Zachary J. Hall

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Across the brains of different bird species, the cerebellum varies greatly in the amount of surface folding (foliation). The degree of cerebellar foliation is thought to correlate positively with the processing capacity of the cerebellum, supporting complex motor abilities, particularly manipulative skills. Here, we tested this hypothesis by investigating(More)
During nest building in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), several regions in the social behaviour network and the dopaminergic reward system, which are two neural circuits involved in social behaviour, appear to be active in male and female nest-building finches. Because the nonapeptides, mesotocin and vasotocin and the neurotransmitter, dopamine, play(More)
Following development, the avian brain continues to produce neurons throughout adulthood, which functionally integrate throughout the telencephalon, including the hippocampus. In food-storing birds like the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), new neurons incorporated into the hippocampus are hypothesized to play a role in spatial learning.(More)
The song-control system is a network of discrete nuclei in the songbird brain that controls the production and learning of birdsong and exhibits some of the best-studied neuroplasticity found in the adult brain. Photoperiodic growth of the song-control system during the breeding season is driven, at least in part, by the gonadal steroid testosterone. When(More)
Adult neuroplasticity is strongly influenced by steroids. In particular, corticosterone (CORT) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can have opposing effects, where CORT reduces while DHEA increases neurogenesis and neuron recruitment. It has been previously shown that in adult male song sparrows, DHEA treatment increases neuron recruitment throughout the(More)
Despite centuries of observing the nest building of most extant bird species, we know surprisingly little about how birds build nests and, specifically, how the avian brain controls nest building. Here, we argue that nest building in birds may be a useful model behaviour in which to study how the brain controls behaviour. Specifically, we argue that nest(More)
Neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, are associated with abnormal brain development. In this review, we discuss how studying dimensional components of these disorders, or endophenotypes, in a wider range of animal models will deepen our understanding of how interactions between biological and environmental factors alter the trajectory of(More)
Nest building in birds involves a behavioral sequence (nest material collection and deposition in the nest) that offers a unique model for addressing how the brain sequences motor actions. In this study, we identified brain regions involved in nesting behavior in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We used Fos immunohistochemistry to(More)
The song control system is a group of discrete interconnected nuclei found in the brains of all songbirds (suborder Passeri). Previous studies have reported a positive relationship between sex differences in song nucleus volumes and sex differences in song behavior across numerous songbird species, with species exhibiting greater sex differences in behavior(More)
As a social species zebra finches might be expected to copy the food choices of more experienced conspecifics. This prediction has been tested previously by presenting observers with two demonstrator birds that differ in some way (e.g., sex, familiarity), each feeding on a different colour food source. However, if the observer subsequently exhibits a(More)