Urbano, Catherine M; Peterson, Jennifer R; Cooper, Brenton G
Songbirds and humans use auditory feedback to acquire and maintain their vocalizations. The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) is a songbird species that rapidly modifies its vocal output to adhere to an internal song memory. In this species, the left side of the bipartite vocal organ is specialized for producing louder, higher frequencies (≥2.2kHz) and denervation of the left vocal muscles eliminates these notes. Thus, the return of higher frequency notes after cranial nerve injury can be used as a measure of vocal recovery. Either the left or right side of the syrinx was denervated by resection of the tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve. Histologic analyses of syringeal muscle tissue showed significant muscle atrophy in the denervated side. After left nerve resection, songs were mainly composed of lower frequency syllables, but three out of five birds recovered higher frequency syllables. Right nerve resection minimally affected phonology, but it did change song syntax; syllable sequence became abnormally stereotyped after right nerve resection. Therefore, damage to the neuromuscular control of sound production resulted in reduced motor variability, and Bengalese finches are a potential model for functional vocal recovery following cranial nerve injury. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Seki, Yoshimasa; Okanoya, Kazuo
Both visual and auditory information are important for songbirds, especially in developmental and sexual contexts. To investigate bimodal cognition in songbirds, the authors conducted audiovisual discrimination training in Bengalese finches. The authors used two types of stimulus: an "artificial stimulus," which is a combination of simple figures and sound, and a "biological stimulus," consisting of video images of singing males along with their songs. The authors found that while both sexes predominantly used visual cues in the discrimination tasks, males tended to be more dependent on auditory information for the biological stimulus. Female responses were always dependent on the visual stimulus for both stimulus types. Only males changed their discrimination strategy according to stimulus type. Although males used both visual and auditory cues for the biological stimulus, they responded to the artificial stimulus depending only on visual information, as the females did. These findings suggest a sex difference in innate auditory sensitivity. (c) 2008 APA.
Kristen R Secora
Full Text Available Singing in songbirds is a complex, learned behavior which shares many parallels with human speech. The avian vocal organ (syrinx has two potential sound sources, and each sound generator is under unilateral, ipsilateral neural control. Different songbird species vary in their use of bilateral or unilateral phonation (lateralized sound production and rapid switching between left and right sound generation (interhemispheric switching of motor control. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica have received considerable attention, because they rapidly modify their song in response to manipulations of auditory feedback. However, how the left and right sides of the syrinx contribute to acoustic control of song has not been studied.Three manipulations of lateralized syringeal control of sound production were conducted. First, unilateral syringeal muscular control was eliminated by resection of the left or right tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve, which provides neuromuscular innervation of the syrinx. Spectral and temporal features of song were compared before and after lateralized nerve injury. In a second experiment, either the left or right sound source was devoiced to confirm the role of each sound generator in the control of acoustic phonology. Third, air pressure was recorded before and after unilateral denervation to enable quantification of acoustic change within individual syllables following lateralized nerve resection.These experiments demonstrate that the left sound source produces louder, higher frequency, lower entropy sounds, and the right sound generator produces lower amplitude, lower frequency, higher entropy sounds. The bilateral division of labor is complex and the frequency specialization is the opposite pattern observed in most songbirds. Further, there is evidence for rapid interhemispheric switching during song production. Lateralized control of song production in Bengalese finches may enhance acoustic
Jian-Xu ZHANG et al.
Full Text Available Over-shadowed by eye-catching vocal and visual signals, chemical communication has long been overlooked in birds. This study aimed at exploring whether volatile composition of the uropygial gland secretion (UGS of birds was associated with the information about sex, individual and species. By using dichloromethane extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS, we analyzed the UGS volatiles of domesticated Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata, Estrildiea which is also known as white-rumped munias. We characterized 16 volatile molecules from the UGS, including eight n-alkanols, five diesters, an ester, an aldehyde and a fatty acid, and quantified them in terms of GC peak area percentages (relative abundances. Among these compounds, hexadecanol and octadecanol were major components in both sexes. The former was richer in males than females and the latter richer in females than males, suggesting that they might be male and female pheromone candidates, respectively. The high inter-individual variations, in relative abundance, of the UGS volatiles implied that they might carry information about individuality. The similarity between GC profiles of the UGS and wing feather from same individuals indicates that the birds might preen the secretion to their feathers to transmit chemical cues. Additionally, by comparing with three sympatric passerine species,i.e., zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, yellow-bowed buntings Emberiza chrysophrys and rooks Corvus frugilegus, we found that the composition of C13-C18 alkanols in the UGS might contain information about species. Our study also show that quantitative differences (degree of same UGS volatiles might be the key for the Bengalese finch to code for information about sex and individuality whereas both the kind and degree of UGS constituents could be utilized to code for information about species [Current Zoology 55 (5:–2009].
Toccalino, Danielle C; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T
Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the existence of distinct mechanisms underlying the motivation to
Toccalino, Danielle C.; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T.
Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (female led to the formation of a short-term memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the existence of distinct
Comparison of learning ability and memory retention in altricial (Bengalese finch, Lonchura striata var. domestica) and precocial (blue-breasted quail, Coturnix chinensis) birds using a color discrimination task.
Ueno, Aki; Suzuki, Kaoru
The present study sought to assess the potential application of avian models with different developmental modes to studies on cognition and neuroscience. Six altricial Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica), and eight precocial blue-breasted quails (Coturnix chinensis) were presented with color discrimination tasks to compare their respective faculties for learning and memory retention within the context of the two developmental modes. Tasks consisted of presenting birds with discriminative cues in the form of colored feeder lids, and birds were considered to have learned a task when 80% of their attempts at selecting the correctly colored lid in two consecutive blocks of 10 trials were successful. All of the finches successfully performed the required experimental tasks, whereas only half of the quails were able to execute the same tasks. In the learning test, finches required significantly fewer trials than quails to learn the task (finches: 13.5 ± 9.14 trials, quails: 45.8 ± 4.35 trials, P memory retention tests, which were conducted 45 days after the learning test, finches retained the ability to discriminate between colors correctly (95.0 ± 4.47%), whereas quails did not retain any memory of the experimental procedure and so could not be tested. These results suggested that altricial and precocial birds both possess the faculty for learning and retaining discrimination-type tasks, but that altricial birds perform better than precocial birds in both faculties. The present findings imply that developmental mode is an important consideration for assessing the suitability of bird species for particular experiments. © 2013 Japanese Society of Animal Science.
Perrin, Kathryn L.; Nielsen, Jesper B.; Thomsen, Anders F.
design. Subsequently, a similar protocol was used to compare 30 mg/kg alfaxalone alone or combined with either 0.7 mg/kg midazolam or 1 mg/kg butorphanol SC. Induction and recovery times were recorded and depth of anesthesia monitored at 5-min intervals throughout each procedure. Functional oxygen...... inductions, and the addition of both midazolam and butorphanol resulted in longer durations of anesthesia than alfaxalone alone. The addition of midazolam significantly decreased the pulse rate at 15 min compared with alfaxalone alone. Alfaxalone was found to be an effective agent for inducing anesthesia...... when administered subcutaneously, and no complications were observed. Increasing the dose, and combining with a benzodiazepine or opioid increased the duration of anesthesia with minimal or no effects on respiratory or pulse rates, within the dose range investigated....
E Tobias Krause
Full Text Available Reliably recognizing their own nest provides parents with a necessary skill to invest time and resources efficiently in raising their offspring and thereby maximising their own reproductive success. Studies investigating nest recognition in adult birds have focused mainly on visual cues of the nest or the nest site and acoustic cues of the nestlings. To determine whether adult songbirds also use olfaction for nest recognition, we investigated the use of olfactory nest cues for two estrildid finch species, zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata and Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica during the nestling and fledgling phase of their offspring. We found similar behavioural responses to nest odours in both songbird species. Females preferred the odour of their own nest over a control and avoided the foreign conspecific nest scent over a control during the nestling phase of their offspring, but when given the own odour and the foreign conspecific odour simultaneously we did not find a preference for the own nest odour. Males of both species did not show any preferences at all. The behavioural reaction to any nest odour decreased after fledging of the offspring. Our results show that only females show a behavioural response to olfactory nest cues, indicating that the use of olfactory cues for nest recognition seems to be sex-specific and dependent on the developmental stage of the offspring. Although estrildid finches are known to use visual and acoustic cues for nest recognition, the similar behavioural pattern of both species indicates that at least females gain additional information by olfactory nest cues during the nestling phase of their offspring. Thus olfactory cues might be important in general, even in situations in which visual and acoustic cues are known to be sufficient.
Full Text Available The act of creating a robot involves systems engineering and creative problem solutions. It is about using established components to create a system that works in the natural or at least in the human environment. The current project is no exception, we have used the Robot Operating System (ROS to create an android based teleoperator application for the Finch robot. A Raspberry Pi processing platform establishes the link between the android device and the Finch robot. The most creative task, during the system design, was to translate the commands from the teleoperator application into wheel movements of the Finch robot. The translation must take into account the physical setup of the robot, including unintended negative influences, such as drag. The command translation involved a nonlinear coordinate transformation. The ROS framework enabled us to focus on that nonstandard coordinate translation task by offering a high level of abstraction and the ability to create component functionalities independently.
Sarah K Huber
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Invasive parasites are a major threat to island populations of animals. Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands are under attack by introduced pox virus (Poxvirus avium and nest flies (Philornis downsi. We developed assays for parasite-specific antibody responses in Darwin's finches (Geospiza fortis, to test for relationships between adaptive immune responses to novel parasites and spatial-temporal variation in the occurrence of parasite pressure among G. fortis populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs for the presence of antibodies in the serum of Darwin's finches specific to pox virus or Philornis proteins. We compared antibody levels between bird populations with and without evidence of pox infection (visible lesions, and among birds sampled before nesting (prior to nest-fly exposure versus during nesting (with fly exposure. Birds from the Pox-positive population had higher levels of pox-binding antibodies. Philornis-binding antibody levels were higher in birds sampled during nesting. Female birds, which occupy the nest, had higher Philornis-binding antibody levels than males. The study was limited by an inability to confirm pox exposure independent of obvious lesions. However, the lasting effects of pox infection (e.g., scarring and lost digits were expected to be reliable indicators of prior pox infection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of parasite-specific antibody responses to multiple classes of parasites in a wild population of birds. Darwin's finches initiated acquired immune responses to novel parasites. Our study has vital implications for invasion biology and ecological immunology. The adaptive immune response of Darwin's finches may help combat the negative effects of parasitism. Alternatively, the physiological cost of mounting such a response could outweigh any benefits, accelerating population decline. Tests
Full Text Available Parental investment in unrelated offspring seems maladaptive from an evolutionary perspective, due to the costs of energy and resources that cannot be invested in related offspring at the same time. Therefore selection should favour mechanisms to discriminate between own and foreign offspring. In birds, much emphasis has been placed on understanding the visual mechanisms underlying egg recognition. However, olfactory egg recognition has almost been completely ignored. Here, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata are able to discriminate between their own and a conspecific egg based on olfactory cues alone. Zebra finches are colonial-breeding songbirds. Eggs are monomorphic, i.e. without any spotting pattern, and intraspecific brood parasitism frequently occurs. In a binary choice experiment, female zebra finches were given the choice between the scent of their own and a conspecific egg. After the onset of incubation, females chose randomly and showed no sign of discrimination. However, shortly before hatching, females preferred significantly the odour of their own egg. The finding that females are capable to smell their own egg may inspire more research on the potential of olfaction involved in egg recognition, especially in cases where visual cues might be limited.
Kleindorfer, Sonia; O'Connor, Jody A; Dudaniec, Rachael Y; Myers, Steven A; Robertson, Jeremy; Sulloway, Frank J
Species hybridization can lead to fitness costs, species collapse, and novel evolutionary trajectories in changing environments. Hybridization is predicted to be more common when environmental conditions change rapidly. Here, we test patterns of hybridization in three sympatric tree finch species (small tree finch Camarhynchus parvulus, medium tree finch Camarhynchus pauper, and large tree finch: Camarhynchus psittacula) that are currently recognized on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago. Genetic analysis of microsatellite data from contemporary samples showed two genetic populations and one hybrid cluster in both 2005 and 2010; hybrid individuals were derived from genetic population 1 (small morph) and genetic population 2 (large morph). Females of the large and rare species were more likely to pair with males of the small common species. Finch populations differed in morphology in 1852-1906 compared with 2005/2010. An unsupervised clustering method showed (a) support for three morphological clusters in the historical tree finch sample (1852-1906), which is consistent with current species recognition; (b) support for two or three morphological clusters in 2005 with some (19%) hybridization; and (c) support for just two morphological clusters in 2010 with frequent (41%) hybridization. We discuss these findings in relation to species demarcations of Camarhynchus tree finches on Floreana Island.
Chen, Jiani; Ten Cate, Carel
Learning sequences is of great importance to humans and non-human animals. Many motor and mental actions, such as singing in birds and speech processing in humans, rely on sequential learning. At least two mechanisms are considered to be involved in such learning. The chaining theory proposes that learning of sequences relies on memorizing the transitions between adjacent items, while the positional theory suggests that learners encode the items according to their ordinal position in the sequence. Positional learning is assumed to dominate sequential learning. However, human infants exposed to a string of speech sounds can learn transitional (chaining) cues. So far, it is not clear whether birds, an increasingly important model for examining vocal processing, can do this. In this study we use a Go-Nogo design to examine whether zebra finches can use transitional cues to distinguish artificially constructed strings of song elements. Zebra finches were trained with sequences differing in transitional and positional information and next tested with novel strings sharing positional and transitional similarities with the training strings. The results show that they can attend to both transitional and positional cues and that their sequential coding strategies can be biased toward transitional cues depending on the learning context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Carruthers, E.V.; Chow, H.C.
Immediately after refuelling of a channel, the fresh bundles are free of fission products. Xenon-135, the most notable of the saturating fission products, builds up to an equilibrium level in about 30 h. The channel power of the refuelled channel would therefore initially peak and then drop to a steady-state level. The RFSP code can track saturating-fission-product transients and power transients. The Fully INstrumented CHannels (FINCHs) in Darlington NGS provides channel power data on the refuelling power transients. In this paper, such data has been used to identify the physical evidence of the fission-product transient effect on channel power, and to validate RFSP fission-product-driver calculation results. (author)
Knief, Ulrich; Hemmrich-Stanisak, Georg; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Griffith, Simon C; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang
Inversion polymorphisms constitute an evolutionary puzzle: they should increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic individuals but still they are widespread in some taxa. Some insect species have evolved mechanisms to reduce the cost of embryo mortality but humans have not. In birds, a detailed analysis is missing although intraspecific inversion polymorphisms are regarded as common. In Australian zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), two polymorphic inversions are known cytogenetically and we set out to detect these two and potentially additional inversions using genomic tools and study their effects on embryo mortality and other fitness-related and morphological traits. Using whole-genome SNP data, we screened 948 wild zebra finches for polymorphic inversions and describe four large (12-63 Mb) intraspecific inversion polymorphisms with allele frequencies close to 50 %. Using additional data from 5229 birds and 9764 eggs from wild and three captive zebra finch populations, we show that only the largest inversions increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic males, with surprisingly small effect sizes. We test for a heterozygote advantage on other fitness components but find no evidence for heterosis for any of the inversions. Yet, we find strong additive effects on several morphological traits. The mechanism that has carried the derived inversion haplotypes to such high allele frequencies remains elusive. It appears that selection has effectively minimized the costs associated with inversions in zebra finches. The highly skewed distribution of recombination events towards the chromosome ends in zebra finches and other estrildid species may function to minimize crossovers in the inverted regions.
Tidemann, S C; McOrist, S; Woinarski, J C; Freeland, W J
Sixty-two percent of 26 wild caught Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) were infected with Sternostoma tracheacolum, a parasitic rhinonyssid mite. The intensity of infection was higher in adult finches than juveniles, and higher in juvenile females than juvenile males. Histopathological investigation of wild Gouldian Finches revealed bronchopneumonia and air sacculitis associated with mite infection. Although this mite may not have contributed to the decline of Gouldian finch populations in the wild during the past 20 yr, it may be suppressing the return of the finch to its former status.
Christopher R Olson
Full Text Available Speech impairment is one of the most intriguing and least understood effects of alcohol on cognitive function, largely due to the lack of data on alcohol effects on vocalizations in the context of an appropriate experimental model organism. Zebra finches, a representative songbird and a premier model for understanding the neurobiology of vocal production and learning, learn song in a manner analogous to how humans learn speech. Here we show that when allowed access, finches readily drink alcohol, increase their blood ethanol concentrations (BEC significantly, and sing a song with altered acoustic structure. The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds' ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol. Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production. Remarkably, these effects on vocalizations occurred without overt effects on general behavioral measures, and importantly, they occurred within a range of BEC that can be considered risky for humans. Our results suggest that the variable effects of alcohol on finch song reflect differential alcohol sensitivity of the brain circuitry elements that control different aspects of song production. They also point to finches as an informative model for understanding how alcohol affects the neuronal circuits that control the production of learned motor behaviors.
Spierings, Michelle J; ten Cate, Carel
Variation in pitch, amplitude and rhythm adds crucial paralinguistic information to human speech. Such prosodic cues can reveal information about the meaning or emphasis of a sentence or the emotional state of the speaker. To examine the hypothesis that sensitivity to prosodic cues is language independent and not human specific, we tested prosody perception in a controlled experiment with zebra finches. Using a go/no-go procedure, subjects were trained to discriminate between speech syllables arranged in XYXY patterns with prosodic stress on the first syllable and XXYY patterns with prosodic stress on the final syllable. To systematically determine the salience of the various prosodic cues (pitch, duration and amplitude) to the zebra finches, they were subjected to five tests with different combinations of these cues. The zebra finches generalized the prosodic pattern to sequences that consisted of new syllables and used prosodic features over structural ones to discriminate between stimuli. This strong sensitivity to the prosodic pattern was maintained when only a single prosodic cue was available. The change in pitch was treated as more salient than changes in the other prosodic features. These results show that zebra finches are sensitive to the same prosodic cues known to affect human speech perception. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Verhulst, S; Riedstra, B; Wiersma, P
Birds rearing experimentally enlarged broods have lower antibody responses to a novel antigen, and we tested three hypotheses that could explain this result. We used zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata inoculated with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) as a study system, for which this trade-off was
Staley, Molly; Bonneaud, Camille; McGraw, Kevin J; Vleck, Carol M; Hill, Geoffrey E
In 1994, an endemic poultry pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), was identified as the causative agent of a novel disease in house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus). After an initial outbreak in Maryland, MG spread rapidly throughout eastern North American populations of house finches. Subsequently, MG spread slowly through the northern interior of North America and then into the Pacific Northwest, finally reaching California in 2006. Until 2009, there were no reports of MG in the southwestern United States east of California. In August 2011, after reports of house finches displaying conjunctivitis characteristic of MG infection in Arizona, we trapped house finches at bird feeders in central Arizona (Tempe) and southern Arizona (Tucson and Green Valley) to assay for MG infection. Upon capture, we noted whether birds exhibited conjunctivitis, and we collected choanal swabs to test for the presence of MG DNA using PCR. We detected MG in finches captured from Green Valley (in ∼12% of birds captured), but not in finches from Tucson or Tempe. Based on resampling of house finches at these sites in July 2014, we suggest that central Arizona finches likely remain unexposed to MG. We also suggest that low urban connectivity between arid habitats of southern and central Arizona or a reduction in the prevalence of MG after its initial arrival in Arizona may be limiting the spread of MG from south to north in Arizona. In addition, the observed conjunctivitis-like signs in house finches that were negative for MG by PCR may be caused primarily by avian pox virus.
Pflaum, K; Tulman, E R; Beaudet, J; Liao, X; Dhondt, K V; Dhondt, A A; Hawley, D M; Ley, D H; Kerr, K M; Geary, S J
Mycoplasma gallisepticum , known primarily as a respiratory pathogen of domestic poultry, has emerged since 1994 as a significant pathogen of the house finch ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) causing severe conjunctivitis and mortality. House finch-associated M. gallisepticum (HFMG) spread rapidly and increased in virulence for the finch host in the eastern United States. In the current study, we assessed virulence in domestic poultry with two temporally distant, and yet geographically consistent, HFMG isolates which differ in virulence for house finches-Virginia 1994 (VA1994), the index isolate of the epidemic, and Virginia 2013 (VA2013), a recent isolate of increased house finch virulence. Here we report a significant difference between VA1994 and VA2013 in their levels of virulence for chickens; notably, this difference correlated inversely to the difference in their levels of virulence for house finches. VA1994, while moderately virulent in house finches, displayed significant virulence in the chicken respiratory tract. VA2013, while highly virulent in the house finch, was significantly attenuated in chickens relative to VA1994, displaying less-severe pathological lesions in, and reduced bacterial recovery from, the respiratory tract. Overall, these data indicate that a recent isolate of HFMG is greatly attenuated in the chicken host relative to the index isolate, notably demonstrating a virulence phenotype in chickens inversely related to that in the finch host. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
seeks to add to our understanding of urban diversity, as perceived and experienced by those who inhabit, frequent and govern urban areas. It answers the following primary research question: How is diversity experienced at the neighbourhood level, as (a discourse, (b social reality, and (c practice? Diversity as discourse refers to the public narratives around diversity, while diversity as social reality concerns the descriptive characteristics that render an area diverse. Diversity as practice refers to policies, programs and local practices that aim towards managing diversity (see also Berg and Sigona, 2013. The research question is investigated in four interconnected chapters, which engage with the three formerly mentioned dimensions to various degrees. The study further makes use of a variety of qualitative and participatory techniques (i.e. qualitative interviews, roundtable talks, participant observations, and focus groups to gather rigorous empirical data on living with and managing diversity in an inner-suburban neighbourhood of Toronto, namely Jane-Finch.
George E. Liu
Full Text Available Most bird species have smaller genomes and fewer repeats than mammals. Chicken Repeat 1 (CR1 repeat is one of the most abundant families of repeats, ranging from ~133,000 to ~187,000 copies accounting for ~50 to ~80% of the interspersed repeats in the zebra finch and chicken genomes, respectively. CR1 repeats are believed to have arisen from the retrotransposition of a small number of master elements, which gave rise to multiple CR1 subfamilies in the chicken. In this study, we performed a global assessment of the divergence distributions, phylogenies, and consensus sequences of CR1 repeats in the zebra finch genome. We identified and validated 34 CR1 subfamilies and further analyzed the correlation between these subfamilies. We also discovered 4 novel lineage-specific CR1 subfamilies in the zebra finch when compared to the chicken genome. We built various evolutionary trees of these subfamilies and concluded that CR1 repeats may play an important role in reshaping the structure of bird genomes.
Full Text Available Striatal projecting neurons, known as medium spiny neurons (MSNs, segregate into two compartments called matrix and striosome in the mammalian striatum. The matrix domain is characterized by the presence of calbindin immunopositive (CB+ MSNs, not observed in the striosome subdivision. The existence of a similar CB+ MSN population has recently been described in two striatal structures in male zebra finch (a vocal learner bird: the striatal capsule and the Area X, a nucleus implicated in song learning. Female zebra finches show a similar pattern of CB+ MSNs than males in the developing striatum but loose these cells in juveniles and adult stages. In the present work we analyzed the existence and allocation of CB+MSNs in the striatal domain of the vocal learner bird budgerigar (representative of psittaciformes order and the non-vocal learner bird quail (representative of galliformes order. We studied the co-localization of CB protein with FoxP1, a transcription factor expressed in vertebrate striatal MSNs. We observed CB+ MSNs in the medial striatal domain of adult male and female budgerigars, although this cell type was missing in the potentially homologous nucleus for Area X in budgerigar. In quail, we observed CB+ cells in the striatal domain at developmental and adult stages but they did not co-localize with the MSN marker FoxP1. We also described the existence of the CB+ striatal capsule in budgerigar and quail and compared these results with the CB+ striatal capsule observed in juvenile zebra finches. Together, these results point out important differences in CB+MSN distribution between two representative species of vocal learner and non-vocal learner avian orders (respectively the budgerigar and the quail, but also between close vocal learner bird families.
van der Aa, J.; Honing, H.; ten Cate, C.
Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous
Siegel, Nisan; Brooker, Gary
FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. Addition of a Nipkow disk real-time confocal image scanner is shown to reduce the FINCH depth of focus while improving transverse confocal resolution in a combined method called "CINCH".
Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance
The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a "signal-derived pulse," or pulse(S), of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulse(S) significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulse(P)), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulses(S) that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulse(S) periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel
Cimadom, Arno; Ulloa, Angel; Meidl, Patrick; Zöttl, Markus; Zöttl, Elisabet; Fessl, Birgit; Nemeth, Erwin; Dvorak, Michael; Cunninghame, Francesca; Tebbich, Sabine
Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundance)is lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.
Full Text Available Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus, on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundanceis lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.
Muth, Felicity; Steele, Matthew; Healy, Susan D
Some bird species are selective in the materials they choose for nest building, preferring, for example, materials of one colour to others. However, in many cases the cause of these preferences is not clear. One of those species is the zebra finch, which exhibits strong preferences for particular colours of nest material. In an attempt to determine why these birds strongly prefer one colour of material over another, we compared the preferences of paired male zebra finches for nest material colour with their preferences for food of the same colours. We found that birds did indeed prefer particular colours of nest material (in most cases blue) but that they did not generally prefer food of one colour over the other colours. It appears, then, that a preference for one colour or another of nest material is specific to the nest-building context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Thomason, Courtney A; Hawley, Dana M
Anthropogenic food provisioning of wildlife can alter the frequency of contacts among hosts and between hosts and environmental sources of pathogens. Despite the popularity of garden bird feeding, few studies have addressed how feeders influence host contact rates and disease dynamics. We experimentally manipulated feeder density in replicate aviaries containing captive, pathogen-naive, groups of house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) and continuously tracked behaviours at feeders using radio-frequency identification devices. We then inoculated one bird per group with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (Mg), a common bacterial pathogen for which feeders are fomites of transmission, and assessed effects of feeder density on house finch behaviour and pathogen transmission. We found that pathogen transmission was significantly higher in groups with the highest density of bird feeders, despite a significantly lower rate of intraspecific aggressive interactions relative to the low feeder density groups. Conversely, among naive group members that never showed signs of disease, we saw significantly higher concentrations of Mg-specific antibodies in low feeder density groups, suggesting that birds in low feeder density treatments had exposure to subclinical doses of Mg. We discuss ways in which the density of garden bird feeders could play an important role in mediating the intensity of Mg epidemics.This article is part of the theme issue 'Anthropogenic resource subsidies and host-parasite dynamics in wildlife'. © 2018 The Author(s).
Full Text Available For the first time learner's passport was pre sented at the international conference on permanent education, taking place in Rome in December 1994. This document is not meant for students only but for the entire population. It should contain notes on any format education, additional education, working experiences, cultural activities, sport results, awards, prizes and recommen dations. The mission of learner's passport is to gather all documents in one place, a handy book let which gives one an overall view over his/her achievements. It should help personnel departments in choosing the right person for a certain job as well as indirectly stimul ate additional activities of the learner's passport holder.
Full Text Available Fast moving animals depend on cues derived from the optic flow on their retina. Optic flow from translational locomotion includes information about the three-dimensional composition of the environment, while optic flow experienced during a rotational self motion does not. Thus, a saccadic gaze strategy that segregates rotations from translational movements during locomotion will facilitate extraction of spatial information from the visual input. We analysed whether birds use such a strategy by highspeed video recording zebra finches from two directions during an obstacle avoidance task. Each frame of the recording was examined to derive position and orientation of the beak in three-dimensional space. The data show that in all flights the head orientation was shifted in a saccadic fashion and was kept straight between saccades. Therefore, birds use a gaze strategy that actively stabilizes their gaze during translation to simplify optic flow based navigation. This is the first evidence of birds actively optimizing optic flow during flight.
Davis, Andrew K; Hood, Wendy R; Hill, Geoffrey E
The rapid spread of the bacterial disease, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), throughout the introduced range of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in eastern North America, compared to its slower spread through the native western range, has puzzled researchers and highlights the need to understand the relative differences in health state of finches from both populations. We conducted a light-microscope survey of hemoparasites in populations of finches from Arizona (within the western range) and from Alabama (within the eastern range), and compared our estimates of prevalence to published reports from house finches sampled in both ranges. Of the 33 Arizona birds examined, we recorded hematozoan infections in 16 (48.5%) individuals, compared to 1 infected Alabama bird out of 30 birds examined (3.3%). Based on independent surveys of seven western North American and five eastern North American populations of house finches the average prevalence of blood parasites in western populations is 38.8% (±17.9 SD), while the average prevalence within the eastern range is only 5.9% (±6.1 SD). The average rate of infection among all songbirds sampled in the east is 34.2% (±4.8 SD). Thus, our surveys of wild birds as well as previously published observations point to eastern house finches having a much lower prevalence of blood parasite infections than their western counterparts. Combined with the fact that eastern finches also tend to have lower rates of avian pox infections than do western birds (based on a literature review), these observations suggest that eastern birds have either strong resistance to these infections or high susceptibility and associated mortality.
Full Text Available The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus, which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host–pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes (IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15, and CXCLi2, syn. IL8L. These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994 or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006, which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3–6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival
Vinkler, Michal; Leon, Ariel E; Kirkpatrick, Laila; Dalloul, Rami A; Hawley, Dana M
The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) in free-living house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ), which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host-pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes ( IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15 , and CXCLi2 , syn. IL8L ). These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham) or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994) or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006), which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3-6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival MG loads
Groth, J G
The complete mitochondrial cytochrome b genes of 53 genera of oscine passerine birds representing the major groups of finches and some allies were compared. Phylogenetic trees resulting from three levels of character partition removal (no data removed, transitions at third positions of codons removed, and all transitions removed [transversion parsimony]) were generally concordant, and all supported several basic statements regarding relationships of finches and finch-like birds, including: (1) larks (Alaudidae) show no close relationship to any finch group; (2) Peucedramus (olive warbler) is phylogenetically far removed from true wood warblers; (3) a clade consisting of fringillids, passerids, motacillids, and emberizids is supported, and this clade is characterized by evolution of a vestigial 10th wing primary; and (4) Hawaiian honeycreepers are derived from within the cardueline finches. Excluding transition substitutions at third positions of codons resulted in phylogenetic trees similar to, but with greater bootstrap nodal support than, trees derived using either all data (equally weighted) or transversion parsimony. Relative to the shortest trees obtained using all data, the topologies obtained after elimination of third-position transitions showed only slight increases in realized treelength and homoplasy. These increases were negligable compared to increases in overall nodal support; therefore, this partition removal scheme may enhance recovery of deep phylogenetic signal in protein-coding DNA datasets. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
Full Text Available One of nature's premier illustrations of adaptive evolution concerns the tight correspondence in birds between beak morphology and feeding behavior. In seed-crushing birds, beaks have been suggested to evolve at least in part to avoid fracture. Yet, we know little about mechanical relationships between beak shape, stress dissipation, and fracture avoidance. This study tests these relationships for Darwin's finches, a clade of birds renowned for their diversity in beak form and function. We obtained anatomical data from micro-CT scans and dissections, which in turn informed the construction of finite element models of the bony beak and rhamphotheca. Our models offer two new insights. First, engineering safety factors are found to range between 1 and 2.5 under natural loading conditions, with the lowest safety factors being observed in species with the highest bite forces. Second, size-scaled finite element (FE models reveal a correspondence between inferred beak loading profiles and observed feeding strategies (e.g. edge-crushing versus tip-biting, with safety factors decreasing for base-crushers biting at the beak tip. Additionally, we identify significant correlations between safety factors, keratin thickness at bite locations, and beak aspect ratio (depth versus length. These lines of evidence together suggest that beak shape indeed evolves to resist feeding forces.
van der Aa, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel
Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous and an irregular stimulus. However, when the tempo of the isochronous stimulus is changed, it is no longer treated as similar to the training stimulus. Training with three isochronous and three irregular stimuli did not result in improvement of the generalization. In contrast, humans, exposed to the same stimuli, readily generalized across tempo changes. Our results suggest that zebra finches distinguish the different stimuli by learning specific local temporal features of each individual stimulus rather than attending to the global structure of the stimuli, i.e., to the temporal regularity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Prior, Nora H; Smith, Edward; Lawson, Shelby; Ball, Gregory F; Dooling, Robert J
The ability to discriminate changes in the fine structure of complex sounds is well developed in birds. However, the precise limit of this discrimination ability and how it is used in the context of natural communication remains unclear. Here we describe natural variability in acoustic fine structure of male and female zebra finch calls. Results from psychoacoustic experiments demonstrate that zebra finches are able to discriminate extremely small differences in fine structure, which are on the order of the variation in acoustic fine structure that is present in their vocal signals. Results from signal analysis methods also suggest that acoustic fine structure may carry information that distinguishes between biologically relevant categories including sex, call type and individual identity. Combined, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that zebra finches can encode biologically relevant information within the fine structure of their calls. This study provides a foundation for our understanding of how acoustic fine structure may be involved in animal communication.
In examining the titles of this year's conference presentations, the author noticed quite a few papers that focus on learner-specific issues, for instance, papers that address learning styles, learner needs, personality and learning, learner modeling and, more generally, pedagogical issues that deal with individual learner differences in…
Full Text Available Sex-specific gene expression before the onset of gonadogensis has been documented in embryos of mammals and chickens. In several mammalian species, differences in gene expression are accompanied by faster growth of pre-implantation male embryos. Here we asked whether avian embryos before gonadal differentiation are also sex-dimorphic in size and what genes regulate their growth. We used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata whose freshly laid eggs were artificially incubated for 36-40 hours. Analyses controlling for the exact time of incubation of 81 embryos revealed that males were larger than females in terms of Hamburger and Hamilton stage and number of somites. Expression of 15 genes involved in cell cycle regulation, growth, metabolic activity, steroidogenic pathway and stress modulation were measured using RT-PCR in 5 male and 5 female embryos incubated for exactly 36 h. We found that in the presence of equal levels of the growth hormone itself, the faster growth of male embryos is most likely achieved by the overexpression of the growth hormone receptor gene and three other genes responsible for cell cycle regulation and metabolism, all of them located on the Z chromosome. Autosomal genes did not show sex-specific expression, except for the steroidogenic factor 1 which was expressed only in female embryos. To our knowledge this is the first report of sexual size dimorphism before gonadogenesis in birds. The finding suggests that faster growth of early male embryos is conserved through the mammalian and bird phyla, irrespective of their differential sex chromosome systems.
Pittman, Phoebe J. Z.; Teske, Jolene K.
This practical lesson describes how students in six eighth grade science classes participated in a lesson combining the National Core Arts Standards with the Next Generation Science Standards. The goal of the lesson was to provide visual representations of finch beak form and function so students could better understand genetic variation and how…
Burgering, Merel A.; ten Cate, Carel; Vroomen, Jean
Speech sound categorization in birds seems in many ways comparable to that by humans, but it is unclear what mechanisms underlie such categorization. To examine this, we trained zebra finches and humans to discriminate two pairs of edited speech sounds that varied either along one dimension (vowel
Songbirds, such as zebra finches, learn their songs from a ‘tutor’ (usually the father), early in life. There are strong parallels between the behavioural, cognitive and neural processes that underlie vocal learning in humans and songbirds. In both cases there is a sensitive period for auditory
von Engelhardt, N; Carere, C; Dijkstra, C; Groothuis, TGG
Yolk androgens affect offspring hatching, begging, growth and survival in many bird species. If these effects are sex-specific, yolk androgen deposition may constitute a mechanism for differential investment in male and female offspring. We tested this hypothesis in zebra finches. In this species,
deKogel, CH; Overkamp, GFJ
Brood size of Zebra Finches Taeniopygia guttata was manipulated in an attempt to identify a trade-off between current and subsequent reproduction in a laboratory situation with ad libitum food availability. The birds were able to raise a larger brood than the most frequent brood size under the same
Roy, Arani; Mooney, Richard
In adult male zebra finches, transecting the vocal nerve causes previously stable (i.e., crystallized) song to slowly degrade, presumably because of the resulting distortion in auditory feedback. How and where distorted feedback interacts with song motor networks to induce this process of song decrystallization remains unknown. The song premotor nucleus HVC is a potential site where auditory feedback signals could interact with song motor commands. Although the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf) appears to be the primary auditory input to HVC, NIf lesions made in adult zebra finches do not trigger song decrystallization. One possibility is that NIf lesions do not interfere with song maintenance, but do compromise the adult zebra finch's ability to express renewed vocal plasticity in response to feedback perturbations. To test this idea, we bilaterally lesioned NIf and then transected the vocal nerve in adult male zebra finches. We found that bilateral NIf lesions did not prevent nerve section-induced song decrystallization. To test the extent to which the NIf lesions disrupted auditory processing in the song system, we made in vivo extracellular recordings in HVC and a downstream anterior forebrain pathway (AFP) in NIf-lesioned birds. We found strong and selective auditory responses to the playback of the birds' own song persisted in HVC and the AFP following NIf lesions. These findings suggest that auditory inputs to the song system other than NIf, such as the caudal mesopallium, could act as a source of auditory feedback signals to the song motor network.
Aubrey M Kelly
Full Text Available Despite substantial species differences in the vasotocin/vasopressin (VT/VP circuitry of the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm and lateral septum (LS; a primary projection target of BSTm VT/VP cells, functional consequences of this variation are poorly known. Previous experiments in the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata demonstrate that BSTm VT neurons promote gregariousness in a male-specific manner and reduce anxiety in both sexes. However, in contrast to the zebra finch, the less gregarious Angolan blue waxbill (Estrildidae: Uraeginthus angolensis exhibits fewer VT-immunoreactive cells in the BSTm as well as differences in receptor distribution across the LS subnuclei, suggesting that knockdown of VT production in the BSTm would produce behavioral effects in Angolan blue waxbills that are distinct from zebra finches. Thus, we here quantified social contact, gregariousness (i.e. preference for the larger of two groups, and anxiety-like behavior following bilateral antisense knockdown of VT production in the BSTm of male and female Angolan blue waxbills. We find that BSTm VT neurons promote social contact, but not gregariousness (as in male zebra finches, and that antisense effects on social contact are significantly stronger in male waxbills than in females. Knockdown of BSTm VT production has no effect on anxiety-like behavior. These data provide novel evidence that species differences in the VT/VP circuitry arising in the BSTm are accompanied by species-specific effects on affiliation behaviors.
Peri E Bolton
Full Text Available Assessment of genetic diversity and connectivity between regions can inform conservation managers about risk of inbreeding, potential for adaptation and where population boundaries lie. The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae is a threatened species in northern Australia, occupying the savannah woodlands of the biogeographically complex monsoon tropics. We present the most comprehensive population genetic analysis of diversity and structure the Gouldian finch using 16 microsatellite markers, mitochondrial control region and 3,389 SNPs from genotyping-by-sequencing. Mitochondrial diversity is compared across three related, co-distributed finches with different conservation threat-statuses. There was no evidence of genetic differentiation across the western part of the range in any of the molecular markers, and haplotype diversity but not richness was lower than a common co-distributed species. Individuals within the panmictic population in the west may be highly dispersive within this wide area, and we urge caution when interpreting anecdotal observations of changes to the distribution and/or flock sizes of Gouldian finch populations as evidence of overall changes to the population size of this species.
Poirier, Colline; Vellema, Michiel; Verhoye, Marleen
of different brain areas (nuclei) involved in the sensory and motor control of song. Until now, the only published atlases of songbird brains consisted in drawings based on histological slices of the canary and of the zebra finch brain. Taking advantage of high-magnetic field (7 Tesla) MRI technique, we...
Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Ekblom, Robert; Völker, Martin; Westerdahl, Helena; Godinez, Ricardo; Kotkiewicz, Holly; Burt, David W; Graves, Tina; Griffin, Darren K; Warren, Wesley C; Edwards, Scott V
Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH) evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving chromosomal fission, gene duplication and translocation in the
Tess L Killpack
Full Text Available Based on studies from the poultry literature, all birds are hypothesized to require at least 4 weeks to develop circulating mature B-cell lineages that express functionally different immunoglobulin specificities. However, many altricial passerines fledge at adult size less than four weeks after the start of embryonic development, and therefore may experience a period of susceptibility during the nestling and post-fledging periods. We present the first study, to our knowledge, to detail the age-related changes in adaptive antibody response in an altricial passerine. Using repeated vaccinations with non-infectious keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH antigen, we studied the ontogeny of specific adaptive immune response in altricial zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata. Nestling zebra finches were first injected at 7 days (7d, 14 days (14d, or 21 days post-hatch (21d with KLH-adjuvant emulsions, and boosted 7 days later. Adults were vaccinated in the same manner. Induced KLH-specific IgY antibodies were measured using ELISA. Comparisons within age groups revealed no significant increase in KLH-specific antibody levels between vaccination and boost in 7d birds, yet significant increases between vaccination and boost were observed in 14d, 21d, and adult groups. There was no significant difference among age groups in KLH antibody response to priming vaccination, yet KLH antibody response post-boost significantly increased with age among groups. Post-boost antibody response in all nestling age groups was significantly lower than in adults, indicating that mature adult secondary antibody response level was not achieved in zebra finches prior to fledging (21 days post-hatch in zebra finches. Findings from this study contribute fundamental knowledge to the fields of developmental immunology and ecological immunology and strengthen the utility of zebra finches as a model organism for future studies of immune ontogeny.
Jennifer A H Koop
Full Text Available Introduced parasites are a particular threat to small populations of hosts living on islands because extinction can occur before hosts have a chance to evolve effective defenses. An experimental approach in which parasite abundance is manipulated in the field can be the most informative means of assessing a parasite's impact on the host. The parasitic fly Philornis downsi, recently introduced to the Galápagos Islands, feeds on nestling Darwin's finches and other land birds. Several correlational studies, and one experimental study of mixed species over several years, reported that the flies reduce host fitness. Here we report the results of a larger scale experimental study of a single species at a single site over a single breeding season.We manipulated the abundance of flies in the nests of medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis and quantified the impact of the parasites on nestling growth and fledging success. We used nylon nest liners to reduce the number of parasites in 24 nests, leaving another 24 nests as controls. A significant reduction in mean parasite abundance led to a significant increase in the number of nests that successfully fledged young. Nestlings in parasite-reduced nests also tended to be larger prior to fledging.Our results confirm that P. downsi has significant negative effects on the fitness of medium ground finches, and they may pose a serious threat to other species of Darwin's finches. These data can help in the design of management plans for controlling P. downsi in Darwin's finch breeding populations.
Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Ten Cate, Carel
Humans have a strong tendency to spontaneously group visual or auditory stimuli together in larger patterns. One of these perceptual grouping biases is formulated as the iambic/trochaic law, where humans group successive tones alternating in pitch and intensity as trochees (high-low and loud-soft) and alternating in duration as iambs (short-long). The grouping of alternations in pitch and intensity into trochees is a human universal and is also present in one non-human animal species, rats. The perceptual grouping of sounds alternating in duration seems to be affected by native language in humans and has so far not been found among animals. In the current study, we explore to which extent these perceptual biases are present in a songbird, the zebra finch. Zebra finches were trained to discriminate between short strings of pure tones organized as iambs and as trochees. One group received tones that alternated in pitch, a second group heard tones alternating in duration, and for a third group, tones alternated in intensity. Those zebra finches that showed sustained correct discrimination were next tested with longer, ambiguous strings of alternating sounds. The zebra finches in the pitch condition categorized ambiguous strings of alternating tones as trochees, similar to humans. However, most of the zebra finches in the duration and intensity condition did not learn to discriminate between training stimuli organized as iambs and trochees. This study shows that the perceptual bias to group tones alternating in pitch as trochees is not specific to humans and rats, but may be more widespread among animals.
Full Text Available International and national mathematics studies have revealed the poor mathematics skills of South African learners. An essential tool that can be used to improve learners' mathematical skills is for educators to use effective feedback. Our purpose in this study was to elicit learners' understanding and expectations of teacher assessment feedback. The study was conducted with five Grade 9 mathematics learners. Data were generated from one group interview, seven journal entries by each learner, video-taped classroom observations and researcher field notes. The study revealed that the learners have insightful perceptions of the concept of educator feedback. While some learners viewed educator feedback as a tool to probe their understanding, others viewed it as a mechanism to get the educator's point of view. A significant finding of the study was that learners viewed educator assessment feedback as instrumental in building or breaking their self-confidence.
Day, Nancy F; Kimball, Todd Haswell; Aamodt, Caitlin M; Heston, Jonathan B; Hilliard, Austin T; Xiao, Xinshu; White, Stephanie A
Human speech is one of the few examples of vocal learning among mammals yet ~half of avian species exhibit this ability. Its neurogenetic basis is largely unknown beyond a shared requirement for FoxP2 in both humans and zebra finches. We manipulated FoxP2 isoforms in Area X, a song-specific region of the avian striatopallidum analogous to human anterior striatum, during a critical period for song development. We delineate, for the first time, unique contributions of each isoform to vocal learning. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis of RNA-seq data revealed gene modules correlated to singing, learning, or vocal variability. Coexpression related to singing was found in juvenile and adult Area X whereas coexpression correlated to learning was unique to juveniles. The confluence of learning and singing coexpression in juvenile Area X may underscore molecular processes that drive vocal learning in young zebra finches and, by analogy, humans. PMID:29360038
Reynolds, Michelle H.; Nash, Sarah A.B.; Courtot, Karen
We report the first records of Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) predation on endangered Laysan teal (or duck; Anas laysanensis) and predation on endangered Laysan finches (Telespiza cantans). At Midway Atoll, vagrant Peregrine falcons killed ≥4% of a newly translocated Laysan teal population in 2006 and ≥2% in 2008. On Laysan Island during 2008–2009, remains of >76 Laysan finches (<1% of the population) were found at peregrine perches. On Midway Atoll, all depredated Laysan teal and other seabirds were recovered at kill sites on tarmac (runways). If the frequency or duration of vagrant raptors visitation increases at small atolls, this could pose a mortality risk to consider, especially during proposed translocations of endangered species. Vegetation restoration of abandoned runways near wetlands at Midway Atoll would provide cover and may help reduce mortality of endangered species due to vagrant raptors.
Siegel, Nisan; Storrie, Brian; Bruce, Marc; Brooker, Gary
FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates high resolution super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. The simple addition of a real-time Nipkow disk confocal image scanner in a conjugate plane of this incoherent holographic system is shown to reduce the depth of focus, and the combination of both techniques provides a simple way to enhance the axial resolution of FINCH in a combined method called "CINCH". An important feature of the combined system allows for the simultaneous real-time image capture of widefield and holographic images or confocal and confocal holographic images for ready comparison of each method on the exact same field of view. Additional GPU based complex deconvolution processing of the images further enhances resolution.
In birds like the Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) the female, but not the male develop a brood patch upon incubation of eggs. The brood patch functions to increase heat exchange between the bird and the eggs. Development of the brood patch includes de-feathering, increased vascularization and edema formation. The increased vascularization is due to the development of arteriovenous anastomoses, AVA. The AVA are thermoregulatory vessels involved in cold induced vasodilation, CIVD, demonstrate...
Svec, Lace A.; Lookingland, Keith J.; Wade, Juli
Female songbirds display preferences for certain song characteristics, but the neural and hormonal mechanisms mediating these preferences are not fully clear. The present study sought to further explore the role of estradiol, as well as assess potential roles of dopaminergic systems, on behavioral responses to song. Adult female zebra finches were treated with estradiol and exposed to tutored or untutored song or silence. Behavior was quantified and neurochemistry of the nucleus accumbens and...
Neeltje J Boogert
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Successful foraging is essential for survival and reproductive success. In many bird species, foraging is a learned behaviour. To cope with environmental change and survive periods in which regular foods are scarce, the ability to solve novel foraging problems by learning new foraging techniques can be crucial. Although females have been shown to prefer more efficient foragers, the effect of males' foraging techniques on female mate choice has never been studied. We tested whether females would prefer males showing the same learned foraging technique as they had been exposed to as juveniles, or whether females would prefer males that showed a complementary foraging technique. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first trained juvenile male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to obtain a significant proportion of their food by one of two foraging techniques. We then tested whether females showed a preference for males with the same or the alternative technique. We found that neither a male's foraging technique nor his foraging performance affected the time females spent in his proximity in the mate-choice apparatus. We then released flocks of these finches into an aviary to investigate whether assortative pairing would be facilitated by birds taught the same technique exploiting the same habitat. Zebra finches trained as juveniles in a specific foraging technique maintained their foraging specialisation in the aviary as adults. However, pair formation and nest location were random with regard to foraging technique. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings show that zebra finches can be successfully trained to be foraging specialists. However, the robust negative results of the conditions tested here suggest that learned foraging specializations do not affect mate choice or pair formation in our experimental context.
Lindström, Karin M.; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Pärn, Henrik; Wikelski, Martin
The evolution of parasite resistance can be influenced by the abundance of parasites in the environment. However, it is yet unresolved whether vertebrates change their investment in immune function in response to variation in parasite abundance. Here, we compare parasite abundance in four populations of small ground finches (Geospiza fuliginosa) in the Galapagos archipelago. We predicted that populations exposed to high parasite loads should invest more in immune defence, or alternatively use...
Noguera, Jose C.; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Boner, Winnie; Monaghan, Pat
At a cellular level, oxidative stress is known to increase telomere attrition, and hence cellular senescence and risk of disease. It has been proposed that dietary micronutrients play an important role in telomere protection due to their antioxidant properties. We experimentally manipulated dietary micronutrients during early life in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We found no effects of micronutrient intake on telomere loss during chick growth. However, females given a diet high in micr...
Scott, Kathleen E; Bracchi, Lauren A; Lieberman, Mia T; Hill, Nichola J; Caron, Tyler J; Patterson, Mary M
Although zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) have been used in biomedical research for many years, no published reports are available about euthanizing these small birds. In this study, we compared 5 methods for zebra finch euthanasia: sodium pentobarbital (NaP) given intracoelomically with physical restraint but no anesthesia; isoflurane anesthesia followed by intracoelomic injection of NaP; and CO2 asphyxiation at 20%, 40%, and 80% chamber displacement rates (percentage of chamber volume per minute). Birds undergoing euthanasia were videorecorded and scored by 2 observers for behaviors potentially related to discomfort or distress. Time to recumbency and time until respiratory arrest (RA) were also assessed. RA was achieved faster by using NaP in a conscious bird compared to using isoflurane anesthesia followed by NaP; however, neither method caused behaviors that might affect animal welfare, such as open-mouth breathing, to any appreciable extent. Among the CO2 treatment groups, there was an inverse correlation between the chamber displacement rate used and the duration of open-mouth breathing, onset of head retroflexion, and time to RA. The results demonstrate that the intracoelomic administration of NaP in an awake, restrained zebra finch is a rapid and effective method of euthanasia. If CO2 is used to euthanize these birds, a high displacement rate (for example, 80%) will minimize the duration of the procedure and associated behaviors.
Mathilde L Tissier
Full Text Available Maternal effects provide a mechanism to adapt offspring phenotype and optimize the mother's fitness to current environmental conditions. Transferring steroids to the yolk is one way mothers can translate environmental information into potential adaptive signals for offspring. However, maternally-derived hormones might also have adverse effects for offspring. For example, recent data in zebra finch chicks suggested that ageing related-processes (i.e. oxidative stress and telomere loss were increased after egg-injection of corticosterone (CORT. Still, we have few experimental data describing the effect of maternal effects on the growth-ageing trade-off in offspring. Here, we chronically treated pre-laying zebra finch females (Taeniopygia guttata with 17-β-estradiol (E2 or CORT, and followed offspring growth and cellular ageing rates (oxidative stress and telomere loss. CORT treatment decreased growth rate in male chicks and increased rate of telomere loss in mothers and female offspring. E2 increased body mass gain in male offspring, while reducing oxidative stress in both sexes but without affecting telomere loss. Since shorter telomeres were previously found to be a proxy of individual lifespan in zebra finches, maternal effects may, through pleiotropic effects, be important determinants of offspring life-expectancy by modulating ageing rate during embryo and post-natal growth.
Ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Sagunsky, Hannes; Seltmann, Susanne; Gahr, Manfred
Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which "stack" calls are uttered frequently. To determine unequivocally the calls produced by each member of a group, we mounted miniature wireless microphones on each zebra finch. We find that group living paired males and females communicate using bilateral stack calling. To investigate the role of the song control system in call-based male female communication, we recorded the electrical activity in a premotor nucleus of the song control system in freely behaving male birds. The unique combination of acoustic monitoring together with wireless brain recording of individual zebra finches in groups shows that the neuronal activity of the song system correlates with the production of unlearned stack calls. The results suggest that the song system evolved from a brain circuit controlling simple unlearned calls to a system capable of producing acoustically rich, learned vocalizations.
William E Wood
Full Text Available Complex motor skills are more difficult to perform at certain points in the day (for example, shortly after waking, but the daily trajectory of motor-skill error is more difficult to predict. By undertaking a quantitative analysis of the fundamental frequency (FF and amplitude of hundreds of zebra finch syllables per animal per day, we find that zebra finch song follows a previously undescribed daily oscillation. The FF and amplitude of harmonic syllables rises across the morning, reaching a peak near mid-day, and then falls again in the late afternoon until sleep. This oscillation, although somewhat variable, is consistent across days and across animals and does not require serotonin, as animals with serotonergic lesions maintained daily oscillations. We hypothesize that this oscillation is driven by underlying physiological factors which could be shared with other taxa. Song production in zebra finches is a model system for studying complex learned behavior because of the ease of gathering comprehensive behavioral data and the tractability of the underlying neural circuitry. The daily oscillation that we describe promises to reveal new insights into how time of day affects the ability to accomplish a variety of complex learned motor skills.
Full Text Available Castration can change levels of plasma testosterone. Androgens such as testosterone play an important role in stabilizing birdsong. The robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA is an important premotor nucleus critical for singing. In this study, we investigated the effect of castration on singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of projection neurons (PNs in the RA of adult male zebra finches. Adult male zebra finches were castrated and the changes in bird song assessed. We also recorded the electrophysiological changes from RA PNs using patch clamp recording. We found that the plasma levels of testosterone were significantly decreased, song syllable’s entropy was increased and the similarity of motif was decreased after castration. Spontaneous and evoked firing rates, membrane time constants, and membrane capacitance of RA PNs in the castration group were lower than those of the control and the sham groups. Afterhyperpolarization AHP time to peak of spontaneous action potential (AP was prolonged after castration.These findings suggest that castration decreases song stereotypy and excitability of RA PNs in male zebra finches.
Mirre J P Simons
Full Text Available Sexual traits can serve as honest indicators of phenotypic quality when they are costly. Brightly coloured yellow to red traits, which are pigmented by carotenoids, are relatively common in birds, and feature in sexual selection. Carotenoids have been linked to immune and antioxidant function, and the trade-off between ornamentation and these physiological functions provides a potential mechanism rendering carotenoid based signals costly. Mutual ornamentation is also common in birds and can be maintained by mutual mate choice for this ornament or by a correlated response in one sex to selection on the other sex. When selection pressures differ between the sexes this can cause intralocus sexual conflict. Sexually antagonistic selection pressures have been demonstrated for few sexual traits, and for carotenoid-dependent traits there is a single example: bill redness was found to be positively associated with survival and reproductive output in male zebra finches, but negatively so in females. We retested these associations in our captive zebra finch population without two possible limitations of this earlier study. Contrary to the earlier findings, we found no evidence for sexually antagonistic selection. In both sexes, individuals with redder bills showed higher survival. This association disappeared among the females with the reddest bills. Furthermore, females with redder bills achieved higher reproductive output. We conclude that bill redness of male and female zebra finches honestly signals phenotypic quality, and discuss the possible causes of the differences between our results and earlier findings.
Rands Chris M
Full Text Available Abstract Background A classical example of repeated speciation coupled with ecological diversification is the evolution of 14 closely related species of Darwin’s (Galápagos finches (Thraupidae, Passeriformes. Their adaptive radiation in the Galápagos archipelago took place in the last 2–3 million years and some of the molecular mechanisms that led to their diversification are now being elucidated. Here we report evolutionary analyses of genome of the large ground finch, Geospiza magnirostris. Results 13,291 protein-coding genes were predicted from a 991.0 Mb G. magnirostris genome assembly. We then defined gene orthology relationships and constructed whole genome alignments between the G. magnirostris and other vertebrate genomes. We estimate that 15% of genomic sequence is functionally constrained between G. magnirostris and zebra finch. Genic evolutionary rate comparisons indicate that similar selective pressures acted along the G. magnirostris and zebra finch lineages suggesting that historical effective population size values have been similar in both lineages. 21 otherwise highly conserved genes were identified that each show evidence for positive selection on amino acid changes in the Darwin's finch lineage. Two of these genes (Igf2r and Pou1f1 have been implicated in beak morphology changes in Darwin’s finches. Five of 47 genes showing evidence of positive selection in early passerine evolution have cilia related functions, and may be examples of adaptively evolving reproductive proteins. Conclusions These results provide insights into past evolutionary processes that have shaped G. magnirostris genes and its genome, and provide the necessary foundation upon which to build population genomics resources that will shed light on more contemporaneous adaptive and non-adaptive processes that have contributed to the evolution of the Darwin’s finches.
Burt David W
Full Text Available Abstract Background Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. Results The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. Conclusion The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving
Nillius, B.; Bingemer, H.; Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.
Ice nuclei (IN) initiate the formation of primary ice in tropospheric clouds. In mixed phase clouds the primary ice crystals can grow very fast by the Bergeron-Findeisen process (Findeisen, 1938) at the expense of evaporating water droplets, and form precipitation. Thus, IN are essential for the development of precipitation in mixed phase clouds in the middle latitude. However, the role of IN in the development of clouds is still poorly understood and needs to be studied (Levin and Cotton, 2007). A Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber (FINCH-HALO) for airborne operation on the High And LOng Range research aircraft (HALO) is under development at the Institute for Atmosphere and Environment University Frankfurt. IN particles are activated within the chamber at certain ice super-saturation and temperature by mixing three gas flows, a warm moist, a cold dry, and an aerosol flow. After activation the particles will grow within a processing chamber. In an optical depolarisation detector droplets and ice crystals are detected separately. The setup of the new FINCH-HALO instrument is based on the ground based IN counter FINCH (Bundke, 2008). In FINCH-HALO a new cooling unit is used. Thus, measurements down to -40°C are possible. Furthermore minor changes of the inlet section where the mixing occurs were done. The contribution will present 3D model calculations with FLUENT of the flow conditions in the new inlet section for different pressure levels during a flight typical for HALO. Growth rates of ice crystals in the chamber at different temperature and super-saturation will be shown. References: Bundke U., B. Nillius, R. Jaenicke, T. Wetter, H. Klein, H. Bingemer, (2008). The Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber FINCH, Atmospheric Research, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.02.008 Findeisen, R., (1938). Meteorologisch-physikalische Begebenheiten der Vereisung in der Atmosphäre. Hauptversammlung 1938 der Lilienthal-Gesellschaft. Levin, Z., W. Cotton, (2007). Aerosol pollution impact on precipitation
Grisham, William; Schottler, Natalie A.; Beck McCauley, Lisa M.; Pham, Anh P.; Ruiz, Maureen L.; Fong, Michelle C.; Cui, Xinran
Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the…
Winograd, Claudia; Ceman, Stephanie
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and presents with markedly atypical speech-language, likely due to impaired vocal learning. Although current models have been useful for studies of some aspects of FXS, zebra finch is the only tractable lab model for vocal learning. The neural circuits for vocal learning in the zebra finch have clear relationships to the pathways in the human brain that may be affected in FXS. Further, finch vocal learning may be quantified using software designed specifically for this purpose. Knockdown of the zebra finch FMR1 gene may ultimately enable novel tests of therapies that are modality-specific, using drugs or even social strategies, to ameliorate deficits in vocal development and function. In this chapter, we describe the utility of the zebra finch model and present a hypothesis for the role of FMRP in the developing neural circuitry for vocalization.
Biederman, Michelle K; Nelson, Megan M; Asalone, Kathryn C; Pedersen, Alyssa L; Saldanha, Colin J; Bracht, John R
Developmentally programmed genome rearrangements are rare in vertebrates, but have been reported in scattered lineages including the bandicoot, hagfish, lamprey, and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) . In the finch, a well-studied animal model for neuroendocrinology and vocal learning , one such programmed genome rearrangement involves a germline-restricted chromosome, or GRC, which is found in germlines of both sexes but eliminated from mature sperm [3, 4]. Transmitted only through the oocyte, it displays uniparental female-driven inheritance, and early in embryonic development is apparently eliminated from all somatic tissue in both sexes [3, 4]. The GRC comprises the longest finch chromosome at over 120 million base pairs , and previously the only known GRC-derived sequence was repetitive and non-coding . Because the zebra finch genome project was sourced from male muscle (somatic) tissue , the remaining genomic sequence and protein-coding content of the GRC remain unknown. Here we report the first protein-coding gene from the GRC: a member of the α-soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion protein (NSF) attachment protein (α-SNAP) family hitherto missing from zebra finch gene annotations. In addition to the GRC-encoded α-SNAP, we find an additional paralogous α-SNAP residing in the somatic genome (a somatolog)-making the zebra finch the first example in which α-SNAP is not a single-copy gene. We show divergent, sex-biased expression for the paralogs and also that positive selection is detectable across the bird α-SNAP lineage, including the GRC-encoded α-SNAP. This study presents the identification and evolutionary characterization of the first protein-coding GRC gene in any organism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Moore, Ignacio T; Hawley, Dana M
Animal personality has been linked to individual variation in both stress physiology and social behaviors, but few studies have simultaneously examined covariation between personality traits, stress hormone levels, and behaviors in free-living animals. We investigated relationships between exploratory behavior (one aspect of animal personality), stress physiology, and social and foraging behaviors in wild house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We conducted novel environment assays after collecting samples of baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone concentrations from a subset of house finches. We then fitted individuals with Passive Integrated Transponder tags and monitored feeder use and social interactions at radio-frequency identification equipped bird feeders. First, we found that individuals with higher baseline corticosterone concentrations exhibit more exploratory behaviors in a novel environment. Second, more exploratory individuals interacted with more unique conspecifics in the wild, though this result was stronger for female than for male house finches. Third, individuals that were quick to begin exploring interacted more frequently with conspecifics than slow-exploring individuals. Finally, exploratory behaviors were unrelated to foraging behaviors, including the amount of time spent on bird feeders, a behavior previously shown to be predictive of acquiring a bacterial disease that causes annual epidemics in house finches. Overall, our results indicate that individual differences in exploratory behavior are linked to variation in both stress physiology and social network traits in free-living house finches. Such covariation has important implications for house finch ecology, as both traits can contribute to fitness in the wild. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hernandez, Alexandra M; Perez, Emilie C; Mulard, Hervé; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine
Social stimuli can have rewarding properties and promote learning. In birds, conspecific vocalizations like song can act as a reinforcer, and specific song variants can acquire particular rewarding values during early life exposure. Here we ask if, during adulthood, an acoustic signal simpler and shorter than song can become a reward for a female songbird because of its particular social value. Using an operant choice apparatus, we showed that female zebra finches display a preferential response toward their mate's calls. This reinforcing value of mate's calls could be involved in the maintenance of the monogamous pair-bond of the zebra finch. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Siegel, Nisan; Rosen, Joseph; Brooker, Gary
Recent advances in Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) increase the signal-to-noise ratio in hologram recording by interference of images from two diffractive lenses with focal lengths close to the image plane. Holograms requiring short reconstruction distances are created that reconstruct poorly with existing Fresnel propagation methods. Here we show a dramatic improvement in reconstructed fluorescent images when a 2D Hamming window function substituted for the disk window typically used to bound the impulse response in the Fresnel propagation. Greatly improved image contrast and quality are shown for simulated and experimentally determined FINCH holograms using a 2D Hamming window without significant loss in lateral or axial resolution.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Zebra finches can be trained to use the geomagnetic field as a directional cue for short distance orientation. The physical mechanisms underlying the primary processes of magnetoreception are, however, largely unknown. Two hypotheses of how birds perceive magnetic information are mainly discussed, one dealing with modulation of radical pair processes in retinal structures, the other assuming that iron deposits in the upper beak of the birds are involved. Oscillating magnetic fields in the MHz range disturb radical pair mechanisms but do not affect magnetic particles. Thus, application of such oscillating fields in behavioral experiments can be used as a diagnostic tool to decide between the two alternatives. Methods In a setup that eliminates all directional cues except the geomagnetic field zebra finches were trained to search for food in the magnetic north/south axis. The birds were then tested for orientation performance in two magnetic conditions. In condition 1 the horizontal component of the geomagnetic field was shifted by 90 degrees using a helmholtz coil. In condition 2 a high frequently oscillating field (1.156 MHz was applied in addition to the shifted field. Another group of birds was trained to solve the orientation task, but with visual landmarks as directional cue. The birds were then tested for their orientation performance in the same magnetic conditions as applied for the first experiment. Results The zebra finches could be trained successfully to orient in the geomagnetic field for food search in the north/south axis. They were also well oriented in test condition 1, with the magnetic field shifted horizontally by 90 degrees. In contrast, when the oscillating field was added, the directional choices during food search were randomly distributed. Birds that were trained to visually guided orientation showed no difference of orientation performance in the two magnetic conditions. Conclusion The results
Bailey, David J.; Wade, Juli
In the brains of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), the nuclei that direct song learning and production are larger than the corresponding regions in females, who do not sing. The dimorphism in Area X of the medial striatum (MSt), an area important for song learning, is even more dramatic in that it is identifiable in males but not females by Nissl stain. In the present study, conspecific song, but not other auditory stimuli, induced expression of the immediate early gene ZENK in the MS...
Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Klein, H.; Nillius, B.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.; Bingemer, H.
Ice formation in clouds is a subject of great practical and fundamental importance since the occurrence of ice particle initializes dramatic changes in the microphysical structure of the cloud, which finally ends in the formation of precipitation. The initially step of ice formation is largely unknown. Homogenous nucleation of ice occurs only below -40 °C. If an ice nucleus (IN) is present, heterogeneous nucleation may occur at higher temperature. Here deposition freezing, condensation and immersion freezing as well as contact freezing are known. Also growth rates of ice particles are known as function of crystal surface properties, temperature and super saturation. Timescales for homogenous freezing activation in the order of 0.01 seconds and nucleation rates have been measured by Anderson et al. (1980) and Hagen et al., (1981) using their expansion cloud chamber. This contribution of deposition mode freezing measurements by the ice nucleus counter FINCH presents evidence that the activation timescale of this freezing mode is in the order of 1E-3 seconds. FINCH is an Ice Nucleus counter which activates IN in a supersaturated environment at freezing temperatures. The activation conditions are actively controlled by mixing three gas flows (aerosol, particle-free cold-dry and warm-humid flows).See Bundke et al. 2008 for details. In a special operation mode of FINCH we are able to produce a controlled peak super saturation in the order of 1 ms duration. For several test aerosols the results observed in this particular mode are comparable to normal mode operations, where the maximum super saturation remains for more than a second, thus leading to the conclusion that the time for activation is in the order of 1ms or less. References: R.J. Anderson et al, "A Study of Homogeneous Condensation Freezing Nucleation of Small Water Droplets in an Expansion Cloud Chamber, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 37, 2508-2520, 1980 U.Bundke et al., "The fast Ice Nucleus
Karten, Harvey J; Brzozowska-Prechtl, Agnieszka; Lovell, Peter V; Tang, Daniel D; Mello, Claudio V; Wang, Haibin; Mitra, Partha P
We describe a set of new comprehensive, high-quality, high-resolution digital images of histological sections from the brain of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and make them publicly available through an interactive website (http://zebrafinch.brainarchitecture.org/). These images provide a basis for the production of a dimensionally accurate and detailed digital nonstereotaxic atlas. Nissl- and myelin-stained brain sections are provided in the transverse, sagittal, and horizontal planes, with the transverse plane approximating the more traditional Frankfurt plane. In addition, a separate set of brain sections in this same plane is stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, revealing the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons (dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and adrenergic) in the songbird brain. For a subset of sagittal sections we also prepared a corresponding set of drawings, defining and annotating various nuclei, fields, and fiber tracts that are visible under Nissl and myelin staining. This atlas of the zebra finch brain is expected to become an important tool for birdsong research and comparative studies of brain organization and evolution. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Sabine, Tebbich; Irmgard, Teschke; Erica, Cartmill; Sophia, Stankewitz
Here we describe the modification and use of a new tool type in the woodpecker finch (Cactospiza pallida). This species is known to habitually use twigs or cactus spines to extract arthropods out of tree holes. We observed an adult and a juvenile bird using several barbed twigs from introduced blackberry bushes (Rubus niveus) which the adult bird had first modified by removing leaves and side twigs. The barbs of blackberry tools provide a novel functional feature not present in tools made from native plants and de-leafing of twigs never has been observed before. Both birds were observed using several of these tools to extract prey from under the bark of the native scalesia tree (Scalesia penduculta). They oriented the twigs such that the barbs pointed towards themselves; this rendered the barbs functional as they could be used to drag prey out of a crevice. The juvenile bird first watched the adult using the tool and then used the tool that the adult bird had left under the bark at the same location and in the same way as the adult. Our observation highlights the fact that opportunities for the transmission of social information do occur in the wild and indicates that woodpecker finches are flexible in their choice of tool material and tool modification. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Watson, J.T.; Adkins-Regan, E.; Whiting, P.; Lindstrom, J.M.; Podleski, T.R.
We have localized nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the zebra finch brain by using three 125I-labelled ligands: alpha bungarotoxin and two monoclonal antibodies to neuronal nicotinic receptors. Unfixed brains from intact adult male and female zebra finches were prepared for in vitro autoradiography. Low-resolution film autoradiograms and high-resolution emulsion autoradiograms were prepared for each of the three ligands. The major brain structures that bind all three of the ligands are hippocampus; hyperstriatum dorsalis; hyperstriatum ventralis; nucleus lentiformis mesencephali; nucleus pretectalis, some layers of the optic tectum; nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis; pars dorsalis; locus ceruleus; and all cranial motor nuclei except nucleus nervi hypoglossi. The major structures labelled only by [125I]-alpha bungarotoxin binding included hyperstriatum accessorium and the nuclei: preopticus medialis, medialis hypothalami posterioris, semilunaris, olivarius inferior, and the periventricular organ. Of the song control nuclei, nucleus magnocellularis of the anterior neostriatum; hyperstriatum ventralis, pars caudalis; nucleus intercollicularis; and nucleus hypoglossus were labelled. The binding patterns of the two antibodies were similar to one another but not identical. Both labelled nucleus spiriformis lateralis and nucleus geniculatus lateralis, pars ventralis especially heavily and also labelled the nucleus habenula medialis; nucleus subpretectalis; nucleus isthmi, pars magnocellularis; nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis; nucleus reticularis lateralis; nucleus tractus solitarii; nucleus vestibularis dorsolateralis; nucleus vestibularis lateralis; nucleus descendens nervi trigemini; and the deep cerebellar nuclei
Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.
Ecotoxicologists often implicitly assume that populations are homogenous entities in which all individuals have similar responses to a contaminant. However, genetically variable responses occur within populations. This variation can be visualized using dose–response curves of genetically related groups, similar to the way that evolutionary biologists construct reaction norms. We assessed the variation in reproductive success of full-sibling families of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) experimentally exposed to methylmercury. We found significant variation among families in the effects of methylmercury on several reproductive parameters. This variation suggests that there may be strong responses to selection for resistant genotypes in contaminated areas. This has important implications for the evolution of tolerance as well as risk assessment and wildlife conservation efforts on sites with legacy contamination. -- Highlights: •Dose-response curves can visualize genetic differences in response to pollutants. •Families of zebra finch respond differently to mercury contamination. •Differences in reproductive success can lead to selection for resistant genotypes. •Resistance to contamination has implications for risk assessment and conservation. -- Genetic variation in response to contaminants can lead to adaptation on long-term contaminated sites, with implications for risk assessment and conservation of impacted populations
Spierings, Michelle J.; ten Cate, Carel
The ability to abstract a regularity that underlies strings of sounds is a core mechanism of the language faculty but might not be specific to language learning or even to humans. It is unclear whether and to what extent nonhuman animals possess the ability to abstract regularities defining the relation among arbitrary auditory items in a string and to generalize this abstraction to strings of acoustically novel items. In this study we tested these abilities in a songbird (zebra finch) and a parrot species (budgerigar). Subjects were trained in a go/no-go design to discriminate between two sets of sound strings arranged in an XYX or an XXY structure. After this discrimination was acquired, each subject was tested with test strings that were structurally identical to the training strings but consisted of either new combinations of known elements or of novel elements belonging to other element categories. Both species learned to discriminate between the two stimulus sets. However, their responses to the test strings were strikingly different. Zebra finches categorized test stimuli with previously heard elements by the ordinal position that these elements occupied in the training strings, independent of string structure. In contrast, the budgerigars categorized both novel combinations of familiar elements as well as strings consisting of novel element types by their underlying structure. They thus abstracted the relation among items in the XYX and XXY structures, an ability similar to that shown by human infants and indicating a level of abstraction comparable to analogical reasoning. PMID:27325756
Yanagihara, Shin; Yazaki-Sugiyama, Yoko
Behavioral states of animals, such as observing the behavior of a conspecific, modify signal perception and/or sensations that influence state-dependent higher cognitive behavior, such as learning. Recent studies have shown that neuronal responsiveness to sensory signals is modified when animals are engaged in social interactions with others or in locomotor activities. However, how these changes produce state-dependent differences in higher cognitive function is still largely unknown. Zebra finches, which have served as the premier songbird model, learn to sing from early auditory experiences with tutors. They also learn from playback of recorded songs however, learning can be greatly improved when song models are provided through social communication with tutors (Eales, 1989; Chen et al., 2016). Recently we found a subset of neurons in the higher-level auditory cortex of juvenile zebra finches that exhibit highly selective auditory responses to the tutor song after song learning, suggesting an auditory memory trace of the tutor song (Yanagihara and Yazaki-Sugiyama, 2016). Here we show that auditory responses of these selective neurons became greater when juveniles were paired with their tutors, while responses of non-selective neurons did not change. These results suggest that social interaction modulates cortical activity and might function in state-dependent song learning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Paulo V.Q. Zima
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Several behavioral aspects of the Red-crested Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus (Statius Müller, 1776 are poorly studied. Here we provide reproductive information on 16 active nests. This information may be valuable to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships of this bird, and to design plans to manage it. Nesting activities occurred from October to February. Clutches consisted of two to three eggs (2.06 ± 0.25, which were laid on consecutive days. Incubation usually started the morning the females laid their last egg and lasted 11.27 ± 0.47 days. Hatching was synchronous, or happened at a one-day interval. The nestling stage lasted 12 ± 0.89 days. Only females incubated the eggs and they fed the young more often than the males did. Overall nesting success, from incubation to fledging, was 28.2%. Nest architecture and egg color proved to be diagnostic characteristics of Coryphospingus , supporting its maintenance as a distinct genus within the recently proposed sub-family Tachyphoninae. Red-crested Finches showed a preference for certain nesting sites, i.e., forest borders or a Cerrado in late regeneration stage. This information can be useful to programs aiming to release illegally trapped individuals.
Ikebuchi, Maki; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Bischof, Hans-Joachim
The mode of hatching in birds has important impacts on both parents and chicks, including the costs and risks of breeding for parents, and sibling competition in a clutch. Birds with multiple eggs in a single clutch often begin incubating when most eggs are laid, thereby reducing time of incubation, nursing burden, and sibling competition. In some songbirds and some other species, however, incubation starts immediately after the first egg is laid, and the chicks thus hatch asynchronously. This may result in differences in parental care and in sibling competition based on body size differences among older and younger chicks, which in turn might produce asynchronous development among siblings favoring the first hatchling, and further affect the development and fitness of the chicks after fledging. To determine whether such processes in fact occur in the zebra finch, we observed chick development in 18 clutches of zebra finches. We found that there were effects of asynchronous hatching, but these were smaller than expected and mostly not significant. Our observations suggest that the amount of care given to each chick may be equated with such factors as a camouflage effect of the down feathers, and that the low illumination within the nest also complicates the determination of the hatching order by the parents.
Henning U Voss
Full Text Available How well a songbird learns a song appears to depend on the formation of a robust auditory template of its tutor's song. Using functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging we examine auditory responses in two groups of zebra finches that differ in the type of song they sing after being tutored by birds producing stuttering-like syllable repetitions in their songs. We find that birds that learn to produce the stuttered syntax show attenuated blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD responses to tutor's song, and more pronounced responses to conspecific song primarily in the auditory area field L of the avian forebrain, when compared to birds that produce normal song. These findings are consistent with the presence of a sensory song template critical for song learning in auditory areas of the zebra finch forebrain. In addition, they suggest a relationship between an altered response related to familiarity and/or saliency of song stimuli and the production of variant songs with stuttered syllables.
Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D
The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mariam Honarmand; E. Tobias Krause; Marc Naguib
The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in ...
Kohl, Rebecca; Frank, Fabian; Curtius, Joachim; Rose, Diana
Ice nucleating particles (INPs), which are a small fraction of the total aerosol population, are capable of triggering ice formation under atmospheric conditions. Since INPs play an important role for the radiative properties of clouds as well as for the formation of precipitation it is important to get quantitative information on the ice activity of various atmospheric aerosol species. With the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH; Bundke et al., 2008) the number concentration of INP is determined at different freezing temperatures and supersaturations. In contrast to other commonly used INP counters, i.e., continuous flow diffusion chambers (CFDCs, DeMott et al., 2011), in FINCH the supersaturation is reached by mixing the sample flow of ambient aerosol with a warm moist as well as a cold dry airflow. By changing the flow rates and temperatures of the individual airflows the freezing temperature (down to -50°C) and supersaturation (up to above water saturation) can be varied relatively quickly. Particles that are ice active at the prescribed freezing temperature and supersaturation grow to crystals and are counted by a home-built optical particle counter (OPC) mounted below the chamber (Bundke et al., 2010). FINCH was operated during the four-week INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS field campaign in Cyprus in April 2016. The measuring site was the location of the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO) at Agia Marina Xyliatou, which is typically influenced by dust from the Sahara and the Middle East, an aerosol that is known to have relatively good ice nucleating ability. First results from this campaign will be presented. Acknowledgements: The authors thank the entire INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS campaign team for their cooperation and support. The INUIT-2 project is financed by the German Research Foundation DFG (FOR 1525). The INUIT-Cyprus campaign is a cooperation with the EU-funded project BACCHUS and is also funded by ACTRIS-TNA. References: Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R
Kim, Sungwon; Park, Myeongseon; Leon, Ariel E; Adelman, James S; Hawley, Dana M; Dalloul, Rami A
A unique clade of the bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), which causes chronic respiratory disease in poultry, has resulted in annual epidemics of conjunctivitis in North American house finches since the 1990s. Currently, few immunological tools have been validated for this songbird species. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a prototypic multifunctional cytokine and can affect almost every cell type during Mycoplasma infection. The overall goal of this study was to develop and validate a direct ELISA assay for house finch IL-1β (HfIL-1β) using a cross-reactive chicken antibody. A direct ELISA approach was used to develop this system using two different coating methods, carbonate and dehydration. In both methods, antigens (recombinant HfIL-1b or house finch plasma) were serially diluted in carbonate-bicarbonate coating buffer and either incubated at 4 °C overnight or at 60 °C on a heating block for 2 hr. To generate the standard curve, rHfIL-1b protein was serially diluted at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 ng/mL. Following blocking and washing, anti-chicken IL-1b polyclonal antibody was added, plates were later incubated with detecting antibodies, and reactions developed with tetramethylbenzidine solution. A commercially available anti-chicken IL-1β (ChIL-1β) polyclonal antibody (pAb) cross-reacted with house finch plasma IL-1β as well as bacterially expressed recombinant house finch IL-1β (rHfIL-1β) in immunoblotting assays. In a direct ELISA system, rHfIL-1β could not be detected by an anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated with carbonate-bicarbonate buffer at 4°C overnight. However, rHfIL-1β was detected by the anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated using a dehydration method by heat (60°C). Using the developed direct ELISA for HfIL-1β with commercial anti-ChIL-1β pAb, we were able to measure plasma IL-1β levels from house finches. Based on high amino acid sequence homology, we hypothesized and demonstrated cross-reactivity of
the education quality and more specifically learners' mathematical skills are .... worth). Students with a high self-esteem displayed acceptance of feedback .... Thus feedback is portrayed as means of communication of the teacher's view.
actions against those learners who disrupt teaching and learning or challenge the Code of Conduct. .... American "law" television series and movies);. 2. arrange ..... disciplinary committee, because they wanted to protect their children. It is the ...
The aim of this article is to suggest a theoretical framework than can assess to how people’s engagement in specific historical and social work practices are significant to their development, maintenance or transformation of a learner identity. Such a framework is crucial in order to grasp how...... different groups have distinctive conditions for meeting the obligation of forming a proactive learner identity and engage in lifelong learning prevalent in both national and transnational policies on lifelong learning....
Daskalovska, Nina; Gudeva, Liljana Koleva; Ivanovska, Biljana
There are a lot of factors which influence success in learning. However, one of the most important factors is the learner’s motivation to reach the desired goals. Research and experience show that learners with strong motivation can achieve a lot regardless of circumstances. Studies of motivation in second language learning have led to several distinctions, one of which is the distinction between integrative and instrumental motivation. According to this distinction, some learners are motivat...
Kim Jong H
Full Text Available Abstract Background In an important model for neuroscience, songbirds learn to discriminate songs they hear during tape-recorded playbacks, as demonstrated by song-specific habituation of both behavioral and neurogenomic responses in the auditory forebrain. We hypothesized that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs may participate in the changing pattern of gene expression induced by song exposure. To test this, we used massively parallel Illumina sequencing to analyse small RNAs from auditory forebrain of adult zebra finches exposed to tape-recorded birdsong or silence. Results In the auditory forebrain, we identified 121 known miRNAs conserved in other vertebrates. We also identified 34 novel miRNAs that do not align to human or chicken genomes. Five conserved miRNAs showed significant and consistent changes in copy number after song exposure across three biological replications of the song-silence comparison, with two increasing (tgu-miR-25, tgu-miR-192 and three decreasing (tgu-miR-92, tgu-miR-124, tgu-miR-129-5p. We also detected a locus on the Z sex chromosome that produces three different novel miRNAs, with supporting evidence from Northern blot and TaqMan qPCR assays for differential expression in males and females and in response to song playbacks. One of these, tgu-miR-2954-3p, is predicted (by TargetScan to regulate eight song-responsive mRNAs that all have functions in cellular proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Conclusions The experience of hearing another bird singing alters the profile of miRNAs in the auditory forebrain of zebra finches. The response involves both known conserved miRNAs and novel miRNAs described so far only in the zebra finch, including a novel sex-linked, song-responsive miRNA. These results indicate that miRNAs are likely to contribute to the unique behavioural biology of learned song communication in songbirds.
Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance
The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a “signal-derived pulse,” or pulseS, of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulseS significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulseP), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulsesS that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulseS periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel to the
Donovan, Edward R; Keeney, Brooke K; Kung, Eric; Makan, Sirish; Wild, J Martin; Altshuler, Douglas L
Flying animals exhibit profound transformations in anatomy, physiology, and neural architecture. Although much is known about adaptations in the avian skeleton and musculature, less is known about neuroanatomy and motor unit integration for bird flight. Hummingbirds are among the most maneuverable and specialized of vertebrate fliers, and two unusual neuromuscular features have been previously reported: (1) the pectoralis major has a unique distribution pattern of motor end plates (MEPs) compared with all other birds and (2) electromyograms (EMGs) from the hummingbird's pectoral muscles, the pectoralis major and the supracoracoideus, show activation bursts composed of one or a few spikes that appear to have a very consistent pattern. Here, we place these findings in a broader context by comparing the MEPs, EMGs, and organization of the spinal motor neuron pools of flight muscles of Anna's hummingbird Calypte anna, zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, and, for MEPs, several other species. The previously shown MEP pattern of the hummingbird pectoralis major is not shared with its closest taxonomic relative, the swift, and appears to be unique to hummingbirds. MEP arrangements in previously undocumented wing muscles show patterns that differ somewhat from other avian muscles. In the parallel-fibered strap muscles of the shoulder, MEP patterns appear to relate to muscle length, with the smallest muscles having fibers that span the entire muscle. MEP patterns in pennate distal wing muscles were the same regardless of size, with tightly clustered bands in the middle portion of the muscle, not evenly distributed bands over the muscle's entire length. Muscle activations were examined during slow forward flight in both species, during hovering in hummingbirds, and during slow ascents in zebra finches. The EMG bursts of a wing muscle, the pronator superficialis, were highly variable in peak number, size, and distribution across wingbeats for both species. In the pectoralis
Full Text Available Coccidiosis and gizzard erosion are rare conditions in cage bird. A male zebra finch was presented with a history of watery diarrhea, anorexia, ruffled feathers, weight loss, and lethargy and died finally. Gross necropsy revealed small areas of erosions and hemorrhages on the gizzard wall. The intestine was oedematous. The spleen appeared pale and small. The testes were asymmetric.Histologically, necrosis of mucosal layer with infiltration of inflammatory cells observed in cecum. Eimeria stages were detected in the enterocytes. In Gizzard, hemorrhage and ulceration of mucosal layer with infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells in to the underlying mucosa were seen. In hepatic tissue, mild focal necrosis with mononuclear cells infiltration was seen. The disease was diagnosed as coccidiosis and gizzard erosion.
Gill, Lisa F; Goymann, Wolfgang; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred
Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through different stages of the breeding cycle. As birds formed pairs and shifted their reproductive status, their call repertoire composition changed. The recordings revealed that calls occurred non-randomly in fine-tuned vocal interactions and decreased within groups while pair-specific patterns emerged. Call-type combinations of vocal interactions changed within pairs and were associated with successful egg-laying, highlighting a potential fitness relevance of calling dynamics in communication systems.
Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Whitney, Margaret; Rice, Gary W; Cristol, Daniel A
Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury. Much remains to be understood about what happens to ingested mercury once it enters the intestines, but our results suggest that dietary studies using methylmercury chloride in birds will produce similar tissue accumulation levels to those using methylmercury cysteine.
Swaddle, John P; Diehl, Tessa R; Taylor, Capwell E; Fanaee, Aaron S; Benson, Jessica L; Huckstep, Neil R; Cristol, Daniel A
Environmental stressors can negatively affect avian cognitive abilities, potentially reducing fitness, for example by altering response to predators, display to mates, or memory of locations of food. We expand on current knowledge by investigating the effects of dietary mercury, a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and known neurotoxin, on avian cognition. Zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata were dosed for their entire lives with sub-lethal levels of mercury, at the environmentally relevant dose of 1.2 parts per million. In our first study, we compared the dosed birds with controls of the same age using tests of three cognitive abilities: spatial memory, inhibitory control, and color association. In the spatial memory assay, birds were tested on their ability to learn and remember the location of hidden food in their cage. The inhibitory control assay measured their ability to ignore visible but inaccessible food in favor of a learned behavior that provided the same reward. Finally, the color association task tested each bird's ability to associate a specific color with the presence of hidden food. Dietary mercury negatively affected spatial memory ability but not inhibitory control or color association. Our second study focused on three behavioral assays not tied to a specific skill or problem-solving: activity level, neophobia, and social dominance. Zebra finches exposed to dietary mercury throughout their lives were subordinate to, and more active than, control birds. We found no evidence that mercury exposure influenced our metric of neophobia. Together, these results suggest that sub-lethal exposure to environmental mercury selectively harms neurological pathways that control different cognitive abilities, with complex effects on behavior and fitness.
Ihle, Eva C; van der Hart, Marieke; Jongsma, Minke; Tecott, Larry H; Doupe, Allison J
Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) is involved in altering neural activity and gene expression in a zebra finch cortical-basal ganglia circuit specialized for singing, upon the shift between solitary singing and singing as a part of courtship. Our objective here was to sample changes in the extracellular concentrations of DA in Area X of adult and juvenile birds, to test the hypothesis that DA levels would change similarly during presentation of a socially salient stimulus in both age groups. We used microdialysis to sample the extracellular milieu of Area X in awake, behaving adult and juvenile male zebra finches, and analysed the dialysate using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. The extracellular levels of DA in Area X increased significantly during both female presentation to adult males and tutor presentation to juvenile males. DA levels were not correlated with the time spent singing. We also reverse-dialysed Area X with pharmacologic agents that act either on DA systems directly or on norepinephrine, and found that all of these agents significantly increased DA levels (3- to 10-fold) in Area X. These findings suggest that changes in extracellular DA levels can be stimulated similarly by very different social contexts (courtship and interaction with tutor), and influenced potently by dopaminergic and noradrenergic drugs. These results raise the possibility that the arousal level or attentional state of the subject (rather than singing behavior) is the common feature eliciting changes in extracellular DA concentration. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Parental care plays a key role in ontogeny, life-history trade-offs, sexual selection and intra-familial conflict. Studies focusing on understanding causes and consequences of variation in parental effort need to quantify parental behaviour accurately. The applied methods are, however, diverse even for a given species and type of parental effort, and rarely validated for accuracy. Here we focus on variability of parental behaviour from a methodological perspective to investigate the effect of different samplings on various estimates of parental effort. We used nest box cameras in a captive breeding population of zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a widely used model system of sexual selection, intra-familial dynamics and parental care. We investigated diurnal and reproductive stage-dependent variation in parental effort (including incubation, brooding, nest attendance and number of feedings based on 12h and 3h continuous video-recordings taken at various reproductive stages. We then investigated whether shorter (1h sampling periods provided comparable estimates of overall parental effort and division of labour to those of longer (3h sampling periods. Our study confirmed female-biased division of labour during incubation, and showed that the difference between female and male effort diminishes with advancing reproductive stage. We found individually consistent parental behaviours within given days of incubation and nestling provisioning. Furthermore, parental behaviour was consistent over the different stages of incubation, however, only female brooding was consistent over nestling provisioning. Parental effort during incubation did not predict parental effort during nestling provisioning. Our analyses revealed that 1h sampling may be influenced heavily by stochastic and diurnal variation. We suggest using a single longer sampling period (3h may provide a consistent and accurate estimate for overall parental effort during incubation in zebra
Full Text Available In mating systems with social monogamy and obligatory bi-parental care, such as found in many songbird species, male and female fitness depends on the combined parental investment. Hence, both sexes should gain from choosing mates in high rather than low condition. However, theory also predicts that an individual's phenotypic quality can constrain choice, if low condition individuals cannot afford prolonged search efforts and/or face higher risk of rejection. In systems with mutual mate choice, the interaction between male and female condition should thus be a better predictor of choice than either factor in isolation. To address this prediction experimentally, we manipulated male and female condition and subsequently tested male and female mating preferences in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, a songbird species with mutual mate choice and obligatory bi-parental care. We experimentally altered phenotypic quality by manipulating the brood size in which the birds were reared. Patterns of association for high- or low-condition individuals of the opposite sex differed for male and female focal birds when tested in an 8-way choice arena. Females showed repeatable condition-assortative preferences for males matching their own rearing background. Male preferences were also repeatable, but not predicted by their own or females' rearing background. In combination with a brief review of the literature on condition-dependent mate choice in the zebra finch we discuss whether the observed sex differences and between-studies differences arise because males and females differ in context sensitivity (e.g. male-male competition suppressing male mating preferences, sampling strategies or susceptibility to rearing conditions (e.g. sex-specific effect on physiology. While a picture emerges that juvenile and current state indeed affect preferences, the development and context-dependency of mutual state-dependent mate choice warrants further study.
Chin, Stephanie Y; Hopkins, William A; Cristol, Daniel A
Mercury is an environmental contaminant that impairs avian reproduction, but the behavioral and physiological mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine whether lifetime dietary exposure to mercury (1.2 µg/g wet weight in food) impacted avian parental behaviors, and how this might influence reproductive success. To distinguish between the direct effects of mercury on parents and offspring, we created four treatment groups of captive-bred zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), with control and mercury-exposed adults raising cross-fostered control or mercury-exposed eggs (from maternal transfer). Control parents were 23% more likely to fledge young than parents exposed to mercury, regardless of egg exposure. Mercury-exposed parents were less likely to initiate nests than controls and spent less time constructing them. Nests of mercury-exposed pairs were lighter, possibly due to an impaired ability to bring nest material into the nestbox. However, nest temperature, incubation behavior, and provisioning rate did not differ between parental treatments. Unexposed control eggs tended to have shorter incubation periods and higher hatching success than mercury-exposed eggs, but there was no effect of parental exposure on these parameters. We accidentally discovered that parent finches transfer some of their body burden of mercury to nestlings during feeding through secretion in the crop. These results suggest that, in mercury-exposed songbirds, pre-laying parental behaviors, combined with direct exposure of embryos to mercury, likely contribute to reduced reproductive success and should be considered in future studies. Further research is warranted in field settings, where parents are exposed to greater environmental challenges and subtle behavioral differences might have more serious consequences than were observed in captivity.
Velten, Brandy P; Welch, Kenneth C
Myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform complement is intimately related to a muscle's contractile properties, yet relatively little is known about avian MHC isoforms or how they may vary with fiber type and/or the contractile properties of a muscle. The rapid shortening of muscles necessary to power flight at the high wingbeat frequencies of ruby-throated hummingbirds and zebra finches (25-60 Hz), along with the varied morphology and use of the hummingbird hindlimb, provides a unique opportunity to understand how contractile and morphological properties of avian muscle may be reflected in MHC expression. Isoforms of the hummingbird and zebra finch flight and hindlimb muscles were electrophoretically separated and compared with those of other avian species representing different contractile properties and fiber types. The flight muscles of the study species operate at drastically different contraction rates and are composed of different histochemically defined fiber types, yet each exhibited the same, single MHC isoform corresponding to the chicken adult fast isoform. Thus, despite quantitative differences in the contractile demands of flight muscles across species, this isoform appears necessary for meeting the performance demands of avian powered flight. Variation in flight muscle contractile performance across species may be due to differences in the structural composition of this conserved isoform and/or variation within other mechanically linked proteins. The leg muscles were more varied in their MHC isoform composition across both muscles and species. The disparity in hindlimb MHC expression between hummingbirds and the other species highlights previously observed differences in fiber type composition and thrust production during take-off. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.
Hermans, Henry; Janssen, José; Vogten, Hubert; Koper, Rob
In adult education there is a continuous, growing demand for learning opportunities that fit the specific characteristics and preferences of particular learner groups or individual learners. This requires educational institutions to rethink their business and educational models, and develop more
Petersen, Karen Bjerg
of virtual e-learning, interviews with teachers and 10 learner participants in a virtual classroom setting, and discourse analysis of curriculum developed for the particular e-learning course The research has taken place in the context of a study of e-learning and virtual teaching of Danish as a Second...... language for adults. The research results indicate that teachers seem to compensate by trying to create virtual communities of learning. Learners, however, experience disembedded relations. Conversely, curriculum development, on tends to ‘exploit’ the conditions of disembedding social relations in e-learning......, locationally distant”. The aim of the paper is to analyse and discuss how different positions in e-learning settings result in different answers to modernity. These settings can be applied to either teacher, learner or curriculum positions. The research was based on a qualitative longitudinal case study...
Belda, Antonio; Peiro, Victoriano; Seva Román, Eduardo
We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract fin...
Elie, Julie Estelle; Soula, Hédi Antoine; Trouvé, Colette; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine
Individual cages represent a widely used housing condition in laboratories. This isolation represents an impoverished physical and social environment in gregarious animals. It prevents animals from socializing, even when auditory and visual contact is maintained. Zebra finches are colonial songbirds that are widely used as laboratory animals for the study of vocal communication from brain to behavior. In this study, we investigated the effect of single housing on the vocal behavior and the brain activity of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): male birds housed in individual cages were compared to freely interacting male birds housed as a social group in a communal cage. We focused on the activity of septo-hypothalamic regions of the "social behavior network" (SBN), a set of limbic regions involved in several social behaviors in vertebrates. The activity of four structures of the SBN (BSTm, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; POM, medial preoptic area; lateral septum; ventromedial hypothalamus) and one associated region (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) was assessed using immunoreactive nuclei density of the immediate early gene Zenk (egr-1). We further assessed the identity of active cell populations by labeling vasotocin (VT). Brain activity was related to behavioral activities of birds like physical and vocal interactions. We showed that individual housing modifies vocal exchanges between birds compared to communal housing. This is of particular importance in the zebra finch, a model species for the study of vocal communication. In addition, a protocol that daily removes one or two birds from the group affects differently male zebra finches depending of their housing conditions: while communally-housed males changed their vocal output, brains of individually housed males show increased Zenk labeling in non-VT cells of the BSTm and enhanced correlation of Zenk-revealed activity between the studied structures. These results show that
Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo
We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge. PMID:22611428
Full Text Available We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses; thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158, and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (=158. Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.
Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo
We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.
Full Text Available The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR, as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (P<0.1. Thus, the effect of BMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.
Rønning, Bernt; Moe, Børge; Berntsen, Henrik H; Noreen, Elin; Bech, Claus
The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR), as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age) and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (PBMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.
Lichtman Aron H
Full Text Available Abstract Background Previously we have found that cannabinoid treatment of zebra finches during sensorimotor stages of vocal development alters song patterns produced in adulthood. Such persistently altered behavior must be attributable to changes in physiological substrates responsible for song. We are currently working to identify the nature of such physiological changes, and to understand how they contribute to altered vocal learning. One possibility is that developmental agonist exposure results in altered expression of elements of endocannabinoid signaling systems. To test this hypothesis we have studied effects of the potent cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN on endocannabinoid levels and densities of CB1 immunostaining in zebra finch brain. Results We found that late postnatal WIN treatment caused a long-term global disregulation of both levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG and densities of CB1 immunostaining across brain regions, while repeated cannabinoid treatment in adults produced few long-term changes in the endogenous cannabinoid system. Conclusions Our findings indicate that the zebra finch endocannabinoid system is particularly sensitive to exogenous agonist exposure during the critical period of song learning and provide insight into susceptible brain areas.
Chavez, Monika M. Th.
A survey investigated the attitudes of second language learners about authentic texts, written and oral, used for language instruction. Respondents were 186 randomly-selected university students of German. The students were administered a 212-item questionnaire (the items are appended) that requested information concerning student demographic…
Hindal, Huda; Reid, Norman; Whitehead, Rex
It is well established that girls and boys perform differently in traditional examinations in most countries. This study looks at a sample of 754 school students in Kuwait (aged about 13) and explores how boys and girls differ in the performance in a range of tests related to learner characteristics. The fundamental question is how boys and girls…
Trevor Greene, the 2013 MetLife/NASSP National High School Principal of the Year, empowers staff members and students to be the best teachers and learners they can be and provides the community resources to support them. In this article, Greene, principal of Toppenish High School in Washington, shares his biggest motivator as a school leader and…
Gautum, Satyen; Jangam, Sachin; Loh, Kai Chee
Developing responsible learners is one of the key education challenges of our time. Education literature suggests that for students to see themselves as active and necessary participants in their own learning, it is important that they view themselves as stakeholders in education. This research aims at exploring the effectiveness of instructional…
Full Text Available The rate of evolution depends on the strength of selection, which may be particularly strong for introduced parasites and their naive hosts. Because natural selection acts on phenotypes and because parasites can alter host phenotype, one fruitful starting point to measure the impact of novel pathogens is to quantify parasite-induced changes to host phenotype. Our study system is Darwin’s finches on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago, and the virulent fly larvae of Philornis downsi that were first discovered in Darwin’s finch nests in 1997. We use an experimental approach and measure host phenotype in parasitized and parasite-free chicks in Darwin’s small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa. Beak size did not differ between the two treatment groups, but naris size was 106% larger in parasitized chicks (∼3.3 mm versus parasite-free chicks (∼1.6 mm. To test if P. downsi was present prior to the 1960s, we compared naris size in historical (1899–1962 and contemporary birds (2004–2014 on Floreana Island in small ground finches (G. fuliginosa and medium tree finches (Camarhynchus pauper. Contemporary Darwin’s finches had significantly larger naris size (including extreme deformation, whereas historical naris size was both smaller and less variable. These findings provide the first longitudinal analysis for the extent of P. downsi-induced change to host naris size and show that Darwin’s finches, prior to the 1960s, were not malformed. Thus natural selection on altered host phenotype as a consequence of P. downsi parasitism appears to be contemporary and novel.
Badyaev, Alexander V; Beck, Michelle L; Hill, Geoffrey E; Whittingham, Linda A
The phenotype of a mother and the environment that she provides might differentially affect the phenotypes of her sons and daughters, leading to change in sexual size dimorphism. Whereas these maternal effects should evolve to accommodate the adaptations of both the maternal and offspring generations, the mechanisms by which this is accomplished are rarely known. In birds, females adjust the onset of incubation (coincident with the first egg or after all eggs are laid) in response to the environment during breeding, and thus, indirectly, determine the duration of offspring growth. In the two house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) populations that breed at the extremes of the species' distribution (Montana and Alabama), females experience highly distinct climatic conditions during nesting. We show that in close association with these conditions, females adjusted jointly the onset of incubation and the sequence in which they produced male and female eggs and consequently modified the growth of sons and daughters. The onset of incubation in newly breeding females closely tracked ambient temperature in a pattern consistent with the maintenance of egg viability. Because of the very different climates in Montana and Alabama, females in these populations showed the opposite patterns of seasonal change in incubation onset and the opposite sex bias in egg-laying order. In females with breeding experience, incubation onset and sex bias in laying order were closely linked regardless of the climatic variation. In nests in which incubation began with the onset of egg laying, the first-laid eggs were mostly females in Montana, but mostly males in Alabama. Because in both populations, male, but not female, embryos grew faster when exposed to longer incubation, the sex-bias produced highly divergent sizes of male and female juveniles between the populations. Overall, the compensatory interaction between the onset of incubation and the sex-biased laying order achieved a compromise
The first three chapters of the book offer relevant information on the new methodological approach, learner corpus profiling, and the exemplifying case, Romanian Learner English. The description of the Romanian Corpus of Learner English is also given special attention. The following three chapters include corpus-based frequency analyses of selected grammatical categories (articles, prepositions, genitives), combined with error analyses. In the concluding discussion, the book summarizes the features compiled as lexico-grammatical profiles.
Sue Anne Zollinger
Full Text Available Bird song is a widely used model in the study of animal communication and sexual selection, and several song features have been shown to reflect the quality of the singer. Recent studies have demonstrated that song amplitude may be an honest signal of current condition in males and that females prefer high amplitude songs. In addition, birds raise the amplitude of their songs to communicate in noisy environments. Although it is generally assumed that louder song should be more costly to produce, there has been little empirical evidence to support this assumption. We tested the assumption by measuring oxygen consumption and respiratory patterns in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata singing at different amplitudes in different background noise conditions. As background noise levels increased, birds significantly increased the sound pressure level of their songs. We found that louder songs required significantly greater subsyringeal air sac pressure than quieter songs. Though increased pressure is probably achieved by increasing respiratory muscle activity, these increases did not correlate with measurable increases in oxygen consumption. In addition, we found that oxygen consumption increased in higher background noise, independent of singing behaviour. This observation supports previous research in mammals showing that high levels of environmental noise can induce physiological stress responses. While our study did not find that increasing vocal amplitude increased metabolic costs, further research is needed to determine whether there are other non-metabolic costs of singing louder or costs associated with chronic noise exposure.
Cardoso Gonçalo C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Females often express the same ornaments as males to a similar or lesser degree. Female ornaments can be adaptive, but little is known regarding their origins and mode of evolution. Current utility does not imply evolutionary causation, and therefore it is possible that female ornamentation evolved due to selection on females, as a correlated response to selection on males (sexual constraint, or a combination of both. We tested these ideas simulating simple models for the evolution of male and female correlated traits, and compared their predictions against the coloration of finches in the genus Carduelis. Results For carotenoid-based ornamental coloration, a model of sexual constraint on females fits the Carduelis data well. The two alternative models (sexual constraint on males, and mutual constraint were rejected as causing the similarities in carotenoid coloration between males and females. For melanin coloration, the correlation between the sexes was weaker, indicating that males and females evolved independently to a greater extent. Conclusions This indicates that sexual constraint on females was an important mechanism for the evolution of ornamental carotenoid coloration in females, but less so for melanin coloration. This does not mean that female carotenoid coloration is non-adaptive or maladaptive, because sexual dichromatism could evolve if it were maladaptive. It suggests, however, that most evolution of female carotenoid coloration was male-driven and, when adaptive, may not be an adaptation stricto sensu.
Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L
Maternally transferred antibodies have been documented in a wide range of taxa and are thought to adaptively provide protection against parasites and pathogens while the offspring immune system is developing. In most birds, transfer occurs when females deposit immunoglobulin Y into the egg yolk, and it is proportional to the amount in the female's plasma. Maternal antibodies can provide short-term passive protection as well as specific and nonspecific immunological priming, but high levels of maternal antibody can result in suppression of the offspring's humoral immune response. We injected adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with one of two antigens (lipopolysaccharide [LPS] or keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH]) or a control and then injected offspring with LPS, KLH, or a control on days 5 and 28 posthatch to examine the impact of maternally transferred antibodies on the ontogeny of the offspring's humoral immune system. We found that offspring of females exposed to KLH had elevated levels of KLH-reactive antibody over the first 17-28 days posthatch but reduced KLH-specific antibody production between days 28 and 36. We also found that offspring exposed to either LPS or KLH exhibited reduced total antibody levels, compared to offspring that received a control injection. These results indicate that high levels of maternal antibodies or antigen exposure during development can have negative repercussions on short-term antibody production and may have long-term fitness repercussions for the offspring.
Beckers, Gabriël J L; Gahr, Manfred
Auditory systems bias responses to sounds that are unexpected on the basis of recent stimulus history, a phenomenon that has been widely studied using sequences of unmodulated tones (mismatch negativity; stimulus-specific adaptation). Such a paradigm, however, does not directly reflect problems that neural systems normally solve for adaptive behavior. We recorded multiunit responses in the caudomedial auditory forebrain of anesthetized zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) at 32 sites simultaneously, to contact calls that recur probabilistically at a rate that is used in communication. Neurons in secondary, but not primary, auditory areas respond preferentially to calls when they are unexpected (deviant) compared with the same calls when they are expected (standard). This response bias is predominantly due to sites more often not responding to standard events than to deviant events. When two call stimuli alternate between standard and deviant roles, most sites exhibit a response bias to deviant events of both stimuli. This suggests that biases are not based on a use-dependent decrease in response strength but involve a more complex mechanism that is sensitive to auditory deviance per se. Furthermore, between many secondary sites, responses are tightly synchronized, a phenomenon that is driven by internal neuronal interactions rather than by the timing of stimulus acoustic features. We hypothesize that this deviance-sensitive, internally synchronized network of neurons is involved in the involuntary capturing of attention by unexpected and behaviorally potentially relevant events in natural auditory scenes.
Rutkowska, Joanna; Sadowska, Edyta T; Cichoń, Mariusz; Bauchinger, Ulf
Patterns of physiological flexibility in response to fasting are well established, but much less is known about the contribution of water deprivation to the observed effects. We investigated body composition and energy and water budget in three groups of zebra finches: birds with access to food and water, food-deprived birds having access to drinking water and food-and-water-deprived birds. Animals were not stimulated by elevated energy expenditure and they were in thermoneutral conditions; thus, based on previous studies, water balance of fasting birds was expected to be maintained by increased catabolism of proteins. In contrast to this expectation, we found that access to water did not prevent reduction of proteinaceous tissue, but it saved fat reserves of the fasting birds. Thus, water balance of birds fasting without access to water seemed to be maintained by elevated fat catabolism, which generated 6 times more metabolic water compared with that in birds that had access to water. Therefore, we revise currently established views and propose fat to serve as the primary source for metabolic water production. Previously assumed increased protein breakdown for maintenance of water budget would occur if fat stores were depleted or if fat catabolism reached its upper limits due to high energy demands. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Cantarero, Alejandro; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos
The evolution and production mechanisms of red carotenoid-based ornaments in animals are poorly understood. Recently, it has been suggested that enzymes transforming yellow carotenoids to red pigments (ketolases) in animal cells may be positioned in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) intimately linked to the electron transport chain. These enzymes may mostly synthesize coenzyme Q 10 (coQ 10 ), a key redox-cycler antioxidant molecularly similar to yellow carotenoids. It has been hypothesized that this shared pathway favours the evolution of red traits as sexually selected individual quality indices by revealing a well-adjusted oxidative metabolism. We administered mitochondria-targeted molecules to male zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) measuring their bill redness, a trait produced by transforming yellow carotenoids. One molecule included coQ 10 (mitoquinone mesylate, MitoQ) and the other one (decyl-triphenylphosphonium; dTPP) has the same structure without the coQ 10 aromatic ring. At the highest dose, the bill colour of MitoQ and dTPP birds strongly differed: MitoQ birds' bills were redder and dTPP birds showed paler bills even compared to birds injected with saline only. These results suggest that ketolases are indeed placed at the IMM and that coQ 10 antioxidant properties may improve their efficiency. The implications for evolutionary theories of sexual signalling are discussed. © 2017 The Author(s).
del Priore, Lucía; Pigozzi, María I
In the zebra finch, 2 alternative morphs regarding centromere position were described for chromosome 6. This polymorphism was interpreted to be the result of a pericentric inversion, but other causes of the centromere repositioning were not ruled out. We used immunofluorescence localization to examine the distribution of MLH1 foci on synaptonemal complexes to test the prediction that pericentric inversions cause synaptic irregularities and/or crossover suppression in heterozygotes. We found complete suppression of crossing over in the region involved in the rearrangement in male and female heterozygotes. In contrast, the same region showed high levels of crossing over in homozygotes for the acrocentric form of this chromosome. No inversion loops or synaptic irregularities were detected along bivalent 6 in heterozygotes suggesting that heterologous pairing is achieved during zygotene or early pachytene. Altogether these findings strongly indicate that the polymorphic chromosome 6 originated by a pericentric inversion. Since inversions are common rearrangements in karyotypic evolution in birds, it seems likely that early heterologous pairing could help to fix these rearrangements, preventing crossing overs in heterozygotes and their deleterious effects on fertility. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Chia, Camille; Dubois, Frédérique
Reciprocal altruism, the most probable mechanism for cooperation among unrelated individuals, can be modelled as a Prisoner's Dilemma. This game predicts that cooperation should evolve whenever the players, who expect to interact repeatedly, make choices contingent to their partner's behaviour. Experimental evidence, however, indicates that reciprocity is rare among animals. One reason for this would be that animals are very impulsive compared to humans. Several studies have reported that temporal discounting (that is, strong preferences for immediate benefits) has indeed a negative impact on the occurrence of cooperation. Yet, the role of impulsive action, another facet of impulsiveness, remains unexplored. Here, we conducted a laboratory experiment in which male and female zebra finches (Taenyopigia guttata) were paired assortatively with respect to their level of impulsive action and then played an alternating Prisoner's Dilemma. As anticipated, we found that self-controlled pairs achieved high levels of cooperation by using a Generous Tit-for-Tat strategy, while impulsive birds that cooperated at a lower level, chose to cooperate with a fixed probability. If the inability of impulsive individuals to use reactive strategies are due to their reduced working memory capacity, thus our findings might contribute to explaining interspecific differences in cooperative behaviour.
Farine, Damien R; Spencer, Karen A; Boogert, Neeltje J
Stress during early life can cause disease and cognitive impairment in humans and non-humans alike. However, stress and other environmental factors can also program developmental pathways. We investigate whether differential exposure to developmental stress can drive divergent social learning strategies between siblings. In many species, juveniles acquire essential foraging skills by copying others: they can copy peers (horizontal social learning), learn from their parents (vertical social learning), or learn from other adults (oblique social learning). However, whether juveniles' learning strategies are condition dependent largely remains a mystery. We found that juvenile zebra finches living in flocks socially learned novel foraging skills exclusively from adults. By experimentally manipulating developmental stress, we further show that social learning targets are phenotypically plastic. While control juveniles learned foraging skills from their parents, their siblings, exposed as nestlings to experimentally elevated stress hormone levels, learned exclusively from unrelated adults. Thus, early-life conditions triggered individuals to switch strategies from vertical to oblique social learning. This switch could arise from stress-induced differences in developmental rate, cognitive and physical state, or the use of stress as an environmental cue. Acquisition of alternative social learning strategies may impact juveniles' fit to their environment and ultimately change their developmental trajectories. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Yoder, Kathleen M; Lu, Kai; Vicario, David S
Estradiol (E2) has recently been shown to modulate sensory processing in an auditory area of the songbird forebrain, the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). When a bird hears conspecific song, E2 increases locally in NCM, where neurons express both the aromatase enzyme that synthesizes E2 from precursors and estrogen receptors. Auditory responses in NCM show a form of neuronal memory: repeated playback of the unique learned vocalizations of conspecific individuals induces long-lasting stimulus-specific adaptation of neural responses to each vocalization. To test the role of E2 in this auditory memory, we treated adult male zebra finches (n=16) with either the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD) or saline for 8 days. We then exposed them to 'training' songs and, 6 h later, recorded multiunit auditory responses with an array of 16 microelectrodes in NCM. Adaptation rates (a measure of stimulus-specific adaptation) to playbacks of training and novel songs were computed, using established methods, to provide a measure of neuronal memory. Recordings from the FAD-treated birds showed a significantly reduced memory for the training songs compared with saline-treated controls, whereas auditory processing for novel songs did not differ between treatment groups. In addition, FAD did not change the response bias in favor of conspecific over heterospecific song stimuli. Our results show that E2 depletion affects the neuronal memory for vocalizations in songbird NCM, and suggest that E2 plays a necessary role in auditory processing and memory for communication signals.
Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.
The URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) consists of 112177 parallaxes. The catalog utilizes all Northern Hemisphere epoch data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT). This data includes all individual exposures from April 2012 to June 2015 giving a larger epoch baseline for determining parallaxes over the 2-year span of the First USNO Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog (URAT1) (Zacharias et al., 2015, Cat. I/329) published data. The URAT parallax pipeline is custom code that utilizes routines from (Jao, C.-W., 2004, PhD thesis Georgia Stat), the JPL DE405 ephemeris and Green's parallax factor (Green, R.M., 1985, Spherical Astronomy) for determining parallaxes from a weighted least-squares reduction. The relative parallaxes have been corrected to absolute by using the distance color relation described in (Finch et. al, 2014, Cat. J/AJ/148/119) to determine a mean distance of all UCAC4 reference stars (R=8-16 mag) used in the astrometric reductions. Presented here are all significant parallaxes from the URAT Northern Hemisphere epoch data comprising of 2 groups: a) URAT parallax results for stars with prior published parallax, and b) first time trigonometric parallaxes as obtained from URAT data of stars without prior published parallax. Note, more stringent selection criteria have been applied to the second group than the first in order to keep the rate of false detections low. For specific information about the astrometric reductions please see 'The First U.S. Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog' published paper (Zacharias et al., 2015AJ....150..101Z, Cat. I/329). For complete details regarding the parallax pipeline please see 'Parallax Results From URAT Epoch Data' (Finch and Zacharias, 2016, AJ, in press). This catalog gives all positions on the ICRS at Epoch J2014.0; it covers the magnitude range 6.56 to 16.93 in the URAT band-pass, with an average parallax precision of 4.3mas for stars having no known
Ebers Smith, Jessica H; Cristol, Daniel A; Swaddle, John P
Mercury is a globally distributed, persistent environmental contaminant that affects the health of many taxa. It can suppress the immune system, which often plays a role in defense against parasites. However, there have been few investigations of whether mercury affects the abilities of animals to resist parasitic infection. Here, we exposed zebra finches to a lifetime dietary exposure of methylmercury (1.2 μg/g wet weight) and experimentally infected them with coccidian parasites to examine the effect of methylmercury exposure on parasitic infection. The mercury-exposed birds did not have an altered immune response (heterophil:lymphocyte ratio) nor a reduced ability to clear the infection. However, mercury-exposed birds tended to have higher parasite loads at the time when we expected the greatest immune response (2-3 weeks post-infection). Although mercury did not greatly influence the infection-course of this parasite in captivity, responses may be more accentuated in the wild where birds face additional immune challenges.
Aubrey M Kelly
Full Text Available Nonapeptides of the vasopressin-oxytocin family modulate social processes differentially in relation to sex, species, behavioral phenotype, and human personality. However, the mechanistic bases for these differences are not well understood, in part because multidimensional personality structures remain to be described for common laboratory animals. Based upon principal components (PC analysis of extensive behavioral measures in social and nonsocial contexts, we now describe three complex dimensions of phenotype (personality for the zebra finch, a species that exhibits a human-like social organization that is based upon biparental nuclear families embedded within larger social groups. These dimensions can be characterized as Social competence/dominance, Gregariousness, and Anxiety. We further demonstrate that the phasic Fos response of nonapeptide neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are significantly predicted by personality, sex, social context, and their interactions. Furthermore the behavioral PCs are each associated with a distinct suite of neural PCs that incorporate both peptide cell numbers and their phasic Fos responses, indicating that personality is reflected in complex patterns of neuromodulation arising from multiple peptide cell groups. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying sex- and phenotype-specific modulation of behavior, and should be broadly relevant, given that vasopressin-oxytocin systems are strongly conserved across vertebrates.
Koop, Jennifer A H; Owen, Jeb P; Knutie, Sarah A; Aguilar, Maria A; Clayton, Dale H
Ecological immunology aims to explain variation among hosts in the strength and efficacy of immunological defenses. However, a shortcoming has been the failure to link host immune responses to actual parasites under natural conditions. Here, we present one of the first experimental demonstrations of a parasite-induced immune response in a wild bird population. The recently introduced ectoparasitic nest fly Philornis downsi severely impacts the fitness of Darwin's finches and other land birds in the Galápagos Islands. An earlier study showed that female medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) had P. downsi-binding antibodies correlating with presumed variation in fly exposure over time. In the current study, we experimentally manipulated fly abundance to test whether the fly does, in fact, cause changes in antibody levels. We manipulated P. downsi abundance in nests and quantified P. downsi-binding antibody levels of medium ground finch mothers, fathers, and nestlings. We also quantified host behaviors, such as preening, which can integrate with antibody-mediated defenses against ectoparasites. Philornis downsi-binding antibody levels were significantly higher among mothers at parasitized nests, compared to mothers at (fumigated) nonparasitized nests. Mothers with higher antibody levels tended to have fewer parasites in their nests, suggesting that antibodies play a role in defense against parasites. Mothers showed no behavioral changes that would enhance the effectiveness of the immune response. Neither adult males, nor nestlings, had P. downsi-induced immunological or behavioral responses that would enhance defense against flies. None of the parasitized nests fledged any offspring, despite the immune response by mothers. Thus, this study shows that, while the immune response of mothers appeared to be defensive, it was not sufficient to rescue current reproductive fitness. This study further shows the importance of testing the fitness consequences of immune
Shaw, Philip; Leeke, Philip
Handbooks recommend a variety of quite complicated procedures for learning and remembering vocabulary, but most learners only engage in very simple procedures. The aim of this project was to establish a basis for identifying optimal vocabulary recording procedures by finding out what learners...
Byrne, Jason; Diem, Robert
The purpose of this study was to use an app-embedded survey to profile language learner demographics. A total of 3,759 EFL language learners from primarily eight L1 backgrounds (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Thai) responded to the survey embedded within a popular English grammar app. This app has over 500,000…
Correct pronunciation is not guaranteed, because only syllabification and the main stress are indicated in words. Grammatical guidance is also not given to such an extent that learners will be able to generate correct sentences on their own. The role that contrastive analysis and error analysis can play to anticipate learners' ...
Betts, George T.; Carey, Robin J.; Kapushion, Blanche M.
"Autonomous Learner Model Resource Book" includes activities and strategies to support the development of autonomous learners. More than 40 activities are included, all geared to the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development of students. Teachers may use these activities and strategies with the entire class, small groups, or…
Ou, Langbo; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A
Bird eggs are used widely as noninvasive bioindicators for environmental mercury availability. Previous studies, however, have found varying relationships between laying sequence and egg mercury concentrations. Some studies have reported that the mercury concentration was higher in first-laid eggs or declined across the laying sequence, whereas in other studies mercury concentration was not related to egg order. Approximately 300 eggs (61 clutches) were collected from captive zebra finches dosed throughout their reproductive lives with methylmercury (0.3 μg/g, 0.6 μg/g, 1.2 μg/g, or 2.4 μg/g wet wt in diet); the total mercury concentration (mean ± standard deviation [SD] dry wt basis) of their eggs was 7.03 ± 1.38 μg/g, 14.15 ± 2.52 μg/g, 26.85 ± 5.85 μg/g, and 49.76 ± 10.37 μg/g, respectively (equivalent to fresh wt egg mercury concentrations of 1.24 μg/g, 2.50 μg/g, 4.74 μg/g, and 8.79 μg/g). The authors observed a significant decrease in the mercury concentration of successive eggs when compared with the first egg and notable variation between clutches within treatments. The mercury level of individual females within and among treatments did not alter this relationship. Based on the results, sampling of a single egg in each clutch from any position in the laying sequence is sufficient for purposes of population risk assessment, but it is not recommended as a proxy for individual female exposure or as an estimate of average mercury level within the clutch. © 2015 SETAC.
LaPlante, Kimberly A; Huremovic, Enida; Tomaszycki, Michelle L
Stress alters physiology and behavior across species. Most research on the effects of stress on behavior uses chronic stressors, and most are correlational. The effects of acute stressors on physiology and behavior have been mixed. Here, we use zebra finches, a highly gregarious species that forms long-term pair bonds, to test the effects of an acute corticosterone (CORT) on opposite-sex partner preferences over a same-sex individual or a group (the latter is a highly appealing option). We had two competing hypotheses. First, we predicted that acute CORT would alter preferences for the opposite sex bird in both conditions in both sexes. However, since there is a sex difference in the effects of CORT on partner preferences in voles, these effects may be more pronounced in males than in females. To test our hypotheses, we administered 2 doses of CORT (10μg and 20μg) or vehicle (control) using a repeated measures design. In the male vs. female test, there was a significant Sex by Treatment interaction, such that in males, 10μg CORT increased preferences for a female over the male compared to when these same males were treated with saline at baseline. There were no effects of treatment in females. In the opposite-sex vs. group condition, there was an overall effect of Treatment, such that the 10μg dose increased preference for the opposite-sex individual over both saline treatments, regardless of sex. These findings further our understanding of the effects of an acute stressor on sexual partner preferences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Goodson, James L; Schrock, Sara E; Kingsbury, Marcy A
All jawed vertebrates produce a form of oxytocin (OT), and in birds, mammals and fish, OT is strongly associated with affiliation. However, remarkably few data are available on the roles of OT and OT receptors (OTRs) in aggression. Because OT and OTRs exert anxiolytic effects in mammals (although context-specific) and modulate stress coping, we hypothesized that OTR activation is at least permissive for territorial aggression. Indeed, we find that peripheral injections of an OTR antagonist significantly reduce male-male and female-female aggression in a highly territorial finch. This finding suggests the hypothesis that aggression is accompanied by an increase in transcriptional (Fos) activity of OT neurons, but contrary to this hypothesis, we find that dominant male residents do not elevate OT-Fos colocalization following an aggressive encounter and that OT-Fos colocalization in the preoptic area and hypothalamus correlates negatively with aggression. Furthermore, OT-Fos colocalization increases dramatically in males that were aggressively subjugated or pursued by a human hand, likely reflecting OT modulation of stress response. Because OT inhibits the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, the antagonist effects may reflect the fact that aggressive birds and mammals tend to be hyporesponsive to stress. If this is correct, then 1) the observed effects of OTR antagonism may reflect alterations in corticosterone feedback to the brain rather than centrally mediated OTR effects, and 2) the negative correlation between OT-Fos colocalization and aggression may reflect the fact that more aggressive, stress hyporesponsive males require less inhibition of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis than do less aggressive males, despite the requirement of that inhibition for the normal display of aggression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Schielzeth, H; Burger, C; Bolund, E; Forstmeier, W
Sexual imprinting on discrete variation that serves the identification of species, morphs or sexes is well documented. By contrast, sexual imprinting on continuous variation leading to individual differences in mating preferences within a single species, morph and sex has been studied only once (in humans). We measured female preferences in a captive population of wild-type zebra finches. Individual cross-fostering ensured that all subjects grew up with unrelated foster parents and nest mates. Females from two cohorts (N = 113) were given a simultaneous choice between (two or four) unfamiliar males, one of which was a genetic son of their foster parents (SFP). We found no significant overall preference for the SFP (combined effect size d = 0.14 +/- 0.15). Additionally, we tested if foster parent traits could potentially explain between-female variation in preferences. However, neither the effectiveness of cooperation between the parents nor male contribution to parental care affected female preferences for the son of the foster father. We conclude that at least in zebra finches sexual imprinting is not a major source of between-individual variation in mating preferences.
E Tobias Krause
Full Text Available Melanin-based plumage polymorphism occurs in many wild bird populations and has been linked to fitness variation in several species. These fitness differences often arise as a consequence of variation in traits such as behaviour, immune responsiveness, body size and reproductive investment. However, few studies have controlled for genetic differences between colour morphs that could potentially generate artefactual associations between plumage colouration and trait variation. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model system in order to evaluate whether life-history traits such as adult body condition and reproductive investment could be influenced by plumage morph. To maximise any potential differences, we selected wild-type and white plumage morphs, which differ maximally in their extent of melanisation, while using a controlled three-generation breeding design to homogenise the genetic background. We found that F2 adults with white plumage colouration were on average lighter and had poorer body condition than wild-type F2 birds. However, they appeared to compensate for this by reproducing earlier and producing heavier eggs relative to their own body mass. Our study thus reveals differences in morphological and life history traits that could be relevant to fitness variation, although further studies will be required to evaluate fitness effects under natural conditions as well as to characterise any potential fitness costs of compensatory strategies in white zebra finches.
Konishi, M.; Akutagawa, E.
The robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) is one of the forebrain nuclei that control song production in birds. In the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), this nucleus contains more and larger neurons in the male than in the female. A single injection of tritiated thymidine into the egg on the 6th or 7th day of incubation resulted in labeling of many RA neurons with tritium. The size of tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them did not differ between the sexes at 15 days after hatching. In the adult brain, tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them were much larger in the male than in the female. Also, tritium-labeled RA neurons were large in females which received an implant of estrogen immediately after hatching. The gender differences in the neuron size and nuclear volume of the zebra finch RA are, therefore, due not to the replacement of old neurons by new ones during development but to the growth and atrophy of neurons born before hatching. Similarly, the masculinizing effects of estrogen on the female RA are due not to neuronal replacement but to the prevention of atrophy and promotion of growth in preexisting neurons
Full Text Available Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3 peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4 in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.
Yamaguchi, Shinji; Hayase, Shin; Aoki, Naoya; Takehara, Akihiko; Ishigohoka, Jun; Matsushima, Toshiya; Wada, Kazuhiro; Homma, Koichi J
Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4) in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.
Eng, Margaret L.; Williams, Tony D.; Elliott, John E.
Mixtures of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been widely used as additive flame retardants, and BDE-99 is one of the most predominant congeners found in the environment. BDE-99 has been reported in avian samples worldwide, yet knowledge of its toxicity to birds is minimal. We assessed the short- and long-term effects of nestling exposure to environmentally relevant levels of BDE-99 in a model passerine, the zebra finch. Early exposure to BDE-99 did not affect hematocrit, oxidative stress, or thyroid hormones in either the juvenile or adult stages, and there were no effects on chick growth or survival. BDE-99 exposure caused a dose-dependent delay in timing of reproduction, but there were no other effects on reproductive success. In zebra finches, endpoints related to reproductive behavior appear to be the most sensitive to BDE-99. However, passerines overall appear to be less sensitive than birds of prey or mammals to PBDE exposure. -- Highlights: •We exposed zebra finches nestlings to BDE-99 and raised them to sexual maturity. •Found no effects on physiology, chick growth, survival, or reproductive success. •As BDE-99 dose increased, laying interval increased. •Passerine birds possibly less sensitive to BDE-99 than mammals or other bird species. -- Nestling exposure to BDE-99 affects timing of breeding in zebra finches, but overall passerines appear to be less sensitive to PBDEs than mammals or other bird species
Bodrova, Elena; Leong, Deborah J.; Paynter, Diane E.
Preschool and kindergarten teachers can help young learners meet early literacy standards without sacrificing developmentally appropriate practice. Several professional associations have described appropriate expectations for children of different age levels known as milestones, developmental accomplishments, and benchmarks. (MLH)
Lund Larsen, Lea
This poster is a part of an on-going qualitative empirical research project: “Teachers of adults as learners. A study on teachers’ experiences in practice”. Adult learners have particular needs and characteristics that their teachers must be able to address. Some of the competencies that teachers...... need can be taught in formal settings, but in most teaching settings, the teachers act alone and develop their pedagogical approaches/-teaching strategies with no synchronous sparring from a colleague. Adult learners have particular needs and characteristics that their teachers must be able to address...... (cf. Knowles, Brookfield, Illeris, Lawler, King, Wahlgreen). If we study adult teachers as learners in practice, we may be able to identify what the teachers’ practice requires, and thereby qualify the efforts of teacher educators....
Wang, Dianjian; Lai, Hongling; Leslie, Michael
The present study aims to investigate Chinese English learners' ability to use communication strategies (CSs). The subjects are put in a relatively real English referential communication setting and the analyses of the research data show that Chinese English learners, when encountering problems in foreign language (FL) communication, are characterized by the frequent use of substitution, approximation, circumlocution, literal translation, exemplification, word-coinage, repetition, and the infrequent use of cultural-knowledge and paralinguistic CSs. The rare use of paralinguistic strategies is found to be typical of Chinese English learners. The high frequency of literal translation, one first language (L1)-based strategy in our study sample, suggests that FL learners' use of L1-based CSs may depend more upon the developmental stage of their target language than the typology distance between L1 and the target language. The frequency of repetition reveals one fact that the Chinese English learners lack variety and flexibility in their use of CSs. Based on these findings, it was indicated that learners' use of CSs is influenced by a variety of factors, among which the development stage of their interlanguage and their cultural background are identified as two important factors. Some implications are finally suggested for the English foreign language teaching practice in China.
Soderstrom, Ken; Gilbert, Marcoita T
Normal CNS development proceeds through late-postnatal stages of adolescent development. The activity-dependence of this development underscores the significance of CNS-active drug exposure prior to completion of brain maturation. Exogenous modulation of signaling important in regulating normal development is of particular concern. This mini-review presents a summary of the accumulated behavioral, physiological and biochemical evidence supporting such a key regulatory role for endocannabinoid signaling during late-postnatal CNS development. Our focus is on the data obtained using a unique zebra finch model of developmental psychopharmacology. This animal has allowed investigation of neuronal morphological effects essential to establishment and maintenance of neural circuitry, including processes related to synaptogenesis and dendritic spine dynamics. Altered neurophysiology that follows exogenous cannabinoid exposure during adolescent development has the potential to persistently alter cognition, learning and memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Soriano-Vargas, Edgardo; Medina, Juan Pablo; Salgado-Miranda, Celene; García-Conejo, Michele; Galindo-Sánchez, Karla Patrícia; Janczur, Mariusz Krzysztof; Berto, Bruno Pereira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes
A new coccidian species (Protista: Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) collected from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler in the Nevado de Toluca Natural Protected Area, Mexico. Oöcysts of Eimeria pileata n. sp. are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 16.5 × 14.1 μm, with a smooth, bi-layered wall. Micropyle and oöcyst residuum are absent, but a polar granule is present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 9.0 × 5.4 μm. Stieda and sub-Stieda bodies are both present. A sporocyst residuum is present as a compact mass of granules. This is the third description of an eimeriid coccidian infecting passerines.
Audet, Jean-Nicolas; Kayello, Lima; Ducatez, Simon; Perillo, Sara; Cauchard, Laure; Howard, Jason T; O'Connell, Lauren A; Jarvis, Erich D; Lefebvre, Louis
Problem solving and innovation are key components of intelligence. We compare wild-caught individuals from two species that are close relatives of Darwin's finches, the innovative Loxigilla barbadensis , and its most closely related species in Barbados, the conservative Tiaris bicolor . We found an all-or-none difference in the problem-solving capacity of the two species. Brain RNA sequencing analyses revealed interspecific differences in genes related to neuronal and synaptic plasticity in the intrapallial neural populations (mesopallium and nidopallium), especially in the nidopallium caudolaterale, a structure functionally analogous to the mammalian prefrontal cortex. At a finer scale, we discovered robust differences in glutamate receptor expression between the species. In particular, the GRIN2B/GRIN2A ratio, known to correlate with synaptic plasticity, was higher in the innovative L. barbadensis . These findings suggest that divergence in avian intelligence is associated with similar neuronal mechanisms to that of mammals, including humans.
Full Text Available Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2 with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires. Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food, different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty, and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation. Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign
Legge, Sarah; Garnett, Stephen; Maute, Kim; Heathcote, Joanne; Murphy, Steve; Woinarski, John C Z; Astheimer, Lee
Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch) and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch)--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2) with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires). Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food), different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty), and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation). Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign' fire regime
Wittenbach, Jason D.
Sequential behaviors are an important part of the behavioral repertoire of many animals and understanding how neural circuits encode and generate such sequences is a long-standing question in neuroscience. The Bengalese finch is a useful model system for studying variable action sequences. The songs of these birds consist of well-defined vocal elements (syllables) that are strung together to form sequences. The ordering of the syllables within the sequence is variable but not random - it shows complex statistical patterns (syntax). While often thought to be first-order, the syntax of the Bengalese finch song shows a distinct form of history dependence where the probability of repeating a syllable decreases as a function of the number of repetitions that have already occurred. Current models of the Bengalese finch song control circuitry offer no explanation for this repetition adaptation. The Bengalese finch also uses real-time auditory feedback to control the song syntax. Considering these facts, we hypothesize that repetition adaptation in the Bengalese finch syntax may be caused by stimulus-specific adaptation - a wide-spread phenomenon where neural responses to a specific stimulus become weaker with repeated presentations of the same stimulus. We begin by proposing a computational model for the song-control circuit where an auditory feedback signal that undergoes stimulus-specific adaptation helps drive repeated syllables. We show that this model does indeed capture the repetition adaptation observed in Bengalese finch syntax; along the way, we derive a new probabilistic model for repetition adaptation. Key predictions of our model are analyzed in light of experiments performed by collaborators. Next we extend the model in order to predict how the syntax will change as a function of brain temperature. These predictions are compared to experimental results from collaborators where portions of the Bengalese finch song circuit are cooled in awake and behaving birds
Tschirren, B; Rutstein, A N; Postma, E; Mariette, M; Griffith, S C
Divergent selection pressures among populations can result not only in significant differentiation in morphology, physiology and behaviour, but also in how these traits are related to each other, thereby driving the processes of local adaptation and speciation. In the Australian zebra finch, we investigated whether domesticated stock, bred in captivity over tens of generations, differ in their response to a life-history manipulation, compared to birds taken directly from the wild. In a 'common aviary' experiment, we thereto experimentally manipulated the environmental conditions experienced by nestlings early in life by means of a brood size manipulation, and subsequently assessed its short- and long-term consequences on growth, ornamentation, immune function and reproduction. As expected, we found that early environmental conditions had a marked effect on both short- and long-term morphological and life-history traits in all birds. However, although there were pronounced differences between wild and domesticated birds with respect to the absolute expression of many of these traits, which are indicative of the different selection pressures wild and domesticated birds were exposed to in the recent past, manipulated rearing conditions affected morphology and ornamentation of wild and domesticated finches in a very similar way. This suggests that despite significant differentiation between wild and domesticated birds, selection has not altered the relationships among traits. Thus, life-history strategies and investment trade-offs may be relatively stable and not easily altered by selection. This is a reassuring finding in the light of the widespread use of domesticated birds in studies of life-history evolution and sexual selection, and suggests that adaptive explanations may be legitimate when referring to captive bird studies.
Matthew B Toomey
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: For many bird species, vision is the primary sensory modality used to locate and assess food items. The health and spectral sensitivities of the avian visual system are influenced by diet-derived carotenoid pigments that accumulate in the retina. Among wild House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus, we have found that retinal carotenoid accumulation varies significantly among individuals and is related to dietary carotenoid intake. If diet-induced changes in retinal carotenoid accumulation alter spectral sensitivity, then they have the potential to affect visually mediated foraging performance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In two experiments, we measured foraging performance of house finches with dietarily manipulated retinal carotenoid levels. We tested each bird's ability to extract visually contrasting food items from a matrix of inedible distracters under high-contrast (full and dimmer low-contrast (red-filtered lighting conditions. In experiment one, zeaxanthin-supplemented birds had significantly increased retinal carotenoid levels, but declined in foraging performance in the high-contrast condition relative to astaxanthin-supplemented birds that showed no change in retinal carotenoid accumulation. In experiments one and two combined, we found that retinal carotenoid concentrations predicted relative foraging performance in the low- vs. high-contrast light conditions in a curvilinear pattern. Performance was positively correlated with retinal carotenoid accumulation among birds with low to medium levels of accumulation (∼0.5-1.5 µg/retina, but declined among birds with very high levels (>2.0 µg/retina. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that carotenoid-mediated spectral filtering enhances color discrimination, but that this improvement is traded off against a reduction in sensitivity that can compromise visual discrimination. Thus, retinal carotenoid levels may be optimized to meet the visual demands of specific
Lynn, Sharon E; Stamplis, Teresa B; Barrington, William T; Weida, Nicholas; Hudak, Casey A
Stress is thought to be a potent suppressor of reproduction. However, the vast majority of studies focus on the relationship between chronic stress and reproductive suppression, despite the fact that chronic stress is rare in the wild. We investigated the role of fasting in altering acute stress physiology, reproductive physiology, and reproductive behavior of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with several goals in mind. First, we wanted to determine if acute fasting could stimulate an increase in plasma corticosterone and a decrease in corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and testosterone. We then investigated whether fasting could alter expression of undirected song and courtship behavior. After subjecting males to fasting periods ranging from 1 to 10h, we collected plasma to measure corticosterone, CBG, and testosterone. We found that plasma corticosterone was elevated, and testosterone was decreased after 4, 6, and 10h of fasting periods compared with samples collected from the same males during nonfasted (control) periods. CBG was lower than control levels only after 10h of fasting. We also found that, coincident with these endocrine changes, males sang less and courted females less vigorously following short-term fasting relative to control conditions. Our data demonstrate that acute fasting resulted in rapid changes in endocrine physiology consistent with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activation and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis deactivation. Fasting also inhibited reproductive behavior. We suggest that zebra finches exhibit physiological and behavioral flexibility that makes them an excellent model system for studying interactions of acute stress and reproduction. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Morran, Spencer A M; Elliott, John E; Young, Jessica M L; Eng, Margaret L; Basu, Niladri; Williams, Tony D
Methylmercury causes behavioural and reproductive effects in adult mammals via early developmental exposure. Similar studies in birds are limited and mostly focussed on aquatic systems, but recent work has reported high blood mercury concentrations in terrestrial, passerine songbirds. We used the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) as a model to explore the long-term effects of early developmental exposure to methylmercury exposure. Chicks were dosed orally with either the vehicle control, 0.0315 µg Hg/g bw/day, or 0.075 µg Hg/g bw/day throughout the nestling period (days 1-21 post-hatching). We then measured (a) short-term effects on growth, development, and behaviour (time to self-feeding, neophobia) until 30 days of age (independence), and (b) long-term effects on courtship behaviour and song (males) and reproduction (females) once methylmercury-exposed birds reached sexual maturity (90 days post-hatching). High methylmercury treated birds had mean blood mercury of 0.734 ± 0.163 µg/g at 30 days post-hatching, within the range of values reported for field-sampled songbirds at mercury contaminated sites. However, there were no short-term effects of treatment on growth, development, and behaviour of chicks, and no long-term effects on courtship behaviour and song in males or reproductive performance in females. These results suggest that the nestling period is not a critical window for sensitivity to mercury exposure in zebra finches. Growing nestlings can reduce blood mercury levels through somatic growth and depuration into newly growing feathers, and as a result they might actually be less susceptible compared to adult birds receiving the same level of exposure.
Calderón, Margarita; Slavin, Robert; Sánchez, Marta
The fastest-growing student population in U.S. schools today is children of immigrants, half of whom do not speak English fluently and are thus labeled English learners. Although the federal government requires school districts to provide services to English learners, it offers states no policies to follow in identifying, assessing, placing, or instructing them. Margarita Calderón, Robert Slavin, and Marta Sánchez identify the elements of effective instruction and review a variety of successful program models. During 2007-08, more than 5.3 million English learners made up 10.6 percent of the nation's K-12 public school enrollment. Wide and persistent achievement disparities between these English learners and English-proficient students show clearly, say the authors, that schools must address the language, literacy, and academic needs of English learners more effectively. Researchers have fiercely debated the merits of bilingual and English-only reading instruction. In elementary schools, English learners commonly receive thirty minutes of English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction but attend general education classes for the rest of the day, usually with teachers who are unprepared to teach them. Though English learners have strikingly diverse levels of skills, in high school they are typically lumped together, with one teacher to address their widely varying needs. These in-school factors contribute to the achievement disparities. Based on the studies presented here, Calderón, Slavin, and Sánchez assert that the quality of instruction is what matters most in educating English learners. They highlight comprehensive reform models, as well as individual components of these models: school structures and leadership; language and literacy instruction; integration of language, literacy, and content instruction in secondary schools; cooperative learning; professional development; parent and family support teams; tutoring; and monitoring implementation and outcomes
Implementing learnerships: learner recruitment and selection B lessons learnt from the KwaZulu-Natal pilot projects. ... 2001 in KwaZulu-Natal, with specific reference to the recruitment and selection of learners. ... AJOL African Journals Online.
Stefanova, Eliza; Ilieva, Miroslava; Nikolova, Nikolina; Stefanov, Krassen
Stefanova, E., Ilieva, M., Nikolova, N, & Stefanov, K. (2008). Turning university professors into competent learners. In H. W. Sligte & R. Koper (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th TENCompetence Open Workshop. Empowering Learners for Lifelong Competence Development: pedagogical, organisational and
problem is further compounded if educators are not trained to work with learners from ... to locate problems that emerge with the learners themselves rather than within the system ..... "Black students' school success: coping with the burden of ...
Huong, Vu Thi; Casadesus, Marti; Marimon, Frederic
The aims of this study are threefold in their approach to English academy teaching: (i) to assess learner satisfaction, (ii) to assess the impact of satisfaction on loyalty and (iii) to assess the three constructs that we considered to be the antecedents of learner satisfaction: learner motivation, learner attitude and service quality. To collect…
This descriptive study reports findings on the relationship between focus on form, learner uptake and subsequent lexical gains in learners' oral production. The data for the study consisted in 17 45-minute audio-recorded teacher-led conversations, 204 learners' diaries (17 sessions x 12 learners) reporting what they had learned after each…
Specialised translation dictionaries for learners are reference tools that can help users with domain discourse in a foreign language in connection with translation. The most common type is the business dictionary covering several more or less related subject fields. However, business dictionaries...... the needs of learners, it is proposed that specialised translation dictionaries should be designed as augmented reference tools. It is argued that electronic and printed dictionaries should include sections or CD-ROMs with syntactic, translation etc. data as well as exercises and illustrative documents...
The study was conducted on self regulated learners of senior secondary school. The main objectives of the study were to find out significant dimensions of emotional intelligence held by self regulated learners. To compare the emotional intelligence dimensions of self regulated learners, in terms of subject and gender. To find out the relationship…
Jun 19, 2014 ... Objectives: This research investigated Grade 11 learners' knowledge of the CTOP Act and ... those learners attending schools formerly designated for African learners during Apartheid .... be performed if, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, ..... of pre-termination of pregnancy counselling to the woman.
Structured activity sheets with three tasks were given to learners; these tasks were done in groups, and the group leaders were interviewed. It was found that learners tended to do well with routine-type questions, implying that they were functioning at an action level. From the interviews it appeared that learners might have ...
Svec, Lace A.; Wade, Juli
Female zebra finches display a preference for songs of males raised with tutors compared to those from males without tutors. To determine howthis behavioral preference may bemediated by auditory perception sites, the social behavior network, and the dopamine reward system, and whether responses of these regions are affected by estradiol, females were treated with hormone or blank implants.An auditory choice test was conducted followed by exposure to tutored or untutored song or silence to exa...
Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Bundke, Ulrich; Curtius, Joachim
Ice nuclei (IN) are an important component of the atmospheric aerosol. Despite their low concentrations in the atmosphere, they have an influence on the formation of ice crystals in mixed-phase clouds and therefore on precipitation. The Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber (FINCH)1, a counter for ice nucleating particles developed at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main allows long-term measurements of the IN number concentration. In FINCH the ice activation of the aerosol particles is achieved by mixing air flows with different temperature and humidity. The IN number concentration measurements at different meteorological conditions during the INUIT-JFJ campaign at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch in Switzerland are presented and its variability are discussed. The good operational performance of the instrument allowed up to 10 hours of continuous measurements. Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation, DFG Grant: BU 1432/3-2 BU 1432/4-1 in the framework of INUIT (FOR 1525) and SPP 1294 HALO. 1- Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R., Wetter, T., Klein, H., and Bingemer, H. (2008). The fast ice nucleus chamber finch. Atmospheric Research, 90:180-186.
Blended learning appears to facilitate learner empowerment more readily than either face-to-face or fully online courses. This contention is supported by a review of literature on the affordances of blended learning that support Thomas and Velthouse's (1990) four conditions of empowerment: choice, meaningfulness, competence, and impact. Blended…
Johnathon P. Ehsani
Full Text Available An increasing number of countries are requiring an extended learner permit prior to independent driving. The question of when drivers begin the learner permit period, and how long they hold the permit before advancing to independent licensure has received little research attention. Licensure timing is likely to be related to “push” and “pull” factors which may encourage or inhibit the process. To examine this question, we recruited a sample of 90 novice drivers (49 females and 41 males, average age of 15.6 years soon after they obtained a learner permit and instrumented their vehicles to collect a range of driving data. Participants completed a series of surveys at recruitment related to factors that may influence licensure timing. Two distinct findings emerged from the time-to-event analysis that tested these push and pull factors in relation to licensure timing. The first can be conceptualized as teens’ motivation to drive (push, reflected in a younger age when obtaining a learner permit and extensive pre-permit driving experience. The second finding was teens’ perceptions of their parents’ knowledge of their activities (pull; a proxy for a parents’ attentiveness to their teens’ lives. Teens who reported higher levels of their parents’ knowledge of their activities took longer to advance to independent driving. These findings suggest time-to-licensure may be related to teens’ internal motivation to drive, and the ability of parents to facilitate or impede early licensure.
Unaware of the messages a bare adult learning environment sends and its effect on adult learners, a trainer attends an intensive Reggio Emilia course and learns that the physical environment is the "third teacher"--for adults as well as for children. Using principles of Reggio, she offers suggestions for enhancing adult learning spaces and…
Decades of reform have resulted in a system of further education that treats adults like children, with limited control over the qualifications they choose to pursue. This needs to change. Money must follow learners, not government contracts, and so create a genuinely demand-led system. The author proposes new financial and regulatory structures…
ate medium for encoding. Correct pronunciation is not guaranteed, because only syllabification and the main stress are indicated in words. Grammatical guidance is also not given to such an extent that Learners will be able to generate correct sentences on their own. The role that con- trastive analysis and error analysis ...
Reasons people do not complete online training courses include (1) no incentives, (2) lack of connectedness, (3) learner preference for instructor-led courses, (4) poor course design, (5) "some is enough," and (6) lack of perks. Course delivery must consider three elements: the technology, course design, and the learning environment. (JOW)
Glahn, Christian; Specht, Marcus; Koper, Rob
Glahn, C., Specht, M., & Koper, R. (2007). Requirements for flexible learner monitoring. In T. Navarette, J. Blat & R. Koper (Eds.). Proceedings of the 3rd TENCompetence Open Workshop 'Current Research on IMS Learning Design and Lifelong Competence Development Infrastructures' (pp. 89-96). June,
Full Text Available Book review of “Teaching in a Globally Connected World: Preparing Learners for the Future.” Edited by Ervin F. Sparapani and Pamela L. Ross McClain. Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books, 2016. ISBN: 978-0-7618-6814-9
In all OECD countries, digital media and connectedness are integral to the lives of todays learners. It is often claimed that these learners are ""new millennium learners"", or ""digital natives"", who have different expectations about education. This book contributes to the debate about the effects of technology attachment and connectedness on todays learners, and their expectations about teaching. The book sets out to answer the following questions: Can the claim that todays students are ""new millenium learners"" or ""digital natives be sustained empirically? Is there consistent research evidence demonstrating the effects of technology on cognitive development, social values, and learning expectations? What are the implications for educational policy and practice?
Learner lexicography as a research area has attracted increased attention during the past decades, but what is actually the true nature of learner lexicography? This question calls for a complex answer. Learner lexicography has as its objective to develop principles that help practitioners......, namely its functions, data and structures, as this strengthens the basis of learner lexicography because it leads to a proper study and understanding of the competences and needs of learners. Finally, the modern theory of dictionary functions encourages theoretical and practical lexicographers to adopt...
Hamaide, Julie; De Groof, Geert; Van Steenkiste, Gwendolyn; Jeurissen, Ben; Van Audekerke, Johan; Naeyaert, Maarten; Van Ruijssevelt, Lisbeth; Cornil, Charlotte; Sijbers, Jan; Verhoye, Marleen; Van der Linden, Annemie
Zebra finches are an excellent model to study the process of vocal learning, a complex socially-learned tool of communication that forms the basis of spoken human language. So far, structural investigation of the zebra finch brain has been performed ex vivo using invasive methods such as histology. These methods are highly specific, however, they strongly interfere with performing whole-brain analyses and exclude longitudinal studies aimed at establishing causal correlations between neuroplastic events and specific behavioral performances. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to implement an in vivo Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) protocol sensitive enough to detect structural sex differences in the adult zebra finch brain. Voxel-wise comparison of male and female DTI parameter maps shows clear differences in several components of the song control system (i.e. Area X surroundings, the high vocal center (HVC) and the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN)), which corroborate previous findings and are in line with the clear behavioral difference as only males sing. Furthermore, to obtain additional insights into the 3-dimensional organization of the zebra finch brain and clarify findings obtained by the in vivo study, ex vivo DTI data of the male and female brain were acquired as well, using a recently established super-resolution reconstruction (SRR) imaging strategy. Interestingly, the SRR-DTI approach led to a marked reduction in acquisition time without interfering with the (spatial and angular) resolution and SNR which enabled to acquire a data set characterized by a 78μm isotropic resolution including 90 diffusion gradient directions within 44h of scanning time. Based on the reconstructed SRR-DTI maps, whole brain probabilistic Track Density Imaging (TDI) was performed for the purpose of super resolved track density imaging, further pushing the resolution up to 40μm isotropic. The DTI and TDI maps realized atlas
. The main argument is that participation research must abandon the notion of motivation as an individual attribute and apply a dialectic concept of learner identity acknowledging work-life as a pivotal space for learning and formation of identity. I outline how a work-life-historical approach combining......The paper examines how unskilled work forms conditions for meeting the obligation to position oneself as an educable subject and engage in formal learning activities. Sensitivity to peoples’ work-life-experiences is necessary to understand their orientation toward different learning activities...... a critical theoretical approach inspired by Salling-Olesen’s and Archer’s concepts of identity and concerns can contribute to an understanding of the relationship between work and learner identity. Through narrative work-life interviews I examine how engagement in unskilled work in small and medium sized...
Full Text Available Unfavourable conditions throughout the period of parental care can severely affect growth, reproductive performance, and survival. Yet, individuals may be affected differently, depending on the developmental period during which constraints are experienced. Here we tested whether the nestling phase compared to the fledgling phase is more susceptible to nutritional stress by considering biometry, physiology, sexually selected male ornaments and survival using zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model species. As nestlings (day 0-17 or fledglings (day 17-35, subjects were raised either on low or high quality food. A low quality diet resulted in significantly elevated baseline corticosterone titres in both nestlings and fledglings. Subjects showed substantial compensatory growth after they had experienced low quality food as nestlings but catch-up growth did neither lead to elevated baseline corticosterone titres nor did we detect long term effects on biometry, male cheek patch, or survival. The compensation for temporally unfavourable environmental conditions reflects substantial phenotypic plasticity and the results show that costs of catch-up growth were not mediated via corticosterone as a physiological correlate of allostatic load. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms and plasticity with which animals respond to periods of constraints during development as they may occur in a mistiming of breeding.
Joseph I Hoffman
Full Text Available Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding region in 162 zebra finches comprising 79 wild type and 83 white individuals from five stocks. Allelic counts differed significantly between the two plumage morphs at multiple segregating sites, but these were mostly synonymous. To provide a control, the birds were genotyped at eight microsatellites and subjected to Bayesian cluster analysis, revealing two distinct groups. We therefore crossed wild type with white individuals and backcrossed the F1s with white birds. No significant associations were detected in the resulting offspring, suggesting that our original findings were a byproduct of genome-wide divergence. Our results are consistent with a previous study that found no association between MC1R polymorphism and plumage coloration in leaf warblers. They also contribute towards a growing body of evidence suggesting that care should be taken to quantify, and where necessary control for, population structure in association studies.
Mehrnoush Moeini Jazani
Full Text Available Abstract Systemic amyloidosis and testicular interstitial tumor are rare conditions in birds and this is the first report in Iran. A male zebra finch was presented because of white diarrhea, anorexia, loss of weight and lethargy. At necropsy, the small intestine was edematous and congested. The spleen appeared pale. The liver was large, firm and brown. One testis was cystic and neoplastic and the remaining testis was atrophic. Histologically, amyloid materials were seen predominantly in the liver and spleen. Hyaline substances were deposited in the Disse space and in the media of blood vessels of the liver. In spleen, marked deposits thickened the basement membranes of blood vessels and extended into the surrounding parenchyma. In addition, there were lesser degrees of amyloidosis in other organs such as small intestine. Amyloid stained positively with Congo red. In testis, there was encapsulated unilateral interstitial cell tumor, with multiple foci of necrosis and hemorrhage. The neoplastic cells were round to polyhedral, with small round hyperchromatic nuclei and finely vacuolated cytoplasm. Signs of feminization were observed. The cause of amyloidosis in this study was not conclusively identified.
Full Text Available The retinal image changes that occur during locomotion, the optic flow, carry information about self-motion and the three-dimensional structure of the environment. Especially fast moving animals with only little binocular vision depend on these depth cues for manoeuvring. They actively control their gaze to facilitate perception of depth based on cues in the optic flow. In the visual system of birds, nucleus rotundus neurons were originally found to respond to object motion but not to background motion. However, when background and object were both moving, responses increase the more the direction and velocity of object and background motion on the retina differed. These properties may play a role in representing depth cues in the optic flow. We therefore investigated how neurons in nucleus rotundus respond to optic flow that contains depth cues. We presented simplified and naturalistic optic flow on a panoramic LED display while recording from single neurons in nucleus rotundus of anaesthetized zebra finches. Unlike most studies on motion vision in birds, our stimuli included depth information.We found extensive responses of motion selective neurons in nucleus rotundus to optic flow stimuli. Simplified stimuli revealed preferences for optic flow reflecting translational or rotational self-motion. Naturalistic optic flow stimuli elicited complex response modulations, but the presence of objects was signalled by only few neurons. The neurons that did respond to objects in the optic flow, however, show interesting properties.
Full Text Available The outstandingly able learner has been conceptualised, in terms of test and examination performance, as the learner showing superior academic performance which is markedly better than that of peers and in ways regarded as of value by wider society. In Kuwait, such superior examination performance leads to a classification regarded as being ‘gifted’. This study looks at the inter-correlations between performance in various subjects in examinations and then considers how examination performance correlates with measures of working memory capacity, extent of field dependency, extent of divergency and visual-spatial abilities. A very large sample of grade 7 Kuwaiti students (aged ~13 was involved, the sample being selected in such a way that it contained a high proportion of those regarded as ‘gifted’ under the procedures used in Kuwait. While specific learner characteristics have been related to examination performance, this study brings four different characteristics together to gain a picture of the way these characteristics may be seen in those who perform extremely well in examinations. Principal components analysis using varimax rotation, was used to look at the examination data and one factor accounted for 87% of the variance. A consideration of the examination papers led to the conclusion that the national examinations tested only recall-recognition. It was also found that those who performed best in all six subjects tended to be those who are highly divergent and strongly visual-spatial as well as those tending to have higher working memory capacities and being more field independent. The inter-correlations between the various learner characteristics are explained in terms of the way the brain is known to process information. The implications of the findings for assessment and for the way high ability is considered are discussed.
Jalongo, Mary Renck
Literacy for All Young Learners offers 65 strategies to support literacy learning with children from preschool through the third grade. Each strategy is designed to be simple to use with all of the children in your classroom-from the not-yet-readers to the fluent readers-and each strategy is tied to the Common Core State Standards for kindergarten through third grade.
Full Text Available Australian schools by and large are safe schools. Nonetheless discipline problems do exist – including bullying behaviour. For this kind of problem schools should have management policies in place. As traditional behaviour-management practices – including corporal punishment – are largely prohibited in Australian schools, contemporary practices centre on management through supportive school programmes, including appropriate curricula and school-support structures. This article supports the belief that measures such as the exclusion of misbehaving learners should be treated with caution. Measures such as this might not reflect accepted international principles and practices and should only be exercised in the most extreme circumstances. The article also supports the view that it is part of the school’s role to ensure that all learners are aware of the reality that while they have rights, they also have corresponding responsibilities. This awareness is more likely to be achieved in a supportive school culture where each learner is recognised as having unique qualities that can mature and grow in an appropriate learning environment.
The National School Health Policy guidelines (2002) stipulate that primary school learners should have their vision, speech, hearing, mental health, teeth, ... This project created greater awareness among learners, parents and teachers ...
Ilgaz, Hale; Gulbahar, Yasemin
Offering many advantages to adult learners, e-Learning is now being recognized--and preferred--by more and more people, resulting in an increased number of distance learners in recent years. Numerous research studies focus on learner preferences for online learning, with most converging around the individual characteristics and differences, if not…
Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli
Studies evaluating the role of steroid hormones in sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system have produced complicated and at times paradoxical results, and indicate that additional factors may be critical. Therefore, in a previous study we initiated a screen for differential gene expression in the telencephalon of developing male and female zebra finches. The use of cDNA microarrays and real-time quantitative PCR revealed increased expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37) in the male forebrain as a whole. Preliminary in situ hybridization data then indicated enhanced expression of both these genes in song control regions. Two experiments in the present study quantified the mRNA expression. The first utilized 25-day-old male and female zebra finches. The second compared a separate set of juveniles to adults of both sexes to both re-confirm enhanced expression in juvenile males and to determine whether it is limited to developing animals. In Experiment 1, males exhibited increased expression of both RPL17 and RPL37 compared to females in Area X, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and the ventral ventricular zone (VVZ), which may provide neurons to Area X. Experiment 2 replicated the sexually dimorphic expression of these genes at post-hatching day 25, and documented that the sex differences are eliminated or greatly reduced in adults. The results are consistent with the idea that these ribosomal proteins may influence sexual differentiation of Area X and RA, potentially regulating the genesis and/or survival of neurons.
Vicario, Alba; Mendoza, Ezequiel; Abellán, Antonio; Scharff, Constance; Medina, Loreta
We used a battery of genes encoding transcription factors (Pax6, Islet1, Nkx2.1, Lhx6, Lhx5, Lhx9, FoxP2) and neuropeptides to study the extended amygdala in developing zebra finches. We identified different components of the central extended amygdala comparable to those found in mice and chickens, including the intercalated amygdalar cells, the central amygdala, and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Many cells likely originate in the dorsal striatal domain, ventral striatal domain, or the pallidal domain, as is the case in mice and chickens. Moreover, a cell subpopulation of the central extended amygdala appears to originate in the prethalamic eminence. As a general principle, these different cells with specific genetic profiles and embryonic origin form separate or partially intermingled cell corridors along the extended amygdala, which may be involved in different functional pathways. In addition, we identified the medial amygdala of the zebra finch. Like in the chickens and mice, it is located in the subpallium and is rich in cells of pallido-preoptic origin, containing minor subpopulations of immigrant cells from the ventral pallium, alar hypothalamus and prethalamic eminence. We also proposed that the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis is composed of several parallel cell corridors with different genetic profile and embryonic origin: preoptic, pallidal, hypothalamic, and prethalamic. Several of these cell corridors with distinct origin express FoxP2, a transcription factor implicated in synaptic plasticity. Our results pave the way for studies using zebra finches to understand the neural basis of social behavior, in which the extended amygdala is involved.
Snoeijs, Tinne; Dauwe, Tom; Pinxten, Rianne; Darras, Veerle M.; Arckens, Lutgarde; Eens, Marcel
The widespread contamination by lead and the acidification of the environment ask for a better understanding of the effects of the interaction between lead and calcium on various aspects of health, including disease defense, in wildlife. Here, we investigated the effects of chronic exposure to sublethal levels of lead, combined with high or low dietary calcium, on health and several components of immunity in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Thirty individuals of each sex were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, a group exposed to lead with an additional calcium source (i.e. grit) and a group exposed to lead without access to an extra calcium source. Lead was administered as lead acetate via the drinking water (20 ppm) for 38 consecutive days. Exposure to lead increased significantly the concentrations of lead in kidney and bone in individuals of the experimental groups. Furthermore, the lack of a calcium supplement significantly enhanced the uptake of lead. Lead did not affect health indices such as hematocrit, spleen mass and body mass, nor the adrenal stress response. Cell-mediated immune responsiveness, assessed by a delayed-type hypersensitivity response to phytohaemagglutinin, was also not affected by lead exposure. On the other hand, lead exposure did significantly suppress the secondary humoral immune response towards sheep red blood cells in females, but only when the additional calcium source was not available. This effect was not found in males, suggesting sexual differences in susceptibility of humoral immunity to lead treatment in zebra finches. - Male and female finches may respond to lead differently
Park, Eun Sung
This study examines novice learners' self-generated input noticing approaches and strategies. It is motivated by previous research on input enhancement which yielded insights that learners are naturally prone to notice certain aspects of L2 input on their own without any external means to channel their attention. Two L1 groups (Japanese and…
Andersen, Jeffery C.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between general course satisfaction, learner-instructor interaction, and the learner-social media interaction scores of participants. This study used an online survey with 60 questions to gather the participants' demographic data, learner-instructor interaction data, learner-social…
Rufus H. Gouws
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Abstract: When deciding on the best learners' dictionary for a specific user and a specificsituation of usage one often has to make a choice between a monolingual and a bilingual learners'dictionary. This article discusses some aspects of the user-driven approach so prevalent in moderndaylexicographic thought, focuses broadly on dictionary typology and takes a closer look at monolingualand bilingual learners' dictionaries. Some problems users experience when learning a newlanguage, e.g. language distortion and problems related to the phenomenon of false friends, especiallyin closely related languages, are mentioned. It is indicated that a typological hybrid dictionarycould assist certain users. The importance of an unambiguous identification of the relevantlexicographic functions is emphasised and the notions of function condensation and function mergingare introduced. It is shown that the typological choice should be determined by a function-basedapproach to dictionary usage.
Keywords: BILINGUAL DICTIONARY, FALSE FRIENDS, FUNCTION CONDENSATION,FUNCTION MERGING, GENUINE PURPOSE, LEARNERS' DICTIONARY, LEXICOGRAPHICFUNCTIONS, MONOLINGUAL DICTIONARY, TEXT PRODUCTION, TEXT RECEPTION,TYPOLOGICAL HYBRID, TYPOLOGY.
Opsomming: Eentalige en tweetalige aanleerderwoordeboeke. Wanneerbesluit moet word oor die beste aanleerderwoordeboek vir 'n spesifieke gebruiker en 'n spesifiekegebruiksituasie moet daar dikwels gekies word tussen 'n eentalige en 'n tweetalige aanleerderwoordeboek.Hierdie artikel bespreek bepaalde aspekte van die gebruikersgedrewe benaderingwat kenmerkend is van die moderne leksikografiese denke, fokus breedweg op woordeboektipologieen gee in meer besonderhede aandag aan sekere aspekte van eentalige en tweetalige aanleerderwoordeboeke.Bepaalde probleme wat gebruikers ervaar by die aanleer van 'n vreemde taal,bv. taalversteuring en probleme verwant aan die verskynsel van valse vriende, veral in nou verwantetale, kry aandag
in conditional clauses. When translating into languages not allowing such structures, for instance, English and French, learners need their legal translation dictionaries to help them with both the legal terms and the syntactic structures. The uses of textual conventions that characterise the legal genre vary....... Lexicographers should therefore design their dictionaries so that they contain intra-lingual or contrastive descriptions of the relevant genre conventions. As illustrated in Nielsen (2000) whether the best solution is to retain the genre conventions found in the SL text or to adopt the conventions used in TL...
Tokarev, Kirill; Tiunova, Anna
Background Specialized neural pathways, the song system, are required for acquiring, producing, and perceiving learned avian vocalizations. Birds that do not learn to produce their vocalizations lack telencephalic song system components. It is not known whether the song system forebrain regions are exclusively evolved for song or whether they also process information not related to song that might reflect their ‘evolutionary history’. Methodology/Principal Findings To address this question we monitored the induction of two immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-Fos and ZENK in various regions of the song system in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in response to an aversive food learning paradigm; this involves the association of a food item with a noxious stimulus that affects the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity and tongue, causing subsequent avoidance of that food item. The motor response results in beak and head movements but not vocalizations. IEGs have been extensively used to map neuro-molecular correlates of song motor production and auditory processing. As previously reported, neurons in two pallial vocal motor regions, HVC and RA, expressed IEGs after singing. Surprisingly, c-Fos was induced equivalently also after food aversion learning in the absence of singing. The density of c-Fos positive neurons was significantly higher than that of birds in control conditions. This was not the case in two other pallial song nuclei important for vocal plasticity, LMAN and Area X, although singing did induce IEGs in these structures, as reported previously. Conclusions/Significance Our results are consistent with the possibility that some of the song nuclei may participate in non-vocal learning and the populations of neurons involved in the two tasks show partial overlap. These findings underscore the previously advanced notion that the specialized forebrain pre-motor nuclei controlling song evolved from circuits involved in behaviors related to feeding. PMID:21695176
Full Text Available Experimental evidence suggests that females would prefer males with better cognitive abilities as mates. However, little is known about the traits reflecting enhanced cognitive skills on which females might base their mate-choice decisions. In particular, it has been suggested that male foraging performance could be used as an indicator of cognitive capacity, but convincing evidence for this hypothesis is still lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata modify their mating preferences after having observed the performance of males on a problem-solving task. Specifically, we measured the females’ preferences between two males once before and once after an observation period, during which their initially preferred male was incapable of solving the task contrary to their initially less-preferred male. We also conducted a control treatment to test whether the shift in female preferences was attributable to differences between the two stimulus males in their foraging efficiency. Finally, we assessed each bird’s performance in a color associative task to check whether females can discriminate among males based on their learning speed. We found that females significantly increased their preference toward the most efficient male in both treatments. Yet, there was no difference between the two treatments and we found no evidence that females assess male cognitive ability indirectly via morphological traits. Thus, our results suggest that females would not use the males’ problem-solving performance as an indicator of general cognitive ability to gain indirect fitness benefits (i.e., good genes but rather to assess their foraging efficiency and gain direct benefits.
Full Text Available The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.
Claire W Varian-Ramos
Full Text Available Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, at doses from 0.3 - 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive
Full Text Available Urbanization can strongly impact the physiology, behavior, and fitness of animals. Conditions in cities may also promote the transmission and success of animal parasites and pathogens. However, to date, no studies have examined variation in the prevalence or severity of several distinct pathogens/parasites along a gradient of urbanization in animals or if these infections increase physiological stress in urban populations.Here, we measured the prevalence and severity of infection with intestinal coccidians (Isospora sp. and the canarypox virus (Avipoxvirus along an urban-to-rural gradient in wild male house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus. In addition, we quantified an important stress indicator in animals (oxidative stress and several axes of urbanization, including human population density and land-use patterns within a 1 km radius of each trapping site. Prevalence of poxvirus infection and severity of coccidial infection were significantly associated with the degree of urbanization, with an increase of infection in more urban areas. The degrees of infection by the two parasites were not correlated along the urban-rural gradient. Finally, levels of oxidative damage in plasma were not associated with infection or with urbanization metrics.These results indicate that the physical presence of humans in cities and the associated altered urban landscape characteristics are associated with increased infections with both a virus and a gastrointestinal parasite in this common songbird resident of North American cities. Though we failed to find elevations in urban- or parasite/pathogen-mediated oxidative stress, humans may facilitate infections in these birds via bird feeders (i.e. horizontal disease transmission due to unsanitary surfaces and/or elevations in host population densities and/or via elevations in other forms of physiological stress (e.g. corticosterone, nutritional.
Düring Daniel N
Full Text Available Abstract Background Like human infants, songbirds learn their species-specific vocalizations through imitation learning. The birdsong system has emerged as a widely used experimental animal model for understanding the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for vocal production learning. However, how neural impulses are translated into the precise motor behavior of the complex vocal organ (syrinx to create song is poorly understood. First and foremost, we lack a detailed understanding of syringeal morphology. Results To fill this gap we combined non-invasive (high-field magnetic resonance imaging and micro-computed tomography and invasive techniques (histology and micro-dissection to construct the annotated high-resolution three-dimensional dataset, or morphome, of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata syrinx. We identified and annotated syringeal cartilage, bone and musculature in situ in unprecedented detail. We provide interactive three-dimensional models that greatly improve the communication of complex morphological data and our understanding of syringeal function in general. Conclusions Our results show that the syringeal skeleton is optimized for low weight driven by physiological constraints on song production. The present refinement of muscle organization and identity elucidates how apposed muscles actuate different syringeal elements. Our dataset allows for more precise predictions about muscle co-activation and synergies and has important implications for muscle activity and stimulation experiments. We also demonstrate how the syrinx can be stabilized during song to reduce mechanical noise and, as such, enhance repetitive execution of stereotypic motor patterns. In addition, we identify a cartilaginous structure suited to play a crucial role in the uncoupling of sound frequency and amplitude control, which permits a novel explanation of the evolutionary success of songbirds.
Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim
Many animals are able to perceive the earth magnetic field and to use it for orientation and navigation within the environment. The mechanisms underlying the perception and processing of magnetic field information within the brain have been thoroughly studied, especially in birds, but are still obscure. Three hypotheses are currently discussed, dealing with ferromagnetic particles in the beak of birds, with the same sort of particles within the lagena organs, or describing magnetically influenced radical-pair processes within retinal photopigments. Each hypothesis is related to a well-known sensory organ and claims parallel processing of magnetic field information with somatosensory, vestibular and visual input, respectively. Changes in activation within nuclei of the respective sensory systems have been shown previously. Most of these previous experiments employed intensity enhanced magnetic stimuli or lesions. We here exposed unrestrained zebra finches to either a stationary or a rotating magnetic field of the local intensity and inclination. C-Fos was used as an activity marker to examine whether the two treatments led to differences in fourteen brain areas including nuclei of the somatosensory, vestibular and visual system. An ANOVA revealed an overall effect of treatment, indicating that the magnetic field change was perceived by the birds. While the differences were too small to be significant in most areas, a significant enhancement of activation by the rotating stimulus was found in a hippocampal subdivision. Part of the hyperpallium showed a strong, nearly significant, increase. Our results are compatible with previous studies demonstrating an involvement of at least three different sensory systems in earth magnetic field perception and suggest that these systems, probably less elaborated, may also be found in nonmigrating birds.
Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.
Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID
Honarmand, Mariam; Krause, E Tobias; Naguib, Marc
The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a) low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b) low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c) high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.
E Tobias Krause
Full Text Available Conditions experienced during early life can have profound effects on individual development and condition in adulthood. Differences in nutritional provisioning in birds during the first month of life can lead to differences in growth, reproductive success and survival. Yet, under natural conditions shorter periods of nutritional stress will be more prevalent. Individuals may respond differently, depending on the period of development during which nutritional stress was experienced. Such differences may surface specifically when poor environmental conditions challenge individuals again as adults. Here, we investigated long term consequences of differences in nutritional conditions experienced during different periods of early development by female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata on measures of management and acquisition of body reserves. As nestlings or fledglings, subjects were raised under different nutritional conditions, a low or high quality diet. After subjects reached sexual maturity, we measured their sensitivity to periods of food restriction, their exploration and foraging behaviour as well as adult resting metabolic rate (RMR. During a short period of food restriction, subjects from the poor nutritional conditions had a higher body mass loss than those raised under qualitatively superior nutritional conditions. Moreover, subjects that were raised under poor nutritional conditions were faster to engage in exploratory and foraging behaviour. But RMR did not differ among treatments. These results reveal that early nutritional conditions affect adult exploratory behaviour, a representative personality trait, foraging and adult's physiological condition. As early nutritional conditions are reflected in adult phenotypic plasticity specifically when stressful situations reappear, the results suggest that costs for poor developmental conditions are paid when environmental conditions deteriorate.
McCuaig, Judi; Baldwin, Julia
The interaction behaviours of successful, high-achieving learners when using a Learning Management System (LMS) are different than the behaviours of learners who are having more difficulty mastering the course material. This paper explores the idea that conventional Learning Management Systems can exploit data mining techniques to predict the…
Ribbe, Elisa; Bezanilla, María José
This paper deals with the question in what ways teachers and course designers can support the development and exertion of learner autonomy among online university students. It advocates that a greater attention to learner autonomy could help more students to complete their course successfully and thus contribute the decrease of the high dropout…
Haan, P.J.M. de; Vries, C.M. de; Vuuren, S. van
Learner Corpus Research (LCR) is a vibrant discipline, which combines methodological rigour in the analysis of authentic learner data with a focus on practical pedagogical application. Following earlier successful conferences in Louvain and Bergen, the third LCR conference, hosted by Radboud
Describes one teacher's success with using "Harry Potter" in a program to teach elementary school English language learners. Provides comprehension strategies incorporated to help learners understand the story. Highlights the importance of creating a classroom environment with a low level of anxiety, the implications of the program, and the value…
English language learners (ELLs) experience linguistic, cultural, and cognitive shifts that can be challenging and at times lead to isolation for ELLs. While education technology may be an instructional resource and engage learners, devices alone do not shift instructional practices or lead to student gains. This case study was performed at an…
Aim/Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory case study was to understand how teachers, working with English Language Learners (ELLs), expanded their knowledge and instructional practices as they implemented a one-to-one iPad® program. Background: English Language Learners experience linguistic, cultural, and cognitive shifts that can be…
General observations indicate that ESL learners in Nigeria tend to manifest fear and anxiety in grammar classes, which could influence their performance negatively or positively. This study examines empirically some of the reasons for some ESL learners' apprehension of grammar classes. The data for the study were ...
Deliyska, B.; Rozeva, A.
The learner model in an intelligent learning system (ILS) has to ensure the personalization (individualization) and the adaptability of e-learning in an online learner-centered environment. ILS is a distributed e-learning system whose modules can be independent and located in different nodes (servers) on the Web. This kind of e-learning is achieved through the resources of the Semantic Web and is designed and developed around a course, group of courses or specialty. An essential part of ILS is learner model database which contains structured data about learner profile and temporal status in the learning process of one or more courses. In the paper a learner model position in ILS is considered and a relational database is designed from learner's domain ontology. Multidimensional modeling agent for the source database is designed and resultant learner data cube is presented. Agent's modules are proposed with corresponding algorithms and procedures. Multidimensional (OLAP) analysis guidelines on the resultant learner module for designing dynamic learning strategy have been highlighted.
Salikin, Hairus; Bin-Tahir, Saidna Zulfiqar; Kusumaningputri, Reni; Yuliandari, Dian Puji
The motivation will drive the EFL learners to be successful in reading. This study examined the Indonesian EFL learners' motivation in reading activity based on Deci and Ryans' theory of motivation including intrinsic and extrinsic. This study employed mixed-method design. The data obtained by distributing questionnaire and arranging the group…
Awadhiya, Ashish Kumar; Gowthaman, K.
Open Universities across the world are embracing ICT based teaching and learning process to disseminate quality education to their learners spread across the globe. In India availability and access of ICT and learner characteristics are uneven and vary from state to state. Hence it is important to establish the facts about ICT access among…
Vol 25(3)185–189. Assessment ... We focus on the use of different types of assessment concessions as a basis for the development of .... to facilitate the development of meaning. .... changing the vocabulary in the test to make them more accessible to learners. .... For learners who are not able to produce recognizable words.
Holyoke, Laura; Heath-Simpson, Delta
This study explored connections between adult learners and their experiences in the context of small boutique wineries operating in the start-up phase of the organizational life cycle. The research objective was to gain insight regarding the pairing of adult learners with the entering of a specialty industry. Fourteen individuals from four…
This article reports the results of two studies on the vocabulary growth of advanced learners of English as a foreign language in an English-medium degree programme. Growth in learners' written receptive and productive vocabularies was investigated in one cross-sectional and one longitudinal study over three years. The effect of word frequency on…
Costello, Jane; Crane, Daph
As the number, type, and use of technologies to support learning increases, so do the opportunities for using these technologies for feedback. Learner-centered feedback is a core to the teaching-learning process. It is related to assessment in describing how learners perform in their learning, their gain in knowledge, skills, and attitudes.…
spaces, learning to learn through languages, learners´ stories, qualitative research method Methodology or Methods/Research Instruments or Sources Used A number of semi structured qualitative interviews have been conducted with three learners of Danish as second language. The language learners...... in the paper is on the research process and methodological tools. The goal of this paper is to show, that learners´ stories have a huge potential in researching learning processes. References Benson, P. & D. Nunan (2004). Lerners´ stories. Difference and Diversity in Language Learning. Cambridge University...... to use learners´ stories as a research methodology in the field of learning in general and language learning in particular....
Full Text Available The article explores the possibility of adopting a form-to-function perspective when annotating learner corpora in order to get deeper insights about systematic features of interlanguage. A split between forms and functions (or categories is desirable in order to avoid the "comparative fallacy" and because – especially in basic varieties – forms may precede functions (e.g., what resembles to a "noun" might have a different function or a function may show up in unexpected forms. In the computer-aided error analysis tradition, all items produced by learners are traced to a grid of error tags which is based on the categories of the target language. Differently, we believe it is possible to record and make retrievable both words and sequence of characters independently from their functional-grammatical label in the target language. For this purpose at the University of Pavia we adapted a probabilistic POS tagger designed for L1 on L2 data. Despite the criticism that this operation can raise, we found that it is better to work with "virtual categories" rather than with errors. The article outlines the theoretical background of the project and shows some examples in which some potential of SLA-oriented (non error-based tagging will be possibly made clearer.
Full Text Available Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua, belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.
Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming
Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods. PMID:28403146
Han, Binyue; Li, Yan; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming
Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.
Ashish Kumar AWADHIYA
Full Text Available Open Universities across the world are embracing ICT based teaching and learning process to disseminate quality education to their learners spread across the globe. In India availability and access of ICT and learner characteristics are uneven and vary from state to state. Hence it is important to establish the facts about ICT access among learners, their ICT usage patterns and their readiness to use ICT for educational purpose. In view of this, a study was conducted with the objective to find out the access level of ICT among distance learners. The analysis indicates that maximum learners have desktop/laptops and most of them are accessing internet very frequently from their home. The analysis also indicates that maximum respondents are browsing social networking sites followed by educational and e-mail service providing websites. Findings suggest that there is a need to generate ICT based tutorials complemented with social networking tools and mobile applications. Study also shows that learners are equipped with mobile phones and they are browsing internet through it and also availing support services offered by the university. Hence possibility of integrating mobile phone services may be used for providing learner support services and content delivery.
Warm, Eric J; Englander, Robert; Pereira, Anne; Barach, Paul
Multiple studies have demonstrated that the information included in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation fails to reliably predict medical students' future performance. This faulty transfer of information can lead to harm when poorly prepared students fail out of residency or, worse, are shuttled through the medical education system without an honest accounting of their performance. Such poor learner handovers likely arise from two root causes: (1) the absence of agreed-on outcomes of training and/or accepted assessments of those outcomes, and (2) the lack of standardized ways to communicate the results of those assessments. To improve the current learner handover situation, an authentic, shared mental model of competency is needed; high-quality tools to assess that competency must be developed and tested; and transparent, reliable, and safe ways to communicate this information must be created.To achieve these goals, the authors propose using a learner handover process modeled after a patient handover process. The CLASS model includes a description of the learner's Competency attainment, a summary of the Learner's performance, an Action list and statement of Situational awareness, and Synthesis by the receiving program. This model also includes coaching oriented towards improvement along the continuum of education and care. Just as studies have evaluated patient handover models using metrics that matter most to patients, studies must evaluate this learner handover model using metrics that matter most to providers, patients, and learners.
To meet the demands of today's society and working life, higher education should support the development of learner agency. How the agency of individual learners emerges in university courses and what kind of agency empowers the learners to face new challenges should be considered. In this article, the focus is on learner agency enabled and…
Ng, Chi-Hung Clarence
This study explored adult learners' goal profiles in relation to the completion of a compulsory academic essay. Based on learners' scores on items assessing mastery, performance-approach, and work-avoidance goals, cluster analyses produced three distinct categories of learners: performance-focused, work-avoidant, and multiple-goal learners. These…
The main argument in this paper is: In order to comprehend the ‘invisible’ conditions for forming motivation to participate in different kinds of learning activities (formal, non-formal and informal) in relation to work-life it is crucial to develop a dialectic concept of learner identity....... A concept enabling researcher in the field of work and learning to examine how the orientation toward learning activities are situated in and conditioned by specific work-life experiences. Based on a qualitative research-project (Kondrup 2012) the paper outlines how unskilled work forms a specific condition...... for engaging in learning. The aim of the project was to examine the challenges in order to fulfil the Danish national strategy on Lifelong learning and training for all. Danish as well as international research reveals that low skilled workers and workers in small and medium sized private companies tend...
Chen, Qianqian; Heston, Jonathan B.; Burkett, Zachary D.; White, Stephanie A.
SUMMARY Humans and songbirds are among the rare animal groups that exhibit socially learned vocalizations: speech and song, respectively. These vocal-learning capacities share a reliance on audition and cortico-basal ganglia circuitry, as well as neurogenetic mechanisms. Notably, the transcription factors Forkhead box proteins 1 and 2 (FoxP1, FoxP2) exhibit similar expression patterns in the cortex and basal ganglia of humans and the zebra finch species of songbird, among other brain regions. Mutations in either gene are associated with language disorders in humans. Experimental knock-down of FoxP2 in the basal ganglia song control region Area X during song development leads to imprecise copying of tutor songs. Moreover, FoxP2 levels decrease naturally within Area X when zebra finches sing. Here, we examined neural expression patterns of FoxP1 and FoxP2 mRNA in adult Bengalese finches, a songbird species whose songs exhibit greater sequence complexity and increased reliance on audition for maintaining their quality. We found that FoxP1 and FoxP2 expression in Bengalese finches is similar to that in zebra finches, including strong mRNA signals for both factors in multiple song control nuclei and enhancement of FoxP1 in these regions relative to surrounding brain tissue. As with zebra finches, when Bengalese finches sing, FoxP2 is behaviorally downregulated within basal ganglia Area X over a similar time course, and expression negatively correlates with the amount of singing. This study confirms that in multiple songbird species, FoxP1 expression highlights song control regions, and regulation of FoxP2 is associated with motor control of song. PMID:24006346
Mohamed, Hafidi; Lamia, Mahnane
Learners usually meet cognitive overload and disorientation problems when using e-learning system. At present, most of the studies in e-learning either concentrate on the technological aspect or focus on adapting learner's interests or browsing behaviors, while, learner's skill level and learners' success rate is usually neglected. In this paper,…
McGraw, Kevin J; Toomey, Matthew B
Carotenoid pigments produce the bright yellow to red ornamental colors of many animals, especially birds, and must ultimately be derived from the diet. However, they are also valuable for many physiological functions (e.g., antioxidants, immunostimulants, photoprotection, visual tuning, yolk nourishment to embryos), and as a result they are present in numerous internal body tissues (e.g., liver, adipose tissue, retina) whose carotenoid types and amounts are rarely studied in the context of color acquisition. Because male and female animals typically place different priorities on fitness-enhancing activities (e.g., gametic investment in females, sexual attraction in males), carotenoid allocation may track such investment patterns in the two sexes, and we can test for such sex-specific priorities of carotenoids by assessing body-tissue distributions of these pigments. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to identify and quantify carotenoid pigments from the plasma, liver, adipose tissue, and retina as well as the beak and legs of male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a species in which males display sexually attractive, red, carotenoid-based beak coloration and females also display some (albeit a less rich orange) beak color. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the predictors of carotenoid-based leg coloration-another potentially important visual signal-in this species. The same suite of dietary (e.g., lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin) and metabolically derived (e.g., dehydrolutein, anhydrolutein) yellow and orange carotenoids was present in plasma, liver, and adipose tissue of both sexes. Retina contained two different metabolites (astaxanthin and galloxanthin) that serve specific functions in association with unique photoreceptor types in the eye. Beaks were enriched with four red ketocarotenoid derivatives in both sexes (alpha-doradexanthin, adonirubin, astaxanthin, and canthaxanthin), while the carotenoid profile of legs
The innovation of Spolsky's (1989) model of second language learning is that it was presented in the form of a mathematic ... perceived proficiency in speaking Kinyarwanda and English. Methods .... is very effective for the learners' learning.
Introduction Recent calls for medical education reform advocate for the integration of knowledge with clinical experience through early clinical immersion. Yet, early learners rarely are invited to participate in workplace activities and early clinical experiences remain largely observational.
International audience; This qualitative study, aimed to analyze eight French-speaking learners' beliefs about English and English language learning. The data were obtained via semi-structured interviews. The study drew on Weiner's attribution theory of achievement motivation and Bandura's self-efficacy theory. The novelty about this research is the employment of an attributional analysis framework to study and explain the learners' stated beliefs about English and English language learning.
Blake, Patricia; Louw, Johann
Learners' perceptions of aspects of school life that are sufficiently serious to interfere with their schoolwork were investigated. Bullying was a form of behaviour that was singled out for inclusion and further exploration in the study. Learners from three coeducational Western Cape Education Department schools were surveyed: 414 Grade 8 and 474 Grade 9 learners completed an anonymous, voluntary self-report questionnaire. Factors identified as most frequently interfering with their schoolwork included classmates not listening in class, feeling overwhelmed by schoolwork, teacher absenteeism, and verbal fighting. When asked specifically about bullying, 40% of learners indicated that they frequently experienced bullying at school-although they ranked it as much lower when compared to other potentially problematic school experiences. Furthermore, although the majority of learners indicated they thought teachers considered bullying a problem, few felt there was anything that school staff could do to counteract bullying effectively. These findings suggest that learners perceive bullying as an unavoidable part of school experience and have normalised this aggressive behaviour.
Karimi, Mehrnoosh; Hamzavi, Raouf
The present study aimed at investigating the effect of flipped model of instruction on EFL learners' reading comprehension ability. Moreover, this study aimed at identifying EFL students' attitudes toward flipped model of instruction. To this end, 60 EFL learners studying at an accredited private language institute in Isfahan were first…
There has been a huge amount of research on errors of language learners. However, most of them have focused on syntactic errors and those about lexical errors are not found easily despite the importance of lexical learning for the language learners. The case is even rarer for Korean language. In line with this background, this study was designed…
Mostert, Hendrik P; Myburgh, Chris; Poggenpoel, Marie
In schools today discrimination based on sexual orientation takes place on a regular basis. This form of discrimination leads to aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual, as well as towards those with a homosexual orientation. For more than 15 years South Africa has been a democratic country with laws that protect learners who have a homosexual orientation. Nevertheless, aggression and discrimination towards these learners still occur in schools. Aggression often leads to verbal and physical bullying of the victims by perpetrators. The objectives of this research were to explore and describe Grade 11 learners' experiences of aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual as well as those with a homosexual orientation in an independent secondary school environment. The research design was qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual in nature. The data for this investigation consisted of essays based on a published newspaper photograph, phenomenological group interviews, observations and field notes. Tesch's method of data analysis was used, and an independent coder assisted. Three themes were identified, discussed and supported by a literature control: that learners experience that it is right and acceptable to have a homosexual orientation; that they experience ambivalence towards homosexual orientation of learners; and experienced feelings that it is wrong to have a homosexual orientation. Recommended guidelines are provided to address aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual and those with a homosexual orientation.
Blissett, Sarah; Cavalcanti, Rodrigo; Sibbald, Matthew
Although instruction using expert-generated schemas is associated with higher diagnostic performance, implementation is resource intensive. Learner-generated schemas are an alternative, but may be limited by increases in cognitive load. We compared expert- and learner-generated schemas for learning ECG rhythm interpretation on diagnostic accuracy,…
Yang, Jinsuk; Rehner, Katherine
This article explores the beliefs about second language (L2) sociolinguistic competence of four university-level advanced L2 learners. It places particular emphasis on 1) how these university learners conceptualized L2 sociolinguistic competence; 2) how they thought about two different language learning contexts (viz., the L2 classroom versus…
... than the minimum wage prescribed in § 50-202.2 to the same extent such employment is permitted under... Management Other Provisions Relating to Public Contracts PUBLIC CONTRACTS, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 202-MINIMUM WAGE DETERMINATIONS Groups of Industries § 50-202.3 Learners, student learners, apprentices, and...
Full Text Available In this manuscript we focus on how to develop STEM learning environments, and how STEM can be implemented in K-12 schools. We focus on the following question: “How can we support students in building a deep, integrated knowledge of STEM so that they have the practical knowledge and problem solving skills necessary to live in and improve the world?” We also discuss criteria for evaluating STEM learning environments and the challenges teachers face in implementing STEM. We define STEM as the integration of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics to focus on solving pressing individual and societal problems. Engaging students in STEM also means engaging learners in the design process. Design is integral to student thinking in the STEM world. The design process is very non-linear and iterative in its nature but requires clearly articulating and identifying the design problem, researching what is known about the problem, generating potential solutions, developing prototype designs (artifacts that demonstrate solutions, and sharing and receiving feedback. With the integration of design, STEM education has the potential to support students in learning big ideas in science and engineering, as well as important scientific and engineering practices, and support students in developing important motivational outcomes such as ownership, agency and efficacy. Moreover, students who engage in STEM learning environments will also develop 21st century capabilities such as problem solving, communication, and collaboration skills.
Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli
Mechanisms regulating masculinization of the zebra finch song system are unclear; both estradiol and sex-specific genes may be important. This study was designed to investigate relationships between estrogen and ribosomal proteins (RPL17 and RPL37; sex-linked genes) that exhibit greater expression in song control nuclei in juvenile males than females. Four studies on zebra finches were conducted using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injections on posthatching days 6-10 with immunohistochemistry for the ribosomal proteins and the neuronal marker HuC/D at day 25. Volumes of brain regions were also assessed in Nissl-stained tissue. Most BrdU+ cells expressed RPL17 and RPL37. The density and percentage of cells co-expressing BrdU and HuC/D was greatest in Area X. The density of BrdU+ cells in Area X (or its equivalent) and the percentage of these cells that were neurons were greater in males than females. In RA and HVC, total BrdU+ cells were increased in males. A variety of effects of estradiol were also detected, including inducing an Area X in females with a masculine total number of BrdU+ cells, and increasing the volume and percentage of new neurons in the HVC of females. The same manipulation in males decreased the density of BrdU+ cells in Area X, total number of BrdU+ cells in RA, and density of new neurons in HVC and RA. These data are consistent with the idea that RPL17, RPL37, and estradiol might all influence sexual differentiation, perhaps with the hormone and proteins interacting, such that an appropriate balance is required for normal development.
Sawyer Roger H
Full Text Available Abstract Background The epidermal appendages of reptiles and birds are constructed of beta (β keratins. The molecular phylogeny of these keratins is important to understanding the evolutionary origin of these appendages, especially feathers. Knowing that the crocodilian β-keratin genes are closely related to those of birds, the published genomes of the chicken and zebra finch provide an opportunity not only to compare the genomic organization of their β-keratins, but to study their molecular evolution in archosaurians. Results The subfamilies (claw, feather, feather-like, and scale of β-keratin genes are clustered in the same 5' to 3' order on microchromosome 25 in chicken and zebra finch, although the number of claw and feather genes differs between the species. Molecular phylogenies show that the monophyletic scale genes are the basal group within birds and that the monophyletic avian claw genes form the basal group to all feather and feather-like genes. Both species have a number of feather clades on microchromosome 27 that form monophyletic groups. An additional monophyletic cluster of feather genes exist on macrochromosome 2 for each species. Expression sequence tag analysis for the chicken demonstrates that all feather β-keratin clades are expressed. Conclusions Similarity in the overall genomic organization of β-keratins in Galliformes and Passeriformes suggests similar organization in all Neognathae birds, and perhaps in the ancestral lineages leading to modern birds, such as the paravian Anchiornis huxleyi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that evolution of archosaurian epidermal appendages in the lineage leading to birds was accompanied by duplication and divergence of an ancestral β-keratin gene cluster. As morphological diversification of epidermal appendages occurred and the β-keratin multigene family expanded, novel β-keratin genes were selected for novel functions within appendages such as feathers.
Full Text Available The study explored Western Cape primary and secondary school learners' experiences regarding the provision and utilization of support services for improving learning. A qualitative interpretive approach was adopted and data gathered through focus group interviews involving 90 learners. Results revealed that learners received and utilized various forms of learning support from their schools, teachers, and peers. The learning support assisted in meeting learners' academic, social and emotional needs by addressing barriers to learning, creating conducive learning environments, enhancing learners' self-esteem and improving learners' academic performance.
Nenden Sri Lengkanawati
Full Text Available Learner autonomy in Indonesian educational institutions has not commonly been listed as a teaching-learning objective, and most teachers seem to be hardly acquainted with learner autonomy (LA. Therefore, it is very essential to conduct a study of LA as perceived and experienced by school teachers and to find out the importance of LA training for professional development. A questionnaire was used to collect the data about English teachers’ perceptions regarding LA and LA-based practices. In addition, an LA training was conducted to see its significance for professional development. After the data were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed, it was found that the participating teachers tended to maintain that autonomy should be inculcated among learners, and that the LA concept should not be misinterpreted as learning without a teacher. Concerning choices and decisions by the learners, it was believed that learners’ making choices about how they learned and what activities they did, and involving them to decide what and how to learn could promote autonomy among learners. As regards LA-based teaching-learning practices, it was revealed that most teachers desired to implement LA principles in their teaching-learning contexts, although they identified that many of the LA principles were not that feasible to apply in their situation. It was also found that LA training could improve the teachers’ perceptions regarding LA concepts and principles. There were some constraints which could make learner autonomy difficult to develop among Indonesian learners in general: limited time allotted for the implementation of the curriculum, learners’ lack of autonomous learning experience, too much focus on national examinations, and insufficient proficiency of English. LA-based teaching-learning practices were most desired; however, many were considered as having insufficient feasibility. In this respect, commitment is certainly the key to
Laura M. Ferman
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assemble data on the summer feeding ecology of the Great Pampa-finch, Embernagra platensis at the Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and to explore the differences related to the dietary patterns for each sex between winter and summer when possible. The stomach contents of 43 birds were analyzed. The animal fraction was composed of Hymenoptera (45.1%, Coleoptera (32.4%, Lepidoptera (6.0%, Araneae (5% and Orthoptera (3.2%. The application of the index of relative importance (IRI resulted in 1490.4 for Coleoptera, 428.5 for Hymenoptera and 162.5 for Lepidoptera caterpillars. The vegetal fraction consisted of Triticum aestivum (26.9%, Cyperaceous (25%, Poaceae (Gramineae (19.3% and Panicum sp. (11.2%. The IRI values were 893.8 for Triticum aestivum, 174.5 for Gramineae, 126.5 for Panicum sp. and 112.8 for Scirpus sp. The food niche width was 0.33 for both sexes; the diversity index resulted in 1.06 for females and 1.33 for males and specific diversity ranged from 1.87 to 2.84. A canonical component analysis (CCA was performed on environmental and morphometric variables, and a Monte Carlo test confirmed the canonical correlations. A t-test showed that some birds harmonized with a logarithmic model and some with a geometric curve. During the summer, Embernagra platensis ingests Hymenoptera and Coleoptera more often than seeds, suggesting that two biological mechanisms could be taking place in this bird.O objetivo deste estudo foi reunir dados referentes à ecologia alimentar do Sabiá-do-banhado, Embernagra platensis, na laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, e explorar as diferenças relacionadas aos padrões dietéticos para cada sexo entre inverno e verão, quando possível. O conteúdo estomacal de 43 pássaros foi analisado. A fração animal foi composta por Hymenoptera (45,1%, Coleoptera (32,4%, Lepidoptera(6,0%, Araneae (5% e Orthoptera (3,2%. A aplicação do índice de importância relativa (IRI
Full Text Available Recent developments in SLA, such as learner-centredness, social constructivism, the postmethod era, and complexity perspectives, have highlighted the need for more localized, situated understandings of teaching and learning and greater recognition of learner individuality and diversity. In this article, I suggest an effective way of meeting these needs is to employ learner histories. This powerful form of writing allows learners to use their L2 to engage in authentic, personally meaningful communication with others about their identities, experiences, perceptions and emotions related to their language learning histories. As a text type, they are able to facilitate a more holistic perspective of the learner’s life and reveal the unique interconnections that an individual makes across various domains. They also enable the situated, contextualised and dynamic nature of their learning experiences to become apparent and provide learners with a genuine, motivating purpose for writing. Exploring data generated in Austria with tertiary-level EFL learners, I seek to illustrate some of the rich potential of these text types from three perspectives, namely, those of the teacher, learner and researcher.
second language learner seeks to interpret word meaning without reference to the .... Meaning can be natural but language is conventional - that is there is no .... language learner is usually engaged in processing contextual information to ...
The learning needs of learners with multiple disabilities in Kenya are not ... of the Kenyan special schools and units combine learners with multiple disabilities into ... specific disabilities such as visual, hearing, mental and physical impairments.
preceding may prompt the community to label children who break the .... learning that sexual violence and abuse are an inescapable part of going to school every ..... Learners try to sidestep paying for movies, taxi travel, food, etc. Learners ...
Full Text Available This paper attempts at identifying the main features that characterize distance higher education and adult education, respectively, in order to be able to establish to what extent adult learners can fit in distance higher education programs. The historical background of distance learning education, the factors that influence adult learners, and distance learning’s key objectives, effects, issues, advantages, and disadvantages are to be briefly investigated in order to reach the purpose of this paper. Recent developments in Information Technology have led to a new approach to teaching and learning, especially as far as adult learning and distance learning are concerned. Thus, this study will also focus on the consequences of using technology for course design, delivery, and the perception of adult learners participating in distance learning.
Shi, Jiannong; Zhang, X.; Chen, N.
-socio-intellectual model, illustrated the nature of human being and the nature of gifted learners. From the perspective of the BSI model, the authors suggested three aspects are very critical to curriculum design to meet the needs of gifted education: physical maturation or physical development, social maturation......In this article, based on the previous researches on the development of gifted learners, the authors summarized the problems in nurturing gifted learners due to lacking of the appropriate educational philosophy and educational methodology in Mainland China. The authors proposed the Bio...... or social and interpersonal development, and mental maturation or intellectual development. It was proved that BSI model has its theoretical rationality and practical validity in Mainland China...
Full Text Available As the number, type, and use of technologies to support learning increases, so do the opportunities for using these technologies for feedback. Learner-centered feedback is a core to the teaching-learning process. It is related to assessment in describing how learners perform in their learning, their gain in knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Feedback, types of feedback, guidelines for effective learner-centered feedback, and feedback’s relationship to assessment are presented. Methods of providing feedback, for example, automated, audio scribe pens, digital audio, etc., and the related technologies are described. Technologies that allow instructors to make informed decisions about the use of various methods for feedback are discussed.
The advent of new media offer potentials for multimodal learning  to the learners. This also calls for new learning designs that fully make use of digital media and explore how they can be used to create a motivating and meaningful learning environment that addresses the learner’s individual...... to the general ability to make meaning out of experience.” One way to design for narrative multimodal learning is to introduce the learners to the tools to make digital animated stories as a way to work with literacies in the classroom. In this way it may offer the learners a platform for meaningful involvement....... Storytelling and narrative is fundamental to the process of meaning making according to the seminal works of cultural psychologist Jerome Bruner . .As the Canadian educational theorist Kieran Egan  suggests, there is an important relationship between storytelling and imagination because it is ”central...
Schumacher, Daniel J; Englander, Robert; Carraccio, Carol
As a result of the paradigm shift to a competency-based framework, both self-directed lifelong learning and learner-centeredness have become essential tenets of medical education. In the competency-based framework, learners drive their own educational process, and both learners and teachers share the responsibility for the path and content of learning. This learner-centered emphasis requires each physician to develop and maintain lifelong learning skills, which the authors propose culminate in becoming a "master leaner." To better understand the development of these skills and the attainment of that goal, the authors explore how learning theories inform the development of master learners and how to translate these theories into practical strategies for the learner, the teacher, and the learning environment so as to optimize this development.The authors begin by exploring self-determination theory, which lays the groundwork for understanding the motivation to learn. They next consider the theories of cognitive load and situated cognition, which inform the optimal context and environment for learning. Building from this foundation, the authors consider key educational theories that affect learners' abilities to serve as primary drivers of their learning, including self-directed learning (SDL); the self-assessment skills necessary for SDL; factors affecting self-assessment (self-concept, self-efficacy, illusory superiority, gap filling); and ways to mitigate the inaccuracies of self-assessment (reflection, self-monitoring, external information seeking, and self-directed assessment seeking).For each theory, they suggest practical action steps for the learner, the teacher, and the learning environment in an effort to provide a road map for developing master learners.
The present paper is a brief review of the theoretical concepts about learner autonomy focusing on highlighting the main themes on learner autonomy in foreign language education and in cultural context as a globalized construct. These themes are based on the concepts of learner responsibility and independence, the importance of the autonomy in foreign language education in both the Western and Eastern style and the role of the culture in the concept of learner independence. The present study ...
Zeng, ShaoJu; Li, Jia; Zhang, XinWen; Zuo, MingXue
The distribution of Met-enkephalin (ENK), substance P (SP) and serotonin (5-HT) differs between the core and shell regions of the mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei of the turtle [Belekhova et al., 2002]. These neurochemical distinctions are also found in other tetrapods (mammals, birds and amphibians). The distribution of ENK, SP and 5-HT was examined in the core and shell regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, and in the telencephalic auditory areas of Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata) and mice (Mus musculus), as well as in corresponding auditory areas in toads (Bufo bufo). ENK, SP and 5-HT immunoreactive fibers and perikarya were largely absent from the core regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, in comparison with the shell regions of mice and Bengalese finches. In the toad, however, this pattern was observed in the mesencephalic auditory nucleus, but not in the diencephalic auditory areas. ENK and SP immunoreactive perikarya were detected in the telencephalic auditory area of mice, whereas no ENK, SP or 5-HT immunolabeling was observed in the telencephalic auditory area (Field L) of Bengalese finches. These findings are discussed in terms of the evolution of the core-and-shell organization of auditory nuclei of tetrapods. Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Coggins, Debra S (Susan)
Research-based strategies to reach English learners - now aligned with the Common Core!Enable your English learners to build higher-level math skills and gain greater fluency in their new language-all while achieving the goals of the Common Core. Now in its second edition, this trusted resource includes: Mathematics lesson scenarios in every chapter, directly connected to Common Core Standards and the Standards for Mathematical Practice Instructional approaches that promote participation, hands-on learning, and true comprehension of mathematics concepts that benefit ALL students Sample lessons, visuals, and essential vocabulary that connect mathematical concepts with language development.
Full Text Available Teaching English to Young Learners has become a trend nowadays. In every school, English is taught as one of the main subjects. In teaching young learners is not like teaching adults, children have their own way of learning. Since children like to play and have fun, the learning and teaching process should be suited with the nature of the children themselves. One of the forms of fun activities for children is through music, and songs are the common form of music that children know. Through this paper, the writer wants to show that through songs, children could enhance their language skills, such as speaking, listening and writing.
Teaching English to Young Learners has become a trend nowadays. In every school, English is taught as one of the main subjects. In teaching young learners is not like teaching adults, children have their own way of learning. Since children like to play and have fun, the learning and teaching process should be suited with the nature of the children themselves. One of the forms of fun activities for children is through music, and songs are the common form of music that children know. Through th...
In order to examine how orientations toward learning activities are situated in and conditioned by specific work-life experiences it is crucial to develop a dialectic concept of learner identity. Based on a qualitative research-project (Kondrup 2012) this paper outlines how unskilled work forms...... a specific condition for engaging in lifelong learning. The aim of the study was to examine how an unskilled work-life presents certain conditions for the formation, maintenance and transformation of a learner identity, enabling workers to position themselves as educable subjects and engage in formal...
Nutta, Joyce W.; Strebel, Carine; Mokhtari, Kouider; Mihai, Florin M.; Crevecoeur-Bryant, Edwidge
In "Educating English Learners," Joyce W. Nutta and her colleagues offer practical tools for helping schools and teachers successfully integrate English learners into mainstream classrooms. Drawing on the One Plus model presented in their award-winning book, "Preparing Every Teacher to Reach English Learners," the authors now…
Learner absenteeism often occurs involuntarily due to learners' social and economic circumstances. ..... still a child; e.g. under 18 years of age, and ... schools to take the age and maturity of the ... 5). The Policy on Learner Attendance (DBE, RSA,. 2010, para. 13(i)) allows the ..... Emotional literacy and the ecology of.
Three major dictionaries designed for learners of English as a second language are reviewed, their elements and approaches compared and evaluated, their usefulness for different learners discussed, and recommendations for future dictionary improvement made. The dictionaries in question are the "Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary," the…
Ozanne, Julie L.; Adkins, Natalie Ross; Sandlin, Jennifer A.
Little empirical evidence exists on how adult literacy learners act as consumers. Yet, adult literacy programs often employ a "functional" approach to consumer education and assume that adult learners are deficient in consumer skills. Data from a qualitative study of the consumer behaviors of adult literacy learners are used to explore how adult…
In this paper, we describe an on-going project of the corpus of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners in Japan and its application for pedagogical dictionary compilation. We especially focus on the learners' errors in verb collocation patterns and describe how the leamer's dictionary can benefit from the learners' ...
Jacobs, George M.; Shan, Tan Hui
The present paper begins by situating learner autonomy and collaborative learning as part of a larger paradigm shift towards student-centred learning. Next are brief discussions of learner autonomy and how learner autonomy links with collaborative learning. In the main part of the paper, four central principles of collaborative learning are…
In this study, the researchers developed an 'aid' that would assist learners to relate mathematics terms and concepts in English with terms in their own languages. The study determined whether a visual multilingual learner companion brought change in learners' performance in mathematics. Also what the educators' views ...
The learning support assisted in meeting learners' academic, social and emotional needs by addressing barriers to learning, creating conducive learning environments, enhancing learners' self-esteem and improving learners' academic performance. Keywords: academic needs; academic performance; barriers to learning; ...
Shak, Juliana; Gardner, Sheena
Recent studies suggest that focus-on-form (FonF) instruction has a positive effect on the second language proficiency of young learners. However, few have looked at learner perspectives on different FonF tasks, particularly in those young learners. This study investigates children's attitudes towards four FonF task-types in three Primary 5 English…
This paper aims at investigating the kinds of strategies deployed by advanced EFL learners at English Language Teaching Department to learn or improve English pronunciation and revealing whether there are any significant differences between the strategies of successful pronunciation learners and those of unsuccessful pronunciation learners. After…
how learners acquire learning, there is still a dearth of material on descriptions of current support provided to learners within the theoretical ... schools where the Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) is English and/or Afrikaans (i.e. the learner's second or third .... Languages (IIAL) policy for public comment. This.
Nikitina, Larisa; Furuoka, Fumitaka
This study aimed to examine dimensionality in language learners' epistemic beliefs. To achieve this, a survey was conducted using a newly-developed research instrument-"Language Learners' Epistemic Beliefs" (LLEB) questionnaire. Based on a review of literature, it was proposed that language learners' epistemic beliefs would cluster in…
Butler, Yuko Goto; Someya, Yuumi; Fukuhara, Eiji
Young learners' use of instructional games in foreign language learning is not yet well understood. Using games that were part of the learning tools for an online assessment, Jido-Eiken, a standardized English proficiency test for young learners in Japan, we examined young learners' game-playing behaviours and the relationship of these behaviours…
Ford, Kate; Vignare, Karen
This literature review examines the evolving online military learner population with emphasis on current generation military learners, who are most frequently Post-9/11 veterans. The review synthesizes recent scholarly and grey literature on military learner demographics and attributes, college experiences, and academic outcomes against a backdrop…
International and national mathematics studies have revealed the poor mathematics skills of South African learners. An essential tool that can be used to improve learners' mathematical skills is for educators to use effective feedback. Our purpose in this study was to elicit learners' understanding and expectations of teacher ...
Samejima, Masaki; Hisakane, Daichi; Komoda, Norihisa
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to annotate an attribute of a problem, a solution or no annotation on learners' opinions automatically for supporting the learners' discussion without a facilitator. The case method aims at discussing problems and solutions in a target case. However, the learners miss discussing some of problems and solutions.…
Nemati, Majid; Alavi, Sayyed Mohammad; Mohebbi, Hassan; Masjedlou, Ali Panahi
To date, L2 researchers have studied the effect of feedback on improving L2 learners' writing from different perspectives. However, there are a lot of aspects which are not comprehensively researched yet, such as L2 learners' and teachers' perceptions and practices about feedback. To close the gap, this study investigates language learners'…
O'Donnell, Mary E.
The use of marginal reading glosses by 18 second language (L2) learners is examined through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of audiotaped think-aloud protocols. How these readers interact with the glosses is identified and divided into five categories or gloss interactions. Examples from each are presented. The primary research question…
Greenbaum, JoAnne; Angus, Kathryn Bartle
A position statement on the rights of adult readers and learners was adopted by the CRLA board in 2002 and published with a theoretical rationale in ["Journal of College Reading and Learning"] "JCRL," Spring 2003. The statement was a guideline for educators seeking to improve the quality of adult education. In 2016, at the…
This article explores the linguistic identity of young multilingual learners through the use of a Language Portrait Silhouette. Examples from a research study of children aged 6-8 years in a German bilingual program in Canada provide teachers with an understanding that linguistic identity comprises expertise, affiliation, and inheritance. This…
Zhang, Weimin; Hu, Guiling
This pilot project investigates second language (L2) learners' attitudes towards three varieties of English: American (AmE), British (BrE) and Australian (AuE). A 69-word passage spoken by a female speaker of each variety was used. Participants were 30 Chinese students pursuing Masters or Doctoral degrees in the United States, who listened to each…
Saw, K. G.; Awang, M. N.; Idrus, R. M.; Atan, H.; Azli, N. A.; Jaafar, I.; Rahman, Z. A.; Latiff, Z. A.
Describes results of a study of the changing perceptions of East Malaysian distance learners studying at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. Highlights include students' perceptions of their study skills; and the impact of their studies on other areas of their life, including social obligations, recreation, families, health, finances, work, and…
Murphy, Audrey F.
Educators need to document progress for English language learners, and the best structures to put into place in order to record their growth. Beginning with the stages of language proficiency, student progress can be tracked through the use of a baseline in all four language strands and the creation of rubrics to monitor performance. Language…
Vafai, Maliheh Mansuripur
This article reports on an empirical case study centering on adult ESL learners' motivational patterns for learning English and its relevance to their career goals. It looks at past patterns of immigrant insertion within the socioeconomic context of the US and explores current trends in adult ESL curriculum development focused on the task of…
Laufer, Batia; Kimmel, Michal
Seventy native Hebrew-speaking English-as-a-Second-Language students participated in a study that investigated what part of an entry second-language learners read when they look up an unfamiliar word in a bilingualised dictionary: the monolingual, the bilingual, or both. Results suggest the bilingualised dictionary is very effective because it is…
Dommett, Eleanor J.
Purpose: This paper aims to examine the different ways in which learners may have ownership over technology-enhanced learning by reflecting on technical, legal and psychological ownership. Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses a variety of examples of technology-enhanced learning ranging from open-source software to cloud storage to discuss…
Full Text Available Learning a new language is ultimately to be able to communicate with it. Encouraging a sense of responsibility on the part of the learners is crucial for training them to be proficient communicators. As such, understanding the strategies that they employ in acquiring the language skill is important to come to ideas of how to promote learner autonomy. Research recently conducted with three different groups of learners of English at the tertiary education level in Malang indicated that they used metacognitive and social startegies at a high frequency, while memory, cognitive, conpensation, and affective strategies were exercised at a medium frewuency. This finding implies that the learners have acquired some degrees of autonomy because metacognive strategies requires them to independently make plans for their learning activities as well as evaluate the progress, and social strategies requires them to independently enhance communicative interactions with other people. Further actions are then to be taken increase their learning autonomy, that is by intensifying the practice of use of the other four strategy categories, which are not yet applied intensively.
This keynote address by a native Vietnamese speaker who did not learn English until he was college-age, through the now obsolete "grammar-translation" method, recounts his difficulties in learning to converse orally in English. He stresses the need to teach conversational English to English Language Learners (ELLs) in addition to…
Silva, Janice; Delleman, Paul; Phesia, Andria
Although the Common Core state standards' goal of ensuring that every student leaves high school prepared to meet the demands of college and career is laudable, it's daunting for teachers who serve English language learners. The authors, educators at a private bilingual school in Mexico, describe how they used short excerpts of longer works giving…
Gouws, E.; Dicker, A-M.
To meet the demands of our highly technological and globally competitive society, it is becoming increasingly important for all learners in South Africa to obtain skills and knowledge in mathematics. However, South Africa performed the worst of all the countries who participated in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS).…
Van Rosmalen, Peter; Wilson, Amanda; Hummel, Hans
With the advent of social media it is widely accepted that teachers and learners are not only consumers but also may have an active role in contributing and co-creating lesson materials and content. Paradoxically one strand of technology enhanced learning, i.e. game-based learning, aligns only
Kistler, Mark J.
As more and more adults seek out education and training programs to help them become more competitive in the job market, it provides an opportunity for career and technical education. Those who teach adult learners should take into consideration their particular learning traits. This article highlights a framework of core principles to be…
This chapter focuses on the development of young learners' ability to communicate in a foreign language. An empirical study was carried out to determine whether, after four years of learning English as a compulsory school subject, children are ready to engage in oral interaction in a semi-controlled task and produce answers and questions in…
This study explored what three Intermediate Phase English First Additional Language teachers understood about reading and teaching reading, and the strategies they used to develop learners' reading skills. Data gathered through interviews and observations of classroom practice were used to consider the extent of their ...
Muhamad, Mazanah; Idris, Khairuddin
This paper offers a scenario of workplace learning as practiced in Malaysia. Based on survey research, the article describes learner profiles, learning provision and pattern. The analysis shows that Malaysians participate in formal workplace learning as part of their employment activities. Workplace learning in Malaysia is contextual, promoted by…
Alfred H. Miller
Full Text Available For programmatic accreditation by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, business programs are required to meet STANDARD #4, Measurement and Analysis of Student Learning and Performance. Business units must demonstrate that outcome assessment systems are in place using documented evidence that shows how the results are being used to further develop or improve the academic business program. The Higher Colleges of Technology, a 17 campus federal university in the United Arab Emirates, differentiates its applied degree programs through a ‘learning by doing ethos,’ which permeates the entire curricula. This paper documents benchmarking of education for managing innovation. Using business simulation for Bachelors of Business, Year 3 learners, in a business strategy class; learners explored through a simulated environment the following functional areas; research and development, production, and marketing of a technology product. Student teams were required to use finite resources and compete against other student teams in the same universe. The study employed an instrument developed in a 60-sample pilot study of business simulation learners against which subsequent learners participating in online business simulation could be benchmarked. The results showed incremental improvement in the program due to changes made in assessment strategies, including the oral defense.
Artelt, Cordula; Baumert, Jürgen; Julius-McElvany, Nele; Peschar, Jules
What are students like as learners as they approach the end of compulsory education? The answer matters greatly, not only because those with stronger approaches to learning get better results at school but also because young adults able to set learning goals and manage their own learning are much
High stakes assessments conducted in the southwestern United States demonstrate that fewer than 50% of English language learners (ELLs) are achieving proficiency levels in reading fluency. The purpose of this study was to understand if reading interventions using the framework of Samuels's repeated reading (RR) strategy increased student…
Al Mahmoud, Mahmoud S.
This article reports on second language perception of non-native contrasts. The study specifically tests the perceptual assimilation model (PAM) by examining American learners' ability to discriminate Arabic contrasts. Twenty two native American speakers enrolled in a university level Arabic language program took part in a forced choice AXB…
Gorodetsky, Malka; Barak, Judith
This paper suggests a conjunction between the learning space of educational edge community (EEC) and the Deleuzeguattarian thought regarding the nature of teachers' "becoming." It attends to the emerging subjectivities of teachers/learners within an EEC, a nomadic, open, and smooth space of learning. It is suggested that autonomous…
Kamarulzaman, Mohd Hasrul; Ibrahim, Noraniza; Yunus, Melor Md; Ishak, Noriah Mohd
Language anxiety has significantly sparked great concern in the second and foreign language learning world. Researches have found negative correlation between language anxiety and academic achievement of English language learners; and, most of the studies focus on average school students and tertiary level students. This paper, however, explores…
McGinnis, J. Randy
A fundamental social justice issue worldwide is how to meet the needs of all learners, especially those with special needs who historically have faced discrimination, exclusion, and oppression due to special needs (physical, cognitive, or behavioral dimensions). This article focuses on the key questions that researchers interested in improving…
Little attention has been paid to the demotivating potential of new technologies in foreign language research. Thus, this study aims to investigate Internet anxiety among foreign language learners and to determine the relationships between Internet anxiety and certain variables. A background questionnaire, an Internet information test, and an…
Performance in the biology practical paper has been poor at Kenya national examinations in the past five years (1998-2002). This may imply a lack of emphasis on the teaching of biology through the process-based approach. This study investigated the level of learner involvement in biology practical investigations in ...
Learners' right to freedom of written expression. W.J. van Vollenhoven. Department of Education Management and Policy Studies, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002 South Africa email@example.com. Charles I. Glenn. Training and Policy Studies of the University Professors' Program, University of Boston. Although ...
Niederhauser, Janet S.
Students at many universities often fail to reach their full potential as English language learners due to low motivation. Some of the factors that affect their motivation relate to the country's education system in general. Others reflect institutional and cultural views of language learning in particular. Using a problem-solution format, this…
Abedi, Jamal; Levine, Harold G.
English language learners (ELLs) face a challenging academic future in learning a new language while simultaneously mastering content in the language they may be struggling to learn. Assessment plays an extremely important role in the academic careers of ELL students, perhaps more so than for native speakers of English. Major changes and…
Rojas, Eliana D.; Avitia, Maria J.
This paper examines the achievement gap for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners through the lens of Bronfenbrenner's bioecological theory of human development. The population of CLD students in the United States continues to grow. Across the nation, CLD students continue to struggle in an increasingly accountability-based…
This paper reports on the task-based interaction of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners in the 3D multiuser virtual environment (MUVE) Second Life. The discussion first explores research on the precursors of MUVEs, text-based 2D virtual worlds known as MOOs. This is followed by an examination of studies on the use of MUVEs in Computer…
Velasco, Patricia; García, Ofelia
This article makes the case for using translanguaging in developing the academic writing of bilinguals. It reviews the emerging literature on learning and teaching theories of translanguaging and presents theoretical understandings of biliteracy development and specifically on the teaching of writing to bilingual learners. The article analyzes…
Habbash, Manssour; Idapalapati, Srinivasa Rao
In view of the increasing concern among English language teachers dealing with students from Saudi Arabia, as it manifests in TESOL community discussions, about the uniqueness of Saudi Arabian EFL learners, this paper attempts to document the outcome of a study of their distinctiveness from the perspective of expatriate teachers working for PYPs…
Li, Shaopeng; Yang, Lianrui
The present study aims to investigate the general characteristics of topicprominent typological interlanguage development of Chinese learners of English in terms of acquiring subject-prominent English structures from a discourse perspective. Topic structures mainly appear in Chinese discourse in the form of topic chains (Wang, 2002; 2004). The…
The study examined the predicting effects of parental influence, school environment, Learners\\' interest, and self–efficacy on academic performance of police children in Ibadan Metropolis, Oyo state, Nigeria. The sample consisted of 200 primary IV, V and VI pupils (Mean age = 9 years). The results of the multiple regression ...
Daniels, Sharilyn Fox
This study determined if the vocabulary gap for English Language Learners (ELLs) and their peers could be bridged through providing home interventions with multiple exposures to words, definitions, model sentences and context. Ninety-one first grade students from a public school in Southern California with a 95% ELL population were researched. ELL…
This article seeks to provide a theoretical overview of bilingualism and discuss the key concepts and theories that inform classroom pedagogy with bilingual learners. Although some specific classroom strategies are introduced, the primary purpose is not to offer strategies, but rather to offer guiding principles based on theory and research to…
Full Text Available Learner affect and beliefs about mathematics are complex and multifaceted aspects of mathematical learning. Traditional teaching and learning approaches in mathematics education often result in problematic beliefs about mathematics. Since beliefs influence what learners learn and how they deal with learning mathematics, it is essential that the roles of beliefs and affect in mathematics classrooms are carefully examined. In solving modelling problems, learners and teachers take on new roles in the classroom: learners are placed in an active, self-directing situation in which they solve real-world problems. When learners engage in modelling tasks, they display and integrate cognitive, meta-cognitive and affective competencies. A modelling approach therefore allows one to detect learner beliefs in an authentic learning environment. Will this environment lead to students having more positive and productive dispositions towards mathematics? This article presents partial results of a study documenting the development of modelling competencies in learners working in groups over a period of 12 weeks. Through a design research approach, 12 learners working in groups solved three modelling problems, and transcriptions of learner interactions, questionnaires and informal interviews revealed that learner beliefs improved over this short period when exposed to modelling tasks. The results are encouraging, and may provide mathematics education with an avenue to develop more positive learner beliefs in mathematics.
Full Text Available This research will explore teaching styles of university professors. Teaching style is an umbrella term for teaching decisions made during the entire teaching process – planning, delivery, and evaluation. Contemporary university teachers are advised to adopt the learner-centred teaching style which is assumed to produce remarkable possibilities. In the Fall Semester 2015 fifty-two respondents in different faculties of International University of Sarajevo were surveyed using The Principles of Adult Learning Scale inventory designed by Gary J. Conti. Inventory scores were calculated according to guidelines suggested by the author of the inventory. The scores revealed that majority of respondents strongly supported teacher-centred rather than learner-centred styles of instruction. Scores were analysed on gender lines and across three different faculties, namely: Arts and Social Sciences; Business and Administration; Engineering and Natural Sciences. In all five groups none of the seven teaching style indicators was found to conform with the learner-centred teaching criteria. There was no statistically significant difference between the two genders’ preference for a teaching style. And there was no statistically significant difference between teaching style preference across the three different faculties.The results of this research imply that the learner-centred style of instruction is not frequently implemented. Secondly, the results indicate that the requirements necessary for proper application of the learner-centred teaching style are not easy to meet in current written and unwritten norms. Finally, the results show that traditional teaching styles, which have been preserved in different scientific fields, still predominate in universities.
Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth
Variation in parental care can lead to important fitness consequences. The endocrine system is known to regulate physiological and behavioral reproductive traits that are important contributors to lifetime reproductive success. However, the hormonal basis of variation in avian parental care is still not well understood. Plasma prolactin (PRL) concentrations are generally high during post-hatch parental care in birds, and may be a candidate mechanism that regulates variation in parental care and other reproductive success outcomes. Here we analyze the relationship between PRL, parental behavior (chick brooding and feeding) and reproductive success outcomes (clutch size, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival) for the first time in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds were given cabergoline, a dopamine agonist traditionally used to lower prolactin in mammals, or vehicle in their food. Cabergoline had no effect on prolactin concentrations, but across both groups we found that PRL is positively correlated with parental behavior, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival, but not clutch size. Results from this study will inform hypotheses and predictions for future manipulation studies which test for a causal role for PRL in parental traits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ryan, S.M.; Arnold, A.P.
Brain regions thought to be involved in the control of song in the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), were examined histochemically using the Karnovsky and Roots direct-coloring method for the detection of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the autoradiographic method for the localization of muscarinic cholinergic receptors following injection of tritiated quinuclidinyl benzilate (3H QNB). All presently identified vocal control nuclei in both males and females contain AChE. These nuclei include Area X, magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum (MAN), nucleus interface (NIF), caudal nucleus of the hyperstriatum ventrale (HVc), intercollicular nucleus (ICo), nucleus uva, robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA), and tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve nucleus (nXIIts). All nuclei except Area X contain mostly AChE-synthesizing cell bodies. All of these nuclei contain some AChE in the neuropil, with particularly intense staining in Area X, the surrounding LPO, and the dorsomedial portion of ICo. In agreement with this description are very high concentrations of 3H QNB in both Area X and the dorsomedial ICo. HVc also appears specifically labeled. Evidence from these two histological technique suggests that efferent projections of most vocal control area may utilize acetylcholine, and that several of the vocal control nuclei may themselves receive muscarinic cholinergic projection. In Area X, there are sex differences of AChE neuropil staining. This evidence suggesting that sexually dimorphic projections to or within Area X are cholinergic or cholinoceptive
Gutierrez-Ibanez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Jensen, Megan; Graham, David J; Pogány, Ákos; Mongomery, Benjamin C; Stafford, James L; Luksch, Harald; Wylie, Douglas R
Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptides (CARTp) are neuropeptides that act as neurotransmitters in the brain of vertebrates. The expression of CARTp has been characterized in teleosts, amphibians, and several mammalian species, but comparative data in reptiles and birds are nonexistent. In this study, we show the distribution of immunoreactivity against CART peptides (CARTp-ir) in the brains of two bird species: the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the brains of both, but no major differences between the two species. As in mammals, teleost fish, and amphibians, CARTp-ir terminals and cells were abundant in subpallial regions, particularly the striatum and nucleus accumbens. We also found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the hypothalamus, and a large number of CARTp-ir terminals in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, periaqueductal gray, parabrachial nucleus, and dorsal vagal complex. However, in contrast to other vertebrates, CARTp-ir was not found in the olfactory bulb. In addition there was almost no CARTp-ir in the pallium or the hippocampal formation, and little CARTp-ir in the cerebellum. The conserved expression of CARTp in the subpallium, hypothalamus, and dorsal vagal complex of birds suggests that some of the functions of CARTp, such as regulation of food intake and interactions with the social control network and mesolimbic reward system, are conserved among vertebrates. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3747-3773, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Full Text Available The Cinereous Warbling-finch Poospiza cinerea (Emberizidae is a Neotropical grassland bird considered rare, with population declining due to habitat loss and classified as vulnerable. However, the species conspicuously remains in several degraded areas, suggesting that it may be favored by these environments. Studies which focus on this species were inexistent until 2012, making questionable any statement about its threaten status. Here we analyzed population density, home range, and habitat selection of two groups of P. cinerea at independent sites that differ in human impact levels. Density was estimated by counting and mapping birds. Kernel density and minimum convex polygon were used to estimate home ranges. Habitat selection was inferred from use and availability of every habitat identified within the home range boundaries. One group positively selected urban tree vegetation, despite the availability of natural habitats in its home range. Based on a review on the literature and our findings, we assume that it is unlikely that P. cinerea is rare owing to habitat degradation, as previously thought. Nevertheless, this species was always recorded around native Cerrado vegetation and thus habitat modification may still threaten this species at some level. It is suggested that this species might be a woodland edge species, but future studies are necessary to confirm this assumption.
Tang, Y P; Wade, J
The zebra finch song system is sexually dimorphic--only males sing, and the morphology of forebrain regions controlling the learning and production of this song is greatly enhanced in males compared to females. Masculinization appears to involve effects of steroid hormones as well as other factors, perhaps including the expression of sex chromosome genes (males: ZZ, females: ZW). The present study investigated three proteins--two encoded by Z-linked genes, ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37), including their co-localization with androgen receptor (AR), from post-hatching day 25 to adulthood. Extensive co-expression of AR with the ribosomal proteins was detected in the three song nuclei investigated (HVC, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and Area X) across these ages. In general, more cells expressed each of these proteins in males compared to females, and the sex differences increased as animals matured. Specific patterns differed across regions and between RPL17 and RPL37, which suggest potential roles of one or both of these proteins in the incorporation and/or differentiation of song system cells. Copyright © 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Michael H Graber
Full Text Available Motor functions are often guided by sensory experience, most convincingly illustrated by complex learned behaviors. Key to sensory guidance in motor areas may be the structural and functional organization of sensory inputs and their evoked responses. We study sensory responses in large populations of neurons and neuron-assistive cells in the songbird motor area HVC, an auditory-vocal brain area involved in sensory learning and in adult song production. HVC spike responses to auditory stimulation display remarkable preference for the bird's own song (BOS compared to other stimuli. Using two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized zebra finches we measure the spatio-temporal structure of baseline activity and of auditory evoked responses in identified populations of HVC cells. We find strong correlations between calcium signal fluctuations in nearby cells of a given type, both in identified neurons and in astroglia. In identified HVC neurons only, auditory stimulation decorrelates ongoing calcium signals, less for BOS than for other sound stimuli. Overall, calcium transients show strong preference for BOS in identified HVC neurons but not in astroglia, showing diversity in local functional organization among identified neuron and astroglia populations.
Full Text Available Sexual dimorphism in birds is often attributed to sexual selection, but another interpretation suggests the evolution of this phenomenon by natural selection. Predation may be an important selective pressure, acting mainly on females. In this study, I tested the latter hypothesis on the coal-crested finch (Charitospiza eucosma Oberholser, 1905 in a neotropical savanna of the Central Brazil (Cerrado. I used capture methods for ascertaining the sex ratio in the population, and focal observations to gather behavioral data. My results show that the sex ratio is skewed toward males (1:1.39. Males were more vigilant, vocalized for longer periods of time, and used higher perches than females. Females foraged more, spent more time on parental care and remained on the ground for longer periods than males. These results support the 'foraging effort hypothesis, suggesting that females are more preyed upon because they spend more time foraging. Ultimately, this may reflect the fact that females invest more on parental care than males. The sex-dependent parental investment may favor the evolution of different antipredator strategies in males and females: the camouflage in females as a less efficient strategy than vigilance in males.
Sindhu P. NAIR
Full Text Available The growth of enrolment in the ODL system has been considerable. However, another parameter of significance in the context of Open and Distance learning is the learner success rate. While enrolment rates have been very encouraging in distance education, the pass-out rates haven’t been similar. There is a need to focus on the dynamics involved after a learner enrols himself in an OU and what drives him to stay focussed and complete his academic pursuit successfully or alternatively what holds or slows his academic progress and eventually makes him drop out. The study highlights that there are both institution-based (that is OU-based and learner-centric factors that could facilitate learners to successfully complete their studies. There are both controllable and uncontrollable factors that affect the OU learners’ success rate. This study attempts to capture the learner-centric factors and OU-related factors that have facilitated the learners to successfully complete their study. The paper delves into those key aspects or factors which would have facilitated the passed out learners in successfully completing their programmes in the open system. The findings are of direct interest, both from an institution perspective and that of a distance learner. It provides inputs to the Open and distance learning system, towards formulating appropriate strategies that further facilitate learners to successfully pass out. Also the findings serve as indicators/guide rules for any learner in the open system.
Full Text Available The aim of this article is to investigate the factors that are influencing student satisfaction in case of neurology related massive open online courses (MOOCs. We analyzed data collected from learners enrolled in 40 neurology related MOOCs, by manually looking for information in these courses reviews. The main identified satisfaction factors can be grouped into the following categories: content related factors: course content, additional materials, assignments, external research and teaching - learning related factors (teacher presentation techniques / style: engaging, clear, coherent, knowledgeable, sharing / explanation, interactive, excitement, considering student’s needs, inspiring, sense of humor. Competences, skills and objectives pursued by neurology related MOOCs are also discussed. Analyzing these factors can be useful in new courses management (design and implementation and also in understanding the needs (motivation, behaviors, perception of 21st century learners interested in neurology related fields.
Nancy L. Gallenstein
Full Text Available Concept mapping is an inquiry technique that provides students at all ages with opportunities to demonstrate learning through performance. A concept map refers to a graphic/visual representation of concepts with linking connections that show various relationships between concepts (Novak & Gowin, 1984. Assessment is an ongoing process integrated with instruction across subject areas. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM emphasizes that assessment should focus on both the enhancement of student learning as well as serve as a valuable tool for making instructional decisions (NCTM, 2000. Assessment activities can take on a variety of forms, one being performance tasks. In this manuscript, an explanation of concept mapping is provided for learners ages 3 – 12 along with several examples of concept maps for young learners, including examples from an assessment project in the subject area of mathematics. Also presented are the numerous benefits of the concept mapping technique for both students and teachers.
Full Text Available The typical drawbacks that affect most Indonesian learners studying English as the target language concern the strategies in dealing with new dictions. The rule of thumb is that the learners are usually tempted to directly look up the meaning in a dictionary when other ways such as guessing the meaning from the context or by dissecting the words into smaller units so that they are able to get a hint from the base word cannot be engineered. As a result of this activity then, they miss crucial points in the realm of word enrichment. This article will shed some light on how to deal with new words and claim that it is not the meaning of a new word that should be the first priority.
As Wight (1999, p.33) pointed out to“know a language was to know the grammar of it”, hence grammar teaching is usually the main approach in second or foreign language teaching. This paper presents an analysis from three aspects to il-lustrate why classroom grammar teaching benefits adult learners. However, if grammar is overstated, some negative results will occur. Therefore a balance between grammar teaching and communicative skill teaching is need, as is a balance between accuracy and fluency.
Full Text Available uses the concept of crowd sourcing for social activism and public accountability, serving as a model for what is coined ?activist mapping? ? the combination of social activism, citizenship and geospatial information. It uses social media and mobile... phone coverage in South Africa is fast approaching 100%. Therefore irrespective of where the school is based, the learners are more likely to have access and use the system developed. This is about bridging the digital gap in access to technology...
Ebrahim Azimi Mohammad Abadi
Full Text Available Vocabulary learning is incredibly noteworthy to English language acquisition. It is unfeasible for a learner to communicate without the required vocabulary. In high education levels, learners are habitually forced to become autonomous and make conscious effort to learn vocabulary outside of the classroom. Consequently, the autonomy of the learners plays an important role in developing and enhancing their vocabulary. Learner autonomy is a huge assistance for learners in vocabulary learning since it provides the learners with numerous diverse privileges such as independency from teacher. The researcher investigated whether there is any statistically significant relationship between learner autonomy and vocabulary learning strategies use in Iranian EFL learners with different language proficiency levels. To meet the above purpose, a total number of 190 male and female EFL learners participated in this study. The methodology underlying this study was quantitative (thorough the administration of two questionnaires and two language proficiency test – TOEFL for advanced group, and Nelson for intermediate level. The quantitative data was analyzed using a set of correlational analysis revealing a significant positive correlation between learner autonomy and vocabulary learning strategies use in high proficient group, and a significant positive relationship between these two constructs in low proficient group, however not as strong as in the advanced group.
Cernicek, A.T.; Hahn, H.A.
Distance learning represents a strategy for leveraging resources to solve educational and training needs. Although many distance learning programs have been developed, lessons learned regarding differences between distance learning and traditional education with respect to learner characteristics have not been well documented. Therefore, we conducted a survey of 20 distance learning professionals. The questionnaire was distributed to experts attending the second Distance Learning Conference sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory. This survey not only acquired demographic information from each of the respondents but also identified important distance learning student characteristics. Significant distance learner characteristics, which were revealed statistically and which influence the effectiveness of distance learning, include the following: reading level, student autonomy, and self-motivation. Distance learning cannot become a more useful and effective method of instruction without identifying and recognizing learner characteristics. It will be important to consider these characteristics when designing all distance learning courses. This paper will report specific survey findings and their implications for developing distance learning courses. 9 refs., 6 tabs.
van Niekerk, Matty
Learners with disabilities lag far behind their peers without disabilities in achievement, graduation rates, post-school education and employment outcomes . Against the current state of education affairs in South Africa, where curriculum models for learners with special educational needs (LSEN) are still under revision, therapists and teachers are finding it difficult to prepare these learners for appropriate employment after school. Even where systems in education are established, persons with learning disabilities face more challenges to enter employment . This article reports on a unique career exploration programme for grade 11 learners at a school for learners with special educational needs in Gauteng, South Africa. It is a collaborative strategy between the learners, their parents, a teacher and the occupational therapists at the school. Two case studies are described to indicate the success of the program.
Haar, Sita Minke ter
This thesis provides a comparison of mostly perceptual development during vocal learning in songbirds (zebra finches) and human infants. The aim is to disentangle experience dependent and independent processes during vocal learning. In both human infants and juvenile songbirds, a perceptual
Young learners have special charactheristics hence the teachers of English as a Second language needs special strategy too. It is indicated that the increas of abilities to learn second language is started from the early age. We can imagine when the teachers do not use and apply appropriate teaching methods and strategy in teaching English for young learners. As a result, the students’ achievement does not work well. Thus, except to be successful in teaching English for young learners, it is ...
In recent years, the importance of developing learner autonomy in language education hasbeen one of its more prominent themes in Japan as well as in the West. In spite of agreementconcerning its importance, there remains a good deal of uncertainty about its meaning inteaching and learning English as a foreign language (EFL). This paper aims to consider theconcept of learner autonomy amongst different cultures. Autonomy has a social as well as anindividual dimension. The promotion of learner a...
Full Text Available Digital learning as a popular learning approach has received increasing attention in modern education. The learner profile in online learning plays a critical role in supporting personalized learning. This article uses an information flow-based approach to build the learner profile for supporting personalized learning. The learner profile includes the individual profile to capture the personal features and the community profile to capture the social features in online learning environment.
Full Text Available The misleading assumptions of Indonesian-speaking learners of English on the nature of English results in psychological burden inhibiting the process of teaching and learning. The assumptions should be eliminated at the beginning of English class. Besides, the instructor should extensively motivate and encourage the learners to maximize their potentials in learning process. Such approach will gradually lead the learners to self-confidence and self-discovery.
Dr. L. Kannan
Full Text Available Back ground Even experienced teaching faculty and administrators can be challenged by learners who have not able to perform up to expected need in their annual performance of their students these students are called as slow learnersStruggle learners. There should be a designed study to foster discussion about diagnosing particular problems that contribute with meeting objectives of slow learners. Methodology The study was performed on the entire current first year of Medical students were all the three internal assessments of 250 students performance is taken in to consideration for the study. This study is of cross section type.After obtaining the list of all students marks in internal examination from medical education unit supporting mentors are contacted to meet the students and confidentiality is maintained throughout the study. After obtaining informed consent a questionnaire was administered to the students by the investigator. The questionnaire contains the following sections. Section I will be on the background characteristics of the student name age sex type of family. Section II will be on the details of their learning capabilities. Section III will focus on the awareness of the slow learners in which the precipitating factors contributing to them. Results The prevalence of slow learners as low achievers were contributed to be 32.4 percentages.The performance of the students is based on combination of all three internal assessment marks including theory and practical performance. In this the students age ranges from 17 to 21 years the mean age of student was contributed to be 17.81 and majority of the students were in the age group of 18 years which contributed to be 16867.2.In the present study majority were males 13252.8 compared to females 11847.2.but when study is compared to percentage of attendance majority of the individual 15177 scored more than 50 percentage of marks have more than 80 percentage of attendance but when
Full Text Available For second-language learners, monolingual dictionaries can be useful tools because they often provide more detailed explanations of meanings and more extensive vocabulary coverage than bilingual dictionaries do. While learners of English have access to many monolingual dictionaries designed specifically to meet their needs, learners of Japanese must make do with Kokugo dictionaries, that is, monolingual dictionaries intended for native Japanese speakers. This paper, after briefly describing Kokugo dictionaries in general, analyzes a typical entry from such a dictionary to illustrate the advantages and challenges of the use of Kokugo dictionaries by learners of Japanese.
Full Text Available The critical discussions and matters in enhancing students’ learning performance, knowledge, and language proficiency have received a remarkable degree of attention in educational contexts. This study was undertaken to encourage learners to build the required competence in the foreign language by utilizing learning strategies so that they could become autonomous learners. Language learners' learning difficulties while learning a foreign language were identified in this study. With regard to problems which language learners faced in learning a foreign language, the teachers are able to recognize and to utilize appropriate language learning strategies in order to develop autonomy in learners who conceptualize and use those strategies in the foreign language. The research design adopted for the present study was survey method. The data for the study were collected with the use of a questionnaire. This questionnaire was administered to a total of 60 EFL learners who were selected from a university in Iran. It was used to assess learners’ awareness and perceived use of strategies and to provide data on their best utilized strategies. Results have been driven through statistical analysis. The analyzed data reveal the students’ styles and assist teachers to take part in shifting the strategies and heighten language learners' autonomy. The findings support the claim that knowing and making language learners aware of the most appropriate strategy would assist learners to improve their autonomy and to enhance their learning.
'n Evaluasie van Pharos Aanleerderwoordeboek vir skole/ Learner's Dictionary for Schools en Longman-HAT Afrikaans Dictionary and Grammar for English Speakers in 'n Afrikaanse taalverwerwingskursus op universiteitsvlak.
Pichugova Inna L.
Full Text Available The paper is focuded on investigating the phenomenon of learner autonomy, which has mostly been explored in Europe and the USA and is now attracting attention of researchers and academics in many other countries including Russia. Learner autonomy through a focus on learner reflection and taking responsibility for one’s own learning processes has become a central concern in the recent history of language teaching. However, many language teachers, who are committed to concepts of learnercentredness and autonomy, struggle with the ways to foster learner autonomy or at least to encourage the idea of learner autonomy in language classroom. The study aims at investigating what the most important issues which have a great impact on developing learner autonomy are. Having given special attention to conditions which can insure development of learner autonomy, a model covering seven issues relating to the subject matter has been designed. The authors state that such aspects as choice, goals and needs, support, emotional climate, learning strategies, learner attitude and motivation, and self-esteem should be considered as the goal to promote learner autonomy in EFL context.
Li, Hongli; Suen, Hoi K.
This study examines how Chinese ESL learners recognize English words while responding to a multiple-choice reading test as compared to Romance-language-speaking ESL learners. Four adult Chinese ESL learners and three adult Romance-language-speaking ESL learners participated in a think-aloud study with the Michigan English Language Assessment…
Huang, Qiongyu; Sauer, John R.; Swatantran, Anu; Dubayah, Ralph
Drastic shifts in species distributions are a cause of concern for ecologists. Such shifts pose great threat to biodiversity especially under unprecedented anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Many studies have documented recent shifts in species distributions. However, most of these studies are limited to regional scales, and do not consider the abundance structure within species ranges. Developing methods to detect systematic changes in species distributions over their full ranges is critical for understanding the impact of changing environments and for successful conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate a centroid model for range-wide analysis of distribution shifts using the North American Breeding Bird Survey. The centroid model is based on a hierarchical Bayesian framework which models population change within physiographic strata while accounting for several factors affecting species detectability. Yearly abundance-weighted range centroids are estimated. As case studies, we derive annual centroids for the Carolina wren and house finch in their ranges in the U.S. We further evaluate the first-difference correlation between species’ centroid movement and changes in winter severity, total population abundance. We also examined associations of change in centroids from sub-ranges. Change in full-range centroid movements of Carolina wren significantly correlate with snow cover days (r = −0.58). For both species, the full-range centroid shifts also have strong correlation with total abundance (r = 0.65, and 0.51 respectively). The movements of the full-range centroids of the two species are correlated strongly (up to r = 0.76) with that of the sub-ranges with more drastic population changes. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of centroids for analyzing distribution changes in a two-dimensional spatial context. Particularly it highlights applications that associate the centroid with factors such as environmental stressors, population characteristics
Adret, Patrice; Meliza, C Daniel; Margoliash, Daniel
We explored physiological changes correlated with song tutoring by recording the responses of caudal nidopallium neurons of zebra finches aged P21-P24 (days post hatching) to a broad spectrum of natural and synthetic stimuli. Those birds raised with their fathers tended to show behavioral evidence of song memorization but not of singing; thus auditory responses were not confounded by the birds' own vocalizations. In study 1, 37 of 158 neurons (23%) in 17 of 22 tutored and untutored birds were selective for only 1 of 10 stimuli comprising broadband signals, early juvenile songs and calls, female calls, and adult songs. Approximately 30% of the selective neurons (12/37 neurons in 9 birds) were selective for adult conspecific songs. All these were found in the song system nuclei HVC and paraHVC. Of 122 neurons (17 birds) in tutored birds, all of the conspecific song-selective neurons (8 neurons in 6 birds) were selective for the adult tutor song; none was selective for unfamiliar song. In study 2 with a different sampling strategy, we found that 11 of 12 song-selective neurons in 6 of 7 birds preferred the tutor song; none preferred unfamiliar or familiar conspecific songs. Most of these neurons were found in caudal lateral nidopallium (NCL) below HVC. Thus by the time a bird begins to sing, there are small numbers of tutor song-selective neurons distributed in several forebrain regions. We hypothesize that a small population of higher-order auditory neurons is innately selective for complex features of behaviorally relevant stimuli and these responses are modified by specific perceptual/social experience during development.
Rechetelo, Juliana; Grice, Anthony; Reside, April Elizabeth; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Moloney, James
Understanding movement patterns and home range of species is paramount in ecology; it is particularly important for threatened taxa as it can provide valuable information for conservation management. To address this knowledge gap for a range-restricted endangered bird, we estimated home range size, daily movement patterns and habitat use of a granivorous subspecies in northeast Australia, the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta; BTF) using radio-tracking and re-sighting of colour banded birds. Little is known about basic aspects of its ecology including movement patterns and home range sizes. From 2011-2014 we colour-banded 102 BTF and radio-tracked 15 birds. We generated home ranges (calculated using kernel and Minimum Convex Polygons techniques of the 15 tracked BTF). More than 50% of the re-sightings occurred within 200 m of the banding site (n = 51 out of 93 events) and within 100 days of capture. Mean home-range estimates with kernel (50%, 95% probability) and Minimum Convex Polygons were 10.59 ha, 50.79 ha and 46.27 ha, respectively. Home range size differed between two capture sites but no seasonal differences were observed. BTF home ranges overlapped four habitat types among eight available. Habitat selection was different from random at Site 1 (χ2 = 373.41, df = 42, pmovements may be related to resource bottleneck periods. Daily movement patterns differed between sites, which is likely linked to the fact that the sites differ in the spatial distribution of resources. The work provides information about home range sizes and local movement of BTF that will be valuable for targeting effective management and conservation strategies for this endangered granivore.
Yang, Jean Sook Ryu
College Students enrolled in East Asian language classes were surveyed about their language learning motivational orientations (MOs). MOs were classified and measured on seven subscales; integrative, instrumental, heritage-related, travel, interest, school-related, and language use. Learners were highly influenced by interest, language use, and…
Myartawan, I. Putu Ngurah Wage; Latief, Mohammad Adnan; Suharmanto
The present study aimed to investigate the correlation between learner autonomy psychologically defined in the study as a composite of behavioral intentions to do autonomous learning and self-efficacy in relation to autonomous learning, and English proficiency. The sample comprised 120 first semester English-majored students of a state university…
The washback effect of tests on teaching has attracted considerable attention over recent years, but the critical question of how this translates into washback on learning remains under-explored. To address this issue, questionnaires relating to academic writing instruction were distributed to 108 learners from mainland China preparing for…
Diaz, Abel; Cochran, Kathryn; Karlin, Nancy
English language learners (ELL) are students with a primary language spoken other than English enrolled in U.S. educational settings. As ELL students take on the challenges of learning English and U.S. culture, they must also learn academic content. The expectation to succeed academically in a foreign culture and language, while learning to speak…
Vásquez, Anete; Smith, Philip C
This thoroughly revised and updated edition of Teaching Language Arts to English Language Learners provides readers with the comprehensive understanding of both the challenges that face ELLs and ways in which educators might address them in the language arts classroom. The authors offer proven techniques that teachers can readily use to teach reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary as well as speaking, listening, and viewing skills. A complete section is also devoted to ways teachers can integrate all five strands of the language arts curriculum into a comprehensive unit of study w
Wootton, Carol Anne; Roets, H. E.
This study was undertaken to analyse and evaluate the nature and quality of emotional intelligence in learners with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and to investigate whether their emotional intelligence was enhanced, and whether the symptoms and behaviour of these learners improved, after exposure to a programme on emotional intelligence.…
Hadi, Marham Jupri
The current article presents some key theories most relevant to the development of oral communication skills in an Indonesian senior high school. Critical analysis on the learners' background is employed to figure out their strengths and weaknesses. The brief overview of the learning context and learners' characteristic are used to identify which…
Department of Psychology of Education, College of Education, University of ... Keywords: ecosystemic theory; learner absenteeism; management approach; South African law and policy ..... learners, but can also be cultural and systemic ..... tesis. Pretoria, Suid-Afrika: Universiteit van Suid-. Afrika. Beskikbaar te .... Phd thesis.
Bresser, Rusty; Melanese, Kathy; Sphar, Christine
More than 10 percent of the students in our nation's public schools are English language learners, and this number grows each year. Many of these students are falling behind in math. "Supporting English Language Learners in Math Class, Grades K-2" outlines the challenges ELL students face when learning math and provides a wealth of specific…
Rahim, Mia Emily Abdul; Rahim, Emma Marini Abdul; Ning, Chia Han
The study aimed to investigate the distribution patterns of the English grammar articles (a, an, and the) as well as the distributions of their colligation patterns in written compositions of English among Malaysian ESL learners. This paper reports the results of a corpus-based study on articles used by these learners. The method used in this…
Castillo, Rigoberto; Rojas, María del Pilar
This paper reports an action research study aimed at understanding how to sensitize young English language learners towards caring for the environment. The pedagogical intervention in a 5th grade class consisted in the use of creative writing strategies to express learners' ideas. Three stages were followed: "recognizing facts,"…
Full Text Available Unruly learners and disciplinary problems are an intractable part of every teacher’s teaching experience. It appears that, even though most schools have enacted a code of conduct to regulate learner behaviour, this does not always have the desired effect. Disciplinary problems in schools impact negatively on the teaching and learning environment as well as on teachers’ personal and professional well-being and morale. Framed within the context of a biblical worldview, this article narrates the experiences of one teacher who decided to take action towards hope. The situation in her classroom was quite desperate with learners coming to school unprepared and behaving very badly and parents being uninterested in the performance of their children at school. She realised that she could not change the learners or their parents unless she started with herself. In this context, she, as a postgraduate student under the supervision of the co-authors, embarked on an action-research project to promote positive learner behaviour. By collaborating with the learners on a set of classroom rules, engaging in reflective teaching and changing her own behaviour towards the learners, the situation in her classroom improved. Based on her experiences, this article argues that teachers should empower themselves with knowledge and a better understanding of the concept of discipline rather than viewing the classroom as a battlefield. It is important to acknowledge and show respect and appreciation for each learner in his or her own context.
This article highlights the need to address the kind of knowledge and skills that staff need in order to design and deliver transformed curricula whilst designing and implementing comprehensive integrated learner-centred support strategies to ensure learner success and retention. South African Journal of Higher Education ...
Marzuki; Prayogo, Johannes Ananto; Wahyudi, Arwijati
This present research was aimed to improve the EFL learners' speaking ability and their classroom activities through the implementation of Interactive Storytelling Strategy. Therefore, this study was directed to explore the beneficial of Interactive Storytelling that closely related to the EFL learners' everyday activities at their home and…
Bodily, Robert; Graham, Charles R.; Bush, Michael D.
This article describes the crossroads between learning analytics and learner engagement. The authors do this by describing specific challenges of using analytics to support student engagement from three distinct perspectives: pedagogical considerations, technological issues, and interface design concerns. While engaging online learners presents a…
Torabian, Asefeh; Tajadini, Massoud
The current study investigated the effect of implementing animation films on developing reading comprehension texts among EFL learners of a language institute in Kerman. For this purpose, two groups of pre-intermediate EFL learners were chosen (30 participants in each group). After three months of instruction, twice a week, 2story books named the…
Jackson, Sherion H.; Crawford, Debi
Young learners today are not growing up at the foot of the family radio or spending a good portion of their childhood glued to the television while Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers disseminate information in a constant stream as did previous generations. Rather, this generation of young learners continues to spend many out-of-school hours in a digital…
Crossley, Scott A.; Salsbury, Tom; McNamara, Danielle S.
This study explores how second language (L2) texts written by learners at various proficiency levels can be classified using computational indices that characterize lexical competence. For this study, 100 writing samples taken from 100 L2 learners were analyzed using lexical indices reported by the computational tool Coh-Metrix. The L2 writing…
A discussion of dictionaries and their use for second language (L2) learning suggests that lack of computerized modern language corpora can adversely affect bilingual dictionaries, commonly used by L2 learners, and shows how use of such corpora has benefitted two contemporary monolingual L2 learner dictionaries (1995 editions of the Longman…
Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS, 2003) conducted a test in ... sharpen their skills and tap into modern learners' natural affinity for all things ... and psychological influence of learners and educators towards positive ... regulation theory postulates that individuals can fortify their own motivation ... The mastering of.
This paper reports on the perception of Korean EFL learners toward feedback types on their written errors. The survey was administered using an adopted questionnaire from previous studies (Ishii 2011; Leki, 1991). This further allows a comparison of Korean EFL learners' attitudes with the responses to an identical questionnaire by Japanese EFL…
There are a number of challenges related to teaching in a multi-linguistic classroom. Despite the literature clearly indicating how learners acquire learning, there is still a dearth of material on descriptions of current support provided to learners within the theoretical framework of Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory.
Lee, Thomas Hun-tak
Lexicographers have been arguing for the inclusion of abstract and complex grammatical information in dictionaries. This paper examines the extent to which information about quantifiers and the argument structure of verbs is encoded in English learner's dictionaries. The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (1989), the Longman Dictionary of…
Li, Haishan; He, Qingshun
Ambiguity tolerance and perceptual learning styles are the two influential elements showing individual differences in EFL learning. This research is intended to explore the relationship between Chinese EFL learners' ambiguity tolerance and their preferred perceptual learning styles. The findings include (1) the learners are sensitive to English…
McFarlane, Donovan A.
This paper explores the challenges faced by teachers and educators in the online classroom, especially in light of existing learner differences among students stemming from intelligence, socioeconomic status (SES), culture, gender, among other factors. The author examines the characteristics of the online classroom and looks at learner differences…
This paper attempts to contribute to a fuller understanding of the nature of language learner agency by considering it as a complex dynamic system. The purpose of the study was to explore detailed situated data to examine to what extent it is feasible to view learner agency through the lens of complexity theory. Data were generated through a…
Analysis of the data revealed that learners experience a variety of negative feelings, that they were misunderstood by their educators and other learners and that they experienced racial discrimination, bullying and ganging-up. On the positive side, however, they felt privileged to be in schools where there was a good quality ...
Seferoglu, Golge; Uzakgoren, Sedef
This study aimed at investigating beginner level English language learners' perspectives on the listening skill with regard to several dimensions, and to find out the extent to which the learners who have been trained in listening strategies actually use them while listening. The study took place at the English Preparatory School of an English…
An exploratory survey was undertaken to determine whether secondary school learners have certain preferences regarding the biology they study at school and whether learners from co-educational and single-sex schools hold the same opinions. A survey schedule comprising two components was developed. The first ...
In recent years, with the rapid development of mobile devices, mobile learning (m-learning) has becoming another popular topic. There is a strong need for both researchers and educators to be aware of adult learners' attitudes toward English mobile learning, yet relevant studies on mobile learning to promote English learning for adult learners are…
There are abundant studies of second/foreign language learning motivation. However, there appears to be insufficient research into how language learners' discourses mediate the construction of their learning/motivation. This paper investigated the discursive construction of two English language learners' motivation in a comprehensive university in…
The study examines the desirability of and motivational needs for basic literacy in the mother tongue and library use in lbadan metropolis. Data were collected through indepth interviews with 25 adult basic learners. The study reveals a strong desire for literacy in the mother tongue by the respondents. The learners' ...
The aim of this research was to explore and describe primary school learners' experiences of relational aggression at school. This was done within a qualitative research design with a phenomenological approach. In order to give a voice to primary school learners' lived experiences of relational aggression, 25 individual interviews were conducted…
This paper reports on part of the first phase of a longitudinal project investigating the development of academic language in English as the Language of Teaching and Learning (LoLT) by Foundation phase learners in two different educational contexts. In the first context, the learners were all English additional language ...
This paper examines the effectiveness of a mobile assisted blended learning scenario for pronunciation in Korean language. In particular, we analyze how asynchronous oral communication between learners of Korean and native speakers via "kakaotalk" (an open source mobile phone application) may be beneficial to the learner in terms of…
Becker, Karen; Newton, Cameron; Sawang, Sukanlaya
This study aims to identify and categorize barriers to e-learning adoption and the relative impact of those barriers on learners. It contributes to the understanding of learner perceptions of barriers, the different types of barriers and their relative importance. This study used a quantitative methodology grounded in previous literature. The…
Daniel, Shannon; Peercy, Megan Madigan
Although the underpreparation of teachers to work with English learners is a documented problem in teacher education, little research has addressed teacher educators' perspectives in guiding prospective teachers to educate English learners. This case study of one 13-month elementary certification program highlights teacher educators' efforts and…
Blumberg, Phyllis; Pontiggia, Laura
We describe an objective way to measure whether curricula, educational programs, and institutions are learner-centered. This technique for benchmarking learner-centeredness uses rubrics to measure courses on 29 components within Weimer's five dimensions. We converted the scores on the rubrics to four-point indices and constructed histograms that…
Ciriza-Lope, Maria; Shappeck, Marco; Arxer, Steven
During 2nd language acquisition, a learner's identity is consigned, juxtaposed, coconstructed, and reified through various affective positions and mitigating linguistic behaviors. Our study of adult Latino ESL students in Dallas, Texas, shows how language socialization experiences are shaped by the learners' affective stances toward the project of…
There is a strong need to investigate English as a foreign language (EFL) learners' perceptions of Facebook as a language-learning environment, as their perceptions that directly influence their language development and achievement have not been examined within the EFL learning context. Thus, this study aims to investigate EFL learners'…
In the discourse of learner self-management, learners must take responsibility for learning and are offered the possibility of individual autonomy and control. A critical perspective reveals that environmental constraints inhibit the success of technical-rational self-management techniques. An alternative view is the entrepreneurial self, a…
Bekleyen, Nilüfer; Selimoglu, Figen
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the learners' behaviors and perceptions about autonomous language learning at the university level in Turkey. It attempts to reveal what type of perceptions learners held regarding teachers' and their own responsibilities in the language learning process. Their autonomous language learning…
Thoms, Karen Jarrett
This paper discusses motivation of adult learners. The first section discusses the adult learner, including the concepts of andragogy and pedagogy, as well as student-centered learning. The second section summarizes changing student demographics and predictions. The third section presents principles of adult learning. The fourth section covers…
Babaii, Esmat; Taghaddomi, Shahin; Pashmforoosh, Roya
Perceptual (mis)matches between teachers and learners are said to affect learning success or failure. Self-assessment, as a formative assessment tool, may, inter alia, be considered a means to minimize such mismatches. Therefore, the present study investigated the extent to which learners' assessment of their own speaking performance, before and…
McDonald, Carl B.; Cotroneo, Keith
Non-learners are externally controlled students conditioned to expect both failure and success. They are aware of their basic skill deficiencies yet know that passive behavior in high school classrooms has resulted in passing grades. Given the nature of the non-learner, developmental educators cannot achieve positive results through manipulating…
Any school that denies that intercultural and interracial differences exist and that lacks effective accommodation strategies for all its learners could thwart learners' feelings of truly belonging to the school. This could leave them feeling like outsiders an experience that could have a negative impact on their school careers and ...
Netten, A.R.; Droop, W.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
In this study an attempt was made to construct a multi-factor model predicting the development of reading literacy in the upper grades of primary school in the Netherlands for subgroups of 729 first language (L1) learners and 93 second language (L2) learners. Following a longitudinal design, it was
Cohen, Andrew D.; Pinilla-Herrera, Angela; Thompson, Jonathan R.; Witzig, Lance E.
After a brief introduction to language learner strategies and grammar strategies as a subcategory, it is pointed out that research on the use of grammar strategies by learners of a second language (L2) has been limited. The article then describes the construction of a website with strategies for learning and performing Spanish grammar, with a…
Solak, Ekrem; Cakir, Recep
The purpose of this study was to determine the use of language learning strategies of e-learners and to understand whether there were any correlations between language learning strategies and academic achievement. Participants of the study were 274?e-learners, 132 males and 142 females, enrolled in an e-learning program from various majors and…
Dennis, Matt; Masthoff, Judith; Mellish, Chris
As feedback is an important part of learning and motivation, we investigate how to adapt the feedback of a conversational agent to learner personality (as well as to learner performance, as we expect an interaction effect between personality and performance on feedback). We investigate two aspects of feedback. Firstly, we investigate whether the…
This article initially demonstrates the parallels between the learner-centered approach in education and the user-centered approach in design disciplines. Afterward, a course on human factors that applies learner-centered methods to teach user-centered design is introduced. The focus is on three tasks to identify the application of theoretical and…
Te Huia, Awanui
Motivations of Maori heritage language learners are explored within this qualitative study. "Te reo" Maori (the Maori language) is currently classed as endangered (Reedy et al., 2011), which calls for the exploration of the motivational experiences of Maori heritage language learners. A total of 19 interviews with beginner, intermediate…
Full Text Available This survey provides an overview of implemented systems, theoretical work, as well as studies of biological systems relevant to the design of artificial learners trying to figure out what a human teacher would like them to do. Implementations of artificial learners are covered, with a focus on experiments trying to find better interpretations of human behavior, as well as algorithms that autonomously improve a model of the teacher. A distinction is made between learners trying to interpret teacher behavior in order to learn what the teacher would like the learner to do on the one hand, and learners whose explicit or implicit goal is to get something from the teacher on the other hand (for example rewards, or knowledge about how the world works. The survey covers the former type of systems. Human teachers are covered, focusing on studies that say something concrete about how one should interpret the behavior of a human teacher that is interacting with an artificial learner. Certain types of biological learners are interesting as inspiration for the types of artificial systems we are concerned with. The survey focus on studies of biological learners adopting normative conventions, as well as joint intentionality team efforts.
Knörzer, L.; Brünken, R.; Park, B.
The Cognitive-Affective Theory of Learning with Media postulates that affective factors as well as individual learner characteristics impact multimedia learning. The present study investigated how experimentally induced positive and negative emotions influence multimedia learning and how learner characteristics moderated this impact. Results…
Swahili is a second language to many East and Central Africans, and a foreign language to its learners from Europe, America, Asia and other parts of Africa as well. Yet it lacks a monolingual Swahili learners' dictionary specifically designed for them. The paper discusses the need for a monolingual Swahili pedagogical ...
Boisvert, Précille; Rao, Kavita
Teachers of English language learners (ELLs), expected to address grade-level standards and prepare ELLs for standardized assessments, have the difficult task of designing instruction that meets the range of needs in their classrooms. When these learners have experienced limited or interrupted education, the challenges intensify. Whereas…
This research attempted to provide an insight into major barriers facing adult learners pursuing a diploma in adult and continuing education programme through Blended Distance Learning. Participants included the adult learners, staff from the Department of Open and Distance Learning who are also the facilitators of the ...
education and the workplace. We use adult education and social learning theories to analyse an honours programme in Journalism and Media Studies where adult learners have flourished because access has been linked to learners' motivation, mindful adaptations to the curriculum, and support from the workplace.
Wood, Simon; Romero, Pablo
Learner centred design methods highlight the importance of involving the stakeholders of the learning process (learners, teachers, educational researchers) at all stages of the design of educational applications and of refining the design through an iterative prototyping process. These methods have been used successfully when designing systems…
Garcia, Gilbert C., Ed.
This collection of papers examines the critical literacy development of English learners, focusing on English reading instruction in an immersion setting, English language development, and cultural issues pertaining to English learners in and out of the classroom. The 16 papers include the following: (1) "Reading and the Bilingual Student: Fact…
Flynn, Sarah; Brown, Jason; Johnson, Andrew; Rodger, Susan
This qualitative study examines barriers to adult education by the marginalized adult learner. We adopted an inclusive approach by interviewing potential adult learners who had not participated in adult education programs due to illiteracy. Five overlapping themes related to barriers emerged and were categorized as: family values and…
The present study attempted to investigate the status of pragmatics among Iranian EFL learners. Status of pragmatics was analyzed in terms of the amount of pragmatic knowledge EFL learners believed to have and the amount of pragmatic knowledge they believed to receive from teachers, classmates, course books, and exams. Additionally, attempts were…
Of the estimated 500 million people with disabilities around the world, 120-150 million are children. Limited research exists on learners', parents' and teachers' perceptions of the benefits and barriers associated with participation in sport for children with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate what learners ...
Kim, Jeong-eun; Park, Hyunjin; Jang, Mijung; Nam, Hosung
This study investigated the cognitive effects of the flipped classroom approach in a content-based instructional context by comparing second language learners' discourse in flipped vs. traditional classrooms in terms of (1) participation rate, (2) content of comments, (3) reasoning skills, and (4) interactional patterns. Learners in two intact…
Duckworth, Vicky; Ade-Ojo, Gordon O.
The study draws on life history, literacy studies, and ethnographic approaches to exploring social practices as a frame to explore the narratives of two UK adult literacy learners who provide a description of their engagement with a transformative curriculum and pedagogical approach. One of the learners reveals his frustration at the lack of…
No adapted sport was offered specifically for these learners. Most learners wanted to participate in swimming. Fewer types of sports were offered in ordinary schools than in special schools. Barriers to participation included poor teacher preparation and inadequate financial support. The shortage of support from school staff, ...
This paper examines the differences between second-language learners and heritage learners of Russian in terms of their linguistic performance, a finding supported by current research (Andrews, 2001; Kagan & Dillon, 2001/2003), examines the implications of these differences for the creation of testing tools, and offers a sample of a test designed…
Examines Piaget's concrete and formal operational stages of intellectual development in relation to the middle school learner. Presents teaching strategies requiring the learner to use concrete and formal operational forms of thought in dealing with a social studies unit about Quebec. (Author/JK)
Lawrence, Barry A. M.
This study used the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT; Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003) model to investigate factors predicting the acceptance of iPad tablets by learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) at a technical vocational college in Saudi Arabia. An online survey was conducted on 199 male learners,…
... the school librarian will use assistive devices like listenaiders and telephone relay system, as well as visual display facilities. In developing information skills for the gifted learner, the teacher librarian will teach and demonstrate in such a way that as fast learners, their learning programmes are not boring and uninteresting.
O'Neill, Susan; Thomson, Margareta Maria
The current literature review explores the factors that contribute to academic persistence for adult learners. The aim of the study is to identify current research-based strategies aimed at supporting learner persistence, particularly for low-skilled adults. Elements of three theoretical frameworks, namely, expectancy-value theory (EVT), goal…
Akçay, Aslihan; Ferzan Bütüner, Tuba; Arikan, Arda
English has become a compulsory lesson starting at the second grade in Turkey while younger learners are growingly introduced to it at earlier ages through various pre-schools, day-care programs and private courses. This descriptive study focuses on young learners' self-reported reasons for learning English and other foreign languages. Twenty…
Rodríguez, Ashley; Rodríguez, Diane
As the demographics across the United States continues to change, specifically with increases in school age English Learners who speak a home language other than English, it is imperative that schools meet the diverse needs of these children. This article summarizes studies about English Learners with learning disabilities. It reports on the…
This paper reports on a longitudinal case study of an adult EFL learner who perceived himself as having difficulty learning English. Both learning difficulty and learner identity are viewed as being constructed in discursive interactions throughout one's life and, hence, amenable to reconstruction. Data collected from classroom interactions,…
Wang, Yuan; Paquette, Luc; Baker, Ryan
In this paper, we present progress towards a longitudinal study of the post-course career advancement of MOOC learners. We present initial results and analysis plans for how to link this to in-course behaviour, towards better understanding the goals of all MOOC learners.
Full Text Available This paper describes an embedded approach to learner support in online English language courses. The support model is based on language acquisition, transactional distance, and self-regulated learning theories. Based on these theories, courses were designed to provide the interaction necessary for academic English language gains, decrease the transactional distance between the teacher and learner, and assist learners in developing the ability to control the factors that affect their learning; in other words, to be self-regulated learners. The latter is critical for those who lack the autonomy needed for successful distance learning. In this paper, three course activities are described and analyzed to demonstrate how the embedded support model responds to the needs of diverse learners and assists them in achieving identified outcomes. The courses were designed for off-site international students enrolled in traditional English-speaking higher education institutions.http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.6.1.90
Jelena Mihaljević Djigunović
Full Text Available Affective learner factors were first considered as a cause of success in language learning. This was followed by a change in approach and recently authors (e.g., Edelenbos, Johnstone, & Kubanek, 2006 have considered them an important outcome, especially in early foreign language learning (FLL. Current research into affective learner factors in early FLL tries to catch the developmental aspects too, and studies are emerging that take a contextual view as well. This paper describes a study on affective characteristics of young FL learners that combines the developmental and contextual perspectives. Using the case study methodology the author analyses the affective profiles of three young learners of English as a foreign language who were followed for 4 years. The analyses are done taking into account their immediate language learning environment, home support, out-of-school exposure to English and language achievement. The findings suggest that affective learner factors contribute to the dynamic complexity of early FLL.
To investigate the relationship between the advantage ear (cerebral hemisphere) of Spanish-speaking Mexican learners and the third Chinese tone. Third tone Chinese vowel syllables were used as experimental materials with dichotic listening technology to test the Spanish-speaking Mexican Chinese learners (20-32 years old) who studied Chinese about 20 h. In terms of error rates to identify the third Chinese tone, the Spanish-speaking Mexican Chinese learners's reaction to the third tone suggested that their left ears were the advantageous ear (the right cerebral hemisphere) (Z=-2.091, P=0.036). The verbal information of tones influenced the perception of Mexican Chinese learners' mandarin tones. In the process of learning mandarin tones, Mexican Chinese learners gradually formed the category of tones.
Full Text Available This chapter focuses on the development of young learners’ ability to communicate in a foreign language. An empirical study was carried out to determine whether, after four years of learning English as a compulsory school subject, children are ready to engage in oral interaction in a semicontrolled task and produce answers and questions in English. A convenience sample of ten-year-old children was selected from 180 participants in ELLiE2 in Poland. Six learners from one class of each of seven schools were selected on the basis of teachers’ reports to ensure equal proportions of learners with low, medium and high ability. Schools were chosen to represent different socio-economic milieux. The results of the Year Four oral test (an interactive task showed that almost all the participating childrencould respond to questions but only half were able to ask questions.Considering generally positive attitudes to speaking activities, the results suggest that ten-year-old children are already developing their interactive skills and could benefit from more interaction-focused classroom activities. Further experimental classroom-based studies are necessary to gain better insight into potential oral achievements in this age group. The results are discussed in the context of national curriculum requirements, drawing on the Common European Framework of Reference level descriptors.
This study investigated the effects of two modes of corrective feedback, namely, face-to-face recasts and computer-mediated recasts during video-conferencing on Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) learners' second language (L2) development. Moreover, the accuracy of the learners' interpretations of recasts in the two modalities was…
Full Text Available Abstract: Learner autonomy on writing is independently teaching and learning that keeps students’ control to explore their knowledge and experiences in written language, find out and evaluate their errors based on the conceptual courses to make accurately simple essay. The aim was to know the effectiveness of the learner autonomy on writing accuracy. This quantitative research conducted in one group pretest and posttest design. The number of samples was 21 students in Bangkalan. The instrument were tests to gain students’ writing score before and after treatment. Researcher statistically analyzed the data using SPSS 23 version by running a Paired Samples Test. The result shown the means of pretes score was 66,83 and posttest score was 74,57, Paired Samples Correlations was 0,614 (strong correlation. Significance was 0,005, it means that a (0,05 is higher than r value (0,005 with high variance of mean value (14,091. As a result, the hypothesis (H1 was received that learner autonomy contributed effectively to learners’ in organizing own ideas (Ene, 2006 such as making a topic map becomes some explanable sub-topics, writing down main and supporting idea, clustering some objects, editing next and learners absolutely accumulate some selected vocabularies inappropriate topics (Chengping W, 2008. Keyword: Learner Autonomy, Learning process, outcomes Absrak: Pembelajaran otonomi adalah pembelajaran mandiri yang mengontrol mahasiswa untuk menyampaikan gagasan dan pengalamannya, mencatat dan mengevaluasi kesalahan yang terjadi dalam penulisan esai sederhana berdasarkan pembelajaran yang tersetruktur. Tujuan adalah untuk mengetahui efektifitas pembelajaran otonomi terhadap akurasi tulisan secara statistik. Penelitian ini dilakukan dengan menggunakan desain tes awal dan akhir. Jumlah sampel terdiri dari 21 siswa di Bangkalan. Isntrumen yang digunakan adalah tes untuk mengetahui hasil nilai mahasiswa sebelum dan sesudah melakukan
Full Text Available This study investigates the noncompulsory language learning activities performed by a group of distance EFL learners in the Turkish Open Education System. Performance of these activities has been considered as an indicator of their learner autonomy. The data were collected through an online questionnaire and interviews. The study shows that in general learners do not demonstrate autonomous language learning behaviour. They prefer learning English in a relaxed environment particularly by engaging in entertaining activities, and through note-taking. However, they do not have sufficient interaction with their facilitator, other learners or speakers. Although the participants are distance learners, they do not prefer Internet-based activities. Conditions stemming from adulthood, lack of skills necessary to perform an activity, lack of awareness of some activities and learners’ experiences in their previous years of education are some of the reasons for their unautonomous behaviour. The article also includes suggestions for teaching and future research.
Full Text Available Japanese language learners aim to acquire reading, listening, writing and speaking skills. We at the Hinoki project (https://hinoki-project.org/ have recently been working on the Natsume collocation search system (https://hinoki-project.org/natsume/, the Natane learner corpus to support Natsume (https://hinoki-project.org/natane/ and the Nutmeg writing support system (http://hinoki-project.org/nutmeg/. In order to test the effectiveness of Nutmeg, we conducted an online experiment with 36 participants who used the system's register misuse identification feature to correct four writing assignments. Results show that Nutmeg can be an effective tool in correcting common register-related errors, especially those involving auxiliary verbs. However, the accuracy of verb and adverb identification was too low, suggesting the need for improvements in the variety of corpora used for identifying register misuse.
Tullis, Jonathan G; Benjamin, Aaron S
The successful use of memory requires us to be sensitive to the cues that will be present during retrieval. In many situations, we have some control over the external cues that we will encounter. For instance, learners create shopping lists at home to help remember what items to later buy at the grocery store, and they generate computer file names to help remember the contents of those files. Generating cues in the service of later cognitive goals is a complex task that lies at the intersection of metacognition, communication, and memory. In this series of experiments, we investigated how and how well learners generate external mnemonic cues. Across 5 experiments, learners generated a cue for each target word in a to-be-remembered list and received these cues during a later cued recall test. Learners flexibly generated cues in response to different instructional demands and study list compositions. When generating mnemonic cues, as compared to descriptions of target items, learners produced cues that were more distinct than mere descriptions and consequently elicited greater cued recall performance than those descriptions. When learners were aware of competing targets in the study list, they generated mnemonic cues with smaller cue-to-target associative strength but that were even more distinct. These adaptations led to fewer confusions among competing targets and enhanced cued recall performance. These results provide another example of the metacognitively sophisticated tactics that learners use to effectively support future retrieval.
As an international language, English is taught and learnt by almost all of the people in the world. In Indonesia for example, English has been introduced since the learners are studying at the elementary school. Even many of the Kindergarten Schools too, have already introduced this language to their students. However, we cannot deny that teaching foreign language is not such an easy thing due to the fact thatmany of the learners are not capable of speaking English very well although they have been learning it for more than ten years (Elementary: 6 years, Junior and Senior High School: 6 years). In line with this problem, this study aims at providing a solution by offering one teaching technique which seems to make the learners (especially young learners) enjoy learning through singing songs (Kasihani, 1999).Furthermore, Phillips(1995) said that young learners really enjoyed learning and singing songs with highly motivating. Based on those two researches andin efforts to make it easier in English language learning, especially to young learners, the writer translated the very common and popular Indonesian kid songs into English. Thesetranslated songswere then used to teach the students of Kindergarten up to Elementary ones of the first and second grade. This meant that before a teacher started to teach, s/he had to translate the Indonesian kid songsat first into English.Due to its popularity and familiarity, it was expected that this teaching technique would be more effective and efficient to apply especially to young learners.
"Learner centered" term points out environments that attention to the learners brings to the educational setting. This term includes teaching practices: effort to uncover what learners think in a specific problem on hand, talking about their misconceptions and, giving them situations to readjust their ideas. In Learner centered…
This paper explores what it means to be an autonomous learner in an online social context. Using distinctions originally drawn by Jürgen Habermas, it argues that classic accounts of learner autonomy as teleological action are inadequate to explain learner activity in group settings. It points out that learners in such settings display attitudes…
Dogan, Gizem; Mirici, Ismail Hakki
Learner autonomy has become a central ability to develop in learners for a fruitful language learning/teaching process in EFL classes. Particularly, in this world of knowledge, teaching learners how to access resources and how to use them for their learning needs has become increasingly important. Teachers' perception on learner autonomy is…
Despite an increased awareness of language learner performance in task-based instruction, little is known about how learners perceive and respond to different task factors. This study investigates the effects of task complexity and modality on (a) learners' perception of task difficulty, skill, and its balance, and on (b) learners' task…
Loewen, Shawn; Isbell, Daniel R.
Studies of learner-learner interactions have reported varying degrees of pronunciation-focused discourse, ranging from 1% (Bowles, Toth, & Adams, 2014) to 40% (Bueno-Alastuey, 2013). Including first language (L1) background, modality, and task as variables, this study investigates the role of pronunciation in learner-learner interactions.…
Alonazi, Saleema M.
Today, learner autonomy is considered as a desirable goal in language education. The movement towards learner-centered approaches has resulted in more emphasis on the benefits of learner autonomy in the success of language education. The objective of the study was to investigate the roles of the teachers in promoting learner autonomy in Saudi EFL…
Shaw, Rachael C; Feeney, William E; Hauber, Mark E
Following nest destruction, the laying of physiologically committed eggs (eggs that are ovulated, yolked, and making their way through the oviduct) in the nests of other birds is considered a viable pathway for the evolution of obligate interspecific brood parasitism. While intraspecific brood parasitism in response to nest predation has been experimentally demonstrated, this pathway has yet to be evaluated in an interspecific context. We studied patterns of egg laying following experimental nest destruction in captive zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a frequent intraspecific brood parasite. We found that zebra finches laid physiologically committed eggs indiscriminately between nests containing conspecific eggs and nests containing heterospecific eggs (of Bengalese finches, Lonchura striata vars. domestica), despite the con- and heterospecific eggs differing in both size and coloration. This is the first experimental evidence that nest destruction may provide a pathway for the evolution of interspecific brood parasitism in birds.
Bölting, Stefanie; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus
Individual differences in behaviour are widespread in the animal kingdom and often influenced by the size or composition of the social group during early development. In many vertebrates the effects of social interactions early in life on adult behaviour are mediated by changes in maturation and physiology. Specifically, increases in androgens and glucocorticoids in response to social stimulation seem to play a prominent role in shaping behaviour during development. In addition to the prenatal and early postnatal phase, adolescence has more recently been identified as an important period during which adult behaviour and physiology are shaped by the social environment, which so far has been studied mostly in mammals. We raised zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) under three environmental conditions differing in social complexity during adolescence - juvenile pairs, juvenile groups, and mixed-age groups - and studied males' behavioural, endocrine, and morphological maturation, and later their adult behaviour. As expected, group-housed males exhibited higher frequencies of social interactions. Group housing also enhanced song during adolescence, plumage development, and the frequency and intensity of adult courtship and aggression. Some traits, however, were affected more in juvenile groups and others in mixed-age groups. Furthermore, a testosterone peak during late adolescence was suppressed in groups with adults. In contrast, corticosterone concentrations did not differ between rearing environments. Unexpectedly, adult courtship in a test situation was lowest in pair-reared males and aggression depended upon the treatment of the opponent with highest rates shown by group-reared males towards pair-reared males. This contrasts with previous findings, possibly due to differences in photoperiod and the acoustic environment. Our results support the idea that effects of the adolescent social environment on adult behaviour in vertebrates are mediated by changes in
Juan de Dios Martínez Agudo
Full Text Available This research article reports the results of a study designed to measure and analyse Spanish students' perceived anxiety when learning and using EFL inside the classroom. This article first includes a review of the literature on foreign language anxiety. Then it describes the participants of the investigation and the research methodology procedures. This is followed by the presentation and discussion of the results and, finally, the conclusions derived from this study. The resulting data revealed interesting information about the anxiety levels present among Spanish EFL learners. While relatively high levels of speaking anxiety have been identified, somewhat lower levels of listening anxiety associated with error correction, by contrast, have also been found. More specifically, the results suggested that the level of listening anxiety seems to slightly increase when error correction is somehow involved in the process.
in the literacy events they meet in their day-care centers and kindergartens? Examining these social practices in pre-schools might illuminate the interplay between language and literacy and the learning processes of second language learners and contribute to the discussion about the need for re...... intending to enhance children´s language and literacy learning. The poor results of the PISA-measurement have in Denmark, Norway and Sweden drawn much attention to literacy and language in day-care centers and kindergartens and resulted in the development of a considerable number of social technologies...... (programs and concepts) intended to improve pre-school children’s literacy and language skills. Seen in a knowledge-society perspective the development might be characterized as an expansion of a life-long-learning evidence-based strategy into early childhood. The importance of development of early...
Full Text Available Little (1999 argues that in formal educational contexts, “the basis of learner autonomy is acceptance of responsibility for one’s own learning” (p.11. An autonomous learner takes responsibility for various aspects of learning (Benson & Voller, 1997; Holec, 1981. This study examines how learner autonomy opportunities were provided at various stages of writing in an on-line editing programme for a group of electronic engineering students and how the students took charge of their language learning when receiving feedback on their technical writing. The impact on their own learning effectiveness of the decisions students made is also discussed.
Medina, Melissa S; Castleberry, Ashley N; Persky, Adam M
Metacognition is an essential skill in critical thinking and self-regulated, lifelong learning. It is important for learners to have skills in metacognition because they are used to monitor and regulate reasoning, comprehension, and problem-solving, which are fundamental components/outcomes of pharmacy curricula. Instructors can help learners develop metacognitive skills within the classroom and experiential setting by carefully designing learning activities within courses and the curriculum. These skills are developed through intentional questioning, modeling techniques, and reflection. This article discusses key background literature on metacognition and identifies specific methods and strategies to develop learners' metacognitive skills in both the classroom and experiential settings.
Full Text Available This study is designed to measure readiness among distance learner to embrace new technologies in their studies. This study involved 190 distance learner from the School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia as a respondent and the data were collected by questionnaire that adapted from Parasuraman and Colby (2001 . The study was carried out to see whether distance education learners are comfortable to study by using new technology. The results show that all respondent are comfortable and confidence enough to embrace new technology in their learning.
Mwenosongole, Elbie Mfungwe
In this study, the factors influencing learner achievement in Geography mapwork were investigated. The survey method was used. Literature review, questionnaires, interviews and observation schedules for both the educators and learners were used to collect data. The questionnaires and interview questions for both the educators and learners reflected the learners' achievement, school problems and how the learners' performance could be improved. Observation was both participant an...
English near-equivalents royal and regal are not, though the -al suffix to some .... word", which would allow the attentive learner to find their way to physical. In .... 16. body — physical (defect), corporeal (needs), corporal (punishment), somatic.
monolingual dictionaries by Hong Kong advanced Cantonese ESL learners in the production of .... (COBUILD6), and one using Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 5th ...... A Contrastive Study of Pocket Electronic Diction- aries and ...
Exploring rural high school learners' experience of mathematics anxiety in ... State using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), Version 17.0. ... to observe its prevalence and to implement strategies toward the alleviation of the ...
Practices and Challenges of EFL Teachers in Monitoring Learners' Group Performances and ... Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal ... Accordingly, eight classroom observations and eight students (four from each school and those ...
School of Education Studies, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, South Africa ... City Press (2012) reports that one in six Grade 12 mathematics learners scored less ...... Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology.
Choate, Joyce S.; Evans, Susan S.
This article outlines differences between traditional assessment and authentic assessment procedures, discusses problems with each type of assessment in relation to special learners, and offers certain cautions that must be observed when implementing authentic assessment. (JDD)
Oct 17, 2014 ... to one or more types of aggression. It has been observed ... Method: The population consisted of school learners at a secondary school. Inclusion .... qualitative research who analysed the data independently. The researcher ...
This was done within a qualitative research design with a ... the research design and methods that were used to explore primary school learners' experience of RA at ...... “Qualitative research” Analysis types and software tools. New York: ...
perceptions and expectations of the self, the school and society. .... plinarian was female, highlighting the important role that mothers or ... travelling. Generally it appeared that these learners' home accom- modation and the amenities were ...
Rosenberg, Marian Goode
Situated mentoring was used as a professional development method to help 11 high school science teachers integrate learner-centered technology. The teachers' learner-centered technology beliefs and practices as well as their perception of barriers to learner-centered technology integration were explored before and after participating in the mentoring program. In addition, the participants' thoughts about the effectiveness of various components of the mentoring program were analyzed along with the mentor's observations of their practices. Situated mentoring can be effective for supporting learner-centered technology integration, in particular decreasing the barriers teachers experience. Goal setting, collaborative planning, reflection, and onsite just-in-time support were thought to be the most valuable components of the mentoring program.
Liyanagunawardena, Tharindu Rekha; Williams, Shirley Ann
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become commonplace in the e-learning landscape. Thousands of elderly learners are participating in courses offered by various institutions on a multitude of platforms in many different languages. However, there is very little research into understanding elderly learners in MOOCs. We aim to show that a considerable proportion of elderly learners are participating in MOOCs and that there is a lack of research in this area. We hope this assertion of the wide gap in research on elderly learners in MOOCs will pave the way for more research in this area. Pre-course survey data for 10 University of Reading courses on the FutureLearn platform were analyzed to show the level of participation of elderly learners in MOOCs. Two MOOC aggregator sites (Class Central and MOOC List) were consulted to gather data on MOOC offerings that include topics relating to aging. In parallel, a selected set of MOOC platform catalogues, along with a recently published review on health and medicine-related MOOCs, were searched to find courses relating to aging. A systematic literature search was then employed to identify research articles on elderly learners in MOOCs. The 10 courses reviewed had a considerable proportion of elderly learners participating in them. For the over-66 age group, this varied from 0.5% (on the course "Managing people") to 16.3% (on the course "Our changing climate"), while for the over-56 age group it ranged from 3.0% (on "A beginners guide to writing in English") to 39.5% (on "Heart health"). Only six MOOCs were found to include topics related to aging: three were on the Coursera platform, two on the FutureLearn platform, and one on the Open2Study platform. Just three scholarly articles relating to MOOCs and elderly learners were retrieved from the literature search. This review presents evidence to suggest that elderly learners are already participating in MOOCs. Despite this, there has been very little research into their
Full Text Available Previous reports in this series (#32 and 36 have discussed online software features of value to disabled learners in distance education. The current report evaluates four specific assistive software products with useful features for visually and hearing impaired learners: ATutor, ACollab, Natural Voice, and Just Vanilla. The evaluative criteria discussed include the purpose, uses, costs, and features of each software product, all considered primarily from the accessibility perspective.
Schreurs, Jeanne; Al-Huneidi, Ahmad
A Learner-centered learning is constructivism based and Competence directed. We define general competencies, domain competencies and specific course competencies. Constructivism based learning activities are based on constructivism theory. For each course module the intended learning level will be defined. A model is built for the design of a learner centered constructivism based and competency directed learning process. The application of it in two courses are presented. Constructivism ba...
Attitudes towards language learning is paramount important. Learners with positive attitudes, who experience success, will have these attitudes reinforced. In contrast, learners??? negative attitudes may be strengthened by lack of success. Attitudes are learnt, not inherited or generally endowed (Baker, 1988, in Ellis, 2003: 198 - 199). Two research questions are raised in this study. 1. How are the attitudes of freshmen of English department towards learning English, and 2. How are thei...
Lorraine M. Angelino; Deborah Natvig
Engagement of the online learner is one approach to reduce attrition rates. Attrition rates for classes taught through distance education are 10 – 20% higher than classes taught in a face-to-face setting. This paper introduces a Model for Engagement and provides strategies to engage the online learner. The Model depicts various opportunities where student-instructor, student-student, student-content, and student-community engagement can occur. The Model is divided into four strategic areas: (...
There are a bewildering number of monolingual dictionaries on the market in Japan, including new learner dictionaries which give students a great deal of potentially useful information about how to use words. However it is essential to carefully evaluate dictionaries to ensure that they meet the needs of the learners who will use them. This article sets out some criteria to help make such decisions.
Regnell, Björn; Pant, Lalit
This paper presents an approach to teaching programming and abstract thinking to young learners using Scala and Kojo. Kojo is an open source IDE for the Scala programming language. The approach is based on Scala APIs for turtle graphics and functional pictures, a process of interactive exploration and discovery, and structured learning material that guides learners. The approach encourages playful self-learning of basic programming principles such as sequential execution, repetition, primitiv...
Full Text Available In this paper I am going to argue that our most important role as language teachers is to provide potentially engaging materials for our learners and then to make use of them in optimally engaging ways. If we do not engage our learners most of the time no amount of exposure, teaching, practice or use of the language will help them to achieve sufficient language acquisition and development.
This study examined the potential of pedagogical agents as learning companions (PALs) to build social relations with learners and, consequently, to motivate learning. The study investigated the impact of PAL affect (positive vs. negative vs. neutral), PAL gender (male vs. female), and learner gender (male vs. female) on learners’ social judgments, motivation, and learning in a controlled experiment. Participants were 142 college students in a computer-literacy course. Overall, the results ind...
Medina, Melissa S.; Castleberry, Ashley N.; Persky, Adam M.
Metacognition is an essential skill in critical thinking and self-regulated, lifelong learning. It is important for learners to have skills in metacognition because they are used to monitor and regulate reasoning, comprehension, and problem-solving, which are fundamental components/outcomes of pharmacy curricula. Instructors can help learners develop metacognitive skills within the classroom and experiential setting by carefully designing learning activities within courses and the curriculum....
van de Bunt-Kokhuis, Sylvia; Weir, David
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight how future teaching in business schools will probably take place in an online (here called 24/7) classroom, where culturally diverse e-learners around the globe meet. Technologies such as iPhone, iPad and a variety of social media, to mention but a few, give management learners of any age easy…
Full Text Available This study examined factors that contributed to the success of online learners in an online professional development course. Research instruments included an online survey and learners’ activity logs in an online professional development course for 512 in-service teachers. The findings showed that there were several factors affecting online learners’ success in online professional development. In addition, there were also significant differences between successful and unsuccessful online learners in terms of course login frequency and learning activities viewed.
The theoretical research of the master’s thesis discusses the conceptualization of transference between the teacher and the learner drawn from the transference relationship between the analyst and the analysand based on psychoanalysis. The thesis shows the reasons for the emergence of transference, the establishment of a transference relationship between the analyst and the analysand and between the teacher and the learner. Both common positions and the differences between psychoanalysis and ...
Maria Giovanna Tassinari
Full Text Available Every autonomous learning process should entail an evaluation of the learner’s competencies for autonomy. The dynamic model of learner autonomy described in this paper is a tool designed in order to support the self-assessment and evaluation of learning competencies and to help both learners and advisors to focus on relevant aspects of the learning process. The dynamic model accounts for cognitive, metacognitive, action-oriented and affective components of learner autonomy and provides descriptors of learners’ attitudes, competencies and behaviors. It is dynamic in order to allow learners to focus on their own needs and goals.The model (http://www.sprachenzentrum.fuberlin.de/v/autonomiemodell/index.html has been validated in several workshops with experts at the Université Nancy 2, France and at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and tested by students, advisors and teachers. It is currently used at the Centre for Independent Language Learning at the Freie Universität Berlin for language advising. Learners can freely choose the components they would like to assess themselves in. Their assessment is then discussed in an advising session, where the learner and the advisor can compare their perspectives, focus on single aspects of the leaning process and set goals for further learning. The students’ feedback gathered in my PhD investigation shows that they are able to benefit from this evaluation; their awareness, self-reflection and decision-making in the autonomous learning process improved.
Full Text Available The aim of this research was to explore and describe primary school learners' experiences of relational aggression at school. This was done within a qualitative research design with a phenomenological approach. In order to give a voice to primary school learners' lived experiences of relational aggression, 25 individual interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of learners from two primary schools in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District, North-West Province. Data analysis was done using Tesch's systematic open coding process. Social Learning Theory underscored the theoretical foundation that emphasises relational aggression as a socially learned phenomenon through observation. Although existing theory supports the findings, the reality, however, is that the effects of relational aggression impede negatively on learners' social and academic development and well-being. This jeopardises schools' endeavours to effectively socialise learners in order to establish and maintain effective personal and social relationships. Curtailing relational aggression has the possibility of reducing other forms of aggression in schools and will enhance the creation of effective teaching-learning environments that are conducive to teaching and learning that will support the task of schooling, which is the socialisation of learners to optimally achieve their potential in schools. The article provides some suggestions to assist teachers in endeavours to effectively curtail relational aggression.
Kurgan, Lukasz A; Cios, Krzysztof J; Dick, Scott
Business intelligence and bioinformatics applications increasingly require the mining of datasets consisting of millions of data points, or crafting real-time enterprise-level decision support systems for large corporations and drug companies. In all cases, there needs to be an underlying data mining system, and this mining system must be highly scalable. To this end, we describe a new rule learner called DataSqueezer. The learner belongs to the family of inductive supervised rule extraction algorithms. DataSqueezer is a simple, greedy, rule builder that generates a set of production rules from labeled input data. In spite of its relative simplicity, DataSqueezer is a very effective learner. The rules generated by the algorithm are compact, comprehensible, and have accuracy comparable to rules generated by other state-of-the-art rule extraction algorithms. The main advantages of DataSqueezer are very high efficiency, and missing data resistance. DataSqueezer exhibits log-linear asymptotic complexity with the number of training examples, and it is faster than other state-of-the-art rule learners. The learner is also robust to large quantities of missing data, as verified by extensive experimental comparison with the other learners. DataSqueezer is thus well suited to modern data mining and business intelligence tasks, which commonly involve huge datasets with a large fraction of missing data.
Yap, Wei-Li; Neo, Mai; Neo, Tse-Kian
In Malaysia, traditional teaching is still a common approach among many lecturers. There have been many studies that have reported its limitations and many lecturers have started to adopt a more learner-centred teaching approach to promote better learner understanding and learner motivation. Throughout this effort, it is noticed there are…
Seng C. Keng
With the rapid and exponential growth of Internet use worldwide, online learning has become one of the most widely used learning paradigms in the education environment. Yet despite the rapidly increasing cultural diversity of online learners, few studies have investigated the effectiveness of cross-cultural Online Learning Systems (OLS) using a suitable measurement to answer the question, “Do culturally different learners perceive OLS effectiveness differently?” The aim of this co...
Full Text Available In view of the increasing concern among English language teachers dealing with students from Saudi Arabia, as it manifests in TESOL community discussions, about the uniqueness of Saudi Arabian EFL learners, this paper attempts to document the outcome of a study of their distinctiveness from the perspective of expatriate teachers working for PYPs (Preparatory Year Programs in Saudi Arabia. This study examines the distinctiveness with regard to the learning attitudes of Saudi students that are often cultivated by the culture and academic environment in their homeland. Employing an emic approach for collecting the required data an analysis was carried out in light of the other studies on ‘education’ in Saudi Arabia that have particular reference to the factors that can positively influence student motivation, student success and the academic environment. The findings were used in constructing the rationale behind such distinctiveness. Assuming that the outcome of the discussion on the findings of this exploration can be helpful for teachers in adapting their teaching methodology and improving their teacher efficacy in dealing with students both from the kingdom and in the kingdom, some recommendations are made. Keywords: China Distinctiveness, Saudi Arabian University context, Expatriate teachers’ perspective, Distinctiveness Theory
Full Text Available Background. Interprofessional education aims to prepare learners to collaborate across specialties to provide high-quality healthcare. Internationally and nationally, the emerging need for integrated healthcare and education has been emphasised. The current education programme at the School of Health Care Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa primarily follows a uniprofessional approach.Objectives. To describe the development of interprofessional modules over 4 years between the departments of Human Nutrition, Nursing Science, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Radiography.Methods. The Knowledge-to-Action model guided the module development process. The planning phase comprised three steps: (i problem identification (e.g. national and international policy focus on interprofessional education; (ii review of existing knowledge (e.g. common learning outcomes; and (iii adaptation of knowledge to the local context (e.g. syllabi and logistics.Results. The development of interprofessional modules can be guided by the above-mentioned model to meet the needs of the faculty, departments, students and community and to contribute to interprofessional education, while overcoming the associated challenges.Conclusion. Challenges included clashes in timetable schedules, financial constraints, administrative support, logistical issues and resistance to change. The designing and implementing of new modules were intense and time consuming, and required commitment. The development of the modules was an excellent example of interprofessional teamwork that needs to be transferred to the implementation and role modelling of interprofessional education.
Full Text Available Playing digital games is undeniably a popular leisure activity, and digital gaming is also gaining academic attention and recognition for enhancing digital literacies and learning motivation. One tricky issue when exploring digital gaming in Asian contexts is the popularity of English and Japanese games. Though Chinese and Korean online games are readily available, many of the more popular commercial off-the-shelf (COTS digital games are in English and Japanese. Students in Hong Kong are required to take English as a foreign language, which resulted in a huge range of proficiency, but Japanese is not offered at public schools. So, most Hong Kong gamers are playing foreign language games. Yet language barriers do not diminish the market demand for foreign language digital games. This paper explores the phenomenon of digital gaming in foreign languages. Based on findings from an on-going research project with ten undergraduate video gamers (F=4, M=6, this paper argues that gamers exercise learner autonomy by managing their gaming both as leisure and learning experiences.
Van Cong Pham
Full Text Available This paper represents a personalized context-aware mobile learning architecture for supporting student to learn English as foreign language in order to prepare for TOEFL test. We consider how to apply open learner modeling techniques to adapt contents for different learners based on context, which includes location, amount of time to learn, the manner as well as learner's knowledge in learning progress. Through negotiation with system, the editable learner model will be updated to support adaptive engine to select adaptive contents meeting learner's demands. Empirical testing results for students who used application prototype indicate that interaction user modeling is helpful in supporting learner to learn adaptive materials.
McLean, Michelle; Gibbs, Trevor J
Globally, as medical education undergoes significant reform towards more "learner-centred" approaches, specific implications arise for medical educators and learners. Although this learner-centredness is grounded in educational theory, a point of discussion would be whether the application and practice of these new curricula alleviate or exacerbate student difficulties and levels of stress. This commentary will argue that while this reform in medical education is laudable, with positive implications for learning, medical educators may not have understood or perhaps not embraced "learner-centredness" in its entirety. During their training, medical students are expected to be "patient-centred". They are asked to apply a biopsychosocial model, which takes cognisance of all aspects of a patient's well-being. While many medical schools profess that their curricula reflect these principles, in reality, many may not always practice what they preach. Medical training all too often remains grounded in the biomedical model, with the cognitive domain overshadowing the psychosocial development and needs of learners. Entrusted by parents and society with the education and training of future healthcare professionals, medical education needs to move to a "learner-centred philosophy", in which the "whole" student is acknowledged. As undergraduate and post-graduate students increasingly apply their skills in an international arena, this learner-centredness should equally encapsulate the gender, cultural and religious diversity of both patients and students. Appropriate support structures, role models and faculty development are required to develop skills, attitudes and professional behaviour that will allow our graduates to become caring and sensitive healthcare providers.
Kelley, James B.
Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of the most widely taught texts in language arts classrooms through the English-speaking world and is greatly valued by many readers today for its depiction of youth grappling with racism in the American South of the Depression Era. However, the novel's subtle and sustained critique of…
Gomes, A. C. R.; Funghi, C.; Soma, M.
Sexual traits (e.g. visual ornaments, acoustic signals, courtship behaviour) are often displayed together as multimodal signals. Some hypotheses predict joint evolution of different sexual signals (e.g. to increase the efficiency of communication) or that different signals trade off with each other...... (e.g. due to limited resources). Alternatively, multiple signals may evolve independently for different functions, or to communicate different information (multiple message hypothesis). We evaluated these hypotheses with a comparative study in the family Estrildidae, one of the largest songbird...... compromise, but generally courtship dance also evolved independently from other signals. Instead of correlated evolution, we found that song, dance and colour are each related to different socio-ecological traits. Song complexity evolved together with ecological generalism, song performance with investment...
Mavhungu Abel Mafukata
Full Text Available This paper explores complexities and constraints affecting performance and output of physical science learners in Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The study was motivated by the desire of the researcher to establish, profile and characterise the complexities and constraints reminiscence of poor performance of learners in physical science as measured through end-of-year Grade 12 (final year of high school education examination results. Twenty six schools (n=26 were purposively selected from three circuits of education (n=3. From these schools, two learners were randomly selected (n=52 for interviews. In addition, two circuit managers (n=2 were conveniently selected as part of Key Informant Interviews (KII. For the Focus Group Discussions (FGDs, twelve (n=12 parents were randomly selected to form two groups of six members each. Multi-factor complexities and constraints impeding performance of learners were discovered. Intensive teacher in-service programme is recommended. Community engagement should be encouraged to educate parents on the value of involvement in the education of their children. Free access learner support structures such as Homework and Extra-lessons Assistance Centre (H&EACs should be established.