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Experience-Dependent Gene Expression for Learned Vocal Behavior in the Zebra Finch Songbird

Title: Experience-Dependent Gene Expression for Learned Vocal Behavior in the Zebra Finch Songbird.
Name(s): Whitney, Osceola, author
Johnson, Frank, professor directing dissertation
Wagner, Richard, outside committee member
Smith, James, committee member
Hyson, Richard, committee member
Houpt, Thomas, committee member
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In 2003, science is the midst of a molecular genetics revolution. Genomes of diverse biological systems ranging from C. elegans to Human are cloned, partly with the expectation of functional and organizational insight into the nervous system. Likewise, identifying genes that are regulated in the song control system of the zebra finch may increase our understanding of the mechanisms and constraints underlying the dynamic changes required by plastic phenotypes such as vocal learning. Zebra finch vocal learning is developmentally regulated and involves multiple cognitive processes. A candidate gene that could underlie this experience-dependent behavioral plasticity is ZENK. For example, two distinct patterns of ZENK expression emerge in the telencephalon of the zebra finch songbird during the perception and production of song. That is, hearing song can induce a rapid increase in ZENK expression (mRNA and protein) within auditory telencephalon. In contrast, singing in deafened and normal hearing birds induces ZENK mRNA throughout the song-control circuit. Although collectively these correlational data suggest a role for ZENK in learning and memory, no investigations have directly addressed this issue. Here a series of behavioral, anatomical, and pharmacological manipulations are used to question the hypothesis that ZENK expression (auditory and vocal-motor-induced) in the songbird brain is significant for learning and memory. The studies herein of the relationships and interactions between environment, behavior, and gene expression are considered part of a growing body of evidence that transcription factor expression in the central nervous system (CNS) can play an important role in learning and memory, and furthermore serve to better our understanding of the complex interplay between nature and nurture in the determination of behavior.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1074 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Psychology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2004.
Date of Defense: November 26, 2003.
Keywords: Songbird, Vocal Learning, ZENK, Genes and Behavior, Zebra Finch, Learning
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Frank Johnson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Richard Wagner, Outside Committee Member; James Smith, Committee Member; Richard Hyson, Committee Member; Thomas Houpt, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Whitney, O. (2004). Experience-Dependent Gene Expression for Learned Vocal Behavior in the Zebra Finch Songbird. Retrieved from