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Tweeting teenage songbirds reveal impact of social cues on learning
Date:2/25/2011

s a means of perfecting vocalizations, said Doupe. "In the process of learning song, birds must develop their motor neurons to effectively mimic what they've heard. The variability that characterizes the imperfect youthful song of teenage birds is generated by basal ganglia circuits, and it's what allows birds to experiment to find what works best.

"Our finding suggests that, though teenage birds have the ability to produce more complex songs, they are only able to do so on a social cue. "It's possible that the social cue somehow turns off the variability that is responsible for improving vocal learning," she said.


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Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
jennifer.obrien@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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