HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Birds show superior listening skills

Being called a bird-brain might not be so bad, after all.

Canadian researchers have shown that humans just aren't cut out to discern certain pitches like their feathered friends. Testing completed on humans, rats, and three different species of birds shows that the birds--even ones that have been raised in isolation--are better at identifying, classifying, and memorizing absolute pitches than both humans and rats, with humans performing just slightly better than rats.

"It's amazing how dissimilar the results of this test are when you compare humans and birds," said Dr. Chris Sturdy, a psychology professor at the University of Alberta. "Humans and rats are weak by any standard, and they're just awful when you compare them to the songbirds."

For the study, humans were given monetary rewards when they memorized or recognized the pitches that were played for them, while the birds (zebra finches, white throated sparrows, and budgerigars) and rats were given food rewards.

Sturdy said humans actually perform fairly well in tests of relative pitch, which refers to the relationship between two pitch sounds played one right after the other, allowing the listener to use one pitch as a reference for the other. However, when humans try to comprehend absolute pitch, which refers to pitches played alone without any external standard to contrast them with, their ability is "lackluster at best," he said.

Sturdy believes that it is too early in the ongoing research to speculate extensively about the cause of the striking difference between the absolute pitch processing abilities of birds and mammals. Whatever the cause, Sturdy thinks it cannot be special to humans because other mammals (rats) are no better at judging absolute pitch than humans.

The latest findings from this study, which are published this month in the journal Behavioral Processes, take the researchers to the middle stages of an ongoing project to determine if all bir
'"/>


29-Jun-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Birds use herbs to protect their nests
2. Birds do it. Bugs do it. But why dont we?
3. Birds and humans have similar shopping habits
4. Chemical evidence proves the old adage, Birds of a feather flock together
5. Birds of prey spiralling to a kill
6. Birds beware! Pinecones armed and dangerous
7. Fossil Footprints Show Foot-Movement Similarity In Dinosaurs And Birds
8. Urban Ecology Study Watches Birds On The Web
9. Coastal Birds "Feel" Their Prey Under The Sand
10. At Night, Birds May Review The Songs They Learn During The Day
11. Exotic Species, Migratory Birds, Sea Level Rise, Wetlands, And Contaminants...USGS Scientists Discuss Innovative Chesapeake Bay Restoration Studies

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/4/2020)... , ... July 03, 2020 , ... ... to earn outstanding recognition and multiple awards for not only the products and ... portfolio, SoME® Skincare and Vivace® Microneedle RF. All the brands built by ABM ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 02, 2020 , ... ... (MBS) has announced a publication detailing the use of its revolutionary NEXTGENPCR ... chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 16 minutes. The article, titled "Ultra-fast one-step RT-PCR ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... , ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... awareness and solutions for glioblastoma—the most common and aggressive adult brain cancer—announced today ... JD, PhD. Senior Fellows are charged with supporting the organization’s initiatives and overall ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 30, 2020 , ... ... software for the life sciences industry, today announced the release of its ... specifically for Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) and other field medical professionals. ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 17, 2020 , ... ... firm for the life sciences and food industries, is pleased to announce that ... Clinical Research – Business Development. , Charles is an accomplished and results-driven sales ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... DIEGO (PRWEB) , ... July 06, 2020 , ... R3 ... new program featuring up to 200 million stem cells. Depending on the patient's condition, ... seniors in the US will die having some form of Alzheimers dementia, and the ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... NIGUEL, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... announced the launch of Safe Space™ for businesses of all types to ensure cleanliness, ... 3D LiDAR. , A Safe Space™ enabled business will provide a health ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: