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Estrogens and MemoryBasic Research and Clinical Implications$
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Karyn M. Frick

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190645908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190645908.001.0001

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Estrogenic Regulation of Spatial Memory in Songbirds

Estrogenic Regulation of Spatial Memory in Songbirds

(p.145) 9 Estrogenic Regulation of Spatial Memory in Songbirds
Estrogens and Memory

David J. Bailey

Colin J. Saldanha

Oxford University Press

Birds are excellent animal models in studies of cognition, neuroplasticity, neuroendocrinology, and sex differences in behavior. Experiments with diverse avian species have revealed a potent modulation of neuroanatomy and complex brain function by steroids, both during development and adulthood. This chapter describes some of the foundational and more recent developments in the estrogenic modulation of spatial memory function, as well as related studies regarding effects of the steroid on auditory discrimination and memory for song in passerines. More specifically, the chapter describes the evolution of our understanding of how locally synthesized and rapidly acting estradiol modulates higher cognitive functions in this varied and important vertebrate class, as well as the mechanisms whereby this synaptic aromatization may underlie the learning and retention of these behaviors.

Keywords:   songbird, zebra finch, hippocampus, hippocampal formation, spatial memory, estrogen, aromatase, synaptocrine, GPER

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