Estrogen turns up volume of mating song in female birds

estrogen
Estradiol, the major estrogen sex hormone in humans and a widely used medication. Credit: Public Domain

Does estrogen affect the way females perceive male sexual signals? That is a question a team of Yale researchers explored in a study, focusing on the female house sparrow.

The research team investigated how female sparrows exposed to estrogen responded to the songs of from their own species and a different species. Using PET scan technology designed for , the researchers observed in the birds noninvasively on multiple occasions. They found that the female sparrows given estrogen were more stimulated by the songs of their own males, while they tuned out other songs. The effect lasted up to one month after hormone exposure, the researchers noted.

The study results suggest that being in breeding condition changes the way birds perceive different kinds of sounds, said the researchers. The findings could provide insights into the effects of estrogen, which is the same in humans as in birds, on the brain and on hearing. The full study is published in PLOS ONE.


Explore further

Drosophila buzzatii fruit fly females may use courtship songs to pick same-species mates

More information: Christine R. Lattin et al. Estradiol modulates neural response to conspecific and heterospecific song in female house sparrows: An in vivo positron emission tomography study, PLOS ONE (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182875
Journal information: PLoS ONE

Provided by Yale University
Citation: Estrogen turns up volume of mating song in female birds (2017, August 30) retrieved 21 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-estrogen-volume-song-female-birds.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more