and the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Both species acquire two main hydroxycarotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, from their seed diet but transform these into a series of metabolites that are used as colorful pigments in the plumage (goldfinches only) and beak (both species). We conducted a series of carotenoid-supplementation experiments to investigate the relative extent to which lutein and zeaxanthin are accumulated in blood and increase carotenoid coloration in feathers and bare parts. First, we supplemented the diets of both species with either lutein or zeaxanthin and measured plasma pigment status, feather carotenoid concentration (goldfinches only), and integumentary color. Zeaxanthin-supplemented males grew more colorful feathers and beaks than lutein-supplemented males, and in goldfinches incorporated a different ratio of carotenoids in feathers (favoring the accumulation of canary xanthophyll B). We also fed goldfinches different concentrations of a standard lutein-zeaxanthin mix and found that at physiologically normal and high concentrations, birds circulated proportionally more zeaxanthin over lutein than occurred in the diet. Collectively, these results demonstrate that zeaxanthin is preferentially accumulated in the body and serves as a more potent substrate for

  17. An Adapting Auditory-motor Feedback Loop Can Contribute to Generating Vocal Repetition

    PubMed Central

    Brainard, Michael S.; Jin, Dezhe Z.

    2015-01-01

    Consecutive repetition of actions is common in behavioral sequences. Although integration of sensory feedback with internal motor programs is important for sequence generation, if and how feedback contributes to repetitive actions is poorly understood. Here we study how auditory feedback contributes to generating repetitive syllable sequences in songbirds. We propose that auditory signals provide positive feedback to ongoing motor commands, but this influence decays as feedback weakens from response adaptation during syllable repetitions. Computational models show that this mechanism explains repeat distributions observed in Bengalese finch song. We experimentally confirmed two predictions of this mechanism in Bengalese finches: removal of auditory feedback by deafening reduces syllable repetitions; and neural responses to auditory playback of repeated syllable sequences gradually adapt in sensory-motor nucleus HVC. Together, our results implicate a positive auditory-feedback loop with adaptation in generating repetitive vocalizations, and suggest sensory adaptation is important for feedback control of motor sequences. PMID:26448054

  18. Neural Representation of a Target Auditory Memory in a Cortico-Basal Ganglia Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Bottjer, Sarah W.

    2013-01-01

    Vocal learning in songbirds, like speech acquisition in humans, entails a period of sensorimotor integration during which vocalizations are evaluated via auditory feedback and progressively refined to achieve an imitation of memorized vocal sounds. This process requires the brain to compare feedback of current vocal behavior to a memory of target vocal sounds. We report the discovery of two distinct populations of neurons in a cortico-basal ganglia circuit of juvenile songbirds (zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata) during vocal learning: (1) one in which neurons are selectively tuned to memorized sounds and (2) another in which neurons are selectively tuned to self-produced vocalizations. These results suggest that neurons tuned to learned vocal sounds encode a memory of those target sounds, whereas neurons tuned to self-produced vocalizations encode a representation of current vocal sounds. The presence of neurons tuned to memorized sounds is limited to early stages of sensorimotor integration: after learning, the incidence of neurons encoding memorized vocal sounds was greatly diminished. In contrast to this circuit, neurons known to drive vocal behavior through a parallel cortico-basal ganglia pathway show little selective tuning until late in learning. One interpretation of these data is that representations of current and target vocal sounds in the shell circuit are used to compare ongoing patterns of vocal feedback to memorized sounds, whereas the parallel core circuit has a motor-related role in learning. Such a functional subdivision is similar to mammalian cortico-basal ganglia pathways in which associative-limbic circuits mediate goal-directed responses, whereas sensorimotor circuits support motor aspects of learning. PMID:24005299

  19. Mind the gap: Neural coding of species identity in birdsong prosody.

    PubMed

    Araki, Makoto; Bandi, M M; Yazaki-Sugiyama, Yoko

    2016-12-09

    Juvenile songbirds learn vocal communication from adult tutors of the same species but not from adults of other species. How species-specific learning emerges from the basic features of song prosody remains unknown. In the zebra finch auditory cortex, we discovered a class of neurons that register the silent temporal gaps between song syllables and are distinct from neurons encoding syllable morphology. Behavioral learning and neuronal coding of temporal gap structure resisted song tutoring from other species: Zebra finches fostered by Bengalese finch parents learned Bengalese finch song morphology transposed onto zebra finch temporal gaps. During the vocal learning period, temporal gap neurons fired selectively to zebra finch song. The innate temporal coding of intersyllable silent gaps suggests a neuronal barcode for conspecific vocal learning and social communication in acoustically diverse environments. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Midbrain dopamine neurons reflect affiliation phenotypes in finches and are tightly coupled to courtship.

    PubMed

    Goodson, James L; Kabelik, David; Kelly, Aubrey M; Rinaldi, Jacob; Klatt, James D

    2009-05-26

    Mesolimbic dopamine (DA) circuits mediate a wide range of goal-oriented behavioral processes, and DA strongly influences appetitive and consummatory aspects of male sexual behavior. In both birds and mammals, mesolimbic projections arise primarily from the ventral tegmental area (VTA), with a smaller contribution from the midbrain central gray (CG). Despite the well known importance of the VTA cell group for incentive motivation functions, relationships of VTA subpopulations to specific aspects of social phenotype remain wholly undescribed. We now show that in male zebra finches (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata), Fos activity within a subpopulation of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir; presumably dopaminergic) neurons in the caudal VTA is significantly correlated with courtship singing and coupled to gonadal state. In addition, the number of TH-ir neurons in this caudal subpopulation dichotomously differentiates courting from non-courting male phenotypes, and evolves in relation to sociality (flocking vs. territorial) across several related finch species. Combined, these findings for the VTA suggest that divergent social phenotypes may arise due to the differential assignment of "incentive value" to conspecific stimuli. TH-ir neurons of the CG (a population of unknown function in mammals) exhibit properties that are even more selectively and tightly coupled to the expression of courtship phenotypes (and appetitive courtship singing), both in terms of TH-ir cell number, which correlates significantly with constitutive levels of courtship motivation, and with TH-Fos colocalization, which increases in direct proportion to the phasic expression of song. We propose that these neurons may be core components of social communication circuits across diverse vertebrate taxa.

  1. New Concerns Emerge as Zebra Mussel Spreads.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walter, Martha L., Ed.

    1992-01-01

    Reports on the Zebra Mussel invasion of North American inland waterways. Discusses United States Army Corps of Engineers operations that may facilitate or be affected by the spread of Zebra Mussels, the threat to native clams, chemical and mechanical control methods, natural solutions, and ongoing research. (MCO)

  2. Zebra Stripes through the Eyes of Their Predators, Zebras, and Humans.

    PubMed

    Melin, Amanda D; Kline, Donald W; Hiramatsu, Chihiro; Caro, Tim

    2016-01-01

    The century-old idea that stripes make zebras cryptic to large carnivores has never been examined systematically. We evaluated this hypothesis by passing digital images of zebras through species-specific spatial and colour filters to simulate their appearance for the visual systems of zebras' primary predators and zebras themselves. We also measured stripe widths and luminance contrast to estimate the maximum distances from which lions, spotted hyaenas, and zebras can resolve stripes. We found that beyond ca. 50 m (daylight) and 30 m (twilight) zebra stripes are difficult for the estimated visual systems of large carnivores to resolve, but not humans. On moonless nights, stripes are difficult for all species to resolve beyond ca. 9 m. In open treeless habitats where zebras spend most time, zebras are as clearly identified by the lion visual system as are similar-sized ungulates, suggesting that stripes cannot confer crypsis by disrupting the zebra's outline. Stripes confer a minor advantage over solid pelage in masking body shape in woodlands, but the effect is stronger for humans than for predators. Zebras appear to be less able than humans to resolve stripes although they are better than their chief predators. In conclusion, compared to the uniform pelage of other sympatric herbivores it appears highly unlikely that stripes are a form of anti-predator camouflage.

  3. Species collapse via hybridization in Darwin's tree finches.

    PubMed

    Kleindorfer, Sonia; O'Connor, Jody A; Dudaniec, Rachael Y; Myers, Steven A; Robertson, Jeremy; Sulloway, Frank J

    2014-03-01

    Species hybridization can lead to fitness costs, species collapse, and novel evolutionary trajectories in changing environments. Hybridization is predicted to be more common when environmental conditions change rapidly. Here, we test patterns of hybridization in three sympatric tree finch species (small tree finch Camarhynchus parvulus, medium tree finch Camarhynchus pauper, and large tree finch: Camarhynchus psittacula) that are currently recognized on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago. Genetic analysis of microsatellite data from contemporary samples showed two genetic populations and one hybrid cluster in both 2005 and 2010; hybrid individuals were derived from genetic population 1 (small morph) and genetic population 2 (large morph). Females of the large and rare species were more likely to pair with males of the small common species. Finch populations differed in morphology in 1852-1906 compared with 2005/2010. An unsupervised clustering method showed (a) support for three morphological clusters in the historical tree finch sample (1852-1906), which is consistent with current species recognition; (b) support for two or three morphological clusters in 2005 with some (19%) hybridization; and (c) support for just two morphological clusters in 2010 with frequent (41%) hybridization. We discuss these findings in relation to species demarcations of Camarhynchus tree finches on Floreana Island.

  4. ZEBRA battery meets USABC goals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dustmann, Cord-H.

    In 1990, the California Air Resources Board has established a mandate to introduce electric vehicles in order to improve air quality in Los Angeles and other capitals. The United States Advanced Battery Consortium has been formed by the big car companies, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Department of Energy in order to establish the requirements on EV-batteries and to support battery development. The ZEBRA battery system is a candidate to power future electric vehicles. Not only because its energy density is three-fold that of lead acid batteries (50% more than NiMH) but also because of all the other EV requirements such as power density, no maintenance, summer and winter operation, safety, failure tolerance and low cost potential are fulfilled. The electrode material is plain salt and nickel in combination with a ceramic electrolyte. The cell voltage is 2.58 V and the capacity of a standard cell is 32 Ah. Some hundred cells are connected in series and parallel to form a battery with about 300 V OCV. The battery system including battery controller, main circuit-breaker and cooling system is engineered for vehicle integration and ready to be mounted in a vehicle [J. Gaub, A. van Zyl, Mercedes-Benz Electric Vehicles with ZEBRA Batteries, EVS-14, Orlando, FL, Dec. 1997]. The background of these features are described.

  5. How to save the rarest Darwin's finch from extinction: the mangrove finch on Isabela Island

    PubMed Central

    Fessl, Birgit; Young, Glyn H.; Young, Richard P.; Rodríguez-Matamoros, Jorge; Dvorak, Michael; Tebbich, Sabine; Fa, John E.

    2010-01-01

    Habitat destruction and predation by invasive alien species has led to the disappearance of several island populations of Darwin's finches but to date none of the 13 recognized species have gone extinct. However, driven by rapid economic growth in the Galápagos, the effects of introduced species have accelerated and severely threatened these iconic birds. The critically endangered mangrove finch (Camarhynchus heliobates) is now confined to three small mangroves on Isabela Island. During 2006–2009, we assessed its population status and monitored nesting success, both before and after rat poisoning. Population size was estimated at around only 100 birds for the two main breeding sites, with possibly 5–10 birds surviving at a third mangrove. Before rat control, 54 per cent of nests during incubation phase were predated with only 18 per cent of nests producing fledglings. Post-rat control, nest predation during the incubation phase fell to 30 per cent with 37 per cent of nests producing fledglings. During the nestling phase, infestation by larvae of the introduced parasitic fly (Philornis downsi) caused 14 per cent additional mortality. Using population viability analysis, we simulated the probability of population persistence under various scenarios of control and showed that with effective management of these invasive species, mangrove finch populations should start to recover. PMID:20194165

  6. 18. Photographic copy of photograph (at teh offices of Finch, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    18. Photographic copy of photograph (at teh offices of Finch, Pruyn & Company, Glen Street, Glens Falls, New York), Beach?, Photographer, June 31, 1913. Panoramic view east to southwest of the Glens Falls Dam after the 1913 flood taken from the west end of the Finch, Pruyn & Company intake structure. - Glens Falls Dam, 100' to 450' West of U.S. Route 9 Bridge Spanning Hudson River, Glens Falls, Warren County, NY

  7. Zebra mussels invade Lake Erie muds

    Berkman, Paul Arthur; Haltuch, Melissa A.; Tichich, Emily; Garton, David W.; Kennedy, Gregory W.; Gannon, John E.; Mackey, Scudder D.; Fuller, Jonathan A.; Liebenthal, Dale L.

    1998-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) originated in western Russia but have now become widespread in Europe and North America. They are widely known for their conspicuous invasion of rocks and other hard substrates in North American and European watersheds. We have found beds of zebra mussels directly colonizing sand and mud sediments each year across hundreds of square kilometres of North America's Lake Erie. This transformation of sedimentary habitats into mussel beds represents an unforeseen change in the invasive capacity of this species.

  8. Comparative stereology of the mouse and finch left ventricle.

    PubMed

    Bossen, E H; Sommer, J R; Waugh, R A

    1978-01-01

    The volume fractions and surface per unit cell volume of some subcellular components of the left ventricles of the finch and mouse were quantitated by stereologic techniques. These species were chosen for study because they have similar heart rates but differ morphologically in some respects: fiber diameter is larger in the mouse; the mouse has transverse tubules while the finch does not; and the finch has a form of junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (JSR), extended JSR (EJSR), located in the cell interior with no direct plasmalemmal contact, while the mouse interior JSR (IJSR) abuts on transverse tubules. Our data show that the volume fraction (Vv) and surface area per unit cell volume (Sv) of total SR, and free SR (FSR) are similar. The volume fractions of mitochondria, myofibrils, and total junctional SR were also similar. The Sv of the cell surface of the finch was similar to the Sv of the cell surface of the mouse (Sv-plasmalemma plus Sv of the transverse tubules). The principal difference was in the distribution of JSR; the mouse peripheral JSR (PJSR) represents only 9% of the total JSR, while the finch PJSR accounts for 24% of the bird's JSR. The similar volume fractions of total junctional SR (PJSR + EJSR in the finch; PJSR + IJSR in the mouse) suggest that the EJSR is not an embryologic remnant, and raises the possibility that some function of JSR is independent of plasmalemmal contact.

  9. Zebra Stripes through the Eyes of Their Predators, Zebras, and Humans

    PubMed Central

    Melin, Amanda D.; Kline, Donald W.; Hiramatsu, Chihiro; Caro, Tim

    2016-01-01

    The century-old idea that stripes make zebras cryptic to large carnivores has never been examined systematically. We evaluated this hypothesis by passing digital images of zebras through species-specific spatial and colour filters to simulate their appearance for the visual systems of zebras’ primary predators and zebras themselves. We also measured stripe widths and luminance contrast to estimate the maximum distances from which lions, spotted hyaenas, and zebras can resolve stripes. We found that beyond ca. 50 m (daylight) and 30 m (twilight) zebra stripes are difficult for the estimated visual systems of large carnivores to resolve, but not humans. On moonless nights, stripes are difficult for all species to resolve beyond ca. 9 m. In open treeless habitats where zebras spend most time, zebras are as clearly identified by the lion visual system as are similar-sized ungulates, suggesting that stripes cannot confer crypsis by disrupting the zebra’s outline. Stripes confer a minor advantage over solid pelage in masking body shape in woodlands, but the effect is stronger for humans than for predators. Zebras appear to be less able than humans to resolve stripes although they are better than their chief predators. In conclusion, compared to the uniform pelage of other sympatric herbivores it appears highly unlikely that stripes are a form of anti-predator camouflage. PMID:26799935

  10. Zebra: A striped network file system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartman, John H.; Ousterhout, John K.

    1992-01-01

    The design of Zebra, a striped network file system, is presented. Zebra applies ideas from log-structured file system (LFS) and RAID research to network file systems, resulting in a network file system that has scalable performance, uses its servers efficiently even when its applications are using small files, and provides high availability. Zebra stripes file data across multiple servers, so that the file transfer rate is not limited by the performance of a single server. High availability is achieved by maintaining parity information for the file system. If a server fails its contents can be reconstructed using the contents of the remaining servers and the parity information. Zebra differs from existing striped file systems in the way it stripes file data: Zebra does not stripe on a per-file basis; instead it stripes the stream of bytes written by each client. Clients write to the servers in units called stripe fragments, which are analogous to segments in an LFS. Stripe fragments contain file blocks that were written recently, without regard to which file they belong. This method of striping has numerous advantages over per-file striping, including increased server efficiency, efficient parity computation, and elimination of parity update.

  11. Auditory agnosia.

    PubMed

    Slevc, L Robert; Shell, Alison R

    2015-01-01

    Auditory agnosia refers to impairments in sound perception and identification despite intact hearing, cognitive functioning, and language abilities (reading, writing, and speaking). Auditory agnosia can be general, affecting all types of sound perception, or can be (relatively) specific to a particular domain. Verbal auditory agnosia (also known as (pure) word deafness) refers to deficits specific to speech processing, environmental sound agnosia refers to difficulties confined to non-speech environmental sounds, and amusia refers to deficits confined to music. These deficits can be apperceptive, affecting basic perceptual processes, or associative, affecting the relation of a perceived auditory object to its meaning. This chapter discusses what is known about the behavioral symptoms and lesion correlates of these different types of auditory agnosia (focusing especially on verbal auditory agnosia), evidence for the role of a rapid temporal processing deficit in some aspects of auditory agnosia, and the few attempts to treat the perceptual deficits associated with auditory agnosia. A clear picture of auditory agnosia has been slow to emerge, hampered by the considerable heterogeneity in behavioral deficits, associated brain damage, and variable assessments across cases. Despite this lack of clarity, these striking deficits in complex sound processing continue to inform our understanding of auditory perception and cognition. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Experimental evidence that stripes do not cool zebras.

    PubMed

    Horváth, Gábor; Pereszlényi, Ádám; Száz, Dénes; Barta, András; Jánosi, Imre M; Gerics, Balázs; Åkesson, Susanne

    2018-06-19

    There are as many as 18 theories for the possible functions of the stripes of zebras, one of which is to cool the animal. We performed field experiments and thermographic measurements to investigate whether thermoregulation might work for zebra-striped bodies. A zebra body was modelled by water-filled metal barrels covered with horse, cattle and zebra hides and with various black, white, grey and striped patterns. The barrels were installed in the open air for four months while their core temperature was measured continuously. Using thermography, the temperature distributions of the barrel surfaces were compared to those of living zebras. The sunlit zebra-striped barrels reproduced well the surface temperature characteristics of sunlit zebras. We found that there were no significant core temperature differences between the striped and grey barrels, even on many hot days, independent of the air temperature and wind speed. The average core temperature of the barrels increased as follows: white cattle, grey cattle, real zebra, artificial zebra, grey horse, black cattle. Consequently, we demonstrate that zebra-striped coats do not keep the body cooler than grey coats challenging the hypothesis of a thermoregulatory role of zebra stripes.

  13. EFFECTS OF EXOGENOUS ESTROGEN ON MATE SELECTION OF HOUSE FINCHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concern about the potential for endocrine disrupting chemicals to interfere with normal breeding behaviors of wildlife has prompted this study of effects of exogenous estrogen on mate selection in songbirds. The house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) was selected as a model as it is ...

  14. EFFECTS OF EXTROGENOUS ESTROGEN ON MATE SELECTION OF HOUSE FINCHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Effects of exogenous estrogen on mate selection of house finches. Clark, J., Fairbrother, A*. Parametrix, Inc., Corvallis, OR; Brewer, L., EBA, Inc., Sisters, OR; Bennett, R.S., USEPA, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Duluth, MN.

    Concern about the potential for endocrine...

  15. Phylogeny of Darwin's finches as revealed by mtDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Sato, A; O'hUigin, C; Figueroa, F; Grant, P R; Grant, B R; Tichy, H; Klein, J

    1999-04-27

    Darwin's finches comprise a group of passerine birds first collected by Charles Darwin during his visit to the Galápagos Archipelago. The group, a textbook example of adaptive radiation (the diversification of a founding population into an array of species differentially adapted to diverse environmental niches), encompasses 14 currently recognized species, of which 13 live on the Galápagos Islands and one on the Cocos Island in the Pacific Ocean. Although Darwin's finches have been studied extensively by morphologists, ecologists, and ethologists, their phylogenetic relationships remain uncertain. Here, sequences of two mtDNA segments, the cytochrome b and the control region, have been used to infer the evolutionary history of the group. The data reveal the Darwin's finches to be a monophyletic group with the warbler finch being the species closest to the founding stock, followed by the vegetarian finch, and then by two sister groups, the ground and the tree finches. The Cocos finch is related to the tree finches of the Galápagos Islands. The traditional classification of ground finches into six species and tree finches into five species is not reflected in the molecular data. In these two groups, ancestral polymorphisms have not, as yet, been sorted out among the cross-hybridizing species.

  16. Zebras and Biting Flies: Quantitative Analysis of Reflected Light from Zebra Coats in Their Natural Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Britten, Kenneth H.; Thatcher, Timothy D.; Caro, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Experimental and comparative evidence suggests that the striped coats of zebras deter biting fly attack, but the mechanisms by which flies fail to target black-and-white mammals are still opaque. Two hypotheses have been proposed: stripes might serve either to defeat polarotaxis or to obscure the form of the animal. To test these hypotheses, we systematically photographed free-living plains zebras in Africa. We found that black and white stripes both have moderate polarization signatures with a similar angle, though the degree (magnitude) of polarization in white stripes is lower. When we modeled the visibility of these signals from different distances, we found that polarization differences between stripes are invisible to flies more than 10 m away because they are averaged out by the flies’ low visual resolution. At any distance, however, a positively polarotactic insect would have a distinct signal to guide its visual approach to a zebra because we found that polarization of light reflecting from zebras is higher than from surrounding dry grasses. We also found that the stripes themselves are visible to flies at somewhat greater distances (up to 20 m) than the polarization contrast between stripes. Together, these observations support hypotheses in which zebra stripes defeat visually guided orienting behavior in flies by a mechanism independent of polarotaxis. PMID:27223616

  17. Auditory hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Blom, Jan Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Auditory hallucinations constitute a phenomenologically rich group of endogenously mediated percepts which are associated with psychiatric, neurologic, otologic, and other medical conditions, but which are also experienced by 10-15% of all healthy individuals in the general population. The group of phenomena is probably best known for its verbal auditory subtype, but it also includes musical hallucinations, echo of reading, exploding-head syndrome, and many other types. The subgroup of verbal auditory hallucinations has been studied extensively with the aid of neuroimaging techniques, and from those studies emerges an outline of a functional as well as a structural network of widely distributed brain areas involved in their mediation. The present chapter provides an overview of the various types of auditory hallucination described in the literature, summarizes our current knowledge of the auditory networks involved in their mediation, and draws on ideas from the philosophy of science and network science to reconceptualize the auditory hallucinatory experience, and point out directions for future research into its neurobiologic substrates. In addition, it provides an overview of known associations with various clinical conditions and of the existing evidence for pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Singing-Related Activity in Anterior Forebrain of Male Zebra Finches Reflects Courtship Motivation for Target Females

    PubMed Central

    Iwasaki, Mai; Poulsen, Thomas M.; Oka, Kotaro; Hessler, Neal A.

    2013-01-01

    A critical function of singing by male songbirds is to attract a female mate. Previous studies have suggested that the anterior forebrain system is involved in this courtship behavior. Neural activity in this system, including the striatal Area X, is strikingly dependent on the function of male singing. When males sing to attract a female bird rather than while alone, less variable neural activity results in less variable song spectral features, which may be attractive to the female. These characteristics of neural activity and singing thus may reflect a male's motivation for courtship. Here, we compared the variability of neural activity and song features between courtship singing directed to a female with whom a male had previously formed a pair-bond or to other females. Surprisingly, across all units, there was no clear tendency for a difference in variability of neural activity or song features between courtship of paired females, nonpaired females, or dummy females. However, across the population of recordings, there was a significant relationship between the relative variability of syllable frequency and neural activity: when syllable frequency was less variable to paired than nonpaired females, neural activity was also less variable (and vice-versa). These results show that the lower variability of neural activity and syllable frequency during directed singing is not a binary distinction from undirected singing, but can vary in intensity, possibly related to the relative preference of a male for his singing target. PMID:24312344

  19. c-fos is induced in the hippocampus during consolidation of sexual imprinting in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2004-01-01

    c-fos was used to mark regions of enhanced neuronal activity during sexual imprinting, an early learning process by which information about the prospective sexual partner is acquired and consolidated. In the present study, we demonstrate that the hippocampus, already known for its specialized spatial memory capacities in navigating pigeons and in food-storing birds, depicts a selective differential c-fos induction in a situation shown to lead to sexual imprinting, that is, exposing previously isolated male birds to a female for 1 h. c-fos induction is lateralized, the left hippocampus showing more c-fos activity than the right. Our results would indicate a role for the hippocampus in the consolidation process of imprinting, probably in the transfer of information to the other telencephalic areas that show alterations in synaptic connectivity as a result of consolidation of sexual imprinting.

  20. Factors that influence the onset of parental care in zebra finches: Roles for egg stimuli and prolactin.

    PubMed

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2018-05-09

    Parental care is a critical component for determining reproductive success both for a current set of offspring but also over the lifetime of the individual. The hormone prolactin has often been implicated as a parental care hormone across taxa but causal relationships have only been strongly demonstrated in mammals and few select species of birds. For instance, in mammals, maternal care towards foster pups can be induced by exogenous treatment with prolactin, in concert with other reproductive hormones involved in pregnancy. We aimed to address this causal mechanism in birds by artificially elevating prolactin during the nest building and egg laying stages using vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and then exposing them to foster chicks. We predicted that increasing prolactin would increase brooding and feeding behaviors towards foster chicks compared to the saline control group. Parental behavior towards foster chicks was only shown by individuals who had initiated clutches regardless of treatment. VIP treatment had no effect on parental behavior; however, a positive relationship was found between male and female feeding rates in the VIP but not control group. Our results suggest that both eggs and chicks are sufficient to stimulate foster care, perhaps through endogenous prolactin signalling, while further elevations of prolactin may serve to synchronize parental behaviors between pairs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Attenuated Phenotype of a Recent House Finch-Associated Mycoplasma gallisepticum Isolate in Domestic Poultry.

    PubMed

    Pflaum, K; Tulman, E R; Beaudet, J; Liao, X; Dhondt, K V; Dhondt, A A; Hawley, D M; Ley, D H; Kerr, K M; Geary, S J

    2017-06-01

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum , known primarily as a respiratory pathogen of domestic poultry, has emerged since 1994 as a significant pathogen of the house finch ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) causing severe conjunctivitis and mortality. House finch-associated M. gallisepticum (HFMG) spread rapidly and increased in virulence for the finch host in the eastern United States. In the current study, we assessed virulence in domestic poultry with two temporally distant, and yet geographically consistent, HFMG isolates which differ in virulence for house finches-Virginia 1994 (VA1994), the index isolate of the epidemic, and Virginia 2013 (VA2013), a recent isolate of increased house finch virulence. Here we report a significant difference between VA1994 and VA2013 in their levels of virulence for chickens; notably, this difference correlated inversely to the difference in their levels of virulence for house finches. VA1994, while moderately virulent in house finches, displayed significant virulence in the chicken respiratory tract. VA2013, while highly virulent in the house finch, was significantly attenuated in chickens relative to VA1994, displaying less-severe pathological lesions in, and reduced bacterial recovery from, the respiratory tract. Overall, these data indicate that a recent isolate of HFMG is greatly attenuated in the chicken host relative to the index isolate, notably demonstrating a virulence phenotype in chickens inversely related to that in the finch host. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  2. Detection of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in House Finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus) from Arizona.

    PubMed

    Staley, Molly; Bonneaud, Camille; McGraw, Kevin J; Vleck, Carol M; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2018-03-01

    In 1994, an endemic poultry pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), was identified as the causative agent of a novel disease in house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus). After an initial outbreak in Maryland, MG spread rapidly throughout eastern North American populations of house finches. Subsequently, MG spread slowly through the northern interior of North America and then into the Pacific Northwest, finally reaching California in 2006. Until 2009, there were no reports of MG in the southwestern United States east of California. In August 2011, after reports of house finches displaying conjunctivitis characteristic of MG infection in Arizona, we trapped house finches at bird feeders in central Arizona (Tempe) and southern Arizona (Tucson and Green Valley) to assay for MG infection. Upon capture, we noted whether birds exhibited conjunctivitis, and we collected choanal swabs to test for the presence of MG DNA using PCR. We detected MG in finches captured from Green Valley (in ∼12% of birds captured), but not in finches from Tucson or Tempe. Based on resampling of house finches at these sites in July 2014, we suggest that central Arizona finches likely remain unexposed to MG. We also suggest that low urban connectivity between arid habitats of southern and central Arizona or a reduction in the prevalence of MG after its initial arrival in Arizona may be limiting the spread of MG from south to north in Arizona. In addition, the observed conjunctivitis-like signs in house finches that were negative for MG by PCR may be caused primarily by avian pox virus.

  3. Auditory Spatial Perception: Auditory Localization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-05-01

    cochlear nucleus, TB – trapezoid body, SOC – superior olivary complex, LL – lateral lemniscus, IC – inferior colliculus. Adapted from Aharonson and...Figure 5. Auditory pathways in the central nervous system. LE – left ear, RE – right ear, AN – auditory nerve, CN – cochlear nucleus, TB...fibers leaving the left and right inner ear connect directly to the synaptic inputs of the cochlear nucleus (CN) on the same (ipsilateral) side of

  4. 17. Photographic copy of photograph (at the offices of Finch, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    17. Photographic copy of photograph (at the offices of Finch, Pruyn & Company, Glen Street, Glens Falls, New York), Beach?, Photographer, March 28, 1913. Panoramic view of the Hudson River at Glens Falls during the March 1913 flood showing overtopped Glens Falls Dam and washed out bridge. Facing southwest. - Glens Falls Dam, 100' to 450' West of U.S. Route 9 Bridge Spanning Hudson River, Glens Falls, Warren County, NY

  5. Online contributions of auditory feedback to neural activity in avian song control circuitry

    PubMed Central

    Sakata, Jon T.; Brainard, Michael S.

    2008-01-01

    Birdsong, like human speech, relies critically on auditory feedback to provide information about the quality of vocalizations. Although the importance of auditory feedback to vocal learning is well established, whether and how feedback signals influence vocal premotor circuitry has remained obscure. Previous studies in singing birds have not detected changes to vocal premotor activity following perturbations of auditory feedback, leading to the hypothesis that contributions of feedback to vocal plasticity might rely on ‘offline’ processing. Here, we recorded single and multi-unit activity in the premotor nucleus HVC of singing Bengalese finches in response to feedback perturbations that are known to drive plastic changes in song. We found that transient feedback perturbation caused reliable decreases in HVC activity at short latencies (20-80 ms). Similar changes to HVC activity occurred in awake, non-singing finches when the bird’s own song was played back with auditory perturbations that simulated those experienced by singing birds. These data indicate that neurons in avian vocal premotor circuitry are rapidly influenced by perturbations of auditory feedback and support the possibility that feedback information in HVC contributes online to the production and plasticity of vocalizations. PMID:18971480

  6. Unpredictable evolution in a 30-year study of Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary

    2002-04-26

    Evolution can be predicted in the short term from a knowledge of selection and inheritance. However, in the long term evolution is unpredictable because environments, which determine the directions and magnitudes of selection coefficients, fluctuate unpredictably. These two features of evolution, the predictable and unpredictable, are demonstrated in a study of two populations of Darwin's finches on the Galápagos island of Daphne Major. From 1972 to 2001, Geospiza fortis (medium ground finch) and Geospiza scandens (cactus finch) changed several times in body size and two beak traits. Natural selection occurred frequently in both species and varied from unidirectional to oscillating, episodic to gradual. Hybridization occurred repeatedly though rarely, resulting in elevated phenotypic variances in G. scandens and a change in beak shape. The phenotypic states of both species at the end of the 30-year study could not have been predicted at the beginning. Continuous, long-term studies are needed to detect and interpret rare but important events and nonuniform evolutionary change.

  7. Invasion of the Zebra Mussels: A Mock Trial Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Judy A.; Czerniak, Charlene M.

    2005-01-01

    In this activity, students learn about the important topic of invasive species, specifically Zebra Mussels. Students role-play different characters in a real-life situation: the trial of the Zebra Mussel for unlawful disruption of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Students will also learn about jurisprudential inquiry by examining the trial process. This…

  8. 50 CFR 21.44 - Depredation order for horned larks, house finches, and white-crowned sparrows in California.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... finches, and white-crowned sparrows in California. 21.44 Section 21.44 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED... larks, house finches, and white-crowned sparrows in California. Horned larks (Eremophila alpestris), house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), and white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) may be taken...

  9. Improved axial resolution of FINCH fluorescence microscopy when combined with spinning disk confocal microscopy.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Nisan; Brooker, Gary

    2014-09-22

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. Addition of a Nipkow disk real-time confocal image scanner is shown to reduce the FINCH depth of focus while improving transverse confocal resolution in a combined method called "CINCH".

  10. Improved axial resolution of FINCH fluorescence microscopy when combined with spinning disk confocal microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Nisan; Brooker, Gary

    2014-01-01

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. Addition of a Nipkow disk real-time confocal image scanner is shown to reduce the FINCH depth of focus while improving transverse confocal resolution in a combined method called “CINCH”. PMID:25321701

  11. Linda Finch speaks to children during World Flight in New Orleans, La.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Linda Finch, who re-created the flight of Amelia Earhardt's flight around the world 60 years ago, landed at New Orleans Lakefront Airport to speak to groups of inner-city school children during World Flight 1997. Stennis Space Center's Educator Resource Center played a role in the event by providing SSC-developed Geomap software to aid students in tracking Finch's flight.

  12. Molecular ecology of zebra mussel invasions.

    PubMed

    May, Gemma E; Gelembiuk, Gregory W; Panov, Vadim E; Orlova, Marina I; Lee, Carol Eunmi

    2006-04-01

    The invasion of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, into North American waters has resulted in profound ecological disturbances and large monetary losses. This study examined the invasion history and patterns of genetic diversity among endemic and invading populations of zebra mussels using DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene. Patterns of haplotype frequency indicate that all invasive populations of zebra mussels from North America and Europe originated from the Ponto-Caspian Sea region. The distribution of haplotypes was consistent with invasive populations arising from the Black Sea drainage, but could not exclude the possibility of an origin from the Caspian Sea drainage. Similar haplotype frequencies among North American populations of D. polymorpha suggest colonization by a single founding population. There was no evidence of invasive populations arising from tectonic lakes in Turkey, while lakes in Greece and Macedonia contained only Dreissena stankovici. Populations in Turkey might be members of a sibling species complex of D. polymorpha. Ponto-Caspian derived populations of D. polymorpha (theta = 0.0011) and Dreissena bugensis (one haplotype) exhibited low levels of genetic diversity at the COI gene, perhaps as a result of repeated population bottlenecks. In contrast, geographically isolated tectonic lake populations exhibited relatively high levels of genetic diversity (theta = 0.0032 to 0.0134). It is possible that the fluctuating environment of the Ponto-Caspian basin facilitated the colonizing habit of invasive populations of D. polymorpha and D. bugensis. Our findings were concordant with the general trend of destructive freshwater invaders in the Great Lakes arising from the Ponto-Caspian Sea basin.

  13. Environmentally Safe Control of Zebra Mussel Fouling

    SciT

    Daniel Molloy

    2008-02-29

    The two primary objectives of this USDOE-NETL contract were successfully achieved during the project: (1) to accelerate research on the development of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL145A (Pf-CL145A) as a biocontrol agent for zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis)--two invasive freshwater bivalve species that are infesting water pipes in power plants; and (2) to identify a private-sector company that would move forward to commercialize Pf-CL145A as a substitute for the current polluting use of biocide chemicals for control of these dreissenid mussels in power plant pipes.

  14. Zebra mussel infestation of unionid bivalves (Unionidae) in North America

    Schloesser, Don W.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Mackie, Gerald L.

    1996-01-01

    In 1989, zebra mussels received national attention in North America when they reached densities exceeding 750,000/m2 in a water withdrawal facility along the shore of western Lake Erie of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Although water withdrawal problems caused by zebra mussels have been of immediate concern, ecological impacts attributed to mussels are likely to be the more important long-term issue for surface waters in North America. To date, the epizoic colonization (i.e., infestation) of unionid bivalve mollusks by zebra mussels has caused the most direct and severe ecological impact. Infestation of and resulting impacts caused by zebra mussels on unionids in the Great Lakes began in 1988. By 1990, mortality of unionids was occurring at some locations; by 1991, extant populations of unionids in western Lake Erie were nearly extirpated; by 1992, unionid populations in the southern half of Lake St. Clair were extirpated; by 1993, unionids in widely separated geographic areas of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River showed high mortality due to mussel infestation. All infested unionid species in the Great Lakes (23) have become infested and exhibited mortality within two to four years after heavy infestation began. Data indicate that mean zebra mussel densities >5,000–6,000/m2 and infestation intensities >100-200/unionid in the presence of heavy zebra mussel recruitment results in near total mortality of unionids. At present, all unionid species in rivers, streams, and akes that sympatrically occur with zebra mussels have been infested and, in many locations, negatively impacted by zebra mussels. We do not know the potential consequences of infestation on the 297 unionid species found in North America, but believe zebra mussels pose an immediate threat to the abundance and diversity of unionids.

  15. Crayfish (Orconectes virilis) predation on zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

    Love, Joy; Savino, Jacqueline F.

    1993-01-01

    In laboratory studies, we quantified predation rates and handling time of crayfish (Orconectes virilis) on zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and rainbow trout (Oncorhhynchus mykiss) eggs. In single prey species tests, crayfish ate zebra mussels at similar rates as they ate rainbow trout eggs. When both prey were present, crayfish preferred rainbow trout eggs. Handling time of mussels was about twice that of rainbow trout eggs, and energetic content of mussels was lower. Therefore, net benefit for foraging on rainbow trout eggs was about three times that of foraging on zebra mussels.

  16. Infection reduces anti-predator behaviors in house finches.

    PubMed

    Adelman, James S; Mayer, Corinne; Hawley, Dana M

    2017-04-01

    Infectious diseases can cause host mortality through direct or indirect mechanisms, including altered behavior. Diminished anti-predator behavior is among the most-studied causes of indirect mortality during infection, particularly for systems in which a parasite's life-cycle requires transmission from prey to predator. Significantly less work has examined whether directly-transmitted parasites and pathogens also reduce anti-predator behaviors. Here we test whether the directly-transmitted bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), reduces responses to predation-related stimuli in house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ). MG causes conjunctivitis and reduces survival among free-living finches, but rarely causes mortality in captivity, suggesting a role for indirect mechanisms. Wild-caught finches were individually housed in captivity and exposed to the following treatments: 1) visual presence of a stuffed, mounted predator (a Cooper's Hawk ( Accipiter cooperii )) or control object (a vase or a stuffed, mounted mallard duck ( Anas platyrhynchos )), 2) vocalizations of the same predator and non-predator, 3) approach of a researcher to enclosures, and 4) simulated predator attack (capture by hand). MG infection reduced anti-predator responses during visual exposure to a mounted predator and simulated predator attack, even for birds without detectable visual obstruction from conjunctivitis. However, MG infection did not significantly alter responses during human approach or audio playback. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that predation plays a role in MG-induced mortality in the wild, with reduced locomotion, a common form of sickness behavior for many taxa, as a likely mechanism. Our results therefore suggest that additional research on the role of sickness behaviors in predation could prove illuminating.

  17. Infection reduces anti-predator behaviors in house finches

    PubMed Central

    Adelman, James S.; Mayer, Corinne; Hawley, Dana M.

    2017-01-01

    Infectious diseases can cause host mortality through direct or indirect mechanisms, including altered behavior. Diminished anti-predator behavior is among the most-studied causes of indirect mortality during infection, particularly for systems in which a parasite’s life-cycle requires transmission from prey to predator. Significantly less work has examined whether directly-transmitted parasites and pathogens also reduce anti-predator behaviors. Here we test whether the directly-transmitted bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), reduces responses to predation-related stimuli in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). MG causes conjunctivitis and reduces survival among free-living finches, but rarely causes mortality in captivity, suggesting a role for indirect mechanisms. Wild-caught finches were individually housed in captivity and exposed to the following treatments: 1) visual presence of a stuffed, mounted predator (a Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)) or control object (a vase or a stuffed, mounted mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos)), 2) vocalizations of the same predator and non-predator, 3) approach of a researcher to enclosures, and 4) simulated predator attack (capture by hand). MG infection reduced anti-predator responses during visual exposure to a mounted predator and simulated predator attack, even for birds without detectable visual obstruction from conjunctivitis. However, MG infection did not significantly alter responses during human approach or audio playback. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that predation plays a role in MG-induced mortality in the wild, with reduced locomotion, a common form of sickness behavior for many taxa, as a likely mechanism. Our results therefore suggest that additional research on the role of sickness behaviors in predation could prove illuminating. PMID:29242677

  18. Anisotropic extension of Finch and Skea stellar model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Ranjan; Das, Shyam; Thirukkanesh, S.

    2017-12-01

    In this paper, the spacetime geometry of Finch and Skea [Class. Quantum Gravity 6:467, 1989] has been utilized to obtain closed-form solutions for a spherically symmetric anisotropic matter distribution. By examining its physical admissibility, we have shown that the class of solutions can be used as viable models for observed pulsars. In particular, a specific class of solutions can be used as an `anisotropic switch' to examine the impact of anisotropy on the gross physical properties of a stellar configuration. Accordingly, the mass-radius relationship has been analyzed.

  19. Invasive parasites, habitat change and heavy rainfall reduce breeding success in Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Cimadom, Arno; Ulloa, Angel; Meidl, Patrick; Zöttl, Markus; Zöttl, Elisabet; Fessl, Birgit; Nemeth, Erwin; Dvorak, Michael; Cunninghame, Francesca; Tebbich, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundance)is lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.

  20. Condition index monitoring supports conservation priorities for the protection of threatened grass-finch populations

    PubMed Central

    French, Kristine; Legge, Sarah; Astheimer, Lee; Garnett, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Conservation agencies are often faced with the difficult task of prioritizing what recovery actions receive support. With the number of species under threat of decline growing globally, research that informs conservation priorities is greatly needed. The relative vulnerability of cryptic or nomadic species is often uncertain, because populations are difficult to monitor and local populations often seem stable in the short term. This uncertainty can lead to inaction when populations are in need of protection. We tested the feasibility of using differences in condition indices as an indication of population vulnerability to decline for related threatened Australian finch sub-species. The Gouldian finch represents a relatively well-studied endangered species, which has a seasonal and site-specific pattern of condition index variation that differs from the closely related non-declining long-tailed finch. We used Gouldian and long-tailed finch condition variation as a model to compare with lesser studied, threatened star and black-throated finches. We compared body condition (fat and muscle scores), haematocrit and stress levels (corticosterone) among populations, seasons and years to determine whether lesser studied finch populations matched the model of an endangered species or a non-declining species. While vulnerable finch populations often had lower muscle and higher fat and corticosterone concentrations during moult (seasonal pattern similar to Gouldian finches), haematocrit values did not differ among populations in a predictable way. Star and black-throated finch populations, which were predicted to be vulnerable to decline, showed evidence of poor condition during moult, supporting their status as vulnerable. Our findings highlight how measures of condition can provide insight into the relative vulnerability of animal and plant populations to decline and will allow the prioritization of efforts towards the populations most likely to be in jeopardy of

  1. Condition index monitoring supports conservation priorities for the protection of threatened grass-finch populations.

    PubMed

    Maute, Kimberly; French, Kristine; Legge, Sarah; Astheimer, Lee; Garnett, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Conservation agencies are often faced with the difficult task of prioritizing what recovery actions receive support. With the number of species under threat of decline growing globally, research that informs conservation priorities is greatly needed. The relative vulnerability of cryptic or nomadic species is often uncertain, because populations are difficult to monitor and local populations often seem stable in the short term. This uncertainty can lead to inaction when populations are in need of protection. We tested the feasibility of using differences in condition indices as an indication of population vulnerability to decline for related threatened Australian finch sub-species. The Gouldian finch represents a relatively well-studied endangered species, which has a seasonal and site-specific pattern of condition index variation that differs from the closely related non-declining long-tailed finch. We used Gouldian and long-tailed finch condition variation as a model to compare with lesser studied, threatened star and black-throated finches. We compared body condition (fat and muscle scores), haematocrit and stress levels (corticosterone) among populations, seasons and years to determine whether lesser studied finch populations matched the model of an endangered species or a non-declining species. While vulnerable finch populations often had lower muscle and higher fat and corticosterone concentrations during moult (seasonal pattern similar to Gouldian finches), haematocrit values did not differ among populations in a predictable way. Star and black-throated finch populations, which were predicted to be vulnerable to decline, showed evidence of poor condition during moult, supporting their status as vulnerable. Our findings highlight how measures of condition can provide insight into the relative vulnerability of animal and plant populations to decline and will allow the prioritization of efforts towards the populations most likely to be in jeopardy of extinction.

  2. Control Strategies for Zebra Mussel Infestations at Public Facilities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-07-01

    detailed examina- tion of hard -to-reach surfaces or specific components (such as fire protection systems or intake pipes for sensor devices) should...trash racks. Trash racks could become partially clogged with zebra mussels, shells , and other debris. Flow through the openings would be reduced, and... shells to the top of the lock wall. These are now used by Ontario Hydro for removing zebra mussels. At most facilities, the culvert is totally dewatered

  3. Prevention of zebra mussel infestation and dispersal during aquaculture operations

    Waller, D.L.; Fisher, S.W.; Dabrowska, H.

    1996-01-01

    The zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, an exotic invasive species, poses a major threat to North American fish management programs and the aquaculture industry. Fish hatcheries may become infected with zebra mussels from a variety of sources, including the water supply, fish shipments, boats, and equipment. The hatcheries could then serve as agents for the overland dispersal of zebra mussels into stocked waters and to other fish hatcheries. We evaluated the effectiveness and safety of aquaculture chemicals for use in controlling zebra mussels in fish hatcheries and preventing dispersal of veligers during fish transport. Chemicals were evaluated for use in fish transport and as disinfectants for ponds and equipment. Standardized static toxicity tests were conducted with representative species of warmwater, coolwater, and coldwater fishes and with larval (3-d-old veligers), early juvenile (settling larvae), and adult zebra mussels. Chemical concentrations and exposure durations were based on recommended treatment levels for fish, eggs, and ponds. Recommended treatment levels were also exceeded, if necessary, to establish lethal levels for zebra mussels of different developmental stages. Our results indicate that some chemicals currently in use in hatcheries may be effective for controlling zebra mussels in various operations. Chloride salts were the safest and most effective therapeutants tested for use in fish transport. The toxicity of chloride salts to fish varied among species and with temperature; only one treatment regime (sodium chloride at 10,000 mg/L) was safe to all fish species that we tested, but it was only effective on veliger and settler stages of the zebra mussel. Effective disinfectants were benzalkonium chloride for use on equipment and rotenone for use in ponds after fish are harvested. The regulatory status of the identified chemicals is discussed as well as several nonchemical control alternatives.

  4. n-dimensional isotropic Finch-Skea stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chilambwe, Brian; Hansraj, Sudan

    2015-02-01

    We study the impact of dimension on the physical properties of the Finch-Skea astrophysical model. It is shown that a positive definite, monotonically decreasing pressure and density are evident. A decrease in stellar radius emerges as the order of the dimension increases. This is accompanied by a corresponding increase in energy density. The model continues to display the necessary qualitative features inherent in the 4-dimensional Finch-Skea star and the conformity to the Walecka theory is preserved under dimensional increase. The causality condition is always satisfied for all dimensions considered resulting in the proposed models demonstrating a subluminal sound speed throughout the interior of the distribution. Moreover, the pressure and density decrease monotonically outwards from the centre and a pressure-free hypersurface exists demarcating the boundary of the perfect-fluid sphere. Since the study of the physical conditions is performed graphically, it is necessary to specify certain constants in the model. Reasonable values for such constants are arrived at on examining the behaviour of the model at the centre and demanding the satisfaction of all elementary conditions for physical plausibility. Finally two constants of integration are settled on matching of our solutions with the appropriate Schwarzschild-Tangherlini exterior metrics. Furthermore, the solution admits a barotropic equation of state despite the higher dimension. The compactification parameter as well as the density variation parameter are also computed. The models satisfy the weak, strong and dominant energy conditions in the interior of the stellar configuration.

  5. Feeder density enhances house finch disease transmission in experimental epidemics.

    PubMed

    Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Thomason, Courtney A; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-05-05

    Anthropogenic food provisioning of wildlife can alter the frequency of contacts among hosts and between hosts and environmental sources of pathogens. Despite the popularity of garden bird feeding, few studies have addressed how feeders influence host contact rates and disease dynamics. We experimentally manipulated feeder density in replicate aviaries containing captive, pathogen-naive, groups of house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) and continuously tracked behaviours at feeders using radio-frequency identification devices. We then inoculated one bird per group with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (Mg), a common bacterial pathogen for which feeders are fomites of transmission, and assessed effects of feeder density on house finch behaviour and pathogen transmission. We found that pathogen transmission was significantly higher in groups with the highest density of bird feeders, despite a significantly lower rate of intraspecific aggressive interactions relative to the low feeder density groups. Conversely, among naive group members that never showed signs of disease, we saw significantly higher concentrations of Mg-specific antibodies in low feeder density groups, suggesting that birds in low feeder density treatments had exposure to subclinical doses of Mg. We discuss ways in which the density of garden bird feeders could play an important role in mediating the intensity of Mg epidemics.This article is part of the theme issue 'Anthropogenic resource subsidies and host-parasite dynamics in wildlife'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  6. Full genome sequences of zebra-borne equine herpesvirus type 1 isolated from zebra, onager and Thomson's gazelle.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaoqin; Izume, Satoko; Okada, Ayaka; Ohya, Kenji; Kimura, Takashi; Fukushi, Hideto

    2014-09-01

    A strain of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) was isolated from zebra. This strain, called "zebra-borne EHV-1", was also isolated from an onager and a gazelle in zoological gardens in U.S.A. The full genome sequences of the 3 strains were determined. They shared 99% identities with each other, while they shared 98% and 95% identities with the horse derived EHV-1 and equine herpesvirus type 9, respectively. Sequence data indicated that the EHV-1 isolated from a polar bear in Germany is one of the zebra-borne EHV-1 and not a recombinant virus. These results indicated that zebra-borne EHV-1 is a subtype of EHV-1.

  7. Zebra: An advanced PWR lattice code

    SciT

    Cao, L.; Wu, H.; Zheng, Y.

    2012-07-01

    This paper presents an overview of an advanced PWR lattice code ZEBRA developed at NECP laboratory in Xi'an Jiaotong Univ.. The multi-group cross-section library is generated from the ENDF/B-VII library by NJOY and the 361-group SHEM structure is employed. The resonance calculation module is developed based on sub-group method. The transport solver is Auto-MOC code, which is a self-developed code based on the Method of Characteristic and the customization of AutoCAD software. The whole code is well organized in a modular software structure. Some numerical results during the validation of the code demonstrate that this code has a good precisionmore » and a high efficiency. (authors)« less

  8. USGS Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program for north Texas

    Churchill, Christopher J.; Baldys, Stanley

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program for north Texas provides early detection and monitoring of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) by using a holistic suite of detection methods. The program is designed to assess zebra mussel occurrence, distribution, and densities in north Texas waters by using four approaches: (1) SCUBA diving, (2) water-sample collection with plankton tow nets (followed by laboratory analyses), (3) artificial substrates, and (4) water-quality sampling. Data collected during this type of monitoring can assist rapid response efforts and can be used to quantify the economic and ecological effects of zebra mussels in the north Texas area. Monitoring under this program began in April 2010. The presence of large zebra mussel populations often causes undesirable economic and ecological effects, including damage to water-processing infrastructure and hydroelectric powerplants (with an estimated 10-year cost of $3.1 billion), displacement of native mussels, increases in concentrations of certain species of cyanobacteria, and increases in concentrations of geosmin (an organic compound that results in taste and odor issues in water). Since no large-scale, environmentally safe eradication method has been developed for zebra mussels, it is difficult to remove established populations. Broad physicochemical adaptability, prolific reproductive capacity, and rapid dispersal methods have enabled zebra mussels, within a period of about 20 years, to establish populations under differing environmental conditions across much of the eastern part of the United States. In Texas, the presence of zebra mussels was first confirmed in April 2009 in Lake Texoma in the Red River Basin along the Texas-Oklahoma border. They were most likely introduced into Lake Texoma through overland transport from an infested water body. Since then, the presence of zebra mussels has been reported in both the Red River and Washita River arms of Lake Texoma, in

  9. Darwin’s finches treat their feathers with a natural repellent

    PubMed Central

    Cimadom, Arno; Causton, Charlotte; Cha, Dong H.; Damiens, David; Fessl, Birgit; Hood-Nowotny, Rebecca; Lincango, Piedad; Mieles, Alejandro E.; Nemeth, Erwin; Semler, Elizabeth M.; Teale, Stephen A.; Tebbich, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Darwin’s finches are highly innovative. Recently we recorded for the first time a behavioural innovation in Darwin’s finches outside the foraging context: individuals of four species rubbed leaves of the endemic tree Psidium galapageium on their feathers. We hypothesised that this behaviour serves to repel ectoparasites and tested the repellency of P. galapageium leaf extracts against parasites that negatively affect the fitness of Darwin’s finches, namely mosquitoes and the invasive hematophagous fly Philornis downsi. Mosquitoes transmit pathogens which have recently been introduced by humans and the larvae of the fly suck blood from nestlings and incubating females. Our experimental evidence demonstrates that P. galapageium leaf extracts repel both mosquitoes and adult P. downsi and also inhibit the growth of P. downsi larvae. It is therefore possible that finches use this plant to repel ectopoarasites. PMID:27721475

  10. The origin of finches on Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island, central South Atlantic ocean.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Peter G; Klicka, Luke B; Barker, Keith F; Burns, Kevin J

    2013-10-01

    The Nesospiza finches of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago and Rowettia goughensis from Gough Island, 380 km distant, are both derived from tanager-finches (Thraupidae) that colonized the islands by crossing more than 3000 km of ocean from South America. Sequences from two mitochondrial and four nuclear genes indicate that the Patagonian bridled finches Melanodera are the closest relatives of the South Atlantic finches. Melanodera typically was sister to Rowettia, although some genes linked it more closely to Nesospiza. There was no evidence that Rowettia and Nesospiza are sister taxa, suggesting that the South Atlantic finches evolved from separate colonization events, as apparently was the case for moorhens Gallinula spp. at the two island groups. Genetic divergence between the two island finch genera thus provides an estimate of the maximum period of time they have been present at the islands, some 3-5 million years. A brief review of colonization histories suggests that island hopping by passerine birds is infrequent among islands more than 100-200 km apart. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Modified Finch and Skea stellar model compatible with observational data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandya, D. M.; Thomas, V. O.; Sharma, R.

    2015-04-01

    We present a new class of solutions to the Einstein's field equations corresponding to a static spherically symmetric anisotropic system by generalizing the ansatz of Finch and Skea [Class. Quantum Grav. 6:467, 1989] for the gravitational potential g rr . The anisotropic stellar model previously studied by Sharma and Ratanpal [Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 13:1350074, 2013] is a sub-class of the solutions provided here. Based on physical requirements, regularity conditions and stability, we prescribe bounds on the model parameters. By systematically fixing values of the model parameters within the prescribed bound, we demonstrate that our model is compatible with the observed masses and radii of a wide variety of compact stars like 4U 1820-30, PSR J1903+327, 4U 1608-52, Vela X-1, PSR J1614-2230, SAX J1808.4-3658 and Her X-1.

  12. Chemical regulation of spawning in the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)

    Ram, Jeffrey L.; Nichols, S. Jerrine; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Donald W.

    1992-01-01

    Previous literature suggests that spawning in bivalves is chemically regulated, both by environmental chemical cues and by internal chemical mediators. In a model proposed for zebra mussels, chemicals from phytoplankton initially trigger spawning, and chemicals associated with gametes provide further stimulus for spawning. The response to environmental chemicals is internally mediated by a pathway utilizing serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, a neurotransmitter), which acts directly on both male and female gonads. The role of serotonin and most other aspects of the model have been tested only on bivalves other than zebra mussels. The effect of serotonin on zebra mussel spawning was tested. Serotonin (10-5 and 10-3 M) injected into ripe males induced spawning, but injection of serotonin into females did not. Gametes were not released by 10-6 serotonin; in most cases, serotonin injection did not release gametes from immature recipients. Serotonin injection provides a reliable means for identifying ripe male zebra mussels and for obtaining zebra mussel sperm without the need for dissection.

  13. Quagga and zebra mussels: biology, impacts, and control

    Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Don W.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Don W.

    2013-01-01

    Quagga and Zebra Mussels: Biology, Impacts, and Control, Second Edition provides a broad view of the zebra/quagga mussel issue, offering a historic perspective and up-to-date information on mussel research. Comprising 48 chapters, this second edition includes reviews of mussel morphology, physiology, and behavior. It details mussel distribution and spread in Europe and across North America, and examines policy and regulatory responses, management strategies, and mitigation efforts. In addition, this book provides extensive coverage of the impact of invasive mussel species on freshwater ecosystems, including effects on water clarity, phytoplankton, water quality, food web changes, and consequences to other aquatic fauna. It also reviews and offers new insights on how zebra and quagga mussels respond and adapt to varying environmental conditions. This new edition includes seven video clips that complement chapter text and, through visual documentation, provide a greater understanding of mussel behavior and distribution.

  14. Prevalence of blood parasites in eastern versus Western house finches: are eastern birds resistant to infection?

    PubMed

    Davis, Andrew K; Hood, Wendy R; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2013-09-01

    The rapid spread of the bacterial disease, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), throughout the introduced range of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in eastern North America, compared to its slower spread through the native western range, has puzzled researchers and highlights the need to understand the relative differences in health state of finches from both populations. We conducted a light-microscope survey of hemoparasites in populations of finches from Arizona (within the western range) and from Alabama (within the eastern range), and compared our estimates of prevalence to published reports from house finches sampled in both ranges. Of the 33 Arizona birds examined, we recorded hematozoan infections in 16 (48.5%) individuals, compared to 1 infected Alabama bird out of 30 birds examined (3.3%). Based on independent surveys of seven western North American and five eastern North American populations of house finches the average prevalence of blood parasites in western populations is 38.8% (±17.9 SD), while the average prevalence within the eastern range is only 5.9% (±6.1 SD). The average rate of infection among all songbirds sampled in the east is 34.2% (±4.8 SD). Thus, our surveys of wild birds as well as previously published observations point to eastern house finches having a much lower prevalence of blood parasite infections than their western counterparts. Combined with the fact that eastern finches also tend to have lower rates of avian pox infections than do western birds (based on a literature review), these observations suggest that eastern birds have either strong resistance to these infections or high susceptibility and associated mortality.

  15. FindZebra: a search engine for rare diseases.

    PubMed

    Dragusin, Radu; Petcu, Paula; Lioma, Christina; Larsen, Birger; Jørgensen, Henrik L; Cox, Ingemar J; Hansen, Lars Kai; Ingwersen, Peter; Winther, Ole

    2013-06-01

    The web has become a primary information resource about illnesses and treatments for both medical and non-medical users. Standard web search is by far the most common interface to this information. It is therefore of interest to find out how well web search engines work for diagnostic queries and what factors contribute to successes and failures. Among diseases, rare (or orphan) diseases represent an especially challenging and thus interesting class to diagnose as each is rare, diverse in symptoms and usually has scattered resources associated with it. We design an evaluation approach for web search engines for rare disease diagnosis which includes 56 real life diagnostic cases, performance measures, information resources and guidelines for customising Google Search to this task. In addition, we introduce FindZebra, a specialized (vertical) rare disease search engine. FindZebra is powered by open source search technology and uses curated freely available online medical information. FindZebra outperforms Google Search in both default set-up and customised to the resources used by FindZebra. We extend FindZebra with specialized functionalities exploiting medical ontological information and UMLS medical concepts to demonstrate different ways of displaying the retrieved results to medical experts. Our results indicate that a specialized search engine can improve the diagnostic quality without compromising the ease of use of the currently widely popular standard web search. The proposed evaluation approach can be valuable for future development and benchmarking. The FindZebra search engine is available at http://www.findzebra.com/. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Differing House Finch Cytokine Expression Responses to Original and Evolved Isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    PubMed

    Vinkler, Michal; Leon, Ariel E; Kirkpatrick, Laila; Dalloul, Rami A; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-01-01

    The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) in free-living house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ), which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host-pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes ( IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15 , and CXCLi2 , syn. IL8L ). These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham) or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994) or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006), which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3-6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival MG loads

  17. Experimental demonstration of the fitness consequences of an introduced parasite of Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Koop, Jennifer A H; Huber, Sarah K; Laverty, Sean M; Clayton, Dale H

    2011-05-11

    Introduced parasites are a particular threat to small populations of hosts living on islands because extinction can occur before hosts have a chance to evolve effective defenses. An experimental approach in which parasite abundance is manipulated in the field can be the most informative means of assessing a parasite's impact on the host. The parasitic fly Philornis downsi, recently introduced to the Galápagos Islands, feeds on nestling Darwin's finches and other land birds. Several correlational studies, and one experimental study of mixed species over several years, reported that the flies reduce host fitness. Here we report the results of a larger scale experimental study of a single species at a single site over a single breeding season. We manipulated the abundance of flies in the nests of medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) and quantified the impact of the parasites on nestling growth and fledging success. We used nylon nest liners to reduce the number of parasites in 24 nests, leaving another 24 nests as controls. A significant reduction in mean parasite abundance led to a significant increase in the number of nests that successfully fledged young. Nestlings in parasite-reduced nests also tended to be larger prior to fledging. Our results confirm that P. downsi has significant negative effects on the fitness of medium ground finches, and they may pose a serious threat to other species of Darwin's finches. These data can help in the design of management plans for controlling P. downsi in Darwin's finch breeding populations.

  18. Molecular phylogenetics of finches and sparrows: consequences of character state removal in cytochrome b sequences.

    PubMed

    Groth, J G

    1998-12-01

    The complete mitochondrial cytochrome b genes of 53 genera of oscine passerine birds representing the major groups of finches and some allies were compared. Phylogenetic trees resulting from three levels of character partition removal (no data removed, transitions at third positions of codons removed, and all transitions removed [transversion parsimony]) were generally concordant, and all supported several basic statements regarding relationships of finches and finch-like birds, including: (1) larks (Alaudidae) show no close relationship to any finch group; (2) Peucedramus (olive warbler) is phylogenetically far removed from true wood warblers; (3) a clade consisting of fringillids, passerids, motacillids, and emberizids is supported, and this clade is characterized by evolution of a vestigial 10th wing primary; and (4) Hawaiian honeycreepers are derived from within the cardueline finches. Excluding transition substitutions at third positions of codons resulted in phylogenetic trees similar to, but with greater bootstrap nodal support than, trees derived using either all data (equally weighted) or transversion parsimony. Relative to the shortest trees obtained using all data, the topologies obtained after elimination of third-position transitions showed only slight increases in realized treelength and homoplasy. These increases were negligable compared to increases in overall nodal support; therefore, this partition removal scheme may enhance recovery of deep phylogenetic signal in protein-coding DNA datasets. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  19. Auditory Imagery: Empirical Findings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Timothy L.

    2010-01-01

    The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d)…

  20. Zebra Mussel Chemical Control Guide, Version 2.0

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-07-01

    delivery systems, including potable water treatment, agriculture, industry, power generation, and fire protection. Since this invasive organism’s...delivery systems, including potable water treatment, agriculture, industry, power generation, and fire protection (Mackie and Claudi 2010). Zebra mussels...generators, pipes, valves, sensing equipment (level, flow, and pressure) and fire protection (Mackie and Claudi 2010; Prescott et al. 2014). Other USACE

  1. Susceptibility of selected potato varieties to zebra chip potato disease

    Zebra chip (ZC), an emerging and serious disease of potato has caused millions of dollars in losses to the potato industry in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand. The disease has recently been associated with a previously undescribed species of liberibacter tentatively named ...

  2. Zebra chip development during storage: cause for concern?

    Zebra chip disease is associated with infections by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso), a bacterium spread by the potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli. A major concern of the potato industry is the likelihood that Lso could cause asymptomatic infections prior to placement of tubers in col...

  3. Potato psyllid vector of zebra chip disease in Pacific Northwest

    Zebra chip is a destructive disease of potatoes in the Pacific Northwest and other potato production regions of North America. The pathogen associated with this disease is transmitted by the potato psyllid. A team of researchers which included a scientist at the ARS in Wapato, WA updated an extens...

  4. The effect of zebra mussel consumption on growth of freshwater drum in Lake Erie

    French, John R. P.; Bur, Michael T.

    1996-01-01

    We examined food habits and scale annuli of freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) from western Lake Erie to determine whether increasing predation on zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) had affected growth of freshwater drum. The volume of zebra mussels in drum guts was greater in older fish. Growth of age classes 3–4, which consumed few zebra mussels, was greater in the most productive year for zebra mussels, July 1990–August 1991, than in three prior years. The total lengths of 5-year-old drum changed little. The mean total length of 6-year-old females has declined since the zebra mussel invaded Lake Erie, even through mussels comprised more than two-thirds of gut samples in these fish. These studies suggest that zebra mussels may not benefit freshwater drum when serving as a staple in the diet. PDF

  5. Predation on exotic zebra mussels by native fishes: Effects on predator and prey

    Magoulick, D.D.; Lewis, L.C.

    2002-01-01

    1. Exotic zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, occur in southern U.S. waterways in high densities, but little is known about the interaction between native fish predators and zebra mussels. Previous studies have suggested that exotic zebra mussels are low profitability prey items and native vertebrate predators are unlikely to reduce zebra mussel densities. We tested these hypotheses by observing prey use of fishes, determining energy content of primary prey species of fishes, and conducting predator exclusion experiments in Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas. 2. Zebra mussels were the primary prey eaten by 52.9% of blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus; 48.2% of freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens; and 100% of adult redear sunfish, Lepomis microlophus. Blue catfish showed distinct seasonal prey shifts, feeding on zebra mussels in summer and shad, Dorosoma spp., during winter. Energy content (joules g-1) of blue catfish prey (threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense; gizzard shad, D. cepedianum; zebra mussels; and asiatic clams, Corbicula fluminea) showed a significant species by season interaction, but shad were always significantly greater in energy content than bivalves examined as either ash-free dry mass or whole organism dry mass. Fish predators significantly reduced densities of large zebra mussels (>5 mm length) colonising clay tiles in the summers of 1997 and 1998, but predation effects on small zebra mussels (???5 mm length) were less clear. 3. Freshwater drum and redear sunfish process bivalve prey by crushing shells and obtain low amounts of higher-energy food (only the flesh), whereas blue catfish lack a shell-crushing apparatus and ingest large amounts of low-energy food per unit time (bivalves with their shells). Blue catfish appeared to select the abundant zebra mussel over the more energetically rich shad during summer, then shifted to shad during winter when shad experienced temperature-dependent stress and mortality. Native fish predators can suppress adult zebra

  6. Do zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) alter lake water chemistry in a way that favours Microcystis growth?

    PubMed

    Bykova, Olga; Laursen, Andrew; Bostan, Vadim; Bautista, Joseph; McCarthy, Lynda

    2006-12-01

    This study examined possible relationships between the presence of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and Microcystis spp. abundance. Experiments were conducted in 12 microcosms designed to mimic shallow lake ecosystems. Fresh, aerated water with phytoplankton (pseudokirchneriella spp. and Microcystis spp.) was pumped into each microcosm daily to ensure zebra mussels were exposed to oxygen and food. Microcosms containing zebra mussels experienced significantly higher fluxes of nitrate (p=0.019) and lower fluxes of ortho-phosphate (p=0.047) into sediments. In a second experiment, water column nutrient concentrations were compared in microcosms with and without live zebra mussels. Consistent with results of the previous experiment, microcosms with zebra mussels had significantly less nitrate (p=0.023) and organic nitrogen (p=0.003) in the water column, while ammonium (p=0.074), phosphate (p=0.491), and dissolved organic carbon (p=0.820) in the water column were not different between microcosms with or without zebra mussels. Microcosms with zebra mussels also experienced a reduction in green algae (pseudokirchneriella) (p<0.001) and an increase in abundance of Microcystis (p<0.001) relative to microcosms without zebra mussels. In an experiment without zebra mussels, nutrient ratios (N/P) were manipulated to determine potential links between N/P and relative abundance of each phytoplankton. Manipulation of N/P was intended to mimic differences observed in microcosms with and without zebra mussels in the previous experiment. Low N/P (mimicking microcosms with zebra mussels) was related to an increase in Microcystis (p<0.001) and Microcystis/Pseudokirchneriella biovolume (p<0.001). It is this shift in N/P, and possibly some level of selective feeding, that is believed to have driven changes in the relative abundance of Microcystis. In lakes invaded by zebra mussels, alterations in the processing of nitrogen and phosphorus could contribute to the re-emergence of

  7. Lesser scaup forage on zebra mussels at Cook nuclear plant, Michigan

    Mitchell, C.A.; Carlson, J.

    1993-01-01

    Nineteen of 21 Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) entrained while foraging at the water intake structures of Cook Nuclear Plant, Bridgman, Michigan had consumed zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). The average number of zebra mussels in the upper gastrointestinal tract was 260; maximum number was 987. Migrating Lesser Scaup found this new food source during the first winter following settlement of zebra mussels on the water intake structures of the power plant.

  8. Attending to auditory memory.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Jacqueline F; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude

    2016-06-01

    Attention to memory describes the process of attending to memory traces when the object is no longer present. It has been studied primarily for representations of visual stimuli with only few studies examining attention to sound object representations in short-term memory. Here, we review the interplay of attention and auditory memory with an emphasis on 1) attending to auditory memory in the absence of related external stimuli (i.e., reflective attention) and 2) effects of existing memory on guiding attention. Attention to auditory memory is discussed in the context of change deafness, and we argue that failures to detect changes in our auditory environments are most likely the result of a faulty comparison system of incoming and stored information. Also, objects are the primary building blocks of auditory attention, but attention can also be directed to individual features (e.g., pitch). We review short-term and long-term memory guided modulation of attention based on characteristic features, location, and/or semantic properties of auditory objects, and propose that auditory attention to memory pathways emerge after sensory memory. A neural model for auditory attention to memory is developed, which comprises two separate pathways in the parietal cortex, one involved in attention to higher-order features and the other involved in attention to sensory information. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAMS AND THE LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINCH COLLEGE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    HAWKES, CAROL

    A STUDY OF MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAMS WAS CONDUCTED IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING SUCH A PROGRAM AT FINCH COLLEGE. THE NEED FOR PROGRAMS ON THE GRADUATE LEVEL, TYPES OF MASTER'S DEGREES OFFERED, AND ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES AND STANDARDS ARE DISCUSSED IN PART ONE. PART TWO, "PROGRAMS IN OPERATION," DESCRIBES IN…

  10. Evolutionary innovation and diversification of carotenoid-based pigmentation in finches.

    PubMed

    Ligon, Russell A; Simpson, Richard K; Mason, Nicholas A; Hill, Geoffrey E; McGraw, Kevin J

    2016-12-01

    The ornaments used by animals to mediate social interactions are diverse, and by reconstructing their evolutionary pathways we can gain new insights into the mechanisms underlying ornamental innovation and variability. Here, we examine variation in plumage carotenoids among the true finches (Aves: Fringillidae) using biochemical and comparative phylogenetic analyses to reconstruct the evolutionary history of carotenoid states and evaluate competing models of carotenoid evolution. Our comparative analyses reveal that the most likely ancestor of finches used dietary carotenoids as yellow plumage colorants, and that the ability to metabolically modify dietary carotenoids into more complex pigments arose secondarily once finches began to use modified carotenoids to create red plumage. Following the evolutionary "innovation" that enabled modified red carotenoid pigments to be deposited as plumage colorants, many finch species subsequently modified carotenoid biochemical pathways to create yellow plumage. However, no reversions to dietary carotenoids were observed. The finding that ornaments and their underlying mechanisms may be operating under different selection regimes-where ornamental trait colors undergo frequent reversions (e.g., between red and yellow plumage) while carotenoid metabolization mechanisms are more conserved-supports a growing empirical framework suggesting different evolutionary patterns for ornaments and the mechanistic innovations that facilitate their diversification. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  11. Influenza A(H7N9) Virus Transmission between Finches and Poultry

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Jeremy C.; Sonnberg, Stephanie; Webby, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Low pathogenicity avian influenza A(H7N9) virus has been detected in poultry since 2013, and the virus has caused >450 infections in humans. The mode of subtype H7N9 virus transmission between avian species remains largely unknown, but various wild birds have been implicated as a source of transmission. H7N9 virus was recently detected in a wild sparrow in Shanghai, China, and passerine birds, such as finches, which share space and resources with wild migratory birds, poultry, and humans, can be productively infected with the virus. We demonstrate that interspecies transmission of H7N9 virus occurs readily between society finches and bobwhite quail but only sporadically between finches and chickens. Inoculated finches are better able to infect naive poultry than the reverse. Transmission occurs through shared water but not through the airborne route. It is therefore conceivable that passerine birds may serve as vectors for dissemination of H7N9 virus to domestic poultry. PMID:25811839

  12. Genetic diversity predicts pathogen resistance and cell-mediated immunocompetence in house finches

    PubMed Central

    Hawley, Dana M; Sydenstricker, Keila V; Kollias, George V; Dhondt, André A

    2005-01-01

    Evidence is accumulating that genetic variation within individual hosts can influence their susceptibility to pathogens. However, there have been few opportunities to experimentally test this relationship, particularly within outbred populations of non-domestic vertebrates. We performed a standardized pathogen challenge in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) to test whether multilocus heterozygosity across 12 microsatellite loci predicts resistance to a recently emerged strain of the bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG). We simultaneously tested whether the relationship between heterozygosity and pathogen susceptibility is mediated by differences in cell-mediated or humoral immunocompetence. We inoculated 40 house finches with MG under identical conditions and assayed both humoral and cell-mediated components of the immune response. Heterozygous house finches developed less severe disease when infected with MG, and they mounted stronger cell-mediated immune responses to phytohaemagglutinin. Differences in cell-mediated immunocompetence may, therefore, partly explain why more heterozygous house finches show greater resistance to MG. Overall, our results underscore the importance of multilocus heterozygosity for individual pathogen resistance and immunity. PMID:17148199

  13. Examining Natural Selection by Sketching and Making Models of the Finches of the Galapagos Islands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pittman, Phoebe J. Z.; Teske, Jolene K.

    2017-01-01

    This practical lesson describes how students in six eighth grade science classes participated in a lesson combining the National Core Arts Standards with the Next Generation Science Standards. The goal of the lesson was to provide visual representations of finch beak form and function so students could better understand genetic variation and how…

  14. On the Hypothetico-Deductive Nature of Science--Darwin's Finches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Anton E.

    2009-01-01

    Allchin (2006) has misinterpreted a classic case of hypothetico-deductive (HD) science in terms of his preferred "let's-gather-some-data-and-see-what-emerges" view. The misrepresentation concerns the research program of Peter and Rosemary Grant on Darwin's finches. The present essay argues that the Grants' research is HD in nature and includes a…

  15. Switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a zebra shark

    PubMed Central

    Dudgeon, Christine L.; Coulton, Laura; Bone, Ren; Ovenden, Jennifer R.; Thomas, Severine

    2017-01-01

    Parthenogenesis is a natural form of asexual reproduction in which embryos develop in the absence of fertilisation. Most commonly found in plants and invertebrate organisms, an increasing number of vertebrate species have recently been reported employing this reproductive strategy. Here we use DNA genotyping to report the first demonstration of an intra-individual switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a shark species, the zebra shark Stegostoma fasciatum. A co-housed, sexually produced daughter zebra shark also commenced parthenogenetic reproduction at the onset of maturity without any prior mating. The demonstration of parthenogenesis in these two conspecific individuals with different sexual histories provides further support that elasmobranch fishes may flexibly adapt their reproductive strategy to environmental circumstances. PMID:28091617

  16. Switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a zebra shark.

    PubMed

    Dudgeon, Christine L; Coulton, Laura; Bone, Ren; Ovenden, Jennifer R; Thomas, Severine

    2017-01-16

    Parthenogenesis is a natural form of asexual reproduction in which embryos develop in the absence of fertilisation. Most commonly found in plants and invertebrate organisms, an increasing number of vertebrate species have recently been reported employing this reproductive strategy. Here we use DNA genotyping to report the first demonstration of an intra-individual switch from sexual to parthenogenetic reproduction in a shark species, the zebra shark Stegostoma fasciatum. A co-housed, sexually produced daughter zebra shark also commenced parthenogenetic reproduction at the onset of maturity without any prior mating. The demonstration of parthenogenesis in these two conspecific individuals with different sexual histories provides further support that elasmobranch fishes may flexibly adapt their reproductive strategy to environmental circumstances.

  17. Vocal mechanics in Darwin's finches: correlation of beak gape and song frequency.

    PubMed

    Podos, Jeffrey; Southall, Joel A; Rossi-Santos, Marcos R

    2004-02-01

    Recent studies of vocal mechanics in songbirds have identified a functional role for the beak in sound production. The vocal tract (trachea and beak) filters harmonic overtones from sounds produced by the syrinx, and birds can fine-tune vocal tract resonance properties through changes in beak gape. In this study, we examine patterns of beak gape during song production in seven species of Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands. Our principal goals were to characterize the relationship between beak gape and vocal frequency during song production and to explore the possible influence therein of diversity in beak morphology and body size. Birds were audio and video recorded (at 30 frames s(-1)) as they sang in the field, and 164 song sequences were analyzed. We found that song frequency regressed significantly and positively on beak gape for 38 of 56 individuals and for all seven species examined. This finding provides broad support for a resonance model of vocal tract function in Darwin's finches. Comparison among species revealed significant variation in regression y-intercept values. Body size correlated negatively with y-intercept values, although not at a statistically significant level. We failed to detect variation in regression slopes among finch species, although the regression slopes of Darwin's finch and two North American sparrow species were found to differ. Analysis within one species (Geospiza fortis) revealed significant inter-individual variation in regression parameters; these parameters did not correlate with song frequency features or plumage scores. Our results suggest that patterns of beak use during song production were conserved during the Darwin's finch adaptive radiation, despite the evolution of substantial variation in beak morphology and body size.

  18. Changes in corticosterone concentrations and behavior during Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus).

    PubMed

    Love, Ashley C; Foltz, Sarah L; Adelman, James S; Moore, Ignacio T; Hawley, Dana M

    2016-09-01

    Glucocorticoid stress hormones are important for energy mobilization as well as regulation of the immune system, and thus these hormones are particularly likely to both influence and respond to pathogen infection in vertebrates. In this study, we examined how the glucocorticoid stress response in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) interacts with experimental infection of the naturally-occurring bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG). We also investigated whether infection-induced concentrations of corticosterone (CORT), the primary glucocorticoid in birds, were associated with the expression of sickness behavior, the lethargy typically observed in vertebrates early in infection. We found that experimental infection with MG resulted in significantly higher CORT levels on day 5 post-infection, but this effect appeared to be limited to female house finches only. Regardless of sex, infected individuals with greater disease severity had the highest CORT concentrations on day 5 post-infection. House finches exposed to MG exhibited behavioral changes, with infected birds having significantly lower activity levels than sham-inoculated individuals. However, CORT concentrations and the extent of sickness behaviors exhibited among infected birds were not associated. Finally, pre-infection CORT concentrations were associated with reduced inflammation and pathogen load in inoculated males, but not females. Our results suggest that the house finch glucocorticoid stress response may both influence and respond to MG infection in sex-specific ways, but because we had a relatively low sample size of males, future work should confirm these patterns. Finally, manipulative experiments should be performed to test whether the glucocorticoid stress response acts as a brake on the inflammatory response associated with MG infection in house finches. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. IMPACT OF WATER PH ON ZEBRA MUSSEL MORTALITY

    SciT

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2002-10-15

    The experiments conducted this past quarter have suggested that the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL0145A is effective at killing zebra mussels throughout the entire range of pH values tested (7.2 to 8.6). Highest mortality was achieved at pH values characteristic of preferred zebra mussel waterbodies, i.e., hard waters with a range of 7.8 to 8.6. In all water types tested, however, ranging from very soft to very hard, considerable mussel kill was achieved (83 to 99% mean mortality), suggesting that regardless of the pH or hardness of the treated water, significant mussel kill can be achieved upon treatment with P.more » fluorescens strain CL0145A. These results further support the concept that this bacterium has significant potential for use as a zebra mussel control agent in power plant pipes receiving waters with a wide range of physical and chemical characteristics.« less

  20. Mortality of zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, veligers during downstream transport

    Horvath, T.G.; Lamberti, G.A.

    1999-01-01

    1. Streams flowing from lakes which contain zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, provide apparently suitable habitats for mussel colonization and downstream range expansion, yet most such streams contain few adult mussels. We postulated that mussel veligers experience high mortality during dispersal via downstream transport. They tested this hypothesis in Christiana Creek, a lake-outlet stream in south-western Michigan, U.S.A., in which adult mussel density declined exponentially with distance downstream. 2. A staining technique using neutral red was developed and tested to distinguish quickly live and dead veligers. Live and dead veligers were distinguishable after an exposure of fresh samples to 13.3 mg L-1 of neutral red for 3 h. 3. Neutral red was used to determine the proportion of live veligers in samples taken longitudinally along Christiana Creek. The proportion of live veligers (mean ?? SE) declined from 90 ?? 3% at the lake outlet to 40 ?? 8% 18 km downstream. 4. Veligers appear to be highly susceptible to damage by physical forces (e.g. shear), and therefore, mortality in turbulent streams could be an important mechanism limiting zebra mussel dispersal to downstream reaches. Predictions of zebra mussel spread and population growth should consider lake-stream linkages and high mortality in running waters.

  1. Laterality of suckling behaviour in three zebra species.

    PubMed

    Pluháček, Jan; Olléová, Michaela; Bartošová, Jitka; Pluháčková, Jana; Bartoš, Luděk

    2013-01-01

    Although side preference while suckling is an easily characterised lateralised behaviour, few studies have been conducted. We observed laterality in suckling behaviour in three captive zebra species to test two hypotheses: laterality affected by the foal (motor laterality) and laterality affected by the mother. In total we observed 35 foals of Grevy's, plains, and mountain zebra in two zoos and recorded 5128 successful suckling bouts and 9095 unsuccessful suckling attempts. At the population level the only factor affecting side preference of suckling bouts and attempts was the identity of the individual foal. Ten foals showed individual preferences: seven foals preferred suckling from the left side of the mother, three preferred suckling from the right side of the mother. The individual preferences increased with increasing age of the foal. Only one foal was refused more often from the opposite side than the preferred side used for suckling whereas three other foals were refused from the preferred side. Foals that preferred suckling either from left or right side were refused by the mare more often than foals which showed non-preference. Thus lateral preferences in suckling behaviour of zebra foals seem to be in line with the motor laterality hypotheses.

  2. Auditory Processing Disorder in Children

    MedlinePlus

    ... News & Events NIDCD News Inside NIDCD Newsletter Shareable Images ... Info » Hearing, Ear Infections, and Deafness Auditory Processing Disorder Auditory processing disorder (APD) describes a condition ...

  3. Young and intense: FoxP2 immunoreactivity in Area X varies with age, song stereotypy, and singing in male zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Christopher K.; Schwabe, Fabian; Schoof, Alexander; Mendoza, Ezequiel; Gampe, Jutta; Rochefort, Christelle; Scharff, Constance

    2013-01-01

    FOXP2 is a transcription factor functionally relevant for learned vocalizations in humans and songbirds. In songbirds, FoxP2 mRNA expression in the medium spiny neurons of the basal ganglia song nucleus Area X is developmentally regulated and varies with singing conditions in different social contexts. How individual neurons in Area X change FoxP2 expression across development and in social contexts is not known, however. Here we address this critical gap in our understanding of FoxP2 as a link between neuronal networks and behavior. We used a statistically unbiased analysis of FoxP2-immunoreactivity (FoxP2-IR) on a neuron-by-neuron basis and found a bimodal distribution of FoxP2-IR neurons in Area X: weakly-stained and intensely-stained. The density of intensely-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was 10 times higher in juveniles than in adults, exponentially decreased with age, and was negatively correlated with adult song stability. Three-week old neurons labeled with BrdU were more than five times as likely to be intensely-stained than weakly-stained. The density of FoxP2-IR putative migratory neurons with fusiform-shaped nuclei substantially decreased as birds aged. The density of intensely-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was not affected by singing whereas the density of weakly-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was. Together, these data indicate that young Area X medium spiny neurons express FoxP2 at high levels and decrease expression as they become integrated into existing neural circuits. Once integrated, levels of FoxP2 expression correlate with singing behavior. Together, these findings raise the possibility that FoxP2 levels may orchestrate song learning and song stereotypy in adults by a common mechanism. PMID:23450800

  4. Young and intense: FoxP2 immunoreactivity in Area X varies with age, song stereotypy, and singing in male zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Christopher K; Schwabe, Fabian; Schoof, Alexander; Mendoza, Ezequiel; Gampe, Jutta; Rochefort, Christelle; Scharff, Constance

    2013-01-01

    FOXP2 is a transcription factor functionally relevant for learned vocalizations in humans and songbirds. In songbirds, FoxP2 mRNA expression in the medium spiny neurons of the basal ganglia song nucleus Area X is developmentally regulated and varies with singing conditions in different social contexts. How individual neurons in Area X change FoxP2 expression across development and in social contexts is not known, however. Here we address this critical gap in our understanding of FoxP2 as a link between neuronal networks and behavior. We used a statistically unbiased analysis of FoxP2-immunoreactivity (FoxP2-IR) on a neuron-by-neuron basis and found a bimodal distribution of FoxP2-IR neurons in Area X: weakly-stained and intensely-stained. The density of intensely-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was 10 times higher in juveniles than in adults, exponentially decreased with age, and was negatively correlated with adult song stability. Three-week old neurons labeled with BrdU were more than five times as likely to be intensely-stained than weakly-stained. The density of FoxP2-IR putative migratory neurons with fusiform-shaped nuclei substantially decreased as birds aged. The density of intensely-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was not affected by singing whereas the density of weakly-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was. Together, these data indicate that young Area X medium spiny neurons express FoxP2 at high levels and decrease expression as they become integrated into existing neural circuits. Once integrated, levels of FoxP2 expression correlate with singing behavior. Together, these findings raise the possibility that FoxP2 levels may orchestrate song learning and song stereotypy in adults by a common mechanism.

  5. Auditory psychophysics and perception.

    PubMed

    Hirsh, I J; Watson, C S

    1996-01-01

    In this review of auditory psychophysics and perception, we cite some important books, research monographs, and research summaries from the past decade. Within auditory psychophysics, we have singled out some topics of current importance: Cross-Spectral Processing, Timbre and Pitch, and Methodological Developments. Complex sounds and complex listening tasks have been the subject of new studies in auditory perception. We review especially work that concerns auditory pattern perception, with emphasis on temporal aspects of the patterns and on patterns that do not depend on the cognitive structures often involved in the perception of speech and music. Finally, we comment on some aspects of individual difference that are sufficiently important to question the goal of characterizing auditory properties of the typical, average, adult listener. Among the important factors that give rise to these individual differences are those involved in selective processing and attention.

  6. Connections of the Auditory Brainstem in a Songbird, Taeniopygia guttata. II. Projections of Nucleus Angularis and Nucleus Laminaris to the Superior Olive and Lateral Lemniscal Nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Krützfeldt, Nils O.E.; Logerot, Priscilla; Kubke, M. Fabiana; Wild, J. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Three nuclei of the lateral lemniscus are present in the zebra finch, ventral (LLV), intermediate (LLI), and dorsal (LLD). LLV is separate from the superior olive (OS): it lies closer to the spinal lemniscus and extends much further rostrally around the pontine periphery. LLI extends from a caudal position ventrolateral to the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus (LLIc) to a rostral position medial to the ventrolateral parabrachial nucleus (LLIr). LLD consists of posterior (LLDp) and anterior (LLDa) parts, which are largely coextensive rostrocaudally, although LLDa lies medial to LLDp. All nuclei are identifiable on the basis of cytochrome oxidase activity. The cochlear nucleus angularis (NA) and the third-order nucleus laminaris (NL) project on OS predominantly ipsilaterally, on LLV and LLI predominantly contralaterally, and on LLD contralaterally only. The NA projections are heavier than those of NL and differ from them primarily in their terminations within LLD: NA projects to LLDp, whereas NL projects to LLDa. In this the projections are similar to those in the barn owl (Takahashi and Konishi [1988] J Comp Neurol 274:212–238), in which time and intensity pathways remain separate as far as the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (MLd). In contrast, in the zebra finch, although NA and NL projections remain separate within LLD, the projections of LLDa and LLDp become intermixed within MLd (Wild et al., J Comp Neurol, this issue), consistent with the intermixing of the direct NA and NL projections to MLd (Krützfeldt et al., J Comp Neurol, this issue). J. Comp. Neurol. 518:2135–2148, 2010. PMID:20394062

  7. Auditory-motor learning influences auditory memory for music.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2012-05-01

    In two experiments, we investigated how auditory-motor learning influences performers' memory for music. Skilled pianists learned novel melodies in four conditions: auditory only (listening), motor only (performing without sound), strongly coupled auditory-motor (normal performance), and weakly coupled auditory-motor (performing along with auditory recordings). Pianists' recognition of the learned melodies was better following auditory-only or auditory-motor (weakly coupled and strongly coupled) learning than following motor-only learning, and better following strongly coupled auditory-motor learning than following auditory-only learning. Auditory and motor imagery abilities modulated the learning effects: Pianists with high auditory imagery scores had better recognition following motor-only learning, suggesting that auditory imagery compensated for missing auditory feedback at the learning stage. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 with melodies that contained greater variation in acoustic features. Melodies that were slower and less variable in tempo and intensity were remembered better following weakly coupled auditory-motor learning. These findings suggest that motor learning can aid performers' auditory recognition of music beyond auditory learning alone, and that motor learning is influenced by individual abilities in mental imagery and by variation in acoustic features.

  8. Mitigation of unionid mortality caused by zebra mussel infestation: cleaning of unionids

    Schloesser, Don W.

    1996-01-01

    Exotic zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha have infested and caused mortality of native unionids in the Great Lakes since 1986; no other such parasitism of native unionids occurs in North America. Survival of unionids threatened by zebra mussel infestation was tested by suspending uncleaned and cleaned unionids in nearshore waters of western Lake Erie. Survival was determined, and newly settled zebra mussels were removed from clean unionids at eight intervals that ranged from 21 d to 77 d between 5 July 1990 and 3 July 1991. After 1 year, survival rates of uncleaned and cleaned unionids were 0% and 42%, respectively. Of the 10 species examined, only indivduals from 3 species (Amblema plicata plicata, Fusconaia flava, and Quadrula quadrula) survived 1 year. These species have relatively thick shells, which may have contributed to their survival. Removal of newly settled zebra mussels may be important to unionid survival because 98% of the zebra mussels removed after the initial cleaning were small mussels (<10 mm long) that could rapidly grow and cover unionids. At present, we do not know how zebra mussels cause mortality of unionids, but the removal of zebra mussels from unionids is the only method known that successfully reduces unionid mortality in waters colonized by zebra mussels.

  9. Are Horses Like Zebras, or Vice Versa? Children's Sensitivity to the Asymmetries of Directional Comparisons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chestnut, Eleanor K.; Markman, Ellen M.

    2016-01-01

    Adults exhibit strong preferences when framing symmetrical relations. Adults prefer, for example, "A zebra is like a horse" to "A horse is like a zebra," and "The bicycle is near the building" to "The building is near the bicycle." This is because directional syntax requires more typical or prominent items…

  10. Effects of shell morphology on mechanics of zebra and quagga mussel locomotion

    S. M. Peyer; J. C. Hermanson; C. E. Lee

    2011-01-01

    Although zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) initially colonized shallow habitats within the North American Great Lakes, quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) are becoming dominant in both shallow- and deep-water habitats. Shell morphology differs among zebra, shallow quagga and deep quagga mussels but functional consequences of...

  11. LC-MS Analysis of Phenolic Compounds in Tubers Showing Zebra Chip Symptoms

    A new potato disorder called zebra chip (ZC) has been identified in the United States and has been especially problematic in Texas where substantial economic losses have been incurred. Upon frying, ZC tubers develop a dark “zebra chip” pattern of discoloration. LC-MS analysis of symptomatic tubers...

  12. Draft genome assembly of the Bengalese finch, Lonchura striata domestica, a model for motor skill variability and learning

    PubMed Central

    Mets, David G; Brainard, Michael S

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Vocal learning in songbirds has emerged as a powerful model for sensorimotor learning. Neurobehavioral studies of Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) song, naturally more variable and plastic than songs of other finch species, have demonstrated the importance of behavioral variability for initial learning, maintenance, and plasticity of vocalizations. However, the molecular and genetic underpinnings of this variability and the learning it supports are poorly understood. Findings To establish a platform for the molecular analysis of behavioral variability and plasticity, we generated an initial draft assembly of the Bengalese finch genome from a single male animal to 151× coverage and an N50 of 3.0 MB. Furthermore, we developed an initial set of gene models using RNA-seq data from 8 samples that comprise liver, muscle, cerebellum, brainstem/midbrain, and forebrain tissue from juvenile and adult Bengalese finches of both sexes. Conclusions We provide a draft Bengalese finch genome and gene annotation to facilitate the study of the molecular-genetic influences on behavioral variability and the process of vocal learning. These data will directly support many avenues for the identification of genes involved in learning, including differential expression analysis, comparative genomic analysis (through comparison to existing avian genome assemblies), and derivation of genetic maps for linkage analysis. Bengalese finch gene models and sequences will be essential for subsequent manipulation (molecular or genetic) of genes and gene products, enabling novel mechanistic investigations into the role of variability in learned behavior. PMID:29618046

  13. Draft genome assembly of the Bengalese finch, Lonchura striata domestica, a model for motor skill variability and learning.

    PubMed

    Colquitt, Bradley M; Mets, David G; Brainard, Michael S

    2018-03-01

    Vocal learning in songbirds has emerged as a powerful model for sensorimotor learning. Neurobehavioral studies of Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) song, naturally more variable and plastic than songs of other finch species, have demonstrated the importance of behavioral variability for initial learning, maintenance, and plasticity of vocalizations. However, the molecular and genetic underpinnings of this variability and the learning it supports are poorly understood. To establish a platform for the molecular analysis of behavioral variability and plasticity, we generated an initial draft assembly of the Bengalese finch genome from a single male animal to 151× coverage and an N50 of 3.0 MB. Furthermore, we developed an initial set of gene models using RNA-seq data from 8 samples that comprise liver, muscle, cerebellum, brainstem/midbrain, and forebrain tissue from juvenile and adult Bengalese finches of both sexes. We provide a draft Bengalese finch genome and gene annotation to facilitate the study of the molecular-genetic influences on behavioral variability and the process of vocal learning. These data will directly support many avenues for the identification of genes involved in learning, including differential expression analysis, comparative genomic analysis (through comparison to existing avian genome assemblies), and derivation of genetic maps for linkage analysis. Bengalese finch gene models and sequences will be essential for subsequent manipulation (molecular or genetic) of genes and gene products, enabling novel mechanistic investigations into the role of variability in learned behavior.

  14. Preference of redear sunfish on zebra mussels and rams-horn snails

    French, John R. P.; Morgan, Michael N.

    1995-01-01

    We tested prey preferences of adult (200- to 222-mm long) redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) on two size classes of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and two-ridge rams-horns (Helisoma anceps) in experimental aquaria. We also tested physical limitations on consuming these mollusks and determined prey bioenergetic profitability. Redear sunfish strongly preferred rams-horns over zebra mussels, but they displayed no size preference for either prey. Ingestion was not physically limited since both prey species up to 15-mm long fit within the pharyngeal gapes of redear sunfish. Rams-horns were more bioenergetically profitable than zebra mussels and ingestion of rams-horn shell fragments was about three times less than zebra mussels. Rams-horns were somewhat more resistant to shell-crushing, but all size ranges of both prey species tested were crushable by redear sunfish. These studies suggested that the redear sunfish should not be considered a panacea for biological control of zebra mussels.

  15. The use of positive reinforcement in training zebra sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum).

    PubMed

    Marranzino, Ashley

    2013-01-01

    Positive reinforcement training (PRT) was used on 4 adult zebra sharks, Stegostoma fasciatum, housed at the Downtown Aquarium, Denver, to determine the ability of zebra sharks to become desensitized to various stimuli associated with veterinary procedures. One male and 3 female sharks were trained for 12 weeks. As a result of PRT, all 4 zebra sharks were desensitized to staying within a closed holding tank off of the main exhibit, the presence of multiple trainers in the closed holding tank, and tactile stimulation. One of the 4 zebra sharks was also successfully desensitized to the presence of a stretcher being brought into the holding tank. All of these procedures are common in veterinary examinations, and it is hoped that desensitization to these stimuli will reduce the stress associated with examinations. The training accomplished has allowed for easier maintenance of the zebra sharks by the aquarium staff and an improvement in the care of the sharks.

  16. Bioaccumulation of pathogenic bacteria and amoeba by zebra mussels and their presence in watercourses.

    PubMed

    Mosteo, R; Goñi, P; Miguel, N; Abadías, J; Valero, P; Ormad, M P

    2016-01-01

    Dreissena polymorpha (the zebra mussel) has been invading freshwater bodies in Europe since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Filter-feeding organisms can accumulate and concentrate both chemical and biological contaminants in their tissues. Therefore, zebra mussels are recognized as indicators of freshwater quality. In this work, the capacity of the zebra mussel to accumulate human pathogenic bacteria and protozoa has been evaluated and the sanitary risk associated with their presence in surface water has also been assessed. The results show a good correlation between the pathogenic bacteria concentration in zebra mussels and in watercourses. Zebra mussels could therefore be used as an indicator of biological contamination. The bacteria (Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp., and Salmonella spp.) and parasites (Cryptosporidium oocysts and free-living amoebae) detected in these mussels reflect a potential sanitary risk in water.

  17. Peregrine falcon predation of endangered Laysan teal and Laysan Finches on remote Hawaiian atolls

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Nash, Sarah A.B.; Courtot, Karen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first records of Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) predation on endangered Laysan teal (or duck; Anas laysanensis) and predation on endangered Laysan finches (Telespiza cantans). At Midway Atoll, vagrant Peregrine falcons killed ≥4% of a newly translocated Laysan teal population in 2006 and ≥2% in 2008. On Laysan Island during 2008–2009, remains of >76 Laysan finches (<1% of the population) were found at peregrine perches. On Midway Atoll, all depredated Laysan teal and other seabirds were recovered at kill sites on tarmac (runways). If the frequency or duration of vagrant raptors visitation increases at small atolls, this could pose a mortality risk to consider, especially during proposed translocations of endangered species. Vegetation restoration of abandoned runways near wetlands at Midway Atoll would provide cover and may help reduce mortality of endangered species due to vagrant raptors.

  18. Barriers to Treatment of Tinea Capitis in Children Living in the Jane Finch Community of Toronto.

    PubMed

    Zur, Rebecca L; Shapero, Jonathan; Shapero, Harvey

    2015-01-01

    Tinea capitis is a common fungal infection of the scalp. If left untreated, tinea capitis infection can cause severe inflammatory reactions and the development of kerion. Tinea capitis is effectively treated with oral antifungals, but at present these are not covered under government assistance programs. To assess the potential impact of a limited use code for antifungal therapy in the treatment of childhood tinea capitis. Fourteen family physicians practicing in the Jane Finch area were surveyed on their experience treating tinea capitis in this community. Seventy-one percent of surveyed family physicians felt that cost impedes the treatment of tinea capitis in their practice, and 100% felt that a limited use code would have a positive impact on their patients. A limited use code for oral antifungal treatments of tinea capitis may provide a simple, cost-effective solution to a major problem impacting children in the Jane Finch area. © The Author(s) 2015.

  19. CINCH (confocal incoherent correlation holography) super resolution fluorescence microscopy based upon FINCH (Fresnel incoherent correlation holography)

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Nisan; Storrie, Brian; Bruce, Marc

    2016-01-01

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates high resolution super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. The simple addition of a real-time Nipkow disk confocal image scanner in a conjugate plane of this incoherent holographic system is shown to reduce the depth of focus, and the combination of both techniques provides a simple way to enhance the axial resolution of FINCH in a combined method called “CINCH”. An important feature of the combined system allows for the simultaneous real-time image capture of widefield and holographic images or confocal and confocal holographic images for ready comparison of each method on the exact same field of view. Additional GPU based complex deconvolution processing of the images further enhances resolution. PMID:26839443

  20. CINCH (confocal incoherent correlation holography) super resolution fluorescence microscopy based upon FINCH (Fresnel incoherent correlation holography).

    PubMed

    Siegel, Nisan; Storrie, Brian; Bruce, Marc; Brooker, Gary

    2015-02-07

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates high resolution super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. The simple addition of a real-time Nipkow disk confocal image scanner in a conjugate plane of this incoherent holographic system is shown to reduce the depth of focus, and the combination of both techniques provides a simple way to enhance the axial resolution of FINCH in a combined method called "CINCH". An important feature of the combined system allows for the simultaneous real-time image capture of widefield and holographic images or confocal and confocal holographic images for ready comparison of each method on the exact same field of view. Additional GPU based complex deconvolution processing of the images further enhances resolution.

  1. VizieR Online Data Catalog: The URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC). Update 2018 (Finch+, 2018)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.; Jao, W.-C.

    2018-03-01

    United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT) Parallax Catalog south (UPCs) and north (UPCn). These data are based on the accepted paper for the Astronomical Journal (2018) by C. Finch, N. Zacharias, and W.-C. Jao, "URAT south parallax results: discovery of new nearby stars" (2018AJ....155..176F). The southern data are new, while the northern data contain a subset of the previously published UPC catalog after applying the more stringent selection criteria of the south data and supplementing the data with columns of the southern data. The previously published URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) paper is: C. Finch and N. Zacharias (2016AJ....151..160F, Cat. J/AJ/151/160) (arXiv:1604.06739). (3 data files).

  2. Scanning electron microscopy of Strongylus spp. in zebra.

    PubMed

    Els, H J; Malan, F S; Scialdo-Krecek, R C

    1983-12-01

    The external ultrastructure of the anterior and posterior extremities of the nematodes, Strongylus asini , Strongylus vulgaris, Strongylus equinus and Strongylus edentatus, was studied with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Fresh specimens of S. asini were collected from the caecum, ventral colon and vena portae of Equus burchelli and Equus zebra hartmannae ; S. vulgaris from the caecum, colon and arteria ileocolica of E. burchelli ; S. equinus from the ventral colon of E. z. hartmannae and S. edentatus from the caecum and ventral colon of both zebras , during surveys of parasites in zebras in the Etosha Game Reserve, South West Africa/Namibia, and the Kruger National Park, Republic of South Africa. The worms were cleaned, fixed and mounted by standard methods and photographed in a JEOL JSM - 35C scanning electron microscope (SEM) operating at 12kV . The SEM showed the following differences: the tips of the external leaf-crowns varied and were fine and delicate in S. asini , coarse and broad in S. vulgaris and, in S. equinus and S. edentatus, closely adherent, separating into single elements for half their length. The excretory pores showed only slight variation, and the morphology of the copulatory bursae did not differ from those seen with light microscopy. The genital cones differed markedly: S. asini had a ventral triangular projection and laterally 2 finger-like projections: in S. vulgaris there were numerous bosses on the lateral and ventral aspects of the cone; in S. equinus 2 finger-like processes projected laterocaudally ; and in S. edentatus 2 pairs of papilla-like processes projected laterally on the ventral aspects, and a pair of rounded projections and a pair of hair-like structures adorned the dorsal aspects.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  3. Auditory Processing Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... Loss Hearing Loss in Seniors Hearing Aids General Information Types Features Fittings Assistive Listening & Alerting Devices Cochlear Implants Aural Rehabilitation Auditory Processing Disorders (APDs) Common Conditions Dizziness Tinnitus Who Are ...

  4. Familial auditory neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiuju; Gu, Rui; Han, Dongyi; Yang, Weiyan

    2003-09-01

    Auditory neuropathy is a sensorineural hearing disorder characterized by absent or abnormal auditory brainstem responses and normal cochlear outer hair cell function as measured by otoacoustic emission recordings. Many risk factors are thought to be involved in its etiology and pathophysiology. Four Chinese pedigrees with familial auditory neuropathy were presented to demonstrate involvement of genetic factors in the etiology of auditory neuropathy. Probands of the above-mentioned pedigrees, who had been diagnosed with auditory neuropathy, were evaluated and followed in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, China People Liberation Army General Hospital (Beijing, China). Their family members were studied, and the pedigree maps established. History of illness, physical examination, pure-tone audiometry, acoustic reflex, auditory brainstem responses, and transient evoked and distortion-product otoacoustic emissions were obtained from members of these families. Some subjects received vestibular caloric testing, computed tomography scan of the temporal bone, and electrocardiography to exclude other possible neuropathic disorders. In most affected patients, hearing loss of various degrees and speech discrimination difficulties started at 10 to 16 years of age. Their audiological evaluation showed absence of acoustic reflex and auditory brainstem responses. As expected in auditory neuropathy, these patients exhibited near-normal cochlear outer hair cell function as shown in distortion product otoacoustic emission recordings. Pure-tone audiometry revealed hearing loss ranging from mild to profound in these patients. Different inheritance patterns were observed in the four families. In Pedigree I, 7 male patients were identified among 43 family members, exhibiting an X-linked recessive pattern. Affected brothers were found in Pedigrees II and III, whereas in pedigree IV, two sisters were affected. All the patients were otherwise normal without evidence of

  5. Annually recurring parthenogenesis in a zebra shark Stegostoma fasciatum.

    PubMed

    Robinson, D P; Baverstock, W; Al-Jaru, A; Hyland, K; Khazanehdari, K A

    2011-11-01

    A zebra shark, Stegostoma fasciatum, held in captivity at the Burj Al Arab aquarium, produced embryos and pups in the absence of a male. A total of 15 pups were produced from eggs laid within the aquarium over a period of four consecutive years commencing 2007. Parthenogenesis was confirmed through DNA analysis for three pups sampled during the first two consecutive egg cycles and is presumed to be the method of reproduction responsible thereafter. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  6. Factors Affecting Zebra Mussel Kill by the Bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens

    SciT

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2004-02-24

    The specific purpose of this research project was to identify factors that affect zebra mussel kill by the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Test results obtained during this three-year project identified the following key variables as affecting mussel kill: treatment concentration, treatment duration, mussel siphoning activity, dissolved oxygen concentration, water temperature, and naturally suspended particle load. Using this latter information, the project culminated in a series of pipe tests which achieved high mussel kill inside power plants under once-through conditions using service water in artificial pipes.

  7. Auditory Spatial Layout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wightman, Frederic L.; Jenison, Rick

    1995-01-01

    All auditory sensory information is packaged in a pair of acoustical pressure waveforms, one at each ear. While there is obvious structure in these waveforms, that structure (temporal and spectral patterns) bears no simple relationship to the structure of the environmental objects that produced them. The properties of auditory objects and their layout in space must be derived completely from higher level processing of the peripheral input. This chapter begins with a discussion of the peculiarities of acoustical stimuli and how they are received by the human auditory system. A distinction is made between the ambient sound field and the effective stimulus to differentiate the perceptual distinctions among various simple classes of sound sources (ambient field) from the known perceptual consequences of the linear transformations of the sound wave from source to receiver (effective stimulus). Next, the definition of an auditory object is dealt with, specifically the question of how the various components of a sound stream become segregated into distinct auditory objects. The remainder of the chapter focuses on issues related to the spatial layout of auditory objects, both stationary and moving.

  8. Ontogeny of the cranial skeleton in a Darwin's finch (Geospiza fortis)

    PubMed Central

    Genbrugge, Annelies; Heyde, Anne-Sophie; Adriaens, Dominique; Boone, Matthieu; Van Hoorebeke, Luc; Dirckx, Joris; Aerts, Peter; Podos, Jeffrey; Herrel, Anthony

    2011-01-01

    Darwin's finches are a model system in ecological and evolutionary research, but surprisingly little is known about their skull morphology and development. Indeed, only the early beak development and external variation in adult beak shape has been studied. Understanding the development of the skull from embryo up to the adult is important to gain insights into how selection acts upon, and drives, variation in beak shape. Here, we provide a detailed description of the skeletal development of the skull in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis). Although the ossification sequence of the cranial elements is broadly similar to that observed for other birds, some differences can be observed. Unexpectedly, our data show that large changes in skull shape take place between the nestling and the juvenile phases. The reorientation of the beak, the orbit and the formation of well-developed processes and cristae suggest that these changes are likely related to the use of the beak after leaving the nest. This suggests that the active use of the jaw muscles during seed cracking plays an important role in shaping the adult skull morphology and may be driving some of the intra-specific variation observed in species such as G. fortis. Investigating the development of the jaw muscles and their interaction with the observed ossification and formation of the skull and lower jaw would allow further insights into the ecology and evolution of beak morphology in Darwin's finches. PMID:21599660

  9. Predation of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) by freshwater drum in western Lake Erie

    French, John R. P.; Bur, Michael T.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Donald W.

    1992-01-01

    Environmental and economic problems associated with the colonization of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in western Lake Erie created a need to investigate control mechanisms. Predation by fishes is one potential means of control, but predation on zebra mussels by native fishes in Lake Erie is unknown. The freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) is the most likely fish predator since it is the only fish with pharyngeal teeth capable of crushing mollusk shells. In 1990, freshwater drum were collected in western Lake Erie from 9 sites near rocky reefs and 13 sites with silt or sand bottoms, and gut contents were examined. Predation on zebra mussels increased as drum size increased. Small drum (200-249 mm in length) fed mainly on dipterans, amphipods, and small fish; small zebra mussels (375 mm in length) fed almost exclusively on zebra mussels (seasons and locations combined). The smallest drum capable of crushing zebra mussel shells was 265 mm. Since freshwater drum over 375 mm feed heavily on zebra mussels, they may become a possible biological control mechanism for mussels in portions of North America.

  10. Occurrence of zebra mussels in near-shore areas of western Lake Erie

    Custer, Christine M.; Custer, T.W.

    1997-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) invaded the Great Lakes in the mid-1980s and quickly reached high densities. The objective of this study was to determine current consumption of zebra mussels by waterfowl in the Great Lakes region. Feeding Lesser Scaups (Aythya affinis), Greater Scaups (A. marila), Canvasbacks (A. valisineria), Redheads (A. americana), Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola) and Common Goldeneyes (B. clangula) were collected in western Lake Erie and in Lake St. Clair between fall and spring, 1992-1993 to determine food habits. All 10 Redheads, 97% of Lesser Scaups, 83% of Goldeneyes, 60% of Buffleheads and 9% of Canvasbacks contained one or more zebra mussels in their upper gastrointestinal tracts. The aggregate percent of zebra mussels in the diet of Lesser Scaups was higher in Lake Erie (98.6%) than in Lake St. Clair (54.4%). Zebra mussels, (aggregate percent) dominated the diet of Common Goldeneyes (79.2%) but not in Buffleheads (23.5%), Redheads (21%) or Canvasbacks (9%). Lesser Scaups from Lake Erie fed on larger zebra mussels ( = 10.7 i?? 0.66 mm SE) than did Lesser Scaups from Lake St. Clair ( = 4.4 i?? 0.22 mm). Lesser Scaups, Buffleheads and Common Goldeneyes from Lake Erie consumed zebra mussels of similar size.

  11. Zebra pattern in decametric radio emission of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panchenko, M.; Rošker, S.; Rucker, H. O.; Brazhenko, A.; Zarka, P.; Litvinenko, G.; Shaposhnikov, V. E.; Konovalenko, A. A.; Melnik, V.; Franzuzenko, A. V.; Schiemel, J.

    2018-03-01

    We report the systematic analysis of zebra-like fine spectral structures in decametric frequency range of Jovian radio emission. Observations were performed by the large ground-based radio telescope URAN-2 during three observation campaigns between, Sep., 2012, and May, 2015. In total, 51 zebra pattern (ZP) events were detected. These rare fine radio features are observed in frequency range from 12.5 to 29.7 MHz as quasi-harmonically related bands of enhanced brightness. ZPs are strongly polarized radio emission with a duration from 20 s to 290 s and flux densities 105-106 Jy (normalized to 1 AU), that is, 1-2 orders lower than for Io-decametric radio emission (DAM). Occurrence of the events does not depend on the position of Io satellite but is strongly controlled by the Jovian central meridian longitude (CML). ZPs are mainly detected in two active sectors of Jovian CMLs: 100∘ to 160∘ for Northern sources (right-handed polarized) and 300∘ and 60∘ (via 360∘) for the Southern sources (left-handed). The frequency interval between neighboring stripes is from 0.26 to 1.5 MHz and in most cases this interval increases with frequency. We discussed the double plasma resonance with electrons or ions as a possible source of the ZPs. The performed analysis of the observations allows us to conclude that the observed ZPs are a new type of narrow band spectral structures in the Jovian DAM.

  12. Staged Z-pinch Experiments on Cobra and Zebra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wessel, Frank J.; Anderson, A.; Banasek, J. T.; Byvank, T.; Conti, F.; Darling, T. W.; Dutra, E.; Glebov, V.; Greenly, J.; Hammer, D. A.; Potter, W. M.; Rocco, S. V.; Ross, M. P.; Ruskov, E.; Valenzuela, J.; Beg, F.; Covington, A.; Narkis, J.; Rahman, H. U.

    2017-10-01

    A Staged Z-pinch (SZP), configured as a pre-magnetized, high-Z (Ar, or Kr) annular liner imploding onto a low-Z (H, or D) target, was tested on the Cornell University, Cobra Facility and the University of Nevada, Reno, Zebra Facility; each characterized similarly by a nominal 1-MA current and 100-ns risetime while possessing different diagnostic packages. XUV-fast imaging reveals that the SZP implosion dynamics is similar on both machines and that it is more stable with an axial (Bz) magnetic field, a target, or both, than without. On Zebra, where neutron production is possible, reproducible thermonuclear (DD) yields were recorded at levels in excess of 109/shot. Flux compression in the SZP is also expected to produce magnetic field intensities of the order of kilo-Tesla. Thus, the DD reaction produced tritions should also yield secondary DT neutrons. Indeed, secondaries are measured above the noise threshold at levels approaching 106/shot. Funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, under Grant Number DE-AR0000569.

  13. Model calculations for the airborne Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber FINCH-HALO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nillius, B.; Bingemer, H.; Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.

    2009-04-01

    Ice nuclei (IN) initiate the formation of primary ice in tropospheric clouds. In mixed phase clouds the primary ice crystals can grow very fast by the Bergeron-Findeisen process (Findeisen, 1938) at the expense of evaporating water droplets, and form precipitation. Thus, IN are essential for the development of precipitation in mixed phase clouds in the middle latitude. However, the role of IN in the development of clouds is still poorly understood and needs to be studied (Levin and Cotton, 2007). A Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber (FINCH-HALO) for airborne operation on the High And LOng Range research aircraft (HALO) is under development at the Institute for Atmosphere and Environment University Frankfurt. IN particles are activated within the chamber at certain ice super-saturation and temperature by mixing three gas flows, a warm moist, a cold dry, and an aerosol flow. After activation the particles will grow within a processing chamber. In an optical depolarisation detector droplets and ice crystals are detected separately. The setup of the new FINCH-HALO instrument is based on the ground based IN counter FINCH (Bundke, 2008). In FINCH-HALO a new cooling unit is used. Thus, measurements down to -40°C are possible. Furthermore minor changes of the inlet section where the mixing occurs were done. The contribution will present 3D model calculations with FLUENT of the flow conditions in the new inlet section for different pressure levels during a flight typical for HALO. Growth rates of ice crystals in the chamber at different temperature and super-saturation will be shown. References: Bundke U., B. Nillius, R. Jaenicke, T. Wetter, H. Klein, H. Bingemer, (2008). The Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber FINCH, Atmospheric Research, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.02.008 Findeisen, R., (1938). Meteorologisch-physikalische Begebenheiten der Vereisung in der Atmosphäre. Hauptversammlung 1938 der Lilienthal-Gesellschaft. Levin, Z., W. Cotton, (2007). Aerosol pollution impact on precipitation

  14. Longitudinal patterns in abundance of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in the upper Mississippi River

    Cope, W.G.; Bartsch, M.R.; Hayden, R.R.

    1997-01-01

    We assessed the abundance of zebra mussels in the upper Mississippi River during 1995, four years after they were first found in the river. Samplers were deployed from May 30 to October 19, 1995, at 19 lock and dam facilities in the upper Mississippi River from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Muscatine, Iowa. Zebra mussels were found at every lock and dam except the two sites farthest upstream (Minneapolis). Generally, densities of zebra mussels were greatest at sites 161 km and farther downstream of the Minneapolis area. The greatest mean mussel density was 11,432/m(2) at Fulton, Illinois.

  15. Auditory hallucinations induced by trazodone

    PubMed Central

    Shiotsuki, Ippei; Terao, Takeshi; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Hatano, Koji

    2014-01-01

    A 26-year-old female outpatient presenting with a depressive state suffered from auditory hallucinations at night. Her auditory hallucinations did not respond to blonanserin or paliperidone, but partially responded to risperidone. In view of the possibility that her auditory hallucinations began after starting trazodone, trazodone was discontinued, leading to a complete resolution of her auditory hallucinations. Furthermore, even after risperidone was decreased and discontinued, her auditory hallucinations did not recur. These findings suggest that trazodone may induce auditory hallucinations in some susceptible patients. PMID:24700048

  16. Auditory models for speech analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maybury, Mark T.

    This paper reviews the psychophysical basis for auditory models and discusses their application to automatic speech recognition. First an overview of the human auditory system is presented, followed by a review of current knowledge gleaned from neurological and psychoacoustic experimentation. Next, a general framework describes established peripheral auditory models which are based on well-understood properties of the peripheral auditory system. This is followed by a discussion of current enhancements to that models to include nonlinearities and synchrony information as well as other higher auditory functions. Finally, the initial performance of auditory models in the task of speech recognition is examined and additional applications are mentioned.

  17. Hemispheric asymmetry in new neurons in adulthood is associated with vocal learning and auditory memory.

    PubMed

    Tsoi, Shuk C; Aiya, Utsav V; Wasner, Kobi D; Phan, Mimi L; Pytte, Carolyn L; Vicario, David S

    2014-01-01

    Many brain regions exhibit lateral differences in structure and function, and also incorporate new neurons in adulthood, thought to function in learning and in the formation of new memories. However, the contribution of new neurons to hemispheric differences in processing is unknown. The present study combines cellular, behavioral, and physiological methods to address whether 1) new neuron incorporation differs between the brain hemispheres, and 2) the degree to which hemispheric lateralization of new neurons correlates with behavioral and physiological measures of learning and memory. The songbird provides a model system for assessing the contribution of new neurons to hemispheric specialization because songbird brain areas for vocal processing are functionally lateralized and receive a continuous influx of new neurons in adulthood. In adult male zebra finches, we quantified new neurons in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a forebrain area involved in discrimination and memory for the complex vocalizations of individual conspecifics. We assessed song learning and recorded neural responses to song in NCM. We found significantly more new neurons labeled in left than in right NCM; moreover, the degree of asymmetry in new neuron numbers was correlated with the quality of song learning and strength of neuronal memory for recently heard songs. In birds with experimentally impaired song quality, the hemispheric difference in new neurons was diminished. These results suggest that new neurons may contribute to an allocation of function between the hemispheres that underlies the learning and processing of complex signals.

  18. Imaging auditory representations of song and syllables in populations of sensorimotor neurons essential to vocal communication.

    PubMed

    Peh, Wendy Y X; Roberts, Todd F; Mooney, Richard

    2015-04-08

    Vocal communication depends on the coordinated activity of sensorimotor neurons important to vocal perception and production. How vocalizations are represented by spatiotemporal activity patterns in these neuronal populations remains poorly understood. Here we combined intracellular recordings and two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine how learned birdsong and its component syllables are represented in identified projection neurons (PNs) within HVC, a sensorimotor region important for song perception and production. These experiments show that neighboring HVC PNs can respond at markedly different times to song playback and that different syllables activate spatially intermingled PNs within a local (~100 μm) region of HVC. Moreover, noise correlations were stronger between PNs that responded most strongly to the same syllable and were spatially graded within and between classes of PNs. These findings support a model in which syllabic and temporal features of song are represented by spatially intermingled PNs functionally organized into cell- and syllable-type networks within local spatial scales in HVC. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355589-17$15.00/0.

  19. Hemispheric Asymmetry in New Neurons in Adulthood Is Associated with Vocal Learning and Auditory Memory

    PubMed Central

    Wasner, Kobi D.; Phan, Mimi L.; Pytte, Carolyn L.; Vicario, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Many brain regions exhibit lateral differences in structure and function, and also incorporate new neurons in adulthood, thought to function in learning and in the formation of new memories. However, the contribution of new neurons to hemispheric differences in processing is unknown. The present study combines cellular, behavioral, and physiological methods to address whether 1) new neuron incorporation differs between the brain hemispheres, and 2) the degree to which hemispheric lateralization of new neurons correlates with behavioral and physiological measures of learning and memory. The songbird provides a model system for assessing the contribution of new neurons to hemispheric specialization because songbird brain areas for vocal processing are functionally lateralized and receive a continuous influx of new neurons in adulthood. In adult male zebra finches, we quantified new neurons in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a forebrain area involved in discrimination and memory for the complex vocalizations of individual conspecifics. We assessed song learning and recorded neural responses to song in NCM. We found significantly more new neurons labeled in left than in right NCM; moreover, the degree of asymmetry in new neuron numbers was correlated with the quality of song learning and strength of neuronal memory for recently heard songs. In birds with experimentally impaired song quality, the hemispheric difference in new neurons was diminished. These results suggest that new neurons may contribute to an allocation of function between the hemispheres that underlies the learning and processing of complex signals. PMID:25251077

  20. Auditory priming improves neural synchronization in auditory-motor entrainment.

    PubMed

    Crasta, Jewel E; Thaut, Michael H; Anderson, Charles W; Davies, Patricia L; Gavin, William J

    2018-05-22

    Neurophysiological research has shown that auditory and motor systems interact during movement to rhythmic auditory stimuli through a process called entrainment. This study explores the neural oscillations underlying auditory-motor entrainment using electroencephalography. Forty young adults were randomly assigned to one of two control conditions, an auditory-only condition or a motor-only condition, prior to a rhythmic auditory-motor synchronization condition (referred to as combined condition). Participants assigned to the auditory-only condition auditory-first group) listened to 400 trials of auditory stimuli presented every 800 ms, while those in the motor-only condition (motor-first group) were asked to tap rhythmically every 800 ms without any external stimuli. Following their control condition, all participants completed an auditory-motor combined condition that required tapping along with auditory stimuli every 800 ms. As expected, the neural processes for the combined condition for each group were different compared to their respective control condition. Time-frequency analysis of total power at an electrode site on the left central scalp (C3) indicated that the neural oscillations elicited by auditory stimuli, especially in the beta and gamma range, drove the auditory-motor entrainment. For the combined condition, the auditory-first group had significantly lower evoked power for a region of interest representing sensorimotor processing (4-20 Hz) and less total power in a region associated with anticipation and predictive timing (13-16 Hz) than the motor-first group. Thus, the auditory-only condition served as a priming facilitator of the neural processes in the combined condition, more so than the motor-only condition. Results suggest that even brief periods of rhythmic training of the auditory system leads to neural efficiency facilitating the motor system during the process of entrainment. These findings have implications for interventions

  1. Combined electric and acoustic hearing performance with Zebra® speech processor: speech reception, place, and temporal coding evaluation.

    PubMed

    Vaerenberg, Bart; Péan, Vincent; Lesbros, Guillaume; De Ceulaer, Geert; Schauwers, Karen; Daemers, Kristin; Gnansia, Dan; Govaerts, Paul J

    2013-06-01

    To assess the auditory performance of Digisonic(®) cochlear implant users with electric stimulation (ES) and electro-acoustic stimulation (EAS) with special attention to the processing of low-frequency temporal fine structure. Six patients implanted with a Digisonic(®) SP implant and showing low-frequency residual hearing were fitted with the Zebra(®) speech processor providing both electric and acoustic stimulation. Assessment consisted of monosyllabic speech identification tests in quiet and in noise at different presentation levels, and a pitch discrimination task using harmonic and disharmonic intonating complex sounds ( Vaerenberg et al., 2011 ). These tests investigate place and time coding through pitch discrimination. All tasks were performed with ES only and with EAS. Speech results in noise showed significant improvement with EAS when compared to ES. Whereas EAS did not yield better results in the harmonic intonation test, the improvements in the disharmonic intonation test were remarkable, suggesting better coding of pitch cues requiring phase locking. These results suggest that patients with residual hearing in the low-frequency range still have good phase-locking capacities, allowing them to process fine temporal information. ES relies mainly on place coding but provides poor low-frequency temporal coding, whereas EAS also provides temporal coding in the low-frequency range. Patients with residual phase-locking capacities can make use of these cues.

  2. Predicting the spread of aquatic invaders: insight from 200 years of invasion by zebra mussels.

    PubMed

    Karatayev, Alexander Y; Burlakova, Lyubov E; Mastitsky, Sergey E; Padilla, Dianna K

    2015-03-01

    Understanding factors controlling the introduction and spread of species is crucial to improving the management of both natural populations and introduced species. The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is considered the most aggressive freshwater invader in the Northern Hemisphere, and is a convenient model system for invasion biology, offering one of the best aquatic examples for examining the invasion process. We used data on 553 of the 1040 glacial lakes in the Republic of Belarus that were examined for the presence of zebra mussels. We used these data to build, test, and construct modified models to predict the spread of this invader, including selection of important parameters that could limit the spread of this invader. In spite of 200 years of continuous invasion, by 1996, zebra mussels were found in only 16.8% of all lakes studied. Of those lakes without zebra mussels in 1996, 66% were predicted to be susceptible to invasion by zebra mussels in the future, and 33% were predicted to be immune to successful invasion due to their water chemistry. Eighty lakes free of zebra mussels in 1996 were reexamined from 1997 to 2008. Of these, zebra mussels successfully invaded an additional 31 lakes, all of which were classified initially as suitable for zebra mussels; none of the lakes previously classified as unsuitable were invaded. We used the Random Forests classification algorithm with 16 environmental variables to determine the most important factors that differed between invaded lakes and those lakes suitable for invasion that have not yet been invaded. Distance to the nearest infested lakes was found to be the most important variable, followed by the lake area, color, average depth, and concentration of chloride, magnesium, and bicarbonate. This study provides a useful approach for predicting the spread of an invader across a landscape with variable habitat suitability that can be applied to a variety of species and systems.

  3. Exploratory behavior is linked to stress physiology and social network centrality in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus).

    PubMed

    Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Moore, Ignacio T; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-06-01

    Animal personality has been linked to individual variation in both stress physiology and social behaviors, but few studies have simultaneously examined covariation between personality traits, stress hormone levels, and behaviors in free-living animals. We investigated relationships between exploratory behavior (one aspect of animal personality), stress physiology, and social and foraging behaviors in wild house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We conducted novel environment assays after collecting samples of baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone concentrations from a subset of house finches. We then fitted individuals with Passive Integrated Transponder tags and monitored feeder use and social interactions at radio-frequency identification equipped bird feeders. First, we found that individuals with higher baseline corticosterone concentrations exhibit more exploratory behaviors in a novel environment. Second, more exploratory individuals interacted with more unique conspecifics in the wild, though this result was stronger for female than for male house finches. Third, individuals that were quick to begin exploring interacted more frequently with conspecifics than slow-exploring individuals. Finally, exploratory behaviors were unrelated to foraging behaviors, including the amount of time spent on bird feeders, a behavior previously shown to be predictive of acquiring a bacterial disease that causes annual epidemics in house finches. Overall, our results indicate that individual differences in exploratory behavior are linked to variation in both stress physiology and social network traits in free-living house finches. Such covariation has important implications for house finch ecology, as both traits can contribute to fitness in the wild. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Faithful reconstruction of digital holograms captured by FINCH using a Hamming window function in the Fresnel propagation.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Nisan; Rosen, Joseph; Brooker, Gary

    2013-10-01

    Recent advances in Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) increase the signal-to-noise ratio in hologram recording by interference of images from two diffractive lenses with focal lengths close to the image plane. Holograms requiring short reconstruction distances are created that reconstruct poorly with existing Fresnel propagation methods. Here we show a dramatic improvement in reconstructed fluorescent images when a 2D Hamming window function substituted for the disk window typically used to bound the impulse response in the Fresnel propagation. Greatly improved image contrast and quality are shown for simulated and experimentally determined FINCH holograms using a 2D Hamming window without significant loss in lateral or axial resolution.

  5. Modelling auditory attention

    PubMed Central

    Kaya, Emine Merve

    2017-01-01

    Sounds in everyday life seldom appear in isolation. Both humans and machines are constantly flooded with a cacophony of sounds that need to be sorted through and scoured for relevant information—a phenomenon referred to as the ‘cocktail party problem’. A key component in parsing acoustic scenes is the role of attention, which mediates perception and behaviour by focusing both sensory and cognitive resources on pertinent information in the stimulus space. The current article provides a review of modelling studies of auditory attention. The review highlights how the term attention refers to a multitude of behavioural and cognitive processes that can shape sensory processing. Attention can be modulated by ‘bottom-up’ sensory-driven factors, as well as ‘top-down’ task-specific goals, expectations and learned schemas. Essentially, it acts as a selection process or processes that focus both sensory and cognitive resources on the most relevant events in the soundscape; with relevance being dictated by the stimulus itself (e.g. a loud explosion) or by a task at hand (e.g. listen to announcements in a busy airport). Recent computational models of auditory attention provide key insights into its role in facilitating perception in cluttered auditory scenes. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Auditory and visual scene analysis’. PMID:28044012

  6. Incidental Auditory Category Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gabay, Yafit; Dick, Frederic K.; Zevin, Jason D.; Holt, Lori L.

    2015-01-01

    Very little is known about how auditory categories are learned incidentally, without instructions to search for category-diagnostic dimensions, overt category decisions, or experimenter-provided feedback. This is an important gap because learning in the natural environment does not arise from explicit feedback and there is evidence that the learning systems engaged by traditional tasks are distinct from those recruited by incidental category learning. We examined incidental auditory category learning with a novel paradigm, the Systematic Multimodal Associations Reaction Time (SMART) task, in which participants rapidly detect and report the appearance of a visual target in one of four possible screen locations. Although the overt task is rapid visual detection, a brief sequence of sounds precedes each visual target. These sounds are drawn from one of four distinct sound categories that predict the location of the upcoming visual target. These many-to-one auditory-to-visuomotor correspondences support incidental auditory category learning. Participants incidentally learn categories of complex acoustic exemplars and generalize this learning to novel exemplars and tasks. Further, learning is facilitated when category exemplar variability is more tightly coupled to the visuomotor associations than when the same stimulus variability is experienced across trials. We relate these findings to phonetic category learning. PMID:26010588

  7. Auditory evoked potentials.

    PubMed

    De Cosmo, G; Aceto, P; Clemente, A; Congedo, E

    2004-05-01

    Auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) are an electrical manifestation of the brain response to an auditory stimulus. Mid-latency auditory evoked potentials (MLAEPs) and the coherent frequency of the AEP are the most promising for monitoring depth of anaesthesia. MLAEPs show graded changes with increasing anaesthetic concentration over the clinical concentration range. The latencies of Pa and Nb lengthen and their amplitudes reduce. These changes in features of waveform are similar with both inhaled and intravenous anaesthetics. Changes in latency of Pa and Nb waves are highly correlated to a transition from awake to loss of consciousness. MLAEPs recording may also provide information about cerebral processing of the auditory input, probably because it reflects activity in the temporal lobe/primary cortex, sites involved in sounds elaboration and in a complex mechanism of implicit (non declarative) memory processing. The coherent frequency has found to be disrupted by the anaesthetics as well as to be implicated in attentional mechanism. These results support the concept that the AEPs reflects the balance between the arousal effects of surgical stimulation and the depressant effects of anaesthetics. However, AEPs aren't a perfect measure of anaesthesia depth. They can't predict patients movements during surgery and the signal may be affected by muscle artefacts, diathermy and other electrical operating theatre interferences. In conclusion, once reliability of the AEPs recording became proved and the signal acquisition improved it is likely to became a routine feature of clinical anaesthetic practice.

  8. Auditory Memory for Timbre

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKeown, Denis; Wellsted, David

    2009-01-01

    Psychophysical studies are reported examining how the context of recent auditory stimulation may modulate the processing of new sounds. The question posed is how recent tone stimulation may affect ongoing performance in a discrimination task. In the task, two complex sounds occurred in successive intervals. A single target component of one complex…

  9. CULTURAL INHERITANCE OF SONG AND ITS ROLE IN THE EVOLUTION OF DARWIN'S FINCHES.

    PubMed

    Grant, B Rosemary; Grant, Peter R

    1996-12-01

    Songs of Darwin's finches were studied on the Galápagos Island of Daphne Major from 1976 to 1995. A single, structurally simple, and unvarying song is sung throughout life by each male of the two common species, Geospiza fortis (medium ground finch) and G. scandens (cactus finch). Songs of the two species differ strongly in quantitative features, and individual variation among males is much broader in G. fortis than in G. scandens. Although there are exceptions, songs of sons strongly resemble the songs of their fathers. They also resemble the songs of their paternal grandfathers, but not their maternal grandfathers, indicating that they are culturally inherited and not genetically inherited. Female G. fortis display a tendency to avoid mating with males that sing the same type of song as their father. They also avoid mating with males that sing heterospecific song, with very rare exceptions. Thus song, an evolving, culturally inherited trait, is an important factor in species recognition and mate choice. It constrains the mating of females to conspecifics, even when there is no genetic penalty to interbreeding, and thus may play a crucial role in species formation by promoting genetic isolation on secondary contact. The barrier is leaky in that occasional errors in song transmission result in misimprinting, which leads to a low incidence of hybridization and introgression. Introgression slows the rate of postzygotic isolation, but can produce individuals in novel genetic and morphological space that can provide the starting point of a new evolutionary trajectory. © 1996 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  10. Issues and Perspectives in Species Delimitation using Phenotypic Data: Atlantean Evolution in Darwin's Finches.

    PubMed

    Cadena, Carlos Daniel; Zapata, Felipe; Jiménez, Iván

    2018-03-01

    Progress in the development and use of methods for species delimitation employing phenotypic data lags behind conceptual and practical advances in molecular genetic approaches. The basic evolutionary model underlying the use of phenotypic data to delimit species assumes random mating and quantitative polygenic traits, so that phenotypic distributions within a species should be approximately normal for individuals of the same sex and age. Accordingly, two or more distinct normal distributions of phenotypic traits suggest the existence of multiple species. In light of this model, we show that analytical approaches employed in taxonomic studies using phenotypic data are often compromised by three issues: 1) reliance on graphical analyses that convey little information on phenotype frequencies; 2) exclusion of characters potentially important for species delimitation following reduction of data dimensionality; and 3) use of measures of central tendency to evaluate phenotypic distinctiveness. We outline approaches to overcome these issues based on statistical developments related to normal mixture models (NMMs) and illustrate them empirically with a reanalysis of morphological data recently used to claim that there are no morphologically distinct species of Darwin's ground-finches (Geospiza). We found negligible support for this claim relative to taxonomic hypotheses recognizing multiple species. Although species limits among ground-finches merit further assessments using additional sources of information, our results bear implications for other areas of inquiry including speciation research: because ground-finches have likely speciated and are not trapped in a process of "Sisyphean" evolution as recently argued, they remain useful models to understand the evolutionary forces involved in speciation. Our work underscores the importance of statistical approaches grounded on appropriate evolutionary models for species delimitation. We discuss how NMMs offer new

  11. Development of a Bioaerosol single particle detector (BIO IN) for the Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber FINCH

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bundke, U.; Reimann, B.; Nillius, B.; Jaenicke, R.; Bingemer, H.

    2010-02-01

    In this work we present the setup and first tests of our new BIO IN detector. This detector was constructed to classify atmospheric ice nuclei (IN) for their biological content. It is designed to be coupled to the Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber FINCH. If one particle acts as an ice nucleus, it will be at least partly covered with ice at the end of the development section of the FINCH chamber. The device combines an auto-fluorescence detector and a circular depolarization detector for simultaneous detection of biological material and discrimination between water droplets, ice crystals and non activated large aerosol particles. The excitation of biological material with UV light and analysis of auto-fluorescence is a common principle used for flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, spectroscopy and imaging. The detection of auto-fluorescence of airborne single particles demands some more experimental effort. However, expensive commercial sensors are available for special purposes, e.g. size distribution measurements. But these sensors will not fit the specifications needed for the FINCH IN counter (e.g. high sample flow of up 10 LPM). The newly developed -low cost- BIO IN sensor uses a single high-power UV LED for the electronic excitation instead of much more expensive UV lasers. Other key advantages of the new sensor are the low weight, compact size, and the little effect on the aerosol sample, which allows it to be coupled with other instruments for further analysis. The instrument will be flown on one of the first missions of the new German research aircraft "HALO" (High Altitude and LOng range).

  12. Experimental evidence for millisecond activation timescales using the Fast IN Chamber (FINCH) measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Klein, H.; Nillius, B.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.; Bingemer, H.

    2009-04-01

    Ice formation in clouds is a subject of great practical and fundamental importance since the occurrence of ice particle initializes dramatic changes in the microphysical structure of the cloud, which finally ends in the formation of precipitation. The initially step of ice formation is largely unknown. Homogenous nucleation of ice occurs only below -40 °C. If an ice nucleus (IN) is present, heterogeneous nucleation may occur at higher temperature. Here deposition freezing, condensation and immersion freezing as well as contact freezing are known. Also growth rates of ice particles are known as function of crystal surface properties, temperature and super saturation. Timescales for homogenous freezing activation in the order of 0.01 seconds and nucleation rates have been measured by Anderson et al. (1980) and Hagen et al., (1981) using their expansion cloud chamber. This contribution of deposition mode freezing measurements by the ice nucleus counter FINCH presents evidence that the activation timescale of this freezing mode is in the order of 1E-3 seconds. FINCH is an Ice Nucleus counter which activates IN in a supersaturated environment at freezing temperatures. The activation conditions are actively controlled by mixing three gas flows (aerosol, particle-free cold-dry and warm-humid flows).See Bundke et al. 2008 for details. In a special operation mode of FINCH we are able to produce a controlled peak super saturation in the order of 1 ms duration. For several test aerosols the results observed in this particular mode are comparable to normal mode operations, where the maximum super saturation remains for more than a second, thus leading to the conclusion that the time for activation is in the order of 1ms or less. References: R.J. Anderson et al, "A Study of Homogeneous Condensation Freezing Nucleation of Small Water Droplets in an Expansion Cloud Chamber, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 37, 2508-2520, 1980 U.Bundke et al., "The fast Ice Nucleus

  13. How well can fishes prey on zebra mussels in eastern North America?

    French, John R. P.

    1993-01-01

    Literature on mollusk-eating fishes was reviewed to determine the potential for different species of fish to control zebra mussels in eastern North America. At least six species are potential predators of zebra mussels because they possess (1) both upper and lower pharyngeal teeth or (2) lower pharyngeal teeth and chewing pads located on the dorsal roof for crushing mollusk shells. Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) and two centrarchids, redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) and pumpkinseed (L. gibbosus), possess both upper and lower pharyngeal teeth and are likely to consume more zebra mussels than fishes with only lower pharyngeal teeth. Only two catostomid species, copper and river redhorses (Moxostoma hubbsi and M. carinatum), have chewing pads that enable them to crush mollusks. The exotic omnivorous common carp (Cyprinus carpio), possessing lower teeth and a chewing pad, may prey on zebra mussels when aquatic insect larvae, its preferred food, become rare. Managing populations of drum, sunfishes and redhorses to reduce exploitation of large individuals and improve their habitats are suggested as means to intensify biological control of zebra mussels in eastern North America. Other Eurasian molluscivores, the roach (Rutilus rutilus) and the black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) should not be introduced into North America because research has shown repeatedly that an introduced biological controller usually does not forage for unwanted pests or reside only in preferred habitats of pests. Drum, sunfishes and redhorses should be preferred over these exotics as biological controllers of zebra mussels in North America because these native fishes will likely occupy newly established habitats of zebra mussels.

  14. Zebra stripes in the Atacama Desert: Fossil evidence of overland flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, Justine J.; Dietrich, William E.; Nishiizumi, Kuni; Chong, Guillermo; Amundson, Ronald

    2013-01-01

    Some hillslopes in the hyperarid region of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile have surface clasts organized into distinct, contour-parallel bands separated by bare soil. We call the bands "zebra stripes" due to the contrast between the darkly varnished clasts and the light-colored, salt-rich soil. Gravel that comprises the zebra stripes is sorted such that the coarsest clasts are at the downslope front and fine progressively upslope. How and when the zebra stripes formed are perplexing questions, particularly in a region experiencing prolonged hyperaridity. Using GoogleEarth, satellite imagery, and field observations, we report the first quantitative and qualitative observations of zebra stripes in order to test hypotheses of the mechanisms and timing of their formation. We consider soil shrink-swell, seismic shaking, and overland flow as possible formation mechanisms, and find that overland flow is the most likely. Based on cosmogenic 10Be concentrations in surface clasts, salt deposition rates from the atmosphere, and content in the soils, we propose that the salt-rich soils began accumulating ~ 106 y ago and the zebra stripes formed 103-104 y at the latest. The zebra stripe pattern has been preserved due to the self-stabilization of the clasts within the stripes and the continued absence of life (which would disturb the surface, as seen at a wetter site to the south). We conclude that the occurrence of zebra stripes is diagnostic of a set of distinct characteristics of local and/or regional precipitation, soil, hillslope form, and bedrock type.

  15. Auditory pathways: anatomy and physiology.

    PubMed

    Pickles, James O

    2015-01-01

    This chapter outlines the anatomy and physiology of the auditory pathways. After a brief analysis of the external, middle ears, and cochlea, the responses of auditory nerve fibers are described. The central nervous system is analyzed in more detail. A scheme is provided to help understand the complex and multiple auditory pathways running through the brainstem. The multiple pathways are based on the need to preserve accurate timing while extracting complex spectral patterns in the auditory input. The auditory nerve fibers branch to give two pathways, a ventral sound-localizing stream, and a dorsal mainly pattern recognition stream, which innervate the different divisions of the cochlear nucleus. The outputs of the two streams, with their two types of analysis, are progressively combined in the inferior colliculus and onwards, to produce the representation of what can be called the "auditory objects" in the external world. The progressive extraction of critical features in the auditory stimulus in the different levels of the central auditory system, from cochlear nucleus to auditory cortex, is described. In addition, the auditory centrifugal system, running from cortex in multiple stages to the organ of Corti of the cochlea, is described. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Development of the auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Litovsky, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Auditory development involves changes in the peripheral and central nervous system along the auditory pathways, and these occur naturally, and in response to stimulation. Human development occurs along a trajectory that can last decades, and is studied using behavioral psychophysics, as well as physiologic measurements with neural imaging. The auditory system constructs a perceptual space that takes information from objects and groups, segregates sounds, and provides meaning and access to communication tools such as language. Auditory signals are processed in a series of analysis stages, from peripheral to central. Coding of information has been studied for features of sound, including frequency, intensity, loudness, and location, in quiet and in the presence of maskers. In the latter case, the ability of the auditory system to perform an analysis of the scene becomes highly relevant. While some basic abilities are well developed at birth, there is a clear prolonged maturation of auditory development well into the teenage years. Maturation involves auditory pathways. However, non-auditory changes (attention, memory, cognition) play an important role in auditory development. The ability of the auditory system to adapt in response to novel stimuli is a key feature of development throughout the nervous system, known as neural plasticity. PMID:25726262

  17. High-magnification super-resolution FINCH microscopy using birefringent crystal lens interferometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegel, Nisan; Lupashin, Vladimir; Storrie, Brian; Brooker, Gary

    2016-12-01

    Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) microscopy is a promising approach for high-resolution biological imaging but has so far been limited to use with low-magnification, low-numerical-aperture configurations. We report the use of in-line incoherent interferometers made from uniaxial birefringent α-barium borate (α-BBO) or calcite crystals that overcome the aberrations and distortions present with previous implementations that employed spatial light modulators or gradient refractive index lenses. FINCH microscopy incorporating these birefringent elements and high-numerical-aperture oil immersion objectives could outperform standard wide-field fluorescence microscopy, with, for example, a 149 nm lateral point spread function at a wavelength of 590 nm. Enhanced resolution was confirmed with sub-resolution fluorescent beads. Taking the Golgi apparatus as a biological example, three different proteins labelled with GFP and two other fluorescent dyes in HeLa cells were resolved with an image quality that is comparable to similar samples captured by structured illumination microscopy.

  18. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers

    PubMed Central

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F.

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity’. PMID:27994122

  19. Shared neural substrates for song discrimination in parental and parasitic songbirds.

    PubMed

    Louder, Matthew I M; Voss, Henning U; Manna, Thomas J; Carryl, Sophia S; London, Sarah E; Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Hauber, Mark E

    2016-05-27

    In many social animals, early exposure to conspecific stimuli is critical for the development of accurate species recognition. Obligate brood parasitic songbirds, however, forego parental care and young are raised by heterospecific hosts in the absence of conspecific stimuli. Having evolved from non-parasitic, parental ancestors, how brood parasites recognize their own species remains unclear. In parental songbirds (e.g. zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata), the primary and secondary auditory forebrain areas are known to be critical in the differential processing of conspecific vs. heterospecific songs. Here we demonstrate that the same auditory brain regions underlie song discrimination in adult brood parasitic pin-tailed whydahs (Vidua macroura), a close relative of the zebra finch lineage. Similar to zebra finches, whydahs showed stronger behavioral responses during conspecific vs. heterospecific song and tone pips as well as increased neural responses within the auditory forebrain, as measured by both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and immediate early gene (IEG) expression. Given parallel behavioral and neuroanatomical patterns of song discrimination, our results suggest that the evolutionary transition to brood parasitism from parental songbirds likely involved an "evolutionary tinkering" of existing proximate mechanisms, rather than the wholesale reworking of the neural substrates of species recognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Dyslipidemia and Auditory Function

    PubMed Central

    Evans, M. Bradley; Tonini, Ross; Shope, Cynthia Do; Oghalai, John S.; Jerger, James F.; Insull, William; Brownell, William E.

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between dyslipidemia and hearing is unclear. This study was conducted to investigate whether elevated serum lipid levels impact auditory function in humans and in guinea pigs. In the human study, a cross-sectional study of 40 volunteers with dyslipidemia was conducted. Pure tone thresholds, distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and lipid profiles were analyzed. When controlled for patient age and sex, we found that elevated triglycerides were associated with reduced hearing. In the guinea pig study, a prospective study of animals fed a high-fat diet for 14 weeks was conducted. Although the high-fat diet led to a dramatic elevation in the average weight and total cholesterol in all animals (from 61 to 589 mg/dl), there were no meaningful changes in distortion product otoacoustic emission magnitudes. These results suggest that whereas chronic dyslipidemia associated with elevated triglycerides may reduce auditory function, short-term dietary changes may not. PMID:16868509

  1. Characterization of host plant resistance to zebra chip disease from species-derived potato genotypes and the identification of new sources of zebra chip resistance

    ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso), an uncultivable phloem-limited phytopathogenic bacterium, is known to be associated with Zebra Chip disease (ZC), which represents a major threat to potato production in the US and elsewhere. This pathogen is transmitted by the phloem-feeding potato psyl...

  2. Auditory Learning. Dimensions in Early Learning Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zigmond, Naomi K.; Cicci, Regina

    The monograph discusses the psycho-physiological operations for processing of auditory information, the structure and function of the ear, the development of auditory processes from fetal responses through discrimination, language comprehension, auditory memory, and auditory processes related to written language. Disorders of auditory learning…

  3. In-situ measurements of ice nucleating particles with FINCH (Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohl, Rebecca; Frank, Fabian; Curtius, Joachim; Rose, Diana

    2017-04-01

    Ice nucleating particles (INPs), which are a small fraction of the total aerosol population, are capable of triggering ice formation under atmospheric conditions. Since INPs play an important role for the radiative properties of clouds as well as for the formation of precipitation it is important to get quantitative information on the ice activity of various atmospheric aerosol species. With the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH; Bundke et al., 2008) the number concentration of INP is determined at different freezing temperatures and supersaturations. In contrast to other commonly used INP counters, i.e., continuous flow diffusion chambers (CFDCs, DeMott et al., 2011), in FINCH the supersaturation is reached by mixing the sample flow of ambient aerosol with a warm moist as well as a cold dry airflow. By changing the flow rates and temperatures of the individual airflows the freezing temperature (down to -50°C) and supersaturation (up to above water saturation) can be varied relatively quickly. Particles that are ice active at the prescribed freezing temperature and supersaturation grow to crystals and are counted by a home-built optical particle counter (OPC) mounted below the chamber (Bundke et al., 2010). FINCH was operated during the four-week INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS field campaign in Cyprus in April 2016. The measuring site was the location of the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO) at Agia Marina Xyliatou, which is typically influenced by dust from the Sahara and the Middle East, an aerosol that is known to have relatively good ice nucleating ability. First results from this campaign will be presented. Acknowledgements: The authors thank the entire INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS campaign team for their cooperation and support. The INUIT-2 project is financed by the German Research Foundation DFG (FOR 1525). The INUIT-Cyprus campaign is a cooperation with the EU-funded project BACCHUS and is also funded by ACTRIS-TNA. References: Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R

  4. Complex Auditory Signals

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-09-01

    ability to detect a change in spectral shape. This question also beats on that of how the auditory system codes intensity. There are, at laast, two...This prior experience with the diotic presentations. disparity leads us to speculate that the tasks of detecting an We also considered how binaural ...quite complex. One Colburn and Durlach, 1978), one prerequisite for binaural may not be able to simply extrapolate from one to the other. interaction

  5. Auditory Evidence Grids

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    information of the robot (Figure 1) acquired via laser-based localization techniques. The results are maps of the global soundscape . The algorithmic...environments than noise maps. Furthermore, provided the acoustic localization algorithm can detect the sources, the soundscape can be mapped with many...gathering information about the auditory soundscape in which it is working. In addition to robustness in the presence of noise, it has also been

  6. Development and validation of a house finch interleukin-1β (HfIL-1β) ELISA system.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungwon; Park, Myeongseon; Leon, Ariel E; Adelman, James S; Hawley, Dana M; Dalloul, Rami A

    2017-08-30

    A unique clade of the bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), which causes chronic respiratory disease in poultry, has resulted in annual epidemics of conjunctivitis in North American house finches since the 1990s. Currently, few immunological tools have been validated for this songbird species. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a prototypic multifunctional cytokine and can affect almost every cell type during Mycoplasma infection. The overall goal of this study was to develop and validate a direct ELISA assay for house finch IL-1β (HfIL-1β) using a cross-reactive chicken antibody. A direct ELISA approach was used to develop this system using two different coating methods, carbonate and dehydration. In both methods, antigens (recombinant HfIL-1b or house finch plasma) were serially diluted in carbonate-bicarbonate coating buffer and either incubated at 4 °C overnight or at 60 °C on a heating block for 2 hr. To generate the standard curve, rHfIL-1b protein was serially diluted at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 ng/mL. Following blocking and washing, anti-chicken IL-1b polyclonal antibody was added, plates were later incubated with detecting antibodies, and reactions developed with tetramethylbenzidine solution. A commercially available anti-chicken IL-1β (ChIL-1β) polyclonal antibody (pAb) cross-reacted with house finch plasma IL-1β as well as bacterially expressed recombinant house finch IL-1β (rHfIL-1β) in immunoblotting assays. In a direct ELISA system, rHfIL-1β could not be detected by an anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated with carbonate-bicarbonate buffer at 4°C overnight. However, rHfIL-1β was detected by the anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated using a dehydration method by heat (60°C). Using the developed direct ELISA for HfIL-1β with commercial anti-ChIL-1β pAb, we were able to measure plasma IL-1β levels from house finches. Based on high amino acid sequence homology, we hypothesized and demonstrated cross-reactivity of

  7. Auditory interfaces: The human perceiver

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colburn, H. Steven

    1991-01-01

    A brief introduction to the basic auditory abilities of the human perceiver with particular attention toward issues that may be important for the design of auditory interfaces is presented. The importance of appropriate auditory inputs to observers with normal hearing is probably related to the role of hearing as an omnidirectional, early warning system and to its role as the primary vehicle for communication of strong personal feelings.

  8. How the zebra got its stripes: a problem with too many solutions

    PubMed Central

    Larison, Brenda; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Thomassen, Henri A.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.; Chan-Golston, Alec M.; Li, Elizabeth; Smith, Thomas B.

    2015-01-01

    The adaptive significance of zebra stripes has thus far eluded understanding. Many explanations have been suggested, including social cohesion, thermoregulation, predation evasion and avoidance of biting flies. Identifying the associations between phenotypic and environmental factors is essential for testing these hypotheses and substantiating existing experimental evidence. Plains zebra striping pattern varies regionally, from heavy black and white striping over the entire body in some areas to reduced stripe coverage with thinner and lighter stripes in others. We examined how well 29 environmental variables predict the variation in stripe characteristics of plains zebra across their range in Africa. In contrast to recent findings, we found no evidence that striping may have evolved to escape predators or avoid biting flies. Instead, we found that temperature successfully predicts a substantial amount of the stripe pattern variation observed in plains zebra. As this association between striping and temperature may be indicative of multiple biological processes, we suggest that the selective agents driving zebra striping are probably multifarious and complex. PMID:26064590

  9. Use of on-site refugia to protect unionid populations from zebra mussel-induced mortality

    Nichols, S. Jerrine; Black, M. Glen; Allen, Jeffrey D.

    2000-01-01

    Protecting unionid populations as zebra mussels spread into inland waterways has relied mainly on relocating at-risk animals into aquaculture facilities. While such relocations are the only viable management technique for some populations, facility availability is limited, leaving many unionids facing extirpation. Another management strategy is in-situ protection either by enhancing natural refugia or by creating managed refugia. We have reviewed all reports of natural refugia and found that refugia for unionids can be found in many areas. There are many habitats where zebra mussel colonization has been limited, or of a temporary nature. Within zebra mussel infested areas, unionid communities continue to survive in some shallow water sites such as estuaries, deltas, and lake-connected wetlands. Managed refugia can be created in areas where natural refugia do not exist. We present a case study on recent efforts to create refugia in an area with rapidly expanding zebra mussel populations. Preliminary analysis of unionid body condition indicates that removal of encrusted zebra mussels only once a year can improve unionid condition factors and decrease mortality. Natural and managed refugia can provide an additional conservation management option in some areas.

  10. Zebra textures in carbonate rocks: Fractures produced by the force of crystallization during mineral replacement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, Malcolm W.; Hood, Ashleigh v. S.

    2018-06-01

    Zebra textures are enigmatic banded fabrics that occur in many carbonate-hosted ore deposits, dolomite hydrocarbon reservoirs and carbonate successions globally. They consist of a variety of minerals and are characterised by parallel light and dark bands that occur at a millimetre- to centimetre-scale. Based on petrological evidence, there is general consensus that the dark bands formed by replacement of the carbonate host rock. Historically, more contention surrounds the origin of the light bands, but the dominant view is that these are mineral-filled cavities, which is supported by overwhelming textural evidence. Overall, the feature common to all versions of zebra textures is mineral replacement of the original carbonate host. We suggest that mineral replacement (and the force of crystallization) in association with open space generation is a viable mechanism for the development of zebra cavity systems. Dissolution and open space generation in either evaporites or carbonates adjacent to the site of replacement reactions is necessary to remove the confining pressure from the rock and to allow the development of fractures. The pressure of the growing replacement crystals within the carbonate pervasively splits the carbonate apart, producing thin strips of carbonate surrounded by open space. The fractures may then be subject to dissolution and are later filled by cements. Very regular stratabound zebra textures (as found in ore deposits like Cadjebut, Australia and San Vicente, Peru) may be related to stratabound dissolution (of evaporites or carbonates), whereas irregularly distributed zebra textures are more likely to be associated with irregular carbonate dissolution.

  11. Proximate and fatty acid composition of zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) muscle and subcutaneous fat.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Louwrens C; Geldenhuys, Greta; Cawthorn, Donna-Mareè

    2016-08-01

    The meat from African game species is healthy, naturally produced and increasingly popular with consumers. Among these species, zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) are growing in number in South Africa, with the meat from surplus animals holding potential to contribute to food security and economic stability. Despite being consumed locally and globally, little information exists on the composition of zebra meat. This study aimed to determine the proximate composition of zebra meat as well as the fatty acid composition of the intramuscular (IMF) and subcutaneous (SCF) fat. Zebra longissimus lumborum muscle was shown to have a high mean protein content (22.29 g per 100 g) and low mean fat content (1.47 g per 100 g). High proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were found in the IMF (41.15%) and SCF (37.71%), mainly comprising α-linolenic (C18:3n-3) and linoleic (C18:2n-6) acids. Furthermore, the IMF and SCF had favourable PUFA/saturated fatty acid ratios (>0.4) and omega-6/omega-3 ratios (<4), indicating that both components are healthy lipid food sources. This study has shed new light on the nutritional value of zebra meat, which will not only be important for food product labelling, nutritional education and incorporation into food composition databases, but will also be indispensable for marketing and export purposes. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Seasonal effects of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) on sediment denitrification rates in Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River

    Bruesewitz, Denise A.; Tank, Jennifer L.; Bernot, Melody J.; Richardson, William B.; Strauss, Eric A.

    2006-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) have altered the structure of invaded ecosystems and exhibit characteristics that suggest they may influence ecosystem processes such as nitrogen (N) cycling. We measured denitrification rates seasonally on sediments underlying zebra mussel beds collected from the impounded zone of Navigation Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River. Denitrification assays were amended with nutrients to characterize variation in nutrient limitation of denitrification in the presence or absence of zebra mussels. Denitrification rates at zebra mussel sites were high relative to sites without zebra mussels in February 2004 (repeated measures analysis of variance (RM ANOVA), p = 0.005), potentially because of high NO3-N variability from nitrification of high NH4+ zebra mussel waste. Denitrification rates were highest in June 2003 (RM ANOVA, p 3-N concentrations during the study (linear regression, R2 = 0.72, p p ≤ 0.01). Examining how zebra mussels influence denitrification rates will aid in developing a more complete understanding of the impact of zebra mussels and more effective management strategies of eutrophic waters.

  13. Effects of temperature and aerial exposure on the BOD of waste zebra mussels removed from navigational locks.

    PubMed

    Aldridge, D W; Payne, B S

    2001-08-01

    This laboratory study evaluated the effects of temperature and aerial exposure on BOD5 (5-day BOD) of waste zebra mussels of the type generated by maintenance operations on dams and navigational locks. The term waste zebra mussels includes the mussels and their associated debris with the latter including sediment, feces, pseudofeces and other small aquatic organisms. The BOD5 of waste zebra mussel was evaluated after aerial exposure of 3 and 10 days at temperatures of 5, 10, and 20 degrees C. The mean BOD5 values for waste zebra mussels in this study ranged from 18,500 to 30,600 mg O2/l. Factorial ANOVA analysis revealed that both temperature and aerial exposure had a negative effect on waste zebra mussel BOD5 (P<0.05) but there was no significant interaction effect (P = 0.119). Multiple regression analysis predicted that for the range of treatment conditions used in this study each 1 degrees C increase in temperature reduced the waste zebra mussel BOD5 by 284mg O2/l or 0.93% of the maximum mean BOD5. Each I day increase in aerial exposure reduced waste zebra mussel BOD5 by 987 mg O2/l or 3.22% of the maximum mean BOD5. Aerial exposure of waste zebra mussels substantially reduces waste BOD5.

  14. Auditory Perceptual Abilities Are Associated with Specific Auditory Experience

    PubMed Central

    Zaltz, Yael; Globerson, Eitan; Amir, Noam

    2017-01-01

    The extent to which auditory experience can shape general auditory perceptual abilities is still under constant debate. Some studies show that specific auditory expertise may have a general effect on auditory perceptual abilities, while others show a more limited influence, exhibited only in a relatively narrow range associated with the area of expertise. The current study addresses this issue by examining experience-dependent enhancement in perceptual abilities in the auditory domain. Three experiments were performed. In the first experiment, 12 pop and rock musicians and 15 non-musicians were tested in frequency discrimination (DLF), intensity discrimination, spectrum discrimination (DLS), and time discrimination (DLT). Results showed significant superiority of the musician group only for the DLF and DLT tasks, illuminating enhanced perceptual skills in the key features of pop music, in which miniscule changes in amplitude and spectrum are not critical to performance. The next two experiments attempted to differentiate between generalization and specificity in the influence of auditory experience, by comparing subgroups of specialists. First, seven guitar players and eight percussionists were tested in the DLF and DLT tasks that were found superior for musicians. Results showed superior abilities on the DLF task for guitar players, though no difference between the groups in DLT, demonstrating some dependency of auditory learning on the specific area of expertise. Subsequently, a third experiment was conducted, testing a possible influence of vowel density in native language on auditory perceptual abilities. Ten native speakers of German (a language characterized by a dense vowel system of 14 vowels), and 10 native speakers of Hebrew (characterized by a sparse vowel system of five vowels), were tested in a formant discrimination task. This is the linguistic equivalent of a DLS task. Results showed that German speakers had superior formant discrimination

  15. Rotationally driven 'zebra stripes' in Earth's inner radiation belt.

    PubMed

    Ukhorskiy, A Y; Sitnov, M I; Mitchell, D G; Takahashi, K; Lanzerotti, L J; Mauk, B H

    2014-03-20

    Structured features on top of nominally smooth distributions of radiation-belt particles at Earth have been previously associated with particle acceleration and transport mechanisms powered exclusively by enhanced solar-wind activity. Although planetary rotation is considered to be important for particle acceleration at Jupiter and Saturn, the electric field produced in the inner magnetosphere by Earth's rotation can change the velocity of trapped particles by only about 1-2 kilometres per second, so rotation has been thought inconsequential for radiation-belt electrons with velocities of about 100,000 kilometres per second. Here we report that the distributions of energetic electrons across the entire spatial extent of Earth's inner radiation belt are organized in regular, highly structured and unexpected 'zebra stripes', even when the solar-wind activity is low. Modelling reveals that the patterns are produced by Earth's rotation. Radiation-belt electrons are trapped in Earth's dipole-like magnetic field, where they undergo slow longitudinal drift motion around the planet because of the gradient and curvature of the magnetic field. Earth's rotation induces global diurnal variations of magnetic and electric fields that resonantly interact with electrons whose drift period is close to 24 hours, modifying electron fluxes over a broad energy range into regular patterns composed of multiple stripes extending over the entire span of the inner radiation belt.

  16. Appraisal of unimodal cues during agonistic interactions in Maylandia zebra

    PubMed Central

    Ben Ammar, Imen; Fernandez, Marie S.A.; Boyer, Nicolas; Attia, Joël; Fonseca, Paulo J.; Amorim, M. Clara P.; Beauchaud, Marilyn

    2017-01-01

    Communication is essential during social interactions including animal conflicts and it is often a complex process involving multiple sensory channels or modalities. To better understand how different modalities interact during communication, it is fundamental to study the behavioural responses to both the composite multimodal signal and each unimodal component with adequate experimental protocols. Here we test how an African cichlid, which communicates with multiple senses, responds to different sensory stimuli in a social relevant scenario. We tested Maylandia zebra males with isolated chemical (urine or holding water coming both from dominant males), visual (real opponent or video playback) and acoustic (agonistic sounds) cues during agonistic interactions. We showed that (1) these fish relied mostly on the visual modality, showing increased aggressiveness in response to the sight of a real contestant but no responses to urine or agonistic sounds presented separately, (2) video playback in our study did not appear appropriate to test the visual modality and needs more technical prospecting, (3) holding water provoked territorial behaviours and seems to be promising for the investigation into the role of the chemical channel in this species. Our findings suggest that unimodal signals are non-redundant but how different sensory modalities interplay during communication remains largely unknown in fish. PMID:28785523

  17. Auditory Discrimination and Auditory Sensory Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Catherine R. G.; Happe, Francesca; Baird, Gillian; Simonoff, Emily; Marsden, Anita J. S.; Tregay, Jenifer; Phillips, Rebecca J.; Goswami, Usha; Thomson, Jennifer M.; Charman, Tony

    2009-01-01

    It has been hypothesised that auditory processing may be enhanced in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We tested auditory discrimination ability in 72 adolescents with ASD (39 childhood autism; 33 other ASD) and 57 IQ and age-matched controls, assessing their capacity for successful discrimination of the frequency, intensity and duration…

  18. The Central Auditory Processing Kit[TM]. Book 1: Auditory Memory [and] Book 2: Auditory Discrimination, Auditory Closure, and Auditory Synthesis [and] Book 3: Auditory Figure-Ground, Auditory Cohesion, Auditory Binaural Integration, and Compensatory Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mokhemar, Mary Ann

    This kit for assessing central auditory processing disorders (CAPD), in children in grades 1 through 8 includes 3 books, 14 full-color cards with picture scenes, and a card depicting a phone key pad, all contained in a sturdy carrying case. The units in each of the three books correspond with auditory skill areas most commonly addressed in…

  19. Zebra Crossing Spotter: Automatic Population of Spatial Databases for Increased Safety of Blind Travelers

    PubMed Central

    Ahmetovic, Dragan; Manduchi, Roberto; Coughlan, James M.; Mascetti, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we propose a computer vision-based technique that mines existing spatial image databases for discovery of zebra crosswalks in urban settings. Knowing the location of crosswalks is critical for a blind person planning a trip that includes street crossing. By augmenting existing spatial databases (such as Google Maps or OpenStreetMap) with this information, a blind traveler may make more informed routing decisions, resulting in greater safety during independent travel. Our algorithm first searches for zebra crosswalks in satellite images; all candidates thus found are validated against spatially registered Google Street View images. This cascaded approach enables fast and reliable discovery and localization of zebra crosswalks in large image datasets. While fully automatic, our algorithm could also be complemented by a final crowdsourcing validation stage for increased accuracy. PMID:26824080

  20. Auditory Reserve and the Legacy of Auditory Experience

    PubMed Central

    Skoe, Erika; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Musical training during childhood has been linked to more robust encoding of sound later in life. We take this as evidence for an auditory reserve: a mechanism by which individuals capitalize on earlier life experiences to promote auditory processing. We assert that early auditory experiences guide how the reserve develops and is maintained over the lifetime. Experiences that occur after childhood, or which are limited in nature, are theorized to affect the reserve, although their influence on sensory processing may be less long-lasting and may potentially fade over time if not repeated. This auditory reserve may help to explain individual differences in how individuals cope with auditory impoverishment or loss of sensorineural function. PMID:25405381

  1. Auditory changes in acromegaly.

    PubMed

    Tabur, S; Korkmaz, H; Baysal, E; Hatipoglu, E; Aytac, I; Akarsu, E

    2017-06-01

    The aim of this study is to determine the changes involving auditory system in cases with acromegaly. Otological examinations of 41 cases with acromegaly (uncontrolled n = 22, controlled n = 19) were compared with those of age and gender-matched 24 healthy subjects. Whereas the cases with acromegaly underwent examination with pure tone audiometry (PTA), speech audiometry for speech discrimination (SD), tympanometry, stapedius reflex evaluation and otoacoustic emission tests, the control group did only have otological examination and PTA. Additionally, previously performed paranasal sinus-computed tomography of all cases with acromegaly and control subjects were obtained to measure the length of internal acoustic canal (IAC). PTA values were higher (p < 0.001 for right ears and p = 0.001 for left ears), and SD scores were (p = 0.002 for right ears and p = 0.002 for left ears) lower in acromegalic patients. IAC width in acromegaly group was narrower compared to that in control group (p = 0.03 for right ears and p = 0.02 for left ears). When only cases with acromegaly were taken into consideration, PTA values in left ears had positive correlation with growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels (r = 0.4, p = 0.02 and r = 0.3, p = 0.03). Of all cases with acromegaly 13 (32%) had hearing loss in at least one ear, 7 (54%) had sensorineural type and 6 (46%) had conductive type hearing loss. Acromegaly may cause certain changes in the auditory system in cases with acromegaly. The changes in the auditory system may be multifactorial causing both conductive and sensorioneural defects.

  2. ZebraZoom: an automated program for high-throughput behavioral analysis and categorization

    PubMed Central

    Mirat, Olivier; Sternberg, Jenna R.; Severi, Kristen E.; Wyart, Claire

    2013-01-01

    The zebrafish larva stands out as an emergent model organism for translational studies involving gene or drug screening thanks to its size, genetics, and permeability. At the larval stage, locomotion occurs in short episodes punctuated by periods of rest. Although phenotyping behavior is a key component of large-scale screens, it has not yet been automated in this model system. We developed ZebraZoom, a program to automatically track larvae and identify maneuvers for many animals performing discrete movements. Our program detects each episodic movement and extracts large-scale statistics on motor patterns to produce a quantification of the locomotor repertoire. We used ZebraZoom to identify motor defects induced by a glycinergic receptor antagonist. The analysis of the blind mutant atoh7 revealed small locomotor defects associated with the mutation. Using multiclass supervised machine learning, ZebraZoom categorized all episodes of movement for each larva into one of three possible maneuvers: slow forward swim, routine turn, and escape. ZebraZoom reached 91% accuracy for categorization of stereotypical maneuvers that four independent experimenters unanimously identified. For all maneuvers in the data set, ZebraZoom agreed with four experimenters in 73.2–82.5% of cases. We modeled the series of maneuvers performed by larvae as Markov chains and observed that larvae often repeated the same maneuvers within a group. When analyzing subsequent maneuvers performed by different larvae, we found that larva–larva interactions occurred as series of escapes. Overall, ZebraZoom reached the level of precision found in manual analysis but accomplished tasks in a high-throughput format necessary for large screens. PMID:23781175

  3. Word Recognition in Auditory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeWitt, Iain D. J.

    2013-01-01

    Although spoken word recognition is more fundamental to human communication than text recognition, knowledge of word-processing in auditory cortex is comparatively impoverished. This dissertation synthesizes current models of auditory cortex, models of cortical pattern recognition, models of single-word reading, results in phonetics and results in…

  4. The Perception of Auditory Motion

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Johahn

    2016-01-01

    The growing availability of efficient and relatively inexpensive virtual auditory display technology has provided new research platforms to explore the perception of auditory motion. At the same time, deployment of these technologies in command and control as well as in entertainment roles is generating an increasing need to better understand the complex processes underlying auditory motion perception. This is a particularly challenging processing feat because it involves the rapid deconvolution of the relative change in the locations of sound sources produced by rotational and translations of the head in space (self-motion) to enable the perception of actual source motion. The fact that we perceive our auditory world to be stable despite almost continual movement of the head demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of this process. This review examines the acoustical basis of auditory motion perception and a wide range of psychophysical, electrophysiological, and cortical imaging studies that have probed the limits and possible mechanisms underlying this perception. PMID:27094029

  5. Auditory hallucinations: nomenclature and classification.

    PubMed

    Blom, Jan Dirk; Sommer, Iris E C

    2010-03-01

    The literature on the possible neurobiologic correlates of auditory hallucinations is expanding rapidly. For an adequate understanding and linking of this emerging knowledge, a clear and uniform nomenclature is a prerequisite. The primary purpose of the present article is to provide an overview of the nomenclature and classification of auditory hallucinations. Relevant data were obtained from books, PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. The results are presented in the form of several classificatory arrangements of auditory hallucinations, governed by the principles of content, perceived source, perceived vivacity, relation to the sleep-wake cycle, and association with suspected neurobiologic correlates. This overview underscores the necessity to reappraise the concepts of auditory hallucinations developed during the era of classic psychiatry, to incorporate them into our current nomenclature and classification of auditory hallucinations, and to test them empirically with the aid of the structural and functional imaging techniques currently available.

  6. Convergent evolution of Darwin's finches caused by introgressive hybridization and selection.

    PubMed

    Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary; Markert, Jeffrey A; Keller, Lukas F; Petren, K

    2004-07-01

    Between 1973 and 2003 mean morphological features of the cactus finch, Geospiza scandens, and the medium ground finch, G. fortis, populations on the Galápagos island of Daphne Major were subject to fluctuating directional selection. An increase in bluntness or robustness in the beak of G. scandens after 1990 can only partly be explained by selection. We use 16 microsatellite loci to test predictions of the previously proposed hypothesis that introgressive hybridization contributed to the trend, resulting in genes flowing predominantly from G. fortis to G. scandens. To identify F1 hybrids and backcrosses we use pedigrees where known, supplemented by the results of assignment tests based on 14 autosomal loci when parents were not known. We analyze changes in morphology and allelic composition in the two populations over a period of 15-20 years. With samples that included F1 hybrids and backcrosses, the G. scandens population became more similar to the G. fortis population both genetically and morphologically. Gene flow between species was estimated to be three times greater from G. fortis to G. scandens than in the opposite direction, resulting in a 20% reduction in the genetic difference between the species. Nevertheless, removing identified F1 hybrids and backcrosses from the total sample and reanalyzing the traits did not eliminate the convergence. The two species also converged in beak shape by 22.2% and in body size by 45.5%. A combination of introgressive hybridization and selection jointly provide the best explanation of convergence in morphology and genetic constitution under the changed ecological conditions following a major El Niño event in 1983. The study illustrates how species without postmating barriers to gene exchange can alternate between convergence and divergence when environmental conditions oscillate.

  7. State-space modeling of population sizes and trends in Nihoa Finch and Millerbird

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Brinck, Kevin W.; Camp, Richard J.; Farmer, Chris; Plentovich, Sheldon M.; Banko, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Both of the 2 passerines endemic to Nihoa Island, Hawai‘i, USA—the Nihoa Millerbird (Acrocephalus familiaris kingi) and Nihoa Finch (Telespiza ultima)—are listed as endangered by federal and state agencies. Their abundances have been estimated by irregularly implemented fixed-width strip-transect sampling from 1967 to 2012, from which area-based extrapolation of the raw counts produced highly variable abundance estimates for both species. To evaluate an alternative survey method and improve abundance estimates, we conducted variable-distance point-transect sampling between 2010 and 2014. We compared our results to those obtained from strip-transect samples. In addition, we applied state-space models to derive improved estimates of population size and trends from the legacy time series of strip-transect counts. Both species were fairly evenly distributed across Nihoa and occurred in all or nearly all available habitat. Population trends for Nihoa Millerbird were inconclusive because of high within-year variance. Trends for Nihoa Finch were positive, particularly since the early 1990s. Distance-based analysis of point-transect counts produced mean estimates of abundance similar to those from strip-transects but was generally more precise. However, both survey methods produced biologically unrealistic variability between years. State-space modeling of the long-term time series of abundances obtained from strip-transect counts effectively reduced uncertainty in both within- and between-year estimates of population size, and allowed short-term changes in abundance trajectories to be smoothed into a long-term trend.

  8. House finch responses to Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection do not vary with experimentally increased aggression.

    PubMed

    Adelman, James Stephen; Moore, Ignacio Tomás; Hawley, Dana Michelle

    2015-01-01

    Aggression can alter infectious disease dynamics through two, non-exclusive mechanisms: 1) increasing direct contact among hosts and 2) altering hosts' physiological response to pathogens. Here we examined the latter mechanism in a social songbird by manipulating intraspecific aggression in the absence of direct physical contact. We asked whether the extent of aggression an individual experiences alters glucocorticoid levels, androgen levels, and individual responses to infection in an ecologically relevant disease model: house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) infected with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG). Wild-caught male finches were housed in one of three settings, designed to produce increasing levels of aggression: 1) alone, with no neighbor ("no neighbor"), 2) next to a sham-implanted stimulus male ("sham neighbor"), or 3) next to a testosterone-implanted stimulus male ("testosterone neighbor"). Following one week of social treatment, focal males were experimentally infected with MG, which causes severe conjunctivitis and induces sickness behaviors such as lethargy and anorexia. While social treatment increased aggression as predicted, there were no differences among groups in baseline corticosterone levels, total circulating androgens, or responses to infection. Across all focal individuals regardless of social treatment, pre-infection baseline corticosterone levels were negatively associated with the severity of conjunctivitis and sickness behaviors, suggesting that corticosterone may dampen inflammatory responses in this host-pathogen system. However, because corticosterone levels differed based upon population of origin, caution must be taken in interpreting this result. Taken together, these results suggest that in captivity, although aggression does not alter individual responses to MG, corticosterone may play a role in this disease. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Functional auditory disorders.

    PubMed

    Baguley, D M; Cope, T E; McFerran, D J

    2016-01-01

    There are a number of auditory symptom syndromes that can develop without an organic basis. Some of these, such as nonorganic hearing loss, affect populations similar to those presenting with functional somatosensory and motor symptoms, while others, such as musical hallucination, affect populations with a significantly different demographic and require different treatment strategies. Many of these conditions owe their origin to measurably abnormal peripheral sensory pathology or brain network activity, but their pathological impact is often due, at least in part, to overamplification of the salience of these phenomena. For each syndrome, this chapter briefly outlines a definition, demographics, investigations, putative mechanisms, and treatment strategies. Consideration is given to what extent they can be considered to have a functional basis. Treatments are in many cases pragmatic and rudimentary, needing more work to be done in integrating insights from behavioral and cognitive psychology to auditory neuroscience. The audiology literature has historically equated the term functional with malingering, although this perception is, thankfully, slowly changing. These disorders transcend the disciplines of audiology, otorhinolaryngology, neurology and psychiatry, and a multidisciplinary approach is often rewarding. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Transplantation of conditionally immortal auditory neuroblasts to the auditory nerve.

    PubMed

    Sekiya, Tetsuji; Holley, Matthew C; Kojima, Ken; Matsumoto, Masahiro; Helyer, Richard; Ito, Juichi

    2007-04-01

    Cell transplantation is a realistic potential therapy for replacement of auditory sensory neurons and could benefit patients with cochlear implants or acoustic neuropathies. The procedure involves many experimental variables, including the nature and conditioning of donor cells, surgical technique and degree of degeneration in the host tissue. It is essential to control these variables in order to develop cell transplantation techniques effectively. We have characterized a conditionally immortal, mouse cell line suitable for transplantation to the auditory nerve. Structural and physiological markers defined the cells as early auditory neuroblasts that lacked neuronal, voltage-gated sodium or calcium currents and had an undifferentiated morphology. When transplanted into the auditory nerves of rats in vivo, the cells migrated peripherally and centrally and aggregated to form coherent, ectopic 'ganglia'. After 7 days they expressed beta 3-tubulin and adopted a similar morphology to native spiral ganglion neurons. They also developed bipolar projections aligned with the host nerves. There was no evidence for uncontrolled proliferation in vivo and cells survived for at least 63 days. If cells were transplanted with the appropriate surgical technique then the auditory brainstem responses were preserved. We have shown that immortal cell lines can potentially be used in the mammalian ear, that it is possible to differentiate significant numbers of cells within the auditory nerve tract and that surgery and cell injection can be achieved with no damage to the cochlea and with minimal degradation of the auditory brainstem response.

  11. The ZEBRA electric vehicle battery: power and energy improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galloway, Roy C.; Haslam, Steven

    Vehicle trials with the first sodium/nickel chloride ZEBRA batteries indicated that the pulse power capability of the battery needed to be improved towards the end of the discharge. A research programme led to several design changes to improve the cell which, in combination, have improved the power of the battery to greater than 150 W kg -1 at 80% depth of discharge. Bench and vehicle tests have established the stability of the high power battery over several years of cycling. The gravimetric energy density of the first generation of cells was less than 100 Wh kg -1. Optimisation of the design has led to a cell with a specific energy of 120 Wh kg -1 or 86 Wh kg -1 for a 30 kWh battery. Recently, the cell chemistry has been altered to improve the useful capacity. The cell is assembled in the over-discharged state and during the first charge the following reactions occur: at 1.6 V: Al+4NaCl=NaAlCl 4+3Na; at 2.35 V: Fe+2NaCl=FeCl 2+2Na; at 2.58 V: Ni+2NaCl=NiCl 2+2 Na. The first reaction serves to prime the negative sodium electrode but occurs at too low a voltage to be of use in providing useful capacity. By minimising the aluminium content more NaCl is released for the main reactions to improve the capacity of the cell. This, and further composition optimisation, have resulted in cells with specific energies in excess of 140 Wh kg -1, which equates to battery energies>100 Wh kg -1. The present production battery, as installed in a Mercedes Benz A class electric vehicle, gives a driving range of 205 km (128 miles) in city and hill climbing. The cells with improved capacity will extend the practical driving range to beyond 240 km (150 miles).

  12. Review of techniques to prevent introduction of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) during native mussel (Unionoidea) conservation activities

    Cope, W.G.; Newton, T.J.; Gatenby, C.M.

    2003-01-01

    Because of the declines in diversity and abundance of native freshwater mussels (superfamily Unionoidea), and the potential decimation of populations of native mussels resulting from the rapid spread of the exotic zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, management options to eliminate or reduce the threat of the zebra mussel are needed. Relocating native mussels to refugia (artificial and natural) has been proposed to mitigate the threat of zebra mussels to native species. Relocation of native mussels to refugia such as fish hatchery facilities or natural habitats within their historic range. Which are unlikely to be infested by zebra mussels, necessitates that protocols be developed to prevent the inadvertent introduction of zebra mussels. Several recent studies have developed Such protocols, and have assessed their effectiveness on the health and survival of native mussels during subsequent relocation to various refugia. The purpose of this project is to synthesize and evaluate the current protocols and to develop a set of procedures that resource managers and researchers should consider before conducting conservation activities in zebra mussel infested waters. We found that the existing protocols have many common points of concern, such as facility modification and suitability, zebra mussel risk assessment and management procedures, and health and disease management procedures. These conservation protocols may have broad applicability to other situations and locations. A summary and evaluation of the information in these main areas, along with recommended guidelines, are presented in this article.

  13. Auditory training improves auditory performance in cochlear implanted children.

    PubMed

    Roman, Stephane; Rochette, Françoise; Triglia, Jean-Michel; Schön, Daniele; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2016-07-01

    While the positive benefits of pediatric cochlear implantation on language perception skills are now proven, the heterogeneity of outcomes remains high. The understanding of this heterogeneity and possible strategies to minimize it is of utmost importance. Our scope here is to test the effects of an auditory training strategy, "sound in Hands", using playful tasks grounded on the theoretical and empirical findings of cognitive sciences. Indeed, several basic auditory operations, such as auditory scene analysis (ASA) are not trained in the usual therapeutic interventions in deaf children. However, as they constitute a fundamental basis in auditory cognition, their development should imply general benefit in auditory processing and in turn enhance speech perception. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether cochlear implanted children could improve auditory performances in trained tasks and whether they could develop a transfer of learning to a phonetic discrimination test. Nineteen prelingually unilateral cochlear implanted children without additional handicap (4-10 year-olds) were recruited. The four main auditory cognitive processing (identification, discrimination, ASA and auditory memory) were stimulated and trained in the Experimental Group (EG) using Sound in Hands. The EG followed 20 training weekly sessions of 30 min and the untrained group was the control group (CG). Two measures were taken for both groups: before training (T1) and after training (T2). EG showed a significant improvement in the identification, discrimination and auditory memory tasks. The improvement in the ASA task did not reach significance. CG did not show any significant improvement in any of the tasks assessed. Most importantly, improvement was visible in the phonetic discrimination test for EG only. Moreover, younger children benefited more from the auditory training program to develop their phonetic abilities compared to older children, supporting the idea that

  14. Efficacy of Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf-CL145A) spray dried powder for controlling zebra mussels adhering to test substrates

    Luoma, James A.; Severson, Todd J.; Weber, Kerry L.; Mayer, Denise A.

    2015-01-01

    Approximately 30 days after exposure, zebra mussels were sorted into live and dead, and enumerated. Mean survival of zebra mussels in control treatments exceeded 95 percent. Mean survival of zebra mussels in the Lake Carlos WWC SDP-treated groups ranged from 0.5 to 2.1 percent and when compared at the same exposure duration, no difference was detected in survival between the 50 and 100 milligrams per liter (mg/L) treatment groups. Similarly, mean survival of zebra mussels in the Shawano Lake WWC SDP-treated groups ranged from 2.0 to 12.6 percent and when compared at the same exposure duration, no difference was detected in survival between the 50- and 100-mg/L treatment groups. Mean survival of zebra mussels in the Lake Carlos BI trial SDP-treated groups did not differ (p = 0.93) and was 18.1 and 18.0 percent in the 50- and 100-mg/L treatment groups, respectively. Mean survival of zebra mussels in the Shawano Lake BI trial SDP-treated groups differed (p < 0.01) and was 2.9 and 0.9 percent in the 50- and 100-mg/L treatment groups, respectively. Survival of zebra mussels assigned to the SDP-treated groups in the Lake Carlos WWC trial (12-hour exposure duration) differed from the survival of zebra mussels assigned to the SDP-treated groups in the Lake Carlos BI trial; however, after modification of the BI application technique, no difference (p = 0.22) was detected between the survival of zebra mussel in the Shawano Lake WWC (12-hour exposure duration) and BI trials.

  15. Development of a molecular diagnostic system to discriminate Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) and Dreissena bugensis (quagga mussel)

    Hoy, M.S.; Kelly, K.; Rodriguez, R.J.

    2010-01-01

    A 3-primer PCR system was developed to discriminate invasive zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussel. The system is based on: 1) universal primers that amplifies a region of the nuclear 28s rDNA gene from both species and 2) a species-specific primer complementary to either zebra or quagga mussel. The species-specific primers bind to sequences between the binding sites for the universal primers resulting in the amplification of two products from the target species and one product from the nontarget species. Therefore, nontarget products are positive amplification controls. The 3-primer system accurately discriminated zebra and quagga mussels from seven geographically distinct populations.

  16. SPATIALLY AND SPECTRALLY RESOLVED OBSERVATIONS OF A ZEBRA PATTERN IN A SOLAR DECIMETRIC RADIO BURST

    SciT

    Chen Bin; Bastian, T. S.; Gary, D. E.

    2011-07-20

    We present the first interferometric observation of a zebra-pattern radio burst with simultaneous high spectral ({approx}1 MHz) and high time (20 ms) resolution. The Frequency-Agile Solar Radiotelescope Subsystem Testbed (FST) and the Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA) were used in parallel to observe the X1.5 flare on 2006 December 14. By using OVSA to calibrate the FST, the source position of the zebra pattern can be located on the solar disk. With the help of multi-wavelength observations and a nonlinear force-free field extrapolation, the zebra source is explored in relation to the magnetic field configuration. New constraints are placed onmore » the source size and position as a function of frequency and time. We conclude that the zebra burst is consistent with a double-plasma resonance model in which the radio emission occurs in resonance layers where the upper-hybrid frequency is harmonically related to the electron cyclotron frequency in a coronal magnetic loop.« less

  17. Zebra: a web server for bioinformatic analysis of diverse protein families.

    PubMed

    Suplatov, Dmitry; Kirilin, Evgeny; Takhaveev, Vakil; Svedas, Vytas

    2014-01-01

    During evolution of proteins from a common ancestor, one functional property can be preserved while others can vary leading to functional diversity. A systematic study of the corresponding adaptive mutations provides a key to one of the most challenging problems of modern structural biology - understanding the impact of amino acid substitutions on protein function. The subfamily-specific positions (SSPs) are conserved within functional subfamilies but are different between them and, therefore, seem to be responsible for functional diversity in protein superfamilies. Consequently, a corresponding method to perform the bioinformatic analysis of sequence and structural data has to be implemented in the common laboratory practice to study the structure-function relationship in proteins and develop novel protein engineering strategies. This paper describes Zebra web server - a powerful remote platform that implements a novel bioinformatic analysis algorithm to study diverse protein families. It is the first application that provides specificity determinants at different levels of functional classification, therefore addressing complex functional diversity of large superfamilies. Statistical analysis is implemented to automatically select a set of highly significant SSPs to be used as hotspots for directed evolution or rational design experiments and analyzed studying the structure-function relationship. Zebra results are provided in two ways - (1) as a single all-in-one parsable text file and (2) as PyMol sessions with structural representation of SSPs. Zebra web server is available at http://biokinet.belozersky.msu.ru/zebra .

  18. Automatic detection of zebra crossings from mobile LiDAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riveiro, B.; González-Jorge, H.; Martínez-Sánchez, J.; Díaz-Vilariño, L.; Arias, P.

    2015-07-01

    An algorithm for the automatic detection of zebra crossings from mobile LiDAR data is developed and tested to be applied for road management purposes. The algorithm consists of several subsequent processes starting with road segmentation by performing a curvature analysis for each laser cycle. Then, intensity images are created from the point cloud using rasterization techniques, in order to detect zebra crossing using the Standard Hough Transform and logical constrains. To optimize the results, image processing algorithms are applied to the intensity images from the point cloud. These algorithms include binarization to separate the painting area from the rest of the pavement, median filtering to avoid noisy points, and mathematical morphology to fill the gaps between the pixels in the border of white marks. Once the road marking is detected, its position is calculated. This information is valuable for inventorying purposes of road managers that use Geographic Information Systems. The performance of the algorithm has been evaluated over several mobile LiDAR strips accounting for a total of 30 zebra crossings. That test showed a completeness of 83%. Non-detected marks mainly come from painting deterioration of the zebra crossing or by occlusions in the point cloud produced by other vehicles on the road.

  19. Camdeboo-Mountain Zebra National Park Corridor: Opportunities for conservation and socio-economic development

    Matthew Norval

    2015-01-01

    The Wilderness Foundation, in partnership with South African National Parks has initiated a two year project in the Karoo; The Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo Corridor Project. Through either voluntary Contractual National Park or Protected Environment agreements, the project aims to work with, rather than displace, current conservation-compatible land-use practices such as...

  20. Nondestructive detection of zebra chip disease in potatoes using near-infrared spectroscopy

    Near-Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in the wavelength region from 900 nm to 2600 nm was evaluated as the basis for a rapid, non-destructive method for the detection of Zebra Chip disease in potatoes and the measurement of sugar concentrations in affected tubers. Using stepwise regression in conjunction...

  1. Zebra Mussel Antifouling Activity of the Marine Natural Product Aaptamine and Analogs

    PubMed Central

    Diers, Jeffrey A.; Bowling, John J.; Duke, Stephen O.; Wahyuono, Subagus; Kelly, Michelle; Hamann, Mark T.

    2016-01-01

    Several aaptamine derivatives were selected as potential zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) antifoulants because of the noteworthy absence of fouling observed on Aaptos sponges. Sponges of the genus Aaptos collected in Manado, Indonesia consistently produce aaptamine-type alkaloids. To date, aaptamine and its derivatives have not been carefully evaluated for their antifoulant properties. Structure–activity relationship studies were conducted using several aaptamine derivatives in a zebra mussel antifouling assay. From these data, three analogs have shown significant antifouling activity against zebra mussel attachment. Aaptamine, isoaaptamine, and the demethylated aaptamine compounds used in the zebra mussel assay produced EC50 values of 24.2, 11.6, and 18.6 μM, respectively. In addition, neither aaptamine nor isoaaptamine produced a phytotoxic response (as high as 300 μM) toward a nontarget organism, Lemna pausicostata, in a 7-day exposure. The use of these aaptamine derivatives from Aaptos sp. as potential environmentally benign antifouling alternatives to metal-based paints and preservatives is significant, not only as a possible control of fouling organisms, but also to highlight the ecological importance of these and similar biochemical defenses. PMID:16718618

  2. Zebra Crossing: Walking in Two Continents Sharing and Celebrating Difference through Music

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joseph, Dawn

    2011-01-01

    I use the metaphor "zebra crossing" in my reflective narrative to describe my plight and struggle as a non-white person growing up and working in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the apartheid era. This article considers and compares the notions of culture, diversity and identity as I now work in a tertiary institution in Melbourne,…

  3. Examining the role of tuber biochemistry in the development of zebra chip in stored potato tubers

    Zebra chip disease (ZC), associated with infection by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso), is an emerging problem for potato growers in the United States, Mexico, and New Zealand. Although potato tubers exhibiting ZC symptoms will be rejected by processors, it remains possible...

  4. Variations in Zebra Chip disease expression and tuber biochemistry in response to vector density

    This study examined effects of the number of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso)-positive psyllids feeding on potatoes to Lso titers, zebra chip disease (ZC) symptom severity, and levels of amino acids, carbohydrates, and phenolics in tubers harvested weeks later. Red La Soda and Russet Nor...

  5. Evaluation of several chemical disinfectants for removing zebra mussels from unionid mussels

    Waller, D.L.; Fisher, S.W.

    1998-01-01

    We evaluated the safety and effectiveness of chemical treatments for killing veliger and juvenile stages of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha attached to unionid mussels. Static toxicity tests were conducted on eight unionid mussel species with common aquaculture chemicals (benzalkonium chloride, formalin, hydrogen peroxide, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride). The concentration and duration of each chemical treatment tested had previously been found to kill zebra mussel veligers and juveniles. Several species (e.g., Elliptio dilatata, Lampsilis cardium, and Lasmigona complanata) incurred less than 10% mortality in chloride salt treatments, while in other species (e.g., Obliquaria reflexa and Leptodea fragilis) mortality varied greatly among treatment regimes. Treatments with benzalkonium chloride, formalin, and hydrogen peroxide were less than 90% effective on juvenile stages of zebra mussels and, therefore, were ruled out after preliminary trials. Limited application of specific chemical treatments may be feasible for more tolerant species; however, effective disinfection of unionid shells will require the use of chemical treatment followed by a quarantine period to completely remove zebra mussel larvae and juveniles.

  6. Equid herpesvirus 9 (EHV-9) isolates from zebras in Ontario, Canada, 1989 to 2007.

    PubMed

    Rebelo, Ana Rita; Carman, Susy; Shapiro, Jan; van Dreumel, Tony; Hazlett, Murray; Nagy, Éva

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this study was to identify and partially characterize 3 equid herpesviruses that were isolated postmortem from zebras in Ontario, Canada in 1989, 2002, and 2007. These 3 virus isolates were characterized by plaque morphology, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of their genomic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, and sequence analyses of the full length of the glycoprotein G (gG) gene (ORF70) and a portion of the DNA polymerase gene (ORF30). The isolates were also compared to 3 reference strains of equid herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1). Using rabbit kidney cells, the plaques for the isolates from the zebras were found to be much larger in size than the EHV-1 reference strains. The RFLP patterns of the zebra viruses differed among each other and from those of the EHV-1 reference strains. Real-time PCR and sequence analysis of a portion of the DNA polymerase gene determined that the herpesvirus isolates from the zebras contained a G at nucleotide 2254 and a corresponding N at amino acid position 752, which suggested that they could be neuropathogenic EHV-1 strains. However, subsequent phylogenetic analysis of the gG gene suggested that they were EHV-9 and not EHV-1.

  7. Assessing the potential for fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): Insight from bioenergetics models

    Eggleton, M.A.; Miranda, L.E.; Kirk, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Rates of annual food consumption and biomass were modeled for several fish species across representative rivers and lakes in eastern North America. Results were combined to assess the relative potential of fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Predicted annual food consumption by fishes in southern waters was over 100% greater than that in northern systems because of warmer annual water temperatures and presumed increases in metabolic demand. Although generally increasing with latitude, biomasses of several key zebra mussel fish predators did not change significantly across latitudes. Biomasses of some less abundant fish predators did increase significantly with latitude, but increases were not of the magnitude to offset predicted decreases in food consumption. Our results generally support the premise that fishes in rivers and lakes of the southern United States (U.S.) have inherently greater potential to impact zebra mussels by predation. Our simulations may provide a partial explanation of why zebra mussel invasions have not been as rapid and widespread in southern U.S. waters compared to the Great Lakes region. ?? Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.

  8. Transcription-dependent induction of G1 phase during the zebra fish midblastula transition.

    PubMed

    Zamir, E; Kam, Z; Yarden, A

    1997-02-01

    The early development of the zebra fish (Danio rerio) embryo is characterized by a series of rapid and synchronous cell cycles with no detectable transcription. This period is followed by the midblastula transition (MBT), during which the cell cycle gradually lengthens, cell synchrony is lost, and zygotic transcription is initially detected. In this work, we examined the changes in the pattern of the cell cycle during MBT in zebra fish and whether these changes are dependent on the initiation of zygotic transcription. To characterize the pattern of the early zebra fish cell cycles, the embryonic DNA content was determined by flow cytometric analysis. We found that G1 phase is below detection levels during the first 10 cleavages and can be initially detected at the onset of MBT. Inhibition of zygotic transcription, by microinjection of actinomycin D, abolished the appearance of G1 phase at MBT. Premature activation of zygotic transcription, by microinjection of nonspecific DNA, induced G1 phase before the onset of MBT, while coinjection of actinomycin D and nonspecific DNA abolished this early appearance of G1 phase. We therefore suggest that during the early development of the zebra fish embryo, G1 phase appears at the onset of MBT and that the activation of transcription at MBT is essential and sufficient for the G1-phase induction.

  9. Nutrient Recycling Impacts by Zebra Mussels in Harper’s Ferry Slough, Upper Mississippi River

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-12-01

    ing pro duc tiv ity in the slough (also see Caraco et al. (1997)). In Harper’s Ferry Slough and other aquatic sys tems, the mag ni tude of ze bra mus...the Upper Mississippi River with zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha),” Environ. Sci. Technol. 33, 4385-4390. ERDC WQTN-PD-07 December 2000 11 Caraco , N

  10. Characterization of physiological and molecular processes associated with potato response to Zebra chip disease

    Transcriptional analyses were applied to identify molecular mechanisms associated with the response of leaf and root potato tissues to ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) infection, causal agent of zebra chip disease (ZC). Lso infection affected several host processes including defense response-, ...

  11. Non-destructive NIR detection of Zebra Chip disease in whole potatoes (abstract)

    Potatoes are the 4th biggest food crop worldwide and the leading vegetable crop in the U.S., accounting for 15 percent of vegetable sales. Over 50% of potatoes are consumed as processed products such as French fries and chips. Zebra Chip (ZC) is a disease of potatoes that causes brown discoloration ...

  12. First report of zebra chip disease and Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum on potatoes in Idaho

    In September of 2011, potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers in a packing facility in (Idaho Falls???) were observed with internal discolorations suggestive of the zebra chip disease (ZC). Symptoms were observed in 1-2% of tubers of Russet Burbank and Russet Norkotah and included brown spots and streak...

  13. Working towards developing potato tolerance of zebra chip disease: a food science perspective

    Potato zebra chip is a major threat to worldwide potato production and is caused by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso), which is vectored by potato psyllids. Albeit control can be achieved by use of insecticides to limit psyllid populations and therefore Lso spread, the recent development ...

  14. Molecular evidence for a founder effect in invasive house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) populations experiencing an emergent disease epidemic.

    PubMed

    Hawley, Dana M; Hanley, Daniel; Dhondt, André A; Lovette, Irby J

    2006-01-01

    The impact of founder events on levels of genetic variation in natural populations remains a topic of significant interest. Well-documented introductions provide a valuable opportunity to examine how founder events influence genetic diversity in invasive species. House finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) are passerine birds native to western North America, with the large eastern North American population derived from a small number of captive individuals released in the 1940s. Previous comparisons using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers found equivalent levels of diversity in eastern and western populations, suggesting that any genetic effects of the founder event were ameliorated by the rapid growth of the newly established population. We used an alternative marker system, 10 highly polymorphic microsatellites, to compare levels of genetic diversity between four native and five introduced house finch populations. In contrast to the AFLP comparisons, we found significantly lower allelic richness and heterozygosity in introduced populations across all loci. Three out of five introduced populations showed significant reductions in the ratio of the number of alleles to the allele size range, a within-population characteristic of recent bottlenecks. Finally, native and introduced populations showed significant pairwise differences in allele frequencies in every case, with stronger isolation by distance within the introduced than native range. Overall, our results provide compelling molecular evidence for a founder effect during the introduction of eastern house finches that reduced diversity levels at polymorphic microsatellite loci and may have contributed to the emergence of the Mycoplasma epidemic which recently swept the eastern range of this species.

  15. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    PubMed Central

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge. PMID:22611428

  16. Auditory short-term memory in the primate auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Scott, Brian H; Mishkin, Mortimer

    2016-06-01

    Sounds are fleeting, and assembling the sequence of inputs at the ear into a coherent percept requires auditory memory across various time scales. Auditory short-term memory comprises at least two components: an active ׳working memory' bolstered by rehearsal, and a sensory trace that may be passively retained. Working memory relies on representations recalled from long-term memory, and their rehearsal may require phonological mechanisms unique to humans. The sensory component, passive short-term memory (pSTM), is tractable to study in nonhuman primates, whose brain architecture and behavioral repertoire are comparable to our own. This review discusses recent advances in the behavioral and neurophysiological study of auditory memory with a focus on single-unit recordings from macaque monkeys performing delayed-match-to-sample (DMS) tasks. Monkeys appear to employ pSTM to solve these tasks, as evidenced by the impact of interfering stimuli on memory performance. In several regards, pSTM in monkeys resembles pitch memory in humans, and may engage similar neural mechanisms. Neural correlates of DMS performance have been observed throughout the auditory and prefrontal cortex, defining a network of areas supporting auditory STM with parallels to that supporting visual STM. These correlates include persistent neural firing, or a suppression of firing, during the delay period of the memory task, as well as suppression or (less commonly) enhancement of sensory responses when a sound is repeated as a ׳match' stimulus. Auditory STM is supported by a distributed temporo-frontal network in which sensitivity to stimulus history is an intrinsic feature of auditory processing. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Auditory Processing Disorder (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... or other speech-language difficulties? Are verbal (word) math problems difficult for your child? Is your child ... inferences from conversations, understanding riddles, or comprehending verbal math problems — require heightened auditory processing and language levels. ...

  18. Touch activates human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schürmann, Martin; Caetano, Gina; Hlushchuk, Yevhen; Jousmäki, Veikko; Hari, Riitta

    2006-05-01

    Vibrotactile stimuli can facilitate hearing, both in hearing-impaired and in normally hearing people. Accordingly, the sounds of hands exploring a surface contribute to the explorer's haptic percepts. As a possible brain basis of such phenomena, functional brain imaging has identified activations specific to audiotactile interaction in secondary somatosensory cortex, auditory belt area, and posterior parietal cortex, depending on the quality and relative salience of the stimuli. We studied 13 subjects with non-invasive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to search for auditory brain areas that would be activated by touch. Vibration bursts of 200 Hz were delivered to the subjects' fingers and palm and tactile pressure pulses to their fingertips. Noise bursts served to identify auditory cortex. Vibrotactile-auditory co-activation, addressed with minimal smoothing to obtain a conservative estimate, was found in an 85-mm3 region in the posterior auditory belt area. This co-activation could be related to facilitated hearing at the behavioral level, reflecting the analysis of sound-like temporal patterns in vibration. However, even tactile pulses (without any vibration) activated parts of the posterior auditory belt area, which therefore might subserve processing of audiotactile events that arise during dynamic contact between hands and environment.

  19. Auditory salience using natural soundscapes.

    PubMed

    Huang, Nicholas; Elhilali, Mounya

    2017-03-01

    Salience describes the phenomenon by which an object stands out from a scene. While its underlying processes are extensively studied in vision, mechanisms of auditory salience remain largely unknown. Previous studies have used well-controlled auditory scenes to shed light on some of the acoustic attributes that drive the salience of sound events. Unfortunately, the use of constrained stimuli in addition to a lack of well-established benchmarks of salience judgments hampers the development of comprehensive theories of sensory-driven auditory attention. The present study explores auditory salience in a set of dynamic natural scenes. A behavioral measure of salience is collected by having human volunteers listen to two concurrent scenes and indicate continuously which one attracts their attention. By using natural scenes, the study takes a data-driven rather than experimenter-driven approach to exploring the parameters of auditory salience. The findings indicate that the space of auditory salience is multidimensional (spanning loudness, pitch, spectral shape, as well as other acoustic attributes), nonlinear and highly context-dependent. Importantly, the results indicate that contextual information about the entire scene over both short and long scales needs to be considered in order to properly account for perceptual judgments of salience.

  20. Neuroplasticity in the auditory system.

    PubMed

    Gil-Loyzaga, P

    2005-01-01

    An increasing interest on neuroplasticity and nerve regeneration within the auditory receptor and pathway has developed in recent years. The receptor and the auditory pathway are controlled by highly complex circuits that appear during embryonic development. During this early maturation process of the auditory sensory elements, we observe the development of two types of nerve fibers: permanent fibers that will remain to reach full-term maturity and other transient fibers that will ultimately disappear. Both stable and transitory fibers however, as well as developing sensory cells, express, and probably release, their respective neuro-transmitters that could be involved in neuroplasticity. Cell culture experiments have added significant information; the in vitro administration of glutamate or GABA to isolated spiral ganglion neurons clearly modified neural development. Neuroplasticity has been also found in the adult. Nerve regeneration and neuroplasticity have been demonstrated in the adult auditory receptors as well as throughout the auditory pathway. Neuroplasticity studies could prove interesting in the elaboration of current or future therapy strategies (e.g.: cochlear implants or stem cells), but also to really understand the pathogenesis of auditory or language diseases (e.g.: deafness, tinnitus, dyslexia, etc.).

  1. A dominance shift from the zebra mussel to the invasive quagga mussel may alter the trophic transfer of metals.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Jonathan; Schipper, Aafke M; Hendriks, A Jan; Yen Le, T T; Bij de Vaate, Abraham; van der Velde, Gerard; Leuven, Rob S E W

    2015-08-01

    Bioinvasions are a major cause of biodiversity and ecosystem changes. The rapid range expansion of the invasive quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) causing a dominance shift from zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) to quagga mussels, may alter the risk of secondary poisoning to predators. Mussel samples were collected from various water bodies in the Netherlands, divided into size classes, and analysed for metal concentrations. Concentrations of nickel and copper in quagga mussels were significantly lower than in zebra mussels overall. In lakes, quagga mussels contained significantly higher concentrations of aluminium, iron and lead yet significantly lower concentrations of zinc66, cadmium111, copper, nickel, cobalt and molybdenum than zebra mussels. In the river water type quagga mussel soft tissues contained significantly lower concentrations of zinc66. Our results suggest that a dominance shift from zebra to quagga mussels may reduce metal exposure of predator species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Auditory short-term memory in the primate auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Brian H.; Mishkin, Mortimer

    2015-01-01

    Sounds are fleeting, and assembling the sequence of inputs at the ear into a coherent percept requires auditory memory across various time scales. Auditory short-term memory comprises at least two components: an active ‘working memory’ bolstered by rehearsal, and a sensory trace that may be passively retained. Working memory relies on representations recalled from long-term memory, and their rehearsal may require phonological mechanisms unique to humans. The sensory component, passive short-term memory (pSTM), is tractable to study in nonhuman primates, whose brain architecture and behavioral repertoire are comparable to our own. This review discusses recent advances in the behavioral and neurophysiological study of auditory memory with a focus on single-unit recordings from macaque monkeys performing delayed-match-to-sample (DMS) tasks. Monkeys appear to employ pSTM to solve these tasks, as evidenced by the impact of interfering stimuli on memory performance. In several regards, pSTM in monkeys resembles pitch memory in humans, and may engage similar neural mechanisms. Neural correlates of DMS performance have been observed throughout the auditory and prefrontal cortex, defining a network of areas supporting auditory STM with parallels to that supporting visual STM. These correlates include persistent neural firing, or a suppression of firing, during the delay period of the memory task, as well as suppression or (less commonly) enhancement of sensory responses when a sound is repeated as a ‘match’ stimulus. Auditory STM is supported by a distributed temporo-frontal network in which sensitivity to stimulus history is an intrinsic feature of auditory processing. PMID:26541581

  3. Diminished auditory sensory gating during active auditory verbal hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Thoma, Robert J; Meier, Andrew; Houck, Jon; Clark, Vincent P; Lewine, Jeffrey D; Turner, Jessica; Calhoun, Vince; Stephen, Julia

    2017-10-01

    Auditory sensory gating, assessed in a paired-click paradigm, indicates the extent to which incoming stimuli are filtered, or "gated", in auditory cortex. Gating is typically computed as the ratio of the peak amplitude of the event related potential (ERP) to a second click (S2) divided by the peak amplitude of the ERP to a first click (S1). Higher gating ratios are purportedly indicative of incomplete suppression of S2 and considered to represent sensory processing dysfunction. In schizophrenia, hallucination severity is positively correlated with gating ratios, and it was hypothesized that a failure of sensory control processes early in auditory sensation (gating) may represent a larger system failure within the auditory data stream; resulting in auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH). EEG data were collected while patients (N=12) with treatment-resistant AVH pressed a button to indicate the beginning (AVH-on) and end (AVH-off) of each AVH during a paired click protocol. For each participant, separate gating ratios were computed for the P50, N100, and P200 components for each of the AVH-off and AVH-on states. AVH trait severity was assessed using the Psychotic Symptoms Rating Scales AVH Total score (PSYRATS). The results of a mixed model ANOVA revealed an overall effect for AVH state, such that gating ratios were significantly higher during the AVH-on state than during AVH-off for all three components. PSYRATS score was significantly and negatively correlated with N100 gating ratio only in the AVH-off state. These findings link onset of AVH with a failure of an empirically-defined auditory inhibition system, auditory sensory gating, and pave the way for a sensory gating model of AVH. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Early responses to zebra mussels in the Great Lakes: a journey from information vacuum to policy and regulation

    Griffiths, Ronald W.; Schloesser, Don W.; Kovalak, William P.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species such as zebra mussels pose a threat to the economies and environments of coastal and fresh-water habitats around the world. Consequently, it is important that government policies and programs be adequate to protect these waters from invaders. This chapter documents key events that took place in the early years (1988-1991) of zebra mussel colonization of the Laurentian Great Lakes and evaluates government responses (policies and programs) to this disruptive, invasive, freshwater species.

  5. Epilepsy with auditory features

    PubMed Central

    Licchetta, Laura; Baldassari, Sara; Palombo, Flavia; Menghi, Veronica; D'Aurizio, Romina; Leta, Chiara; Stipa, Carlotta; Boero, Giovanni; d'Orsi, Giuseppe; Magi, Alberto; Scheffer, Ingrid; Seri, Marco; Tinuper, Paolo; Bisulli, Francesca

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To identify novel genes implicated in epilepsy with auditory features (EAF) in phenotypically heterogeneous families with unknown molecular basis. Methods: We identified 15 probands with EAF in whom an LGI1 mutation had been excluded. We performed electroclinical phenotyping on all probands and available affected relatives. We used whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 20 individuals with EAF (including all the probands and 5 relatives) to identify single nucleotide variants, small insertions/deletions, and copy number variants. Results: WES revealed likely pathogenic variants in genes that had not been previously associated with EAF: a CNTNAP2 intragenic deletion, 2 truncating mutations of DEPDC5, and a missense SCN1A change. Conclusions: EAF is a clinically and molecularly heterogeneous disease. The association of EAF with CNTNAP2, DEPDC5, and SCN1A mutations widens the phenotypic spectrum related to these genes. CNTNAP2 encodes CASPR2, a member of the voltage-gated potassium channel complex in which LGI1 plays a role. The finding of a CNTNAP2 deletion emphasizes the importance of this complex in EAF and shows biological convergence. PMID:27066544

  6. Auditory memory for timbre.

    PubMed

    McKeown, Denis; Wellsted, David

    2009-06-01

    Psychophysical studies are reported examining how the context of recent auditory stimulation may modulate the processing of new sounds. The question posed is how recent tone stimulation may affect ongoing performance in a discrimination task. In the task, two complex sounds occurred in successive intervals. A single target component of one complex was decreased (Experiments 1 and 2) or increased (Experiments 3, 4, and 5) in intensity on half of trials: The task was simply to identify those trials. Prior to each trial, a pure tone inducer was introduced either at the same frequency as the target component or at the frequency of a different component of the complex. Consistent with a frequency-specific form of disruption, discrimination performance was impaired when the inducing tone matched the frequency of the following decrement or increment. A timbre memory model (TMM) is proposed incorporating channel-specific interference allied to inhibition of attending in the coding of sounds in the context of memory traces of recent sounds. (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

  7. Factorial microarray analysis of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha: Dreissenidae, Bivalvia) adhesion

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has been well known for its expertise in attaching to substances under the water. Studies in past decades on this underwater adhesion focused on the adhesive protein isolated from the byssogenesis apparatus of the zebra mussel. However, the mechanism of the initiation, maintenance, and determination of the attachment process remains largely unknown. Results In this study, we used a zebra mussel cDNA microarray previously developed in our lab and a factorial analysis to identify the genes that were involved in response to the changes of four factors: temperature (Factor A), current velocity (Factor B), dissolved oxygen (Factor C), and byssogenesis status (Factor D). Twenty probes in the microarray were found to be modified by one of the factors. The transcription products of four selected genes, DPFP-BG20_A01, EGP-BG97/192_B06, EGP-BG13_G05, and NH-BG17_C09 were unique to the zebra mussel foot based on the results of quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). The expression profiles of these four genes under the attachment and non-attachment were also confirmed by qRT-PCR and the result is accordant to that from microarray assay. The in situ hybridization with the RNA probes of two identified genes DPFP-BG20_A01 and EGP-BG97/192_B06 indicated that both of them were expressed by a type of exocrine gland cell located in the middle part of the zebra mussel foot. Conclusions The results of this study suggested that the changes of D. polymorpha byssogenesis status and the environmental factors can dramatically affect the expression profiles of the genes unique to the foot. It turns out that the factorial design and analysis of the microarray experiment is a reliable method to identify the influence of multiple factors on the expression profiles of the probesets in the microarray; therein it provides a powerful tool to reveal the mechanism of zebra mussel underwater attachment. PMID:20509938

  8. VizieR Online Data Catalog: URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) (Finch+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.

    2016-04-01

    The URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) consists of 112177 parallaxes. The catalog utilizes all Northern Hemisphere epoch data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT). This data includes all individual exposures from April 2012 to June 2015 giving a larger epoch baseline for determining parallaxes over the 2-year span of the First USNO Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog (URAT1) (Zacharias et al., 2015, Cat. I/329) published data. The URAT parallax pipeline is custom code that utilizes routines from (Jao, C.-W., 2004, PhD thesis Georgia Stat), the JPL DE405 ephemeris and Green's parallax factor (Green, R.M., 1985, Spherical Astronomy) for determining parallaxes from a weighted least-squares reduction. The relative parallaxes have been corrected to absolute by using the distance color relation described in (Finch et. al, 2014, Cat. J/AJ/148/119) to determine a mean distance of all UCAC4 reference stars (R=8-16 mag) used in the astrometric reductions. Presented here are all significant parallaxes from the URAT Northern Hemisphere epoch data comprising of 2 groups: a) URAT parallax results for stars with prior published parallax, and b) first time trigonometric parallaxes as obtained from URAT data of stars without prior published parallax. Note, more stringent selection criteria have been applied to the second group than the first in order to keep the rate of false detections low. For specific information about the astrometric reductions please see 'The First U.S. Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog' published paper (Zacharias et al., 2015AJ....150..101Z, Cat. I/329). For complete details regarding the parallax pipeline please see 'Parallax Results From URAT Epoch Data' (Finch and Zacharias, 2016, AJ, in press). This catalog gives all positions on the ICRS at Epoch J2014.0; it covers the magnitude range 6.56 to 16.93 in the URAT band-pass, with an average parallax precision of 4.3mas for stars having no known

  9. Immunological investments reflect parasite abundance in island populations of Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Lindström, Karin M; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Pärn, Henrik; Wikelski, Martin

    2004-07-22

    The evolution of parasite resistance can be influenced by the abundance of parasites in the environment. However, it is yet unresolved whether vertebrates change their investment in immune function in response to variation in parasite abundance. Here, we compare parasite abundance in four populations of small ground finches (Geospiza fuliginosa) in the Galapagos archipelago. We predicted that populations exposed to high parasite loads should invest more in immune defence, or alternatively use a different immunological defence strategy. We found that parasite prevalence and/or infection intensity increased with island size. As predicted, birds on large islands had increased concentrations of natural antibodies and mounted a strong specific antibody response faster than birds on smaller islands. By contrast, the magnitude of cell-mediated immune responses decreased with increasing parasite pressure, i.e. on larger islands. The data support the hypothesis that investments into the immune defence are influenced by parasite-mediated selection. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that different immunological defence strategies are optimal in parasite-rich and parasite-poor environments. Copyright 2004 The Royal Society

  10. Conflicting character distribution within different data sets on cardueline finches: artifact or history?

    PubMed

    Fehrer, J

    1996-01-01

    Cardueline finches (Passeriformes: Fringillidae, Carduelinae) provide an example of unresolved species relationships despite decades of extensive study of the group. Existing morphological studies suffer from numerous cases of assumed parallel evolution due to a conflicting character distribution in different lineages. In this study, results of assumed parallel evolution due to a conflicting character distribution in different lineages. In this study, results of cytochrome b sequence analysis are compared with species relationships suggested by morphological and behavioral evidence. In the molecular analyses, species clusters mutually excluding each other were observed, lowering the statistical support of the internodes, i.e., the branches could not be resolved convincingly. Despite these difficulties, some phylogenetic signal was present in the molecular data as well as in the other approaches. In particular, any species or genus relationship suggested by cytochrome b sequence analysis was reflected by some other evidence. Based on this general congruence of the different data sets and on a considerable cytochrome b tree stability observed independent of species combination, choice of outgroup and tree-generating method, the short internodes are interpreted to reflect a historical reality. A model of cardueline evolution is proposed which assumes a population of cardueline ancestors with considerable polymorphism concerning the mitochondrial DNA and morphological characters alike. Retention of ancestral character states in different lineages and a subsequent rapid radiation are suggested to explain the conflicting character distributions observed in different fields of investigation.

  11. Genomic variation at the tips of the adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Jaime A; Cooper, Elizabeth A; Hendry, Andrew P; Podos, Jeffrey; De León, Luis F; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; MacMillan, W Owen; Uy, J Albert C

    2016-11-01

    Adaptive radiation unfolds as selection acts on the genetic variation underlying functional traits. The nature of this variation can be revealed by studying the tips of an ongoing adaptive radiation. We studied genomic variation at the tips of the Darwin's finch radiation; specifically focusing on polymorphism within, and variation among, three sympatric species of the genus Geospiza. Using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD-seq), we characterized 32 569 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), from which 11 outlier SNPs for beak and body size were uncovered by a genomewide association study (GWAS). Principal component analysis revealed that these 11 SNPs formed four statistically linked groups. Stepwise regression then revealed that the first PC score, which included 6 of the 11 top SNPs, explained over 80% of the variation in beak size, suggesting that selection on these traits influences multiple correlated loci. The two SNPs most strongly associated with beak size were near genes associated with beak morphology across deeper branches of the radiation: delta-like 1 homologue (DLK1) and high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2). Our results suggest that (i) key adaptive traits are associated with a small fraction of the genome (11 of 32 569 SNPs), (ii) SNPs linked to the candidate genes are dispersed throughout the genome (on several chromosomes), and (iii) micro- and macro-evolutionary variation (roots and tips of the radiation) involve some shared and some unique genomic regions. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Neural, not gonadal, origin of brain sex differences in a gynandromorphic finch.

    PubMed

    Agate, Robert J; Grisham, William; Wade, Juli; Mann, Suzanne; Wingfield, John; Schanen, Carolyn; Palotie, Aarno; Arnold, Arthur P

    2003-04-15

    In mammals and birds, sex differences in brain function and disease are thought to derive exclusively from sex differences in gonadal hormone secretions. For example, testosterone in male mammals acts during fetal and neonatal life to cause masculine neural development. However, male and female brain cells also differ in genetic sex; thus, sex chromosome genes acting within cells could contribute to sex differences in cell function. We analyzed the sexual phenotype of the brain of a rare gynandromorphic finch in which the right half of the brain was genetically male and the left half genetically female. The neural song circuit on the right had a more masculine phenotype than that on the left. Because both halves of the brain were exposed to a common gonadal hormone environment, the lateral differences indicate that the genetic sex of brain cells contributes to the process of sexual differentiation. Because both sides of the song circuit were more masculine than that of females, diffusible factors such as hormones of gonadal or neural origin also likely played a role in sexual differentiation.

  13. Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health

    PubMed Central

    Basner, Mathias; Babisch, Wolfgang; Davis, Adrian; Brink, Mark; Clark, Charlotte; Janssen, Sabine; Stansfeld, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Noise is pervasive in everyday life and can cause both auditory and non-auditory health effects. Noise-induced hearing loss remains highly prevalent in occupational settings, and is increasingly caused by social noise exposure (eg, through personal music players). Our understanding of molecular mechanisms involved in noise-induced hair-cell and nerve damage has substantially increased, and preventive and therapeutic drugs will probably become available within 10 years. Evidence of the non-auditory effects of environmental noise exposure on public health is growing. Observational and experimental studies have shown that noise exposure leads to annoyance, disturbs sleep and causes daytime sleepiness, affects patient outcomes and staff performance in hospitals, increases the occurrence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and impairs cognitive performance in schoolchildren. In this Review, we stress the importance of adequate noise prevention and mitigation strategies for public health. PMID:24183105

  14. Current understanding of auditory neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Boo, Nem-Yun

    2008-12-01

    Auditory neuropathy is defined by the presence of normal evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and absent or abnormal auditory brainstem responses (ABR). The sites of lesion could be at the cochlear inner hair cells, spiral ganglion cells of the cochlea, synapse between the inner hair cells and auditory nerve, or the auditory nerve itself. Genetic, infectious or neonatal/perinatal insults are the 3 most commonly identified underlying causes. Children usually present with delay in speech and language development while adult patients present with hearing loss and disproportionately poor speech discrimination for the degree of hearing loss. Although cochlear implant is the treatment of choice, current evidence show that it benefits only those patients with endocochlear lesions, but not those with cochlear nerve deficiency or central nervous system disorders. As auditory neuropathy is a disorder with potential long-term impact on a child's development, early hearing screen using both OAE and ABR should be carried out on all newborns and infants to allow early detection and intervention.

  15. Biomechanics of predator-prey arms race in lion, zebra, cheetah and impala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Alan M.; Hubel, Tatjana Y.; Wilshin, Simon D.; Lowe, John C.; Lorenc, Maja; Dewhirst, Oliver P.; Bartlam-Brooks, Hattie L. A.; Diack, Rebecca; Bennitt, Emily; Golabek, Krystyna A.; Woledge, Roger C.; McNutt, J. Weldon; Curtin, Nancy A.; West, Timothy G.

    2018-02-01

    The fastest and most manoeuvrable terrestrial animals are found in savannah habitats, where predators chase and capture running prey. Hunt outcome and success rate are critical to survival, so both predator and prey should evolve to be faster and/or more manoeuvrable. Here we compare locomotor characteristics in two pursuit predator-prey pairs, lion-zebra and cheetah-impala, in their natural savannah habitat in Botswana. We show that although cheetahs and impalas were universally more athletic than lions and zebras in terms of speed, acceleration and turning, within each predator-prey pair, the predators had 20% higher muscle fibre power than prey, 37% greater acceleration and 72% greater deceleration capacity than their prey. We simulated hunt dynamics with these data and showed that hunts at lower speeds enable prey to use their maximum manoeuvring capacity and favour prey survival, and that the predator needs to be more athletic than its prey to sustain a viable success rate.

  16. Biomechanics of predator-prey arms race in lion, zebra, cheetah and impala.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Alan M; Hubel, Tatjana Y; Wilshin, Simon D; Lowe, John C; Lorenc, Maja; Dewhirst, Oliver P; Bartlam-Brooks, Hattie L A; Diack, Rebecca; Bennitt, Emily; Golabek, Krystyna A; Woledge, Roger C; McNutt, J Weldon; Curtin, Nancy A; West, Timothy G

    2018-02-08

    The fastest and most manoeuvrable terrestrial animals are found in savannah habitats, where predators chase and capture running prey. Hunt outcome and success rate are critical to survival, so both predator and prey should evolve to be faster and/or more manoeuvrable. Here we compare locomotor characteristics in two pursuit predator-prey pairs, lion-zebra and cheetah-impala, in their natural savannah habitat in Botswana. We show that although cheetahs and impalas were universally more athletic than lions and zebras in terms of speed, acceleration and turning, within each predator-prey pair, the predators had 20% higher muscle fibre power than prey, 37% greater acceleration and 72% greater deceleration capacity than their prey. We simulated hunt dynamics with these data and showed that hunts at lower speeds enable prey to use their maximum manoeuvring capacity and favour prey survival, and that the predator needs to be more athletic than its prey to sustain a viable success rate.

  17. Ammonium detection by formation of colored zebra-bands in a detecting tube.

    PubMed

    Hori, Tatsuaki; Niki, Keizou; Kiso, Yoshiaki; Oguchi, Tatsuo; Kamimoto, Yuki; Yamada, Toshiro; Nagai, Masahiro

    2010-06-15

    Ammonium ion was colorized by means of a diazo coupling reaction with 2-phenylphenol, where the color development reaction was conducted within 3min by using boric acid as a catalyst. The resulting colored solution (0.5ml) was supplied by suction to a detecting tube consisting of a nonwoven fabric test strip (2mm wide, 1mm thick, 150mm long) impregnated with benzylcetyldimethylammonium chloride in a stripe pattern and enclosed in a heat-shrinkable tube. When the colored solution was supplied to the detecting tube, blue zebra-bands formed, and the ammonium concentration was determined by counting the number of zebra-bands. The detection range was 1-20mg-Nl(-1). Ammonium ion in actual domestic wastewater samples was successfully detected by means of this method.

  18. Comparative morphology of zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussel sperm: Light and electron microscopy

    Walker, G.K.; Black, M.G.; Edwards, C.A.

    1996-01-01

    Adult zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussels were induced to release large quantities of live spermatozoa by the administration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin). Sperm were photographed alive using phase-contrast microscopy and were fixed subsequently with glutaraldehyde followed by osmium tetroxide for eventual examination by transmission or scanning electron microscopy. The sperm of both genera are of the ect-aquasperm type. Their overall dimensions and shape allow for easy discrimination at the light and scanning electron microscopy level. Transmission electron microscopy of the cells reveals a barrel-shaped nucleus in zebra mussel sperm and an elongated nucleus in quagga mussel sperm. In both species, an acrosome is cradled in a nuclear fossa. The ultrastructure of the acrosome and axial body, however, is distinctive for each species. The structures of the midpiece are shown, including a unique mitochondrial "skirt" that includes densely packed parallel cristae and extends in a narrow sheet from the mitochondria.

  19. An experimental assessment of the imaging quality of the low energy gamma-ray telescope ZEBRA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butler, R. C.; Caroli, E.; Dicocco, G.; Natalucci, L.; Spada, G.; Spizzichino, A.; Stephen, J. B.; Carter, J. N.; Charalambous, P. M.; Dean, A. J.

    1985-01-01

    One gamma-ray detection plane of the ZEBRA telescope, consisting of nine position sensitive scintillation crystal bars designed to operate over the spectral range 0.2 to 10 MeV, has been constructed in the laboratory. A series of experimental images has been generated using a scaled down flight pattern mask in conjunction with a diverging gamma-ray beam. Point and extended sources have been imaged in order to assess quantitatively the performance of the system.

  20. Pharyngeal teeth of the freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) a predator of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)

    French, John R. P.

    1997-01-01

    The morphology of pharyngeal teeth of freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) was studied to determine changes that occur during growth of drum that may relate to consumption of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) by larger fish. Pharyngeal teeth were of three types. Cardiform teeth were replaced by villiform teeth, which were replaced by molariform teeth as the size class of drum increased. Molariform teeth comprised over 85% of total surface area of dentition in fish 265 mm long.

  1. Auditory peripersonal space in humans.

    PubMed

    Farnè, Alessandro; Làdavas, Elisabetta

    2002-10-01

    In the present study we report neuropsychological evidence of the existence of an auditory peripersonal space representation around the head in humans and its characteristics. In a group of right brain-damaged patients with tactile extinction, we found that a sound delivered near the ipsilesional side of the head (20 cm) strongly extinguished a tactile stimulus delivered to the contralesional side of the head (cross-modal auditory-tactile extinction). By contrast, when an auditory stimulus was presented far from the head (70 cm), cross-modal extinction was dramatically reduced. This spatially specific cross-modal extinction was most consistently found (i.e., both in the front and back spaces) when a complex sound was presented, like a white noise burst. Pure tones produced spatially specific cross-modal extinction when presented in the back space, but not in the front space. In addition, the most severe cross-modal extinction emerged when sounds came from behind the head, thus showing that the back space is more sensitive than the front space to the sensory interaction of auditory-tactile inputs. Finally, when cross-modal effects were investigated by reversing the spatial arrangement of cross-modal stimuli (i.e., touch on the right and sound on the left), we found that an ipsilesional tactile stimulus, although inducing a small amount of cross-modal tactile-auditory extinction, did not produce any spatial-specific effect. Therefore, the selective aspects of cross-modal interaction found near the head cannot be explained by a competition between a damaged left spatial representation and an intact right spatial representation. Thus, consistent with neurophysiological evidence from monkeys, our findings strongly support the existence, in humans, of an integrated cross-modal system coding auditory and tactile stimuli near the body, that is, in the peripersonal space.

  2. Disentangling Ancient Interactions: A New Extinct Passerine Provides Insights on Character Displacement among Extinct and Extant Island Finches

    PubMed Central

    Rando, Juan Carlos; Alcover, Josep Antoni; Illera, Juan Carlos

    2010-01-01

    Background Evolutionary studies of insular biotas are based mainly on extant taxa, although such biotas represent artificial subsets of original faunas because of human-caused extinctions of indigenous species augmented by introduced exotic taxa. This makes it difficult to obtain a full understanding of the history of ecological interactions between extant sympatric species. Morphological bill variation of Fringilla coelebs and F. teydea (common and blue chaffinches) has been previously studied in the North Atlantic Macaronesian archipelagos. Character displacement between both species has been argued to explain bill sizes in sympatry. However, this explanation is incomplete, as similar patterns of bill size have been recorded in F. coelebs populations from islands with and without F. teydea. Methodology/Principal Findings The discovery of a new extinct species in Tenerife (Canary Islands), here named Carduelis aurelioi n. sp. (slender-billed greenfinch), provides the opportunity to study ancient ecological interactions among Macaronesian finches. To help understand the evolutionary histories of forest granivores in space and time, we have performed a multidisciplinary study combining: (1) morphological analyses and radiocarbon dating (11,460±60 yr BP) of the new taxon and, (2) molecular divergence among the extant finch species and populations in order to infer colonization times (1.99 and 1.09 My for F. teydea and F. coelebs respectively). Conclusion/Significance C. aurelioi, F. coelebs and F. teydea co-habited in Tenerife for at least one million years. The unique anatomical trends of the new species, namely chaffinch-like beak and modified hind and forelimbs, reveal that there was a process of divergence of resource competition traits among the three sympatric finches. The results of our study, combined with the presence of more extinct greenfinches in other Macaronesian islands with significant variation in their beak sizes, suggests that the character

  3. [Resection of the recurrent third branchial fistula under gastroscope with assistance of yellow zebra guidewire].

    PubMed

    Feng, X; Huang, Z C; Tao, F; Ou, X L

    2016-02-01

    To investigate clinical aspects and a new operative method for resecting third branchial fistula. The clinical aspects of 4 patients with third branchial fistula were retrospectively analyzed. It is difficult to locate the inner orifice of fistula through neck path due to tiny diameter of inner orifice. The inner orifice could be found and closed effectively by inserting yellow zebra guidewire from sinus piriformis with gastroscope. The mucous membrane of sinus piriformis could not be damaged due to the soft pointed end of yellow zebra guidewire. 4 cases were treated successfully without pharyngeal fistula or recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. No recurrent infections were found in all cases with follows-up of 6-66 months. Ineffectiveness of radiography with meglumine diatrizoate or oral administration of methylene blue before operation indicates tiny fistula. In this case, resection of third branchial fistula with the assistance of gastroscope and yellow zebra guidewire under general anesthesia can be performed. This innovative method of diagnosis and treatment is worth of application clinically.

  4. Batteries: An Advanced Na-FeCl2 ZEBRA Battery for Stationary Energy Storage Application

    SciT

    Li, Guosheng; Lu, Xiaochuan; Kim, Jin Yong

    2015-06-17

    Sodium-metal chloride batteries, ZEBRA, are considered as one of the most important electrochemical devices for stationary energy storage applications because of its advantages of good cycle life, safety, and reliability. However, sodium-nickel chloride (Na-NiCl2) batteries, the most promising redox chemistry in ZEBRA batteries, still face great challenges for the practical application due to its inevitable feature of using Ni cathode (high materials cost). In this work, a novel intermediate-temperature sodium-iron chloride (Na-FeCl2) battery using a molten sodium anode and Fe cathode is proposed and demonstrated. The first use of unique sulfur-based additives in Fe cathode enables Na-FeCl2 batteries can bemore » assembled in the discharged state and operated at intermediate-temperature (<200°C). The results in this work demonstrate that intermediate-temperature Na-FeCl2 battery technology could be a propitious solution for ZEBRA battery technologies by replacing the traditional Na-NiCl2 chemistry.« less

  5. Locally extensive meningoencephalitis caused by Miamiensis avidus (syn. Philasterides dicentrarchi) in a zebra shark.

    PubMed

    Li, Wen-Ta; Lo, Chieh; Su, Chen-Yi; Kuo, Hsuan; Lin, Susanne Je-Han; Chang, Hui-Wei; Pang, Victor Fei; Jeng, Chian-Ren

    2017-10-18

    Scuticociliatosis, caused by ciliated protozoa in the subclass Scuticociliatia of the phylum Ciliophora, can cause fatal disease in teleost fish species. However, information on scuticociliatosis in elasmobranchs is still scarce. In this report, we describe a case of locally extensive meningoencephalitis caused by Miamiensis avidus (syn. Philasterides dicentrarchi) in a 2 yr old captive zebra shark Stegostoma fasciatum. Granulocytic meningoencephalitis was observed through histological assessment. Inflammation was confined to the ventral aspect of the brain with a large number of ciliated protozoa, transforming into non-suppurative meningitis in the lateral aspect, and gradually vanished in the dorsal aspect. No histopathological and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) evidence of systemic dissemination of M. avidus was found. PCR targeting the gene coding the small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSUrRNA) of M. avidus was performed on the brain, liver, and gill tissues, and only brain tissue yielded a positive result. The DNA sequences from amplicons of the protozoal SSUrRNA gene were completely matched to that of M. avidus. The distribution of protozoa in the current case was mainly located in the brain and suggests the possibility of a direct neural invasive pathway of M. avidus through the nasal cavity/ampullary system and/or a unique tissue tropism of M. avidus specific to the brain in zebra sharks. Further investigations on the pathogenesis of M. avidus in elasmobranchs, especially zebra sharks, are needed.

  6. Comparative biology of zebra mussels in Europe and North America: an overview

    Mackie, Gerald L.; Schloesser, Don W.

    1996-01-01

    SYNOPSIS. Since the discovery of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, in the Great Lakes in 1988 comparisons have been made with mussel populations in Europe and the former Soviet Union. These comparisons include: Population dynamics, growth and mortality rates, ecological tolerances and requirements, dispersal rates and patterns, and ecological impacts. North American studies, mostly on the zebra mussel and a few on a second introduced species, the quagga mussel, Dreissena bugensis, have revealed some similarities and some differences. To date it appears that North American populations of zebra mussels are similar to European populations in their basic biological characteristics, population growth and mortality rates, and dispersal mechanisms and rates. Relative to European populations differences have been demonstrated for: (1) individual growth rates; (2) life spans; (3) calcium and pH tolerances and requirements; (4) potential distribution limits; and (5) population densities of veligers and adults. In addition, studies on the occurrence of the two dreissenid species in the Great Lakes are showing differences in their modes of life, depth distributions, and growth rates. As both species spread throughout North America, comparisons between species and waterbodies will enhance our ability to more effectively control these troublesome species.

  7. Modulation of antioxidant defense and immune response in zebra fish (Danio rerio) using dietary sodium propionate.

    PubMed

    Safari, Roghieh; Hoseinifar, Seyed Hossein; Kavandi, Morteza

    2016-12-01

    The present study explores the effect of dietary sodium propionate on mucosal immune response and expression of antioxidant enzyme genes in zebra fish (Danio rerio). Six hundred healthy zebra fish (0.42 ± 0.06 g) supplied, randomly stocked in 12 aquariums and fed on basal diets supplemented with different levels of sodium propionate [0 (control), 5, 10 and 20 g kg -1 ] for 8 weeks. At the end of the feeding trial, mucosal immune parameters (TNF-α, IL-1β, Lyz), antioxidant enzyme (SOD, CAT) as well as heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) gene expression were measured. The results revealed feeding on sodium propionate significantly up-regulated inflammatory response genes (TNF-α, IL-1β, Lyz) in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.05). However, antioxidant enzyme genes significantly down-regulated in the treated group compared with control (P < 0.05). Also, HSP70 gene expression was higher in the liver of fish fed the basal diet and deceased with elevation of sodium propionate levels in the diet. These results showed beneficial effects of dietary sodium propionate on mucosal immune response as well as the antioxidant defense of zebra fish.

  8. Primary structure of pancreatic polypeptide from four species of Perissodactyla (Przewalski's horse, zebra, rhino, tapir).

    PubMed

    Henry, J S; Lance, V A; Conlon, J M

    1991-12-01

    Pancreatic polypeptide (PP) has been purified from extracts of the pancreas of four species of odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla): Przewalski's horse, mountain zebra, white rhinoceros, and mountain tapir. The amino acid sequence of Przewalski's horse pancreatic polypeptide was established as Ala-Pro-Met-Glu-Pro-Val-Tyr-Pro-Gly-Asp10-Asn- Ala-Thr-Pro-Glu-Gln-Met-Ala-Gln-Tyr20-Ala-Ala-Glu-Leu-Arg-Arg-Tyr- Ile-Asn-Met30 - Leu-Thr-Arg-Pro-Arg-Tyr.NH2. Zebra PP was identical to Przewalski's horse PP, rhinoceros PP contained three substitutions relative to the horse (Ser for Ala1, Leu for Met3, and Glu for Gln16), and tapir PP contained one substitution relative to the horse (Leu for Met3). On the basis of morphological characteristics and the fossil record, the rhinocerotids are classified with the tapirids in the suborder Ceratomorpha, whereas the horse and zebra belong to a separate suborder, Hippomorpha. On the basis of structural similarity of the PP molecules, however, it would appear that the tapir is more closely related to the horse than to the rhinoceros. These observations provide a further example of the need for extreme caution when inferring taxonomic or phylogenetic relationships between species from the structures of homologous peptides.

  9. Great Lakes clams find refuge from zebra mussels in restored, lake-connected marsh (Ohio)

    Nichols, S. Jerrine; Wilcox, Douglas A.

    2004-01-01

    Since the early 1990s, more than 95 percent of the freshwater clams once found in Lake Erie have died due to the exotic zebara mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Zebra mussels attach themselves to native clams in large numbers, impeding the ability of the clams to eat and burrow. However, in 1996, we discovered a population of native clams in Metzger Marsh in western Lake Erie (about 50 miles [80 km] east of Toledo) that were thriving despite the longtime presence of zebra mussel in surrounding waters. At that time, Metzger Marsh was undergoing extensive restoration, including construction of a dike to replace the eroded barrier beach and of a water-control structure to maintain hydrologic connections with the lake (Wilcox and Whillans 1999). The restoration plan called for a drawdown of water levels to promote plant growth from the seedbank -- a process that would also destroy most of the clam population. State and federal resource managers recommended removing as many clams as possible to a site that was isolated from zebra mussels, and then returning them to the marsh after it was restored. We removed about 7,000 native clams in 1996 and moved them back to Metzger Marsh in 1999.

  10. Zebra Alphaherpesviruses (EHV-1 and EHV-9): Genetic Diversity, Latency and Co-Infections.

    PubMed

    Abdelgawad, Azza; Damiani, Armando; Ho, Simon Y W; Strauss, Günter; Szentiks, Claudia A; East, Marion L; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Alex D

    2016-09-20

    Alphaherpesviruses are highly prevalent in equine populations and co-infections with more than one of these viruses' strains frequently diagnosed. Lytic replication and latency with subsequent reactivation, along with new episodes of disease, can be influenced by genetic diversity generated by spontaneous mutation and recombination. Latency enhances virus survival by providing an epidemiological strategy for long-term maintenance of divergent strains in animal populations. The alphaherpesviruses equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) and 9 (EHV-9) have recently been shown to cross species barriers, including a recombinant EHV-1 observed in fatal infections of a polar bear and Asian rhinoceros. Little is known about the latency and genetic diversity of EHV-1 and EHV-9, especially among zoo and wild equids. Here, we report evidence of limited genetic diversity in EHV-9 in zebras, whereas there is substantial genetic variability in EHV-1. We demonstrate that zebras can be lytically and latently infected with both viruses concurrently. Such a co-occurrence of infection in zebras suggests that even relatively slow-evolving viruses such as equine herpesviruses have the potential to diversify rapidly by recombination. This has potential consequences for the diagnosis of these viruses and their management in wild and captive equid populations.

  11. Loudspeaker equalization for auditory research.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Justin A; Tran, Phuong K

    2007-02-01

    The equalization of loudspeaker frequency response is necessary to conduct many types of well-controlled auditory experiments. This article introduces a program that includes functions to measure a loudspeaker's frequency response, design equalization filters, and apply the filters to a set of stimuli to be used in an auditory experiment. The filters can compensate for both magnitude and phase distortions introduced by the loudspeaker. A MATLAB script is included in the Appendix to illustrate the details of the equalization algorithm used in the program.

  12. Inservice Training Packet: Auditory Discrimination Listening Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida Learning Resources System/CROWN, Jacksonville.

    Intended to be used as the basis for a brief inservice workshop, the auditory discrimination/listening skills packet provides information on ideas, materials, and resources for remediating auditory discrimination and listening skill deficits. Included are a sample prescription form, tests of auditory discrimination, and a list of auditory…

  13. Behavioral Indications of Auditory Processing Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, Kerry McGoldrick

    1988-01-01

    Identifies disruptive behaviors of children that may indicate central auditory processing disorders (CAPDs), perceptual handicaps of auditory discrimination or auditory memory not related to hearing ability. Outlines steps to modify the communication environment for CAPD children at home and in the classroom. (SV)

  14. Pre-Attentive Auditory Processing of Lexicality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobsen, Thomas; Horvath, Janos; Schroger, Erich; Lattner, Sonja; Widmann, Andreas; Winkler, Istvan

    2004-01-01

    The effects of lexicality on auditory change detection based on auditory sensory memory representations were investigated by presenting oddball sequences of repeatedly presented stimuli, while participants ignored the auditory stimuli. In a cross-linguistic study of Hungarian and German participants, stimulus sequences were composed of words that…

  15. Feature Assignment in Perception of Auditory Figure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregg, Melissa K.; Samuel, Arthur G.

    2012-01-01

    Because the environment often includes multiple sounds that overlap in time, listeners must segregate a sound of interest (the auditory figure) from other co-occurring sounds (the unattended auditory ground). We conducted a series of experiments to clarify the principles governing the extraction of auditory figures. We distinguish between auditory…

  16. In-line FINCH super resolution digital holographic fluorescence microscopy using a high efficiency transmission liquid crystal GRIN lens.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Gary; Siegel, Nisan; Rosen, Joseph; Hashimoto, Nobuyuki; Kurihara, Makoto; Tanabe, Ayano

    2013-12-15

    We report a new optical arrangement that creates high-efficiency, high-quality Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) holograms using polarization sensitive transmission liquid crystal gradient index (TLCGRIN) diffractive lenses. In contrast, current universal practice in the field employs a reflective spatial light modulator (SLM) to separate sample and reference beams. Polarization sensitive TLCGRIN lenses enable a straight optical path, have >90% transmission efficiency, are not pixilated, and are free of many limitations of reflective SLM devices. For each sample point, two spherical beams created by a glass lens in combination with a polarization sensitive TLCGRIN lens interfere and create a hologram and resultant super resolution image.

  17. Experimental demonstration of a parasite-induced immune response in wild birds: Darwin's finches and introduced nest flies.

    PubMed

    Koop, Jennifer A H; Owen, Jeb P; Knutie, Sarah A; Aguilar, Maria A; Clayton, Dale H

    2013-08-01

    Ecological immunology aims to explain variation among hosts in the strength and efficacy of immunological defenses. However, a shortcoming has been the failure to link host immune responses to actual parasites under natural conditions. Here, we present one of the first experimental demonstrations of a parasite-induced immune response in a wild bird population. The recently introduced ectoparasitic nest fly Philornis downsi severely impacts the fitness of Darwin's finches and other land birds in the Galápagos Islands. An earlier study showed that female medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) had P. downsi-binding antibodies correlating with presumed variation in fly exposure over time. In the current study, we experimentally manipulated fly abundance to test whether the fly does, in fact, cause changes in antibody levels. We manipulated P. downsi abundance in nests and quantified P. downsi-binding antibody levels of medium ground finch mothers, fathers, and nestlings. We also quantified host behaviors, such as preening, which can integrate with antibody-mediated defenses against ectoparasites. Philornis downsi-binding antibody levels were significantly higher among mothers at parasitized nests, compared to mothers at (fumigated) nonparasitized nests. Mothers with higher antibody levels tended to have fewer parasites in their nests, suggesting that antibodies play a role in defense against parasites. Mothers showed no behavioral changes that would enhance the effectiveness of the immune response. Neither adult males, nor nestlings, had P. downsi-induced immunological or behavioral responses that would enhance defense against flies. None of the parasitized nests fledged any offspring, despite the immune response by mothers. Thus, this study shows that, while the immune response of mothers appeared to be defensive, it was not sufficient to rescue current reproductive fitness. This study further shows the importance of testing the fitness consequences of immune

  18. Auditory Detection of the Human Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kidd, Gerald, Jr.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    This study evaluated whether listeners can distinguish human brainstem auditory evoked responses elicited by acoustic clicks from control waveforms obtained with no acoustic stimulus when the waveforms are presented auditorily. Detection performance for stimuli presented visually was slightly, but consistently, superior to that which occurred for…

  19. Females drive asymmetrical introgression from rare to common species in Darwin's tree finches.

    PubMed

    Peters, K J; Myers, S A; Dudaniec, R Y; O'Connor, J A; Kleindorfer, S

    2017-11-01

    The consequences of hybridization for biodiversity depend on the specific ecological and evolutionary context in which it occurs. Understanding patterns of gene flow among hybridizing species is crucial for determining the evolutionary trajectories of species assemblages. The recently discovered hybridization between two species of Darwin's tree finches (Camarhynchus parvulus and C. pauper) on Floreana Island, Galápagos, presents an exciting opportunity to investigate the mechanisms causing hybridization and its potential evolutionary consequences under conditions of recent habitat disturbance and the introduction of invasive pathogens. In this study, we combine morphological and genetic analysis with pairing observations to explore the extent, direction and drivers of hybridization and to test whether hybridization patterns are a result of asymmetrical pairing preference driven by females of the rarer species (C. pauper). We found asymmetrical introgression from the critically endangered, larger-bodied C. pauper to the common, smaller-bodied C. parvulus, which was associated with a lack of selection against heterospecific males by C. pauper females. Examination of pairing data showed that C. parvulus females paired assortatively, whereas C. pauper females showed no such pattern. This study shows how sex-specific drivers can determine the direction of gene flow in hybridizing species. Furthermore, our results suggest the existence of a hybrid swarm comprised of C. parvulus and hybrid birds. We discuss the influence of interspecific abundance differences and susceptibility to the invasive parasite Philornis downsi on the observed hybridization and recommend that the conservation of this iconic species group should be managed jointly rather than species-specific. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  20. A sensorimotor area in the songbird brain is required for production of vocalizations in the song learning period of development.

    PubMed

    Piristine, Hande C; Choetso, Tenzin; Gobes, Sharon M H

    2016-11-01

    Sensory feedback is essential for acquiring and maintaining complex motor behaviors, including birdsong. In zebra finches, auditory feedback reaches the song control circuits primarily through the nucleus interfacialis nidopalii (Nif), which provides excitatory input to HVC (proper name)-a premotor region essential for the production of learned vocalizations. Despite being one of the major inputs to the song control pathway, the role of Nif in generating vocalizations is not well understood. To address this, we transiently inactivated Nif in late juvenile zebra finches. Upon Nif inactivation (in both hemispheres or on one side only), birds went from singing stereotyped zebra finch song to uttering highly variable and unstructured vocalizations resembling sub-song, an early juvenile song form driven by a basal ganglia circuit. Simultaneously inactivating Nif and LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium), the output nucleus of a basal ganglia circuit, inhibited song production altogether. These results suggest that Nif is required for generating the premotor drive for song. Permanent Nif lesions, in contrast, have only transient effects on vocal production, with song recovering within a day. The sensorimotor nucleus Nif thus produces a premotor drive to the motor pathway that is acutely required for generating learned vocalizations, but once permanently removed, the song system can compensate for its absence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1213-1225, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. In vivo detection of fluctuating brain steroid levels SHORT

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Maaya; Rensel, Michelle A.; Schlinger, Barney A.; Remage-Healey, Luke

    2015-01-01

    This protocol describes a method for in vivo measurement of steroid hormones in brain circuits of the zebra finch. In vivo microdialysis has been used successfully to detect fluctuating neurosteroids in the auditory forebrain (Remage-Healey et al., 2008; 2012; Ikeda et al., 2012) and in the hippocampus (Rensel et al., 2012; 2013) of behaving adult zebra finches. In some cases, the steroids measured are derived locally (e.g., ‘neurosteroids’ like estrogens in males) whereas in other cases the steroids measured reflect systemic circulating levels and/or central conversion (e.g., the primary androgen testosterone and the primary glucocorticoid corticosterone). We also describe the method of reverse-microdialysis (‘retrodialysis’) of compounds that can influence local steroid neurochemistry as well as behavior. In vivo microdialysis can now be used to study steroid signaling in the brain for a variety of experimental purposes. Furthermore, similar methods have been developed to examine changing levels of catecholamines in behaving zebra finches (e.g., Sasaki et al., 2006). Thus, the combined study of neurochemistry and behavior in a vocal learning species now has a new set of powerful tools. PMID:25342066

  2. Auditory and audio-visual processing in patients with cochlear, auditory brainstem, and auditory midbrain implants: An EEG study.

    PubMed

    Schierholz, Irina; Finke, Mareike; Kral, Andrej; Büchner, Andreas; Rach, Stefan; Lenarz, Thomas; Dengler, Reinhard; Sandmann, Pascale

    2017-04-01

    There is substantial variability in speech recognition ability across patients with cochlear implants (CIs), auditory brainstem implants (ABIs), and auditory midbrain implants (AMIs). To better understand how this variability is related to central processing differences, the current electroencephalography (EEG) study compared hearing abilities and auditory-cortex activation in patients with electrical stimulation at different sites of the auditory pathway. Three different groups of patients with auditory implants (Hannover Medical School; ABI: n = 6, CI: n = 6; AMI: n = 2) performed a speeded response task and a speech recognition test with auditory, visual, and audio-visual stimuli. Behavioral performance and cortical processing of auditory and audio-visual stimuli were compared between groups. ABI and AMI patients showed prolonged response times on auditory and audio-visual stimuli compared with NH listeners and CI patients. This was confirmed by prolonged N1 latencies and reduced N1 amplitudes in ABI and AMI patients. However, patients with central auditory implants showed a remarkable gain in performance when visual and auditory input was combined, in both speech and non-speech conditions, which was reflected by a strong visual modulation of auditory-cortex activation in these individuals. In sum, the results suggest that the behavioral improvement for audio-visual conditions in central auditory implant patients is based on enhanced audio-visual interactions in the auditory cortex. Their findings may provide important implications for the optimization of electrical stimulation and rehabilitation strategies in patients with central auditory prostheses. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2206-2225, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Molecular approach of auditory neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Silva, Magali Aparecida Orate Menezes da; Piatto, Vânia Belintani; Maniglia, Jose Victor

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the otoferlin gene are responsible for auditory neuropathy. To investigate the prevalence of mutations in the mutations in the otoferlin gene in patients with and without auditory neuropathy. This original cross-sectional case study evaluated 16 index cases with auditory neuropathy, 13 patients with sensorineural hearing loss, and 20 normal-hearing subjects. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes, and the mutations in the otoferlin gene sites were amplified by polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism. The 16 index cases included nine (56%) females and seven (44%) males. The 13 deaf patients comprised seven (54%) males and six (46%) females. Among the 20 normal-hearing subjects, 13 (65%) were males and seven were (35%) females. Thirteen (81%) index cases had wild-type genotype (AA) and three (19%) had the heterozygous AG genotype for IVS8-2A-G (intron 8) mutation. The 5473C-G (exon 44) mutation was found in a heterozygous state (CG) in seven (44%) index cases and nine (56%) had the wild-type allele (CC). Of these mutants, two (25%) were compound heterozygotes for the mutations found in intron 8 and exon 44. All patients with sensorineural hearing loss and normal-hearing individuals did not have mutations (100%). There are differences at the molecular level in patients with and without auditory neuropathy. Copyright © 2015 Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  4. Auditory Risk of Air Rifles

    PubMed Central

    Lankford, James E.; Meinke, Deanna K.; Flamme, Gregory A.; Finan, Donald S.; Stewart, Michael; Tasko, Stephen; Murphy, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To characterize the impulse noise exposure and auditory risk for air rifle users for both youth and adults. Design Acoustic characteristics were examined and the auditory risk estimates were evaluated using contemporary damage-risk criteria for unprotected adult listeners and the 120-dB peak limit and LAeq75 exposure limit suggested by the World Health Organization (1999) for children. Study sample Impulses were generated by 9 pellet air rifles and 1 BB air rifle. Results None of the air rifles generated peak levels that exceeded the 140 dB peak limit for adults and 8 (80%) exceeded the 120 dB peak SPL limit for youth. In general, for both adults and youth there is minimal auditory risk when shooting less than 100 unprotected shots with pellet air rifles. Air rifles with suppressors were less hazardous than those without suppressors and the pellet air rifles with higher velocities were generally more hazardous than those with lower velocities. Conclusion To minimize auditory risk, youth should utilize air rifles with an integrated suppressor and lower velocity ratings. Air rifle shooters are advised to wear hearing protection whenever engaging in shooting activities in order to gain self-efficacy and model appropriate hearing health behaviors necessary for recreational firearm use. PMID:26840923

  5. Auditory Temporal Conditioning in Neonates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franz, W. K.; And Others

    Twenty normal newborns, approximately 36 hours old, were tested using an auditory temporal conditioning paradigm which consisted of a slow rise, 75 db tone played for five seconds every 25 seconds, ten times. Responses to the tones were measured by instantaneous, beat-to-beat heartrate; and the test trial was designated as the 2 1/2-second period…

  6. Delayed Auditory Feedback and Movement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfordresher, Peter Q.; Dalla Bella, Simone

    2011-01-01

    It is well known that timing of rhythm production is disrupted by delayed auditory feedback (DAF), and that disruption varies with delay length. We tested the hypothesis that disruption depends on the state of the movement trajectory at the onset of DAF. Participants tapped isochronous rhythms at a rate specified by a metronome while hearing DAF…

  7. Bioassessment of mercury, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, and pesticides in the upper Mississippi river with Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

    Cope, W. Gregory; Bartsch, Michelle; Rada, Ronald G.; Balogh, Steven J.; Rupprecht, John E.; Young, R. David; Johnson, D. Kent

    1999-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were sampled from artificial substrates deployed from May 30 to October 19, 1995, at 19 locks and dams from Minneapolis, MN, to Muscatine, IA. Analyses of composite tissue samples of zebra mussels (10−20-mm length) revealed accumulation of mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during a 143-d exposure period. Concentrations of total Hg ranged from 2.6 to 6.1 ng/g wet weight and methylmercury (CH3Hg) from 1.0 to 3.3 ng/g wet weight. About 50% (range 30−70%) of the mean total Hg in zebra mussels was CH3Hg. Cadmium ranged from 76 to 213 ng/g wet weight. Concentrations of total PCBs (Aroclor 1254) in zebra mussels varied longitudinally (range 1000−7330 ng/g lipid weight), but the composition of PCB congeners (total of 21 measured) was similar throughout the river. Chlordane and dieldrin were the only two pesticides detected of the 15 analyzed. Zebra mussels are sentinels of contaminant bioavailability in the Upper Mississippi River and may be an important link in the trophic transfer of contaminants in the river because of their increasing importance in the diets of certain fish and waterfowl.

  8. Short-term plasticity in auditory cognition.

    PubMed

    Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Belliveau, John W; Raij, Tommi; Sams, Mikko

    2007-12-01

    Converging lines of evidence suggest that auditory system short-term plasticity can enable several perceptual and cognitive functions that have been previously considered as relatively distinct phenomena. Here we review recent findings suggesting that auditory stimulation, auditory selective attention and cross-modal effects of visual stimulation each cause transient excitatory and (surround) inhibitory modulations in the auditory cortex. These modulations might adaptively tune hierarchically organized sound feature maps of the auditory cortex (e.g. tonotopy), thus filtering relevant sounds during rapidly changing environmental and task demands. This could support auditory sensory memory, pre-attentive detection of sound novelty, enhanced perception during selective attention, influence of visual processing on auditory perception and longer-term plastic changes associated with perceptual learning.

  9. Addressing Potential Cumulative Impacts of Development on Threatened Species: The Case of the Endangered Black-Throated Finch

    PubMed Central

    Vanderduys, Eric Peter; Reside, April E.; Grice, Anthony; Rechetelo, Juliana

    2016-01-01

    Where threatened biodiversity is adversely affected by development, policies often state that "no net loss" should be the goal and biodiversity offsetting is one mechanism available to achieve this. However, developments are often approved on an ad hoc basis and cumulative impacts are not sufficiently examined. We demonstrate the potential for serious threat to an endangered subspecies when multiple developments are planned. We modelled the distribution of the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta) using bioclimatic data and Queensland's Regional Ecosystem classification. We overlaid granted, extant extractive and exploratory mining tenures within the known and modelled ranges of black-throated finches to examine the level of incipient threat to this subspecies in central Queensland, Australia. Our models indicate that more than half of the remaining P. cincta cincta habitat is currently under extractive or exploratory tenure. Therefore, insufficient habitat exists to offset all potential development so "no net loss" is not possible. This has implications for future conservation of this and similarly distributed species and for resource development planning, especially the use of legislated offsets for biodiversity protection. PMID:26934622

  10. The evolution of sexual size dimorphism in the house finch. II. Population divergence in relation to local selection.

    PubMed

    Badyaev, A V; Hill, G E; Stoehr, A M; Nolan, P M; McGraw, K J

    2000-12-01

    Recent colonization of ecologically distinct areas in North America by the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) was accompanied by strong population divergence in sexual size dimorphism. Here we examined whether this divergence was produced by population differences in local selection pressures acting on each sex. In a long-term study of recently established populations in Alabama, Michigan, and Montana, we examined three selection episodes for each sex: selection for pairing success, overwinter survival, and within-season fecundity. Populations varied in intensity of these selection episodes, the contribution of each episode to the net selection, and in the targets of selection. Direction and intensity of selection strongly differed between sexes, and different selection episodes often favored opposite changes in morphological traits. In each population, current net selection for sexual dimorphism was highly concordant with observed sexual dimorphism--in each population, selection for dimorphism was the strongest on the most dimorphic traits. Strong directional selection on sexually dimorphic traits,