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Brain Res. 1996 Mar 11;712(1):69-73.

Testosterone-dependent increase of gap-junctions in HVC neurons of adult female canaries.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie, Seewiesen, Germany.


Singing of canaries is controlled by a chain of interconnected brain areas. One of these areas, the caudal nucleus of the ventral neostriatum (HVC), is sensitive to androgens and estrogens. In adult canaries, both male and female sing. Female song is structured differently from the male singing and characterized by a higher variability. Singing females were implanted with testosterone propionate (n = 5) or with empty silastic tubes (n = 5). Testosterone treated females developed a male-like song and had an increased number of neuronal soma-somatic gap junctions in the HVC compared with the untreated singing females. Electric coupling of HVC neurons could be important for the testosterone-dependent changes of the song pattern of canaries.

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