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27 - hormones in behavior and development

27 - hormones in behavior and development - BIOLOGY 325H...

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BIOLOGY 325H Hormones in behavior and development March 28, 2008 Multicellular organisms need to coordinate the functional activities of their various organ systems, which requires communication between cells located at different positions in the body. This is accomplished partly by the nervous system - as we have discussed over the past several lectures - and partly by cellular secretion of long-lasting chemical signals that can lumped under the term 'hormone'. In contrast to the nervous system, hormonal signaling is found in all types of multicellular organisms including animals, plants, and fungi. However, we will focus here on animal hormones, and in particular on certain of the hormones secreted by a dedicated set of glands known as the 'endocrine system'. Because animals have both a nervous system and an endocrine system, these two organ systems frequently integrate with one another to coordinate and shape the individual’s behavior. Learning goals 1. You should appreciate how the nervous system and endocrine system differ in terms of their communication with other parts of the body. Why do they differ with respect to the speed at which they can send signals? Which organ system is better suited to transmit a single signal throughout the entire body? Which organ system has signals that are better suited to produce long-lasting effects? 2. What is a circulating hormone? What determines which cells in the body will respond to a circulating hormone? How do autocrine and paracrine hormones differ from circulating hormones? 3. What is the chemical distinction between a steroid hormone, an amine hormone, and a peptide hormone? Where in the cell would you find the receptor protein for each of these classes of hormone? You should be able to name at least one specific hormone from each class. 4. What are the major sex steroid hormones of humans. What role do these hormones play during development of the human fetus? What major role do these hormones play during postembryonic development, i.e. after birth? 5. How do changes in daylength bring about seasonal differences in the fur color and mating behavior of the Siberian hamster? 6. What role do hormones play in the production of courtship songs by male songbirds, and how was this demonstrated experimentally? What two distinct roles does learning play in the ability of the white-crowned sparrow to accurately produce its species- specific courtship song, and how were they each demonstrated experimentally? What is a critical period?
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