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Using digital images of the zebra finch song system as a tool to teach organizational effects of steroid hormones: a free downloadable module.

Grisham W, Schottler NA, McCauley LM, Pham AP, Ruiz ML, Fong MC, Cui X - CBE Life Sci Educ (2011)

Bottom Line: Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not.We have overcome these barriers by creating digital tools, including an image library of song nuclei from zebra finch brains.We have used this library for several terms, and students not only obtain significant experimental results but also make gains in understanding content, experimental controls, and inferential statistics (analysis of variance and post hoc tests).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. grisham@lifesci.ucla.edu

ABSTRACT
Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the ease of quantification and experimental manipulation, the zebra finch song system has great potential for use in undergraduate labs. Unfortunately, the underlying costs prohibit use of this system in undergraduate labs. Further, the time required to perform a developmental study renders such undertakings unrealistic within a single academic term. We have overcome these barriers by creating digital tools, including an image library of song nuclei from zebra finch brains. Students using this library replicate and extend a published experiment examining the dose of estradiol required to masculinize the female zebra finch brain. We have used this library for several terms, and students not only obtain significant experimental results but also make gains in understanding content, experimental controls, and inferential statistics (analysis of variance and post hoc tests). We have provided free access to these digital tools at the following website: http://mdcune.psych.ucla.edu/modules/birdsong.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean Area X volume (±SEM) as a function of dose of E2 (0, 5, 15, and 50 μg) and sex (M or F). Letter “a” signifies different from all other groups, letter “b” and brackets signify difference of 15 and 50 μg doses from 5 and 0 μg, Fisher's Least Significant Difference test. Data were obtained by our students; only Area X data are shown here, but HVC and RA data show a similar pattern of significant differences.
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Figure 4: Mean Area X volume (±SEM) as a function of dose of E2 (0, 5, 15, and 50 μg) and sex (M or F). Letter “a” signifies different from all other groups, letter “b” and brackets signify difference of 15 and 50 μg doses from 5 and 0 μg, Fisher's Least Significant Difference test. Data were obtained by our students; only Area X data are shown here, but HVC and RA data show a similar pattern of significant differences.

Mentions: Students characteristically obtain remarkably good data and invariably find significant differences. Data from one section of our students are displayed in Figure 4. Students are assigned to write a report in the form of a journal article and are guided through this process via discussion of the five objectives outlined above (also see PowerPoint slides in Lectures 3 and 4 on our website: http://mdcune.psych.ucla.edu/modules/birdsong).


Using digital images of the zebra finch song system as a tool to teach organizational effects of steroid hormones: a free downloadable module.

Grisham W, Schottler NA, McCauley LM, Pham AP, Ruiz ML, Fong MC, Cui X - CBE Life Sci Educ (2011)

Mean Area X volume (±SEM) as a function of dose of E2 (0, 5, 15, and 50 μg) and sex (M or F). Letter “a” signifies different from all other groups, letter “b” and brackets signify difference of 15 and 50 μg doses from 5 and 0 μg, Fisher's Least Significant Difference test. Data were obtained by our students; only Area X data are shown here, but HVC and RA data show a similar pattern of significant differences.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3105929&req=5

Figure 4: Mean Area X volume (±SEM) as a function of dose of E2 (0, 5, 15, and 50 μg) and sex (M or F). Letter “a” signifies different from all other groups, letter “b” and brackets signify difference of 15 and 50 μg doses from 5 and 0 μg, Fisher's Least Significant Difference test. Data were obtained by our students; only Area X data are shown here, but HVC and RA data show a similar pattern of significant differences.
Mentions: Students characteristically obtain remarkably good data and invariably find significant differences. Data from one section of our students are displayed in Figure 4. Students are assigned to write a report in the form of a journal article and are guided through this process via discussion of the five objectives outlined above (also see PowerPoint slides in Lectures 3 and 4 on our website: http://mdcune.psych.ucla.edu/modules/birdsong).

Bottom Line: Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not.We have overcome these barriers by creating digital tools, including an image library of song nuclei from zebra finch brains.We have used this library for several terms, and students not only obtain significant experimental results but also make gains in understanding content, experimental controls, and inferential statistics (analysis of variance and post hoc tests).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. grisham@lifesci.ucla.edu

ABSTRACT
Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the ease of quantification and experimental manipulation, the zebra finch song system has great potential for use in undergraduate labs. Unfortunately, the underlying costs prohibit use of this system in undergraduate labs. Further, the time required to perform a developmental study renders such undertakings unrealistic within a single academic term. We have overcome these barriers by creating digital tools, including an image library of song nuclei from zebra finch brains. Students using this library replicate and extend a published experiment examining the dose of estradiol required to masculinize the female zebra finch brain. We have used this library for several terms, and students not only obtain significant experimental results but also make gains in understanding content, experimental controls, and inferential statistics (analysis of variance and post hoc tests). We have provided free access to these digital tools at the following website: http://mdcune.psych.ucla.edu/modules/birdsong.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus