Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Female canaries sing sexily with testosterone

Date:
December 2, 2009
Source:
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)
Summary:
Testosterone gets female canaries singing. Dutch researchers know how you can make a female canary sing using testosterone and the protein BDNF. Normally, female canaries don't sing, but with a few tweaks, the females' brain structure can be altered in a way that lets them burst into song. Their singing can even be considered sexy.

Normally, female canaries don't sing, but with a few tweaks, the females' brain structure can be altered in a way that lets them burst into song.
Credit: iStockphoto

Testosterone gets female canaries singing. Dutch researcher Tessa Hartog knows how you can make a female canary sing using testosterone and the protein BDNF. Normally, female canaries don't sing, but with a few tweaks, the females' brain structure can be altered in a way that lets them burst into song. Their singing can even be considered sexy.

Related Articles


The influence of hormones on the brain, and on learning and memory processes, is complex and difficult to measure, but canary song is a good model for analysing these types of process. Hartog analysed which substances played a part in the singing behaviour of female canaries and how these substances altered the anatomy of the brain.

Multifunctional testosterone Previous research had already shown that testosterone influenced singing behaviour. It gave rise to new neurones (nerve cells) in the area of the brain that controls singing. However, the extent to which other proteins, such as BDNF, also played a part remained unclear. Hartog established that BDNF could get the females to sing, even if the female birds had not been treated with testosterone. Moreover, combining BDNF and testosterone allowed the females to master the art of 'sexy' song structures, normally reserved for virile male birds.

Interestingly, testosterone has two completely independent effects. It stimulates the production and fusion of new neurones in existing networks in the brain and also results in a widening of the blood vessels and a changed anatomical structure in the area of the brain responsible for singing. The first effect depends on the protein BDNF, but the second appears to be independent of BDNF.

With her results, Hartog has shown that changes in the nerve cells not only produce a physical change, but also a change in behaviour patterns. Tessa Hartog's research throws new light on the influence of hormones on the brain and on learning and memory processes.

Tessa Hartog's research was funded by NWO, and was part of the Open Programme Solid Earth.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Female canaries sing sexily with testosterone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029151447.htm>.
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). (2009, December 2). Female canaries sing sexily with testosterone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029151447.htm
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Female canaries sing sexily with testosterone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029151447.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins