Chapter

Modulation of Central Auditory Processing by a Brain-Generated Estrogen: Rapid Effects on Neural Coding, Discrimination, and Behavior

Liisa A. Tremere and Raphael Pinaud

in Brain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841196
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979837 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841196.003.0024

Series: Oxford Series in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

Modulation of Central Auditory Processing by a Brain-Generated Estrogen: Rapid Effects on Neural Coding, Discrimination, and Behavior

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Beyond the traditional roles of estrogens, especially 17β-estradiol (E2), in the regulation of reproductive, aggressive and mnemonic functions, recent findings conclusively demonstrate that E2 also directly impacts sensory function. More specifically, studies conducted in songbirds reveal that E2 is produced by central auditory neurons and that this brain-generated hormone rapidly affects neuronal physiology to modify auditory-based behaviors. This chapter discusses key findings on this rapidly emerging field. In particular, this chapter examines the anatomical and neurochemical organization, along with the experience-dependent activation, of E2-producing and E2-sensitive neurons in the songbird auditory forebrain. This chapter further discusses findings indicating that auditory experience rapidly modulates the site-specific production of E2 in behaving animals, and that such rises in neurohormonal levels rapidly enhance neurophysiological responses in the awake-brain.

Keywords: auditory; discrimination; estrogen; information coding; memory; perception

Chapter.  9169 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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