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Reduction of the density of dendritic spines within two forebrain areas is the anatomical manifestation of the stabilization process in sexual imprinting. This reduction occurs very fast under experimental conditions and is irreversible.

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The forebrain areas involved in sexual imprinting are the medial and the lateral part of the neo/hyperstriatum ventrale (MNH and LNH). The other two areas marked on the 2-DG picture on the left (ANC and HAD) also change spine densities in an imprinting situation, but the enhancement of densities observed here is not reversible.
The graph below shows the development of spine densities from day 0 (hatching) to day 107 in aviary reared and isolated male zebra finches,
and illustrates that one week exposure to a female (1WW) after isolation (Iso) leads to a decrease of spine density within MNH † ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
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