Investigating a Neural Circuit for Female Reproductive Behavior using Viral Tools in Songbirds
The ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) serves as a critical brain center for the control of female reproductive behavior in mammals. In particular, VMH is considered necessary for evoking lordosis, a sexually receptive behavior in female rodents. The involvement of the VMH in reproductive behaviors in birds is not well understood however it has been implicated in female courtship behaviors such as the copulation solicitation display (CSD), a behavior analogous to lordosis. This project aims to investigate the neural connectivity between VMH and a midbrain center known to be necessary for female reproductive behavior in songbirds.