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Electrophysiological and Mathematical Modeling Study of Developmental and Sex Effects on Neurons of the Zebra Finch Song System

Title: An Electrophysiological and Mathematical Modeling Study of Developmental and Sex Effects on Neurons of the Zebra Finch Song System.
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Name(s): Diaz, Diana Lissett Flores, author
Bertram, R. (Richard), professor directing dissertation
Fadool, Debra Ann, university representative
Hyson, Richard L., committee member
Jain, Harsh Vardhan, committee member
Johnson, Frank (Professor of Psychology), committee member
Mio, Washington, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of Mathematics, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (103 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Learned motor patterns such as speaking, playing musical instruments and dancing require a defined sequence of movements. The mechanism of acquiring and perfecting these types of learned behaviors involve a highly complex neurological process not exclusive to humans. In fact, vocal learning in songbirds is a well-known model to study the neural basis of motor learning, particularly human speech acquisition. In this dissertation, I explored differences in the intrinsic physiology of vocal cortex neurons – which underlie song acquisition and production in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) – as a function of age, sex, and experience using a combination of electrophysiology and mathematical modeling. Using three developmental time points in male zebra finches, Chapter 3 presents evidence of intrinsic plasticity in vocal cortex neurons during vocal learning. The experimental results in this chapter revealed age- and possibly learning-related changes in the physiology of these neurons, while the mathematical models suggest possible variations in both the expression and kinetics of several ion channels that cause the physiological changes. Exploiting the fact that male zebra finches exhibit auditory and vocal song learning, while females exhibit auditory song learning only, in Chapter 4 I compared the physiology of vocal cortex neurons between sexes. This comparison reveals aspects of the neurons’ physiology specialized for singing (males only) vs. auditory learning of song (both males and females). Finally, in Chapter 4 I explored the effect of auditory learning in the physiology of vocal cortex neurons in females. Experimental results and mathematical models revealed regulation in ion channel expression due to auditory learning. In summary, this dissertation describes the effect of three new variables – age, sex, and experience – now known to influence the physiology of key neurons in vocal learning.
Identifier: FSU_SUMMER2017_Diaz_fsu_0071E_14037 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Mathematics in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2017.
Date of Defense: July 20, 2017.
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Richard Bertram, Professor Directing Dissertation; Debra Ann Fadool, University Representative; Richard Hyson, Committee Member; Harsh Jain, Committee Member; Frank Johnson, Committee Member; Washington Mio, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Neurosciences
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_SUMMER2017_Diaz_fsu_0071E_14037
Owner Institution: FSU

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Diaz, D. L. F. (2017). An Electrophysiological and Mathematical Modeling Study of Developmental and Sex Effects on Neurons of the Zebra Finch Song System. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_SUMMER2017_Diaz_fsu_0071E_14037