Carolyn Pytte

Title Associate Professorpytte
Area Behavioral Neuroscience
Ph.D. Indiana University, 1999
Office 368 Razran
Office Phone 718-997-4528
Lab Phone 718-997-3464

Professional Activities:

Society Memberships:
The Society for Neuroscience
Sigma Xi

Grant reviewer for NSF

Ad hoc reviewer for:
The Auk
Journal of Biosciences
Animal Behaviour
Journal of Neuroscience
Journal of Neurophysiology
Developmental Neurobiology
Journal of Biosciences
Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE)
Proceedings of the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research
Journal of Neuroscience Methods

Research Description:

My lab is interested in the function and regulation of new neurons born in the post-embryonic brain, particularly in adulthood.  Although we have known about adult neurogenesis for decades, the relationship between new neurons and behavior remains unclear. To study this brain-behavior relationship, we are focusing on new neurons that are incorporated into the motor pathway underlying the production of learned song motor patterns in songbirds.

New neurons are born in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles and migrate throughout the telencephalon where they become incorporated into existing networks.  One region that incorporates new neurons is the nucleus HVC, which is a component of the song motor pathway and is one of our regions of interest.  After new neurons reach HVC, many die within their first month of cell life. After this initial culling period, these young HVC neurons can live for many months before being replaced.  One question we are interested in is whether behavioral factors may influence the survival of new neurons.

Selected Publications:

Wang, N., P. Hurley, C.L. Pytte, and J.R. Kirn. 2002. Vocal control neuron incorporation decreases with age in the adult zebra finch. Journal of Neuroscience 22:10864-70.

Landers, M., C.L. Pytte, and H.P. Zeigler. 2002. Technical Note: Reversible blockade of rodent whisking: Botulinum toxin as a tool for developmental studies. Somatosensory and Motor Research 19:358-363.

Pytte, C.L., K. Rusch, and M.S. Ficken. 2003. Regulation of vocal amplitude in the blue-throated hummingbird (Lampornis clemenciae). Animal Behaviour 66:703-710.

Pytte, C.L., M.S. Ficken, A. Moiseff. 2004. Ultrasonic singing in the blue-throated hummingbird: A comparison of production and perception. Journal of Comparative Physiology 190:665-73.

Deregnaucourt, S., Mitra, P.P, Feher, O., Pytte, C., Tchernichovski, O. 2005. How sleep affects the developmental learning of bird song. Nature 433:710-716.

Pytte, C.L., M. Gerson, and J. R. Kirn. 2007. Increasing stereotypy in adult zebra finch song correlates with a declining rate of adult neurogenesis. Dev Neurobiol. 67:1699-1720.

Hurley, P., C.L. Pytte, and J.R. Kirn. 2008. Nest of origin predicts adult neuron addition rates in the vocal control system of the zebra finch. Brain, Behavior, and Evolution 71:263­270.

Pytte, C.L., Parent, C., Wildstein, S., Varghese, C., Oberlander, S. (2010) Deafening decreases neuronal incorporation in the avian auditory region of the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). Behavioural Brain Research 211:141-7.

Cataldo, G., Lovric, J., Chen, C.C., Pytte, C.L., Bodnar, R.J. (2010) Ventromedial and medial preoptic hypothalamic ibotenic acid lesions potentiate systemic morphine analgesia in female, but not male rats. Behavioural Brain Research 214:301-16.

Pytte, C.L., Yu, Y. , Wildstein, S., George, S., Kirn, J.R. (2011) Adult neuron addition to the zebra finch song motor pathway correlates with the rate and extent of recovery from botox-induced paralysis of the vocal muscles. The Journal of Neuroscience 31:16958-16968.

Flory, J.D., Pytte, C.L., Hurd, Y., Ferrel, R.E., Manuck, S.B. (2011) Alcohol dependence, disinhibited behavior and variation in the prodynorphin gene. Biological Psychology 88:51-56.

Pytte, C.L., George, S., Korman, S., David, E., Bogdan, D., Kirn, J.R. (2012) Adult neurogenesis may promote the maintenance of a stereotyped, learned motor behavior. The Journal of Neuroscience. 32:7052-7057.