Steffen Schulz, Diplomand
So far it is known that FoxP2, a member of the forkhead box transcription factors, is involved in learning and acquisition of speech and song in humans and songbirds like zebra finches, respectively . It is, amongst others, expressed in two song nuclei, HVC in the pallium and Area X in the striatum of the male zebra finch, whereto newly born neurons of the subventricular zone migrate during the sensorimotory learning phase . This neurogenesis persists also in adult males, when the song is already crystallized . To test if the FoxP2 gene may have a main function in regulating neurogenesis and in predefining the morphologic structures of the newly born neurons, knock-down experiments in the subventricular zone will be performed and potential changes in the total amount and in the structure of new cells analysed.