Document Detail


The economy of winter: phenotypic plasticity in behavior and brain structure.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8776845     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Mobile animals must learn the spatial distributions of resources. The cost of foraging increases dramatically for temperate-zone animals during the winter. Two strategies may be used to balance the energetic budget: reducing costs of foraging and reducing need to forage. Both strategies are correlated with changes in brain structure, specifically in the hippocampus, a fore-brain structure used by birds and mammals to map spatial distributions of resources. Small mammals that reduce their need to forage, through hibernation or reduction in body size, show a specific reduction in the structure and size of the hippocampus. The costs of foraging can be also decreased by migration to better foraging conditions or by food-storing, both of which decrease the temporal heterogeneity of food resources. Both of these latter strategies are associated with increased hippocampal structure; for food-storing birds, this increase is a seasonal phenomenon. Thus not only behavior, but also learning ability and even brain structures in adult animals, may be phenotypically plastic in response to the changing demands of the environment.
Authors:
L F Jacobs
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Biological bulletin     Volume:  191     ISSN:  0006-3185     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Bull.     Publication Date:  1996 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-10-17     Completed Date:  1996-10-17     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2984727R     Medline TA:  Biol Bull     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  92-100     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of California at Berkeley 94720-1650, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Adaptation, Physiological*
Animals
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Feeding Behavior / physiology
Hippocampus / anatomy & histology*
Neuronal Plasticity
Seasons*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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