Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Neurosci. 1999 Oct;22(10):432-6.

Comparative studies of sex differences in the song-control system of songbirds.

Author information

1
Dept of Psychology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6.

Abstract

Songbirds exhibit some of the most extreme sex differences in the brain of all vertebrates. Understanding the function of these sex differences has relied on making interspecies comparisons. In some species, females sing rarely or not at all, and the brain nuclei that control song are many times larger in volume in males than in females. In other species, males and females sing approximately equally, and the sizes of the brain nuclei that control song are approximately equal between the sexes. This article reviews sex differences in the song-control system of songbirds, and introduces statistical comparative methods developed by evolutionary biologists. These methods control for phylogenetic effects while comparing the co-evolution of traits. The extreme sex differences in song seem to have co-evolved with the extreme sex differences in singing behavior in songbird species.

PMID:
10481186
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center