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Abstract #1458

Diffusion Tensor Imaging sheds light on microstructural brain changes related to the process of vocal learning in juvenile zebra finches.

Julie Hamaide1, Geert De Groof1, Johan Van Audekerke1, Marleen Verhoye1, and Annemie Van der Linden1

1Bio-Imaging Lab, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Vocal learning in songbirds has until now mainly been studied by invasive methods such as histology and molecular testing. Here we use in vivo Diffusion Tensor Imaging to map the structural development of the zebra finch brain which might help unveil brain areas implicated in the process of song learning and brain areas subject to a downregulation of plasticity characterizing the end of the critical periods which results in song crystallization.

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