|Title||Seasonal changes in intrinsic electrophysiological activity of song control neurons in wild song sparrows|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Authors||Meitzen J, Perkel DJ, Brenowitz EA|
|Journal||J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol|
|ISBN Number||0340-7594 (Print)0340-7594 (Linking)|
|Keywords||Cues, Animals, Brain/anatomy & histology/physiology, Data Interpretation, Statistical, Electrophysiology, Male, Hormones/physiology, Lateral Thalamic Nuclei/physiology, Photoperiod, Neurons/*physiology/ultrastructure, Students, Testosterone/blood, Washington|
Song behavior and its underlying neural substrate can change seasonally in adult songbirds. To test whether environmental cues induce seasonal changes in electrophysiological characteristics of song control neurons, we measured in vitro intrinsic neuronal activity in the song control nucleus RA of adult male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) in both the fall non-breeding and spring breeding seasons. We found that RA neurons in spring-captured birds show a more than threefold increase in spontaneous firing rate compared to those from fall-captured birds. We conclude that environmental cues are sufficient to induce seasonal changes in electrophysiological properties of song control neurons, and that changes in these properties may underlie seasonal changes in song behavior.