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Seasonal changes in neuron numbers in the hippocampal formation of a food-hoarding bird: The black-capped chickadee

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tom Smulders

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Abstract

The volume of the hippocampal formation (HF) in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) varies across the seasons, in parallel with the seasonal cycle in food hoarding. In this study, we estimate cell density and total cell number in the HF across seasons in both juveniles and adults. We find that the seasonal variation in volume is due to an increase in the number of small and large cells (principally neurons) in the fall. Adults also have lower neuron densities than juveniles. Both juveniles and adults show an increase in cell density in the rostral part of the HF in August and a subsequent decrease toward October. This suggests that the net cell addition to the HF may already start in August. We discuss the implications of this early start with respect to the possibility that the seasonal change in HF volume is driven by the experience of food hoarding. We also speculate on the functional significance of the addition of neurons to the HF in the fall. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Smulders TV, Shiflett MW, Sperling AJ, DeVoogd TJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Neurobiology

Year: 2000

Volume: 44

Issue: 4

Pages: 414-422

ISSN (print): 0022-3034

ISSN (electronic): 1932-846X

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1097-4695(20000915)44:4<414::AID-NEU4>3.0.CO;2-I

DOI: 10.1002/1097-4695(20000915)44:4<414::AID-NEU4>3.0.CO;2-I


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