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Hippocampal Specialization of Food-Storing Birds
John R. Krebs, David F. Sherry, Susan D. Healy, V. Hugh Perry and Anthony L. Vaccarino
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 86, No. 4 (Feb. 15, 1989), pp. 1388-1392
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/33417
Page Count: 5
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In a study of 52 individuals belonging to 35 species or subspecies of passerine birds it was shown that the volume of the hippocampal complex relative to brain and body size is significantly larger in species that store food than in species that do not. Retrieval of stored food relies on an accurate and long-lasting spatial memory, and hippocampal damage disrupts memory for storage sites. The results suggest, therefore, that food-storing species of passerines have an enlarged hippocampal complex as a specialization associated with the use of a specialized memory capacity. Other life-history variables were examined and found not to be correlated with hippocampal volume.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America © 1989 National Academy of Sciences