Transcriptional regulation of activity-dependent genes by birdsong

Tarciso A.F. Velho, Claudio V. Mello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Birdsong is a natural learned behavior used extensively for vocal communication and controlled by a well-characterized set of discrete brain areas in songbirds. The acts of hearing and producing birdsong lead to robust transcriptional regulation of expression of activity-dependent genes in auditory and vocal control areas respectively. Therefore, birdsong provides an ideal paradigm to study transcription regulation by a natural learned stimulus in the brain of awake behaving animals. In this chapter we first discuss briefly some basic aspects of birdsong neurobiology, focusing on the substrates for perceptual and motor aspects of vocal communication in songbirds. We then discuss our current knowledge of the influence of stimulus type, behavioral condition and context on transcriptional regulation by song; the mechanisms regulating induced gene expression in song-encoding neurons; and the possible functional significance of the transcriptional response to song in auditory and song control areas of the songbird brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTranscriptional Regulation by Neuronal Activity
Subtitle of host publicationTo the Nucleus and Back
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780387736099
ISBN (Print)9780387736082
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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