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Researchers describe neural mechanisms for gregariousness and monogamy in zebra finches

August 17, 2017

How do gregarious songbirds such as zebra finches, where both males and females live in close proximity and where females may be attracted by the songs of many potential suitors, sustain monogamy? A new study appearing in eLife sheds light on how males have evolved a high tolerance to birdsong while females have evolved a high selectivity to these songs.

The article, titled “Sexual dimorphism in striatal dopaminergic responses promotes monogamy in social songbirds” is a collaboration of researchers from three City University of New York (CUNY) institutions — Hunter College, the Graduate Center, and City College — as well as Weill Cornell Medicine and Houston Methodist Research Institute.

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