Tom V. Smulders

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The standard nomenclature that has been used for many telencephalic and related brainstem structures in birds is based on flawed assumptions of homology to mammals. In particular, the outdated terminology implies that most of the avian telencephalon is a hypertrophied basal ganglia, when it is now clear that most of the avian telencephalon is(More)
We believe that names have a powerful influence on the experiments we do and the way in which we think. For this reason, and in the light of new evidence about the function and evolution of the vertebrate brain, an international consortium of neuroscientists has reconsidered the traditional, 100-year-old terminology that is used to describe the avian(More)
Black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus) in upstate New York show a peak in food-hoarding intensity in October. We caught chickadees at six different times of the year and measured the volume of several brain structures. We found that the hippocampal formation, which is involved in spatial memory for cached food items, has a larger volume, relative to(More)
The volume of the hippocampal formation (HF) in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) varies across the seasons, in parallel with the seasonal cycle in food hoarding. In this study, we estimate cell density and total cell number in the HF across seasons in both juveniles and adults. We find that the seasonal variation in volume is due to an(More)
Determining how information flows along anatomical brain pathways is a fundamental requirement for understanding how animals perceive their environments, learn, and behave. Attempts to reveal such neural information flow have been made using linear computational methods, but neural interactions are known to be nonlinear. Here, we demonstrate that a dynamic(More)
This study investigates the effects of captivity and testosterone treatment on the volumes of brain regions involved in processing visual and spatial information in adult dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis). We treated captive and free-living male juncos with either testosterone-filled or empty implants. Captive juncos had a smaller hippocampal formation (HF)(More)
Understanding the survival value of behaviour does not tell us how the mechanisms that control this behaviour work. Nevertheless, understanding survival value can guide the study of these mechanisms. In this paper, we apply this principle to understanding the cognitive mechanisms that support cache retrieval in scatter-hoarding animals. We believe it is too(More)
Some animals have been shown to be able to remember which type of food they hoarded or encountered in which location and how long ago (what–where–when memory). In this study, we test whether magpies (Pica pica) also show evidence of remembering these different aspects of a past episode. Magpies hid red- and blue-dyed pellets of scrambled eggs in a large(More)
Many animals regularly hoard food for future use, which appears to be an important adaptation to a seasonally and/or unpredictably changing environment. This food-hoarding paradigm is an excellent example of a natural system that has broadly influenced both theoretical and empirical work in the field of biology. The food-hoarding paradigm has played a major(More)
A game against the field is proposed that models the evolution of food-hoarding behavior in a group-living species, like many members of the family Paridae (Aves, Passeriformes). The model predicts that no special retrieval mechanisms (e.g., memory) are necessary for food-hoarding individuals to invade a population of nonhoarders, as long as the winters are(More)