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Reflections on the Musical MindAn Evolutionary Perspective$
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Jay Schulkin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157443

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157443.001.0001

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Bird Brains, Social Contact, and Song

Bird Brains, Social Contact, and Song

(p.37) Chapter 2 Bird Brains, Social Contact, and Song
Reflections on the Musical Mind

Jay Schulkin

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the evolution of bird brain, social contact, and birdsong. Communicative capabilities are widespread, whether in song or through other forms of intimate social contact. One mechanism for this is the regulation of information molecules in the brain such as vasopressin and oxytocin. The chapter first provides an overview of information molecules before connecting these processes to song in frogs, crickets, and birds. It then considers neurogenesis and how information molecules work in the human brain, focusing on some core biology underlying animal song and social contact. It shows that steroid hormones facilitate neuropeptide expression in many species, which underlies song tied to the regulation of the internal milieu, territorial expression, reproduction, and a much wider range of social behaviors.

Keywords:   evolution, birds, social contact, birdsong, song, brain, information molecules, neurogenesis, steroid hormones, social behaviors

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