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Abstract #2690

In-vivo online monitoring of testosterone-induced neuroplasticity in a seasonal songbird

Geert De Groof 1 , Sofie Van Massenhoven 1 , Elisabeth Jonckers 1 , and Annemie Van der Linden 1
1 Bio-Imaging Lab, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Steroid hormones have a profound effect on brain plasticity and seasonal songbirds are on of the most extreme examples of this neuroplasticity (linked to song behaviour). The causality of the change in singing behaviour and neuroplasticity remains unknown. Using longitudinal DTI we measured the connectivity of the starling brain repeatedly after testosterone implantation. The connection between the main song control nuclei changed significantly after about 14 days of treatment, while plasma testosterone levels were already significantly higher at 2 days of treatment coinciding with an increase of song output. Our results thus indicate that this neuroplasticity is activity (singing) induced.

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