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Expression of immediate early genes in the hippocampal formation of the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) during a food-hoarding task

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tom SmuldersORCiD


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Black-capped chickadees store food in many different locations in their home range and are able to accurately remember these locations. Wt: measured the number of cells immunopositive for three different Immediate Early Gene products (Fra-1, c-Fos and ZENK) to map neuronal activity in the chickadee Hippocampal Formation (HF) during food storing and retrieval. Fra-1-like immunoreactivity is downregulated in the dorsal HF of both storing and retrieving chickadees compared to controls. In retrieving birds, the number of Fos-like immunoreactive neurons relates to the number of items remembered, while the number of ZENK-like immunoreactive neurons in the HF may be related to the accuracy of cache retrieval. These results imply that the brain might process complex information by recruiting more neurons into the network of active neurons. Thus, our results could help explain why food-hoarding birds have more HF neurons than non-hoarders, and why this number increases in autumn when large numbers of food items are cached. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. [References: 67]

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smulders TV, DeVoogd TJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Behavioural Brain Research

Year: 2000

Volume: 114

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 39-49

ISSN (print): 0166-4328

ISSN (electronic): 1872-7549

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/S0166-4328(00)00189-3


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