Experiments from our research group have demonstrated that the olfactory sense of birds, which has been considered as unimportant for a long time, plays a prominent role as communication channel in social behaviour. Odour cues are used e.g. by zebra finch chicks to recognize the mother, by adult birds to distinguish their own eggs from others, or to recognize kin. While there is quite a lot of evidence for the importance of odour for social behaviour, it is not known as yet which brain areas may be involved in the processing of socially relevant odours. We therefore compared the brain activation pattern of zebra finch males exposed to their own offspring odour with that induced by a neutral odour stimulus. By measuring head saccade changes as behavioural reaction and using the expression of the immediate early gene product c-Fos as brain activity marker, we show here that the activation pattern, namely the activity difference between the left and the right hemisphere, of several hippocampal areas in zebra finch males is altered by the presentation of the odour of their own nestlings. In contrast, the nucleus taeniae of the amygdala (TnA) exhibits a tendency of a reduction of c-Fos activation in both hemispheres as a consequence of exposure to the nestling odour. We conclude that the hippocampus is involved in odour based processing of social information, while the role of TnA remains unclear.

Social odour activates the hippocampal formation in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) / Golüke, Sarah; Bischof, Hans-Joachim; Engelmann, Jacob; Caspers, Barbara A.; Mayer, Uwe. - In: BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH. - ISSN 0166-4328. - 364:(2019), pp. 41-49. [10.1016/j.bbr.2019.02.013]

Social odour activates the hippocampal formation in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

Mayer, Uwe
2019

Abstract

Experiments from our research group have demonstrated that the olfactory sense of birds, which has been considered as unimportant for a long time, plays a prominent role as communication channel in social behaviour. Odour cues are used e.g. by zebra finch chicks to recognize the mother, by adult birds to distinguish their own eggs from others, or to recognize kin. While there is quite a lot of evidence for the importance of odour for social behaviour, it is not known as yet which brain areas may be involved in the processing of socially relevant odours. We therefore compared the brain activation pattern of zebra finch males exposed to their own offspring odour with that induced by a neutral odour stimulus. By measuring head saccade changes as behavioural reaction and using the expression of the immediate early gene product c-Fos as brain activity marker, we show here that the activation pattern, namely the activity difference between the left and the right hemisphere, of several hippocampal areas in zebra finch males is altered by the presentation of the odour of their own nestlings. In contrast, the nucleus taeniae of the amygdala (TnA) exhibits a tendency of a reduction of c-Fos activation in both hemispheres as a consequence of exposure to the nestling odour. We conclude that the hippocampus is involved in odour based processing of social information, while the role of TnA remains unclear.
Golüke, Sarah; Bischof, Hans-Joachim; Engelmann, Jacob; Caspers, Barbara A.; Mayer, Uwe
Social odour activates the hippocampal formation in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) / Golüke, Sarah; Bischof, Hans-Joachim; Engelmann, Jacob; Caspers, Barbara A.; Mayer, Uwe. - In: BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH. - ISSN 0166-4328. - 364:(2019), pp. 41-49. [10.1016/j.bbr.2019.02.013]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/229774
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