Document Detail

Early nutritional stress impairs development of a song-control brain region in both male and female juvenile song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) at the onset of song learning.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16959649     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Birdsong is a sexually selected trait and is often viewed as an indicator of male quality. The developmental stress hypothesis proposes a model by which song could be an indicator; the time during early development, when birds learn complex songs and/or local variants of song, is of rapid development and nutritional stress. Birds that cope best with this stress may better learn to produce the most effective songs. The developmental stress hypothesis predicts that early food restriction should impair development of song-control brain regions at the onset of song learning. We examined the effect of food restriction on song-control brain regions in fledgling (both sexes, 23-26 days old) song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Food restriction selectively reduced HVC volume in both sexes. In addition, sex differences were evident in all three song-control regions. This study lends further support to a growing body of literature documenting a variety of behavioural, physiological and neural detriments in several songbird species resulting from early developmental stress.
Ian F MacDonald; Bethany Kempster; Liana Zanette; Scott A MacDougall-Shackleton
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  273     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2006 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-09-08     Completed Date:  2007-01-16     Revised Date:  2013-06-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2559-64     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5C2, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
Brain / growth & development*,  pathology
Caloric Restriction
Critical Period (Psychology)
Learning / physiology*
Sparrows / growth & development*,  physiology
Telencephalon / growth & development,  pathology
Vocalization, Animal / physiology*

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