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New article in Naturwissenschaften (Natural Sciences)

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Subject: New article in Naturwissenschaften (Natural Sciences)
From: "Sonja Amoser" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 10:19:45 +0100
Hugo Cousillas, Isabelle George, Maryvonne Mathelier, Jean-Pierre Richard,
Laurence Henry, and Martine Hausberger (2006): Social experience influences
the development of a central auditory area. Naturwissenschaften (Natural
Sciences), 93, 588-596.

Abstract: Vocal communication develops under social influences that can
enhance attention, an important factor in memory formation and perceptual
tuning. In songbirds, social conditions can delay sensitive periods of
development, overcome learning inhibitions and enable exceptional learning
or induce selective learning. However, we do not know how social conditions
influence auditory processing in the brain. In the present study, we raised
young naive starlings under different social conditions but with the same
auditory experience of adult songs, and we compared the effects of these
different conditions on the development of the auditory cortex analogue.
Several features appeared to be influenced by the social experience, among
which the proportion of auditory neuronal sites and the neuronal
selectivity. Both physical and social isolation from adult models altered
the development of the auditory area in parallel to alterations in vocal
development. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that social
deprivation has as much influence on neuronal responsiveness as sensory

Key words: Vocal communication - Memory formation - Social deprivation -
Neuronal responsiveness - Sensory deprivation

Doi: 10.1007/s00114-006-0148-4

University of Vienna, Dept. of Behavioral Biology
Sonja Amoser
PhD Student, Research Associate

Althanstrasse 14
1090 Vienna
tel: +43 (1) 4277 54467
fax: +43 (1) 4277 54506
mobile: +43 (664) 500 61 06

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