Geert De Groof1, Marleen Verhoye1,2, Alexander Leemans3, Marcel Eens4, Veerle M. Darras5, Annemie Van der Linden1
1Bio-Imaging Lab, University of Antwerp,
Antwerp, Belgium; 2Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Antwerp,
Belgium; 3Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC),
Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK; 4Ethology Research Group,
University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; 5Animal Physiology and
Neurobiology Section, K.U. Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
This study investigates seasonal changes of grey matter in the songbird brain using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). Here we focused on the nuclei of the 'social behaviour network' and a auditory sensory processing region. Nine male starlings were measured in both the breeding and the non-breeding season. We found a decrease of the third eigenvalue from the diffusion tensor from breeding to non-breeding season in all regions demonstrating a change in aromatase expression. This indicates that not only the song control system changes between seasons but other relevant structures in the brain also.