Birth of projection neurons in adult avian brain may be related to perceptual or motor learning

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Science  21 Sep 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4975, pp. 1444-1446
DOI: 10.1126/science.1698312

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Projection neurons that form part of the motor pathway for song control continue to be produced and to replace older projection neurons in adult canaries and zebra finches. This is shown by combining [3H]thymidine, a cell birth marker, and fluorogold, a retrogradely transported tracer of neuronal connectivity. Species and seasonal comparisons suggest that this process is related to the acquisition of perceptual or motor memories. The ability of an adult brain to produce and replace projection neurons should influence our thinking on brain repair.

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