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Vol. 34, No. 5, 1989
Issue release date: 1989
Section title: Paper
Citation Classic -- Free Access
link This article was featured as a 'Citation Classic' in D.F. Sherry, The Hippocampus of Food-Storing Birds, Brain Behav Evol 2011;78:133-135 (DOI:10.1159/000330314), free access
Brain Behav Evol 1989;34:308–317

The Hippocampal Complex of Food-Storing Birds

Sherry D.F. · Vaccarino A.L. · Buckenham K. · Herz R.S.
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Ont., Canada

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Three families of North American passerines – chickadees, nuthatches and jays – store food. Previous research has shown that memory for the spatial locations of caches is the principal mechanism of cache recovery. It has also been previously shown that the hippocampal complex (hippocampus and area parahippocampalis) plays an important role in memory for cache sites. The present study determined the volume of the hippocampal complex and the telencephalon in 3 food-storing families and in 10 non-food-storing families and subfamilies of passerines. The hippocampal complex is larger in food-storing birds than in non-food-storing birds. This difference is greater than expected from allometric relations among the hippocampal complex, telencephalon and body weight. Food-storing families are not more closely related to each other than they are to non-food-storing families and subfamilies, and the greater size of the hippocampal complex in food-storing birds is therefore the result of evolutionary convergence. Natural selection has led to a larger hippocampal complex in birds that rely on memory to recover spatially dispersed food caches.


Author Contacts

David F. Sherry, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. M5S 1 A1 (Canada)


Article Information

Published online: NIL
Number of Print Pages : 10


Publication Details

Brain, Behavior and Evolution

Vol. 34, No. 5, Year 1989 (Cover Date: 1989)

Journal Editor: Wilczynski, W. (Atlanta, Ga.)
ISSN: 0006–8977 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9743 (Online)

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Article / Publication Details

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Abstract of Paper

Published online: 2/6/2008

Number of Print Pages: 10
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

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