The acoustic expression of stress in a songbird: does corticosterone drive isolation-induced modifications of zebra finch calls?

Emilie C Perez 1 Julie E Elie 1 Christophe O Soulage 2 Hédi A Soula 2, 3 Nicolas Mathevon 1 Clémentine Vignal 1
3 BEAGLE - Artificial Evolution and Computational Biology
LIRIS - Laboratoire d'InfoRmatique en Image et Systèmes d'information, Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LBBE - Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, CarMeN - Laboratoire de recherche en cardiovasculaire, métabolisme, diabétologie et nutrition
Abstract : Animal vocalizations convey multiple pieces of information about the sender. Some of them are stable, such as identity or sex, but others are labile like the emotional or motivational state. Only a few studies have examined the acoustic expression of emotional state in non-human animals and related vocal cues to physiological parameters. In this paper, we examined the vocal expression of isolation-induced stress in a songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Although songbirds use acoustic communication extensively, nothing is known to date on how they might encode physiological states in their vocalizations. We tested the hypothesis that social isolation in zebra finches induces a rise of plasma corticosterone that modifies the vocal behavior. We monitored plasma corticosterone, as well as call rate and acoustic structure of calls of males in response to the playback of female calls of varied saliences (familiar versus stranger) in two situations: social isolation and social housing. Social isolation induced both a rise in plasma corticosterone, and a range of modifications in males' vocal behavior. Isolated birds showed a lower vocal activity, an abolition of the difference of response between the two stimuli, and evoked calls with longer duration and higher pitch. Because some of these effects were mimicked after oral administration of corticosterone in socially housed subjects, we conclude that corticosterone could be partly responsible for the isolation-related modifications of calls in male zebra finches. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of the direct implication of glucocorticoids in the modulation of the structure of vocal sounds.
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Article dans une revue
Horm Behav, Journal-Full = Hormones and behavior, Elsevier, 2012, 61 (4), pp.573-81. 〈10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.02.004〉
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Contributeur : Hedi Soula <>
Soumis le : vendredi 30 novembre 2012 - 18:38:18
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:23:37

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Emilie C Perez, Julie E Elie, Christophe O Soulage, Hédi A Soula, Nicolas Mathevon, et al.. The acoustic expression of stress in a songbird: does corticosterone drive isolation-induced modifications of zebra finch calls?. Horm Behav, Journal-Full = Hormones and behavior, Elsevier, 2012, 61 (4), pp.573-81. 〈10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.02.004〉. 〈hal-00759517〉

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