Hormonal Regulation of Avian Auditory Processing

  • Luke Remage-HealeyEmail author
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 71)


This chapter explores the current understanding of the hormonal regulation of auditory function in songbirds by focusing on three themes. The first section is an overview of seasonal changes in the auditory pathway that are regulated by hormones. Next, the concept of the songbird brain as both a source and a target of neuromodulatory steroid hormones is discussed in the context of auditory function. Finally, the way that hormones interact with classical neurotransmitter systems (the biogenic amines dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) to modulate auditory processing is presented. Reflecting on the sum total of these studies, understanding of the hormonal regulation of auditory function in songbirds has progressed considerably in the past few decades. More broadly, the field of songbird neuroethology has been continually propelled by an integrative perspective that examines the development, evolution, and hormonal modulation of neural circuits for song production, learning, and processing. This holistic approach to songbird neuroethology research, inspired by Niko Tinbergen and Peter Marler, will continue to be important as an increasing number of tools become available to explore the brain and behavior of songbirds.


Auditory lobule CM Dopamine Estrogens Field L Song learning NCM Neuroestrogens Neuromodulator Neurophysiology Norephinephrine Song selectivity 



Preparation of this chapter was supported in part by NIH R01NS082179 and NSF IOS 1354906.

Compliance with Ethics Requirements

Luke Remage-Healey declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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