Navigation Links
It's a unisex brain with specific signals that trigger 'male' behavior
Date:4/30/2008

New Haven, Conn. Research by Yale scientists shows that males and females have essentially unisex brains at least in flies according to a recent report in Cell designed to identify factors that are responsible for sex differences in behavior.

The researchers showed that a courting song and dance routine that only male flies naturally perform one wing is lifted and wiggled to make a humming song can also be triggered in female flies by artificially stimulating particular brain cells that are present in both sexes. It isnt what youve got its how you use it, the authors say.

It appears there is a largely bisexual or unisex brain. Anatomically, the differences are subtle and a few critical switches make the difference between male and female behavior, said senior author Gero Miesenboeck, formerly of Yale University and now at the University of Oxford.

According to the authors, most male animals have to perform elaborate courtship displays to try to convince the female that they are worthy mates. Their study was designed to see what neurons were responsible for behavior in the courtship dance of flies, and how the neural circuits in males and females differed. To do this, they genetically engineered specific neurons in the fly to respond to light. This optical trick allowed them to activate the neural circuits that control the behavior pattern directly.

Using a flash of laser light as a remote control for the brain cells, the researchers first identified which nerve cells control the courting behavior in males. Next, they showed that the cells were present and functional in both males and females, even though only males do the song and dance.

Surprisingly, when the brain cells of female flies were flashed with the laser cue we found that even the female flies that never normally behaved this way, began to sing, said Dylan Clyne, a Yale post-doctoral associate and primary investigator of the study. Our work shows that the brains not only look similar but are functionally similar. The females have all the equipment to sing, but normally dont use it because their song circuit doesnt get the appropriate activating signals.

Asked about the relevance of this study to humans, Clyne said, You have to be careful about how much you can extrapolate from studying flies. But, the basic principle should hold up that is, the idea that we dont need big sex-differences in the brain to explain why it seems that men are from Mars and women from Venus.

The authors next goal is finding the controls that set the flies brains to the male or female mode. They hope that by studying examples like sex-specific behaviors, they can clarify the still poorly understood relationships between genes, which are the targets of natural selection, and behavior, which is the product of evolution. Ultimately, this line of research could also shed light on how genes underlie behavioral variation and perhaps even specific mental illnesses.


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Detecting dangerous chemicals with lasers, exploring the brains circuitry with light and more
2. Vitamin D in brain function
3. Unconscious decisions in the brain
4. Brain study may lead to improved epilepsy treatments
5. Learning and the brain
6. Can micro-scaffolding help stem cells rebuild the brain after stroke?
7. Scientists ask whether microscaffolding can help stem cells rebuild brain after stroke damage
8. Your babys brain on drugs (and alcohol and tobacco)
9. Autism Speaks collaborates on grant with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and autism expert
10. Veterinary college researcher studying brain tumors in people and animals
11. Harvard researchers publish MRI images of genes in action in the living brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
It's a unisex brain with specific signals that trigger 'male' behavior
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment ... already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership ... BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of its ... addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young Investigator ... Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of 128 ... About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the ... the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s ... how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the NASDAQ Composite ... Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish at 17,780.83; ... has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARLZ ), ... more about these stocks by accessing their free trade alerts ...
Breaking Biology Technology: