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Brain Res. 1987 Jan;428(1):15-27.

Acoustic imprinting in guinea fowl chicks: age dependence of 2-deoxyglucose uptake in relevant forebrain areas.


In 7-day-old guinea chicks play back of an imprinted acoustic stimulus was previously found to correlate with increased uptake of 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) in 3 rostral forebrain areas (HAD, LNH and MNH). Subdivisions of these areas defined by 2DG labelling may be association fields. Auditory areas did not show labelling differences between imprinted and control animals. In the present study imprinted guinea chicks of different age and with different experience were used in the 2DG experiments. Seven-day-old chicks (beyond the sensitive phase), 4-day-old (at the decline of sensitive phase) and 1- and 3-day-old chicks (within the sensitive phase) were given a 2DG injection and afterwards heard the stimulus to which they had been imprinted previously (1.8 kHz, 3 tone pips per s). While the typical labelling pattern was weak or absent in 1-4-day-old chicks the older animals consistently had high 2DG uptake in these areas. Unsuccessfully imprinted 7-day-old chicks, having all the behavioral test experience, showed no or weak labelling. These results are related to current literature on reticular activation of the relevant areas and on morphological changes there with termination of the sensitive phase. It is argued that the reticular activation of these areas, e.g. attention mechanisms are instrumental in securing imprinting success and that subsequent reorganization of the areas leads to stronger metabolic activation after the sensitive phase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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