Natural Changes in Brain Temperature Underlie Variations in Song Tempo during a Mating Behavior
Author(s)Aronov, Dmitriy; Fee, Michale S.
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The song of a male zebra finch is a stereotyped motor sequence whose tempo varies with social context – whether or not the song is directed at a female bird – as well as with the time of day. The neural mechanisms underlying these changes in tempo are unknown. Here we show that brain temperature recorded in freely behaving male finches exhibits a global increase in response to the presentation of a female bird. This increase strongly correlates with, and largely explains, the faster tempo of songs directed at a female compared to songs produced in social isolation. Furthermore, we find that the observed diurnal variations in song tempo are also explained by natural variations in brain temperature. Our findings suggest that brain temperature is an important variable that can influence the dynamics of activity in neural circuits, as well as the temporal features of behaviors that some of these circuits generate.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
Public Library of Science
Aronov, Dmitriy, and Michale S. Fee. “Natural Changes in Brain Temperature Underlie Variations in Song Tempo During a Mating Behavior.” Ed. Melissa J. Coleman. PLoS ONE 7.10 (2012): e47856.
Final published version