HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Bird brains show how trial and error may contribute to learning

The adult male zebra finch knows only one scratchy tune learned in its youth, which it performs repeatedly and intensely when females are listening. But occasionally, the finch might improvise, experimenting with a slower, more sultry variation or emphasizing different notes.

Neurobiologists studying the finch now say the improvisation arises from a component of a crucial learning circuit in a section of the forebrain that seems to generate the trial and error necessary to master sophisticated motor skills, such as singing in birds or speech and sports in humans.

"It means this part of the brain is important for instructing or allowing changes in the song," said Mimi Kao, first author of a paper in the February 10, 2005, issue of the journal Nature that demonstrates how the region modulates bird song in real time. Kao, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) predoctoral fellow, is in the final months of her doctoral training in the laboratory of co-author Allison Doupe at the University of California, San Francisco's Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience.

A similar brain pathway in humans may explain how children learn to talk by listening to themselves and others, and how adults learn and hone new motor skills, such as tennis. The process relies on feedback about what works and what doesn't, also called experience-dependent or performance-based learning.

"That all requires paying attention to how we're doing, experimenting with different things, and gradually getting better," said senior author Michael Brainard, assistant professor of physiology at UCSF, whose lab is funded in part by a grant from HHMI. "It makes sense that one part of the brain has as part of its job introducing that kind of variability."

Kao began with an experiment to stimulate the region of the forebrain called LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium). In the avian brain, LMAN receives input about complex movements from the b
'"/>

Contact: Jennifer Donovan
donovanj@hhmi.org
301-215-8859
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
9-Feb-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Virtual mouse brains now available online
2. Modern brains have an ancient core
3. Different approach needed to protect brains of premature infants
4. 2 brains -- 1 thought
5. Unraveling where chimp and human brains diverge
6. Scientists identify 36 genes, 100 neuropeptides in honey bee brains
7. Carnegie Mellon uses new imaging technique to discover differences in brains of people with autism
8. Oxygen deprived brains repaired and saved
9. Velvet worm brains reveal secret sisterhood with spiders
10. Bird brains shrink from exposure to contaminants
11. Carnegie Mellon researchers discover key deficiencies in brains of people with autism

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


(Date:1/4/2017)... , Jan. 4, 2017  For the thousands of attendees at this ... leader in connected health and biometric measurement devices and services, will be ... On display in A&D Medical,s special CES Exhibit Suite , ... ongoing expansion of the company,s WellnessConnected product platform.  ... ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... VEGAS , Jan. 3, 2017 Onitor, ... the introduction of Onitor Track, an innovative biometric data-driven ... men, showcasing this month at the 2017 Consumer Electronics ... In the U.S., the World Health ... more than two-thirds of adults who are overweight or ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... SuperCom (NASDAQ:   SPCB ... e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and Finance sectors announced today that Leaders ... to implement and deploy a community-based supportive services program to reduce ... , further expanding its presence in the state. ... This new program, which is expected ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 19, 2017  Market Research Future has a half cooked ... Liquid Biopsy is growing rapidly and expected to reach USD 450 ... Highlights ... Liquid Biopsy Market has been assessed as a swiftly growing market ... boom in the coming future. There has been a tremendous growth ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire -- WuXi AppTec, ... open-access capability and technology platform, today announced that ... biology focused preclinical drug discovery contract research organization ... become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WuXi, and will ... and providing greater services. The acquisition will further ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), today announced the launch of ... and interpretation for the rapidly evolving field of precision medicine. , ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and GAITHERSBURG, Md. , ... PIP) and Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held immunotherapeutics company ... a definitive agreement for the merger of PharmAthene ... investors include Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital ... a fully-integrated and diversified immunotherapeutics company with four ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: