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Behav Neurosci. 2000 Jun;114(3):526-42.

Sexually stimulating signals of canary (Serinus canaria) songs: evidence for a female-specific auditory representation in the HVc nucleus during the breeding season.

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Laboratoire de Psychophysiologie et d'Ethologie, Université Paris X Nanterre, Paris, France.


During the breeding season under long-day conditions, male canaries sing sexually attractive songs and females respond behaviorally to such songs. This study assessed whether auditory response properties of neurons in nucleus HVc of female and male canaries are tuned to sexually salient song features: special song phrases and canary song segmentation. In sexually receptive female canaries, neurons responded to special song phrases with a decreased spike rate and were sensitive to canary song segmentation. The nonreceptive females showed no clear response to special song phrases. In females on short days, neurons responded to song phrases with an increase in activity. In males on long days, they exhibited phasic responses after the phrase onset, whatever the song phrase and song segmentation. This study demonstrates both a plasticity in relation to females' sexual responsiveness and a sexual dimorphism in the auditory processing performed in the HVc.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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