Research Projets

Overall goals

Our research aims at identifying the neuroendocrine and neurochemical mechanisms controlling the sexual differentiation and activation of reproductive behaviors in vertebrates.

The metabolism of sex steroids in the brain  is considered in particular as well as the interaction between steroids and neurotransmitters.

Neuroanatomical and neurochemical sex differences are analyzed to determine to what extent they are responsible for the behavioral and physiological sex differences.

We also study the role played by sex steroids in the plasticity of the central nervous system during ontogeny as well as in adulthood.


Research projects


  • Neuroendocrinology of male sexual behavior.
  • Rapid non-genomic effects of estradiol on male sexual behavior. Read more ...     See also... and this.
  • Rapid control via post-translational modifications of preoptic aromatase activity.
  • Study of the sexual differentiation of the medial preopic nucleus.


  • Seasonal plasticity of the songbird brain.   
  • Study of the songbird brain by Magnetic resonance Imaging.   Read more...  See also
  • Endocrine control of singing behavior in canaries.


  • Sexual differentiation of brain and behavior in quail and zebra finches.
  • Interactions Between neurotransmitters and steroids in the control of reproductive behaviors.
  • Role of neuropeptides in the control of reproductive behaviors.
  • Neuroanatomical and neurochemical sexual dimorphism and control of behavioral and physiological sex differences
  • Identification of neural pathways involved in the control of male sexual behavior using tract-tracing, quantification of deoxyglucose incorporation and immonocytochemical visualization of immediate early-genes
  • Analysis of aromatase immunoreactive cells and their inputs and outputs in the brain.
  • Distribution and behavioral function of steroid receptors and coactivators in the avian brai
© Jacques Balthazart 2019