HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Researchers call for expanding the repertoire in studying birdsong

A pair of leading scientists who study songbirds as models for understanding the human brain and how humans acquire language say it's time for the burgeoning field to begin singing a different tune and study a wider variety of species.

Michael Beecher and Eliot Brenowitz, University of Washington professors of psychology and biology, say that while a great deal of knowledge has been gleaned by studying songbirds over the past three decades, a narrow focus on just a few species only provides a fragmentary picture of how the brains of nearly 4,000 songbird species function.

Writing in companion papers in the March issues of the journals Trends in Neurosciences and Trends in Ecology and Evolution, the two UW scientists argue that there is much greater diversity in how and when birds learn to sing than is generally recognized. They say the value of the birdsong system as a model for studying how the brain controls the learning of language would be greatly enhanced by taking into account the diversity seen among different bird species.

"We are interested in comparative approaches," said Beecher, who is an animal behaviorist. "There are many patterns of learning, but most studies are on zebra finches or white-crowned sparrows, in which song learning is restricted to the first year of life. People are not taking advantage of the wide spectrum of bird species. There probably are more species learning songs into their third and fourth years than those who only learn in the first few months or first year."

"One of the great things about songbirds is there is great variety in the manner in which different species learn to sing," said Brenowitz, a neurobiologist. "They are great models, but we should take advantage of the diversity of what they have to offer."

Brenowitz noted that the often-studied zebra finch is sexually mature in just 90 days.

"They learn song quickly so it is hard to say this change in the brain is related to this asp
'"/>

Contact: Joel Schwarz
joels@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
24-Mar-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Researchers find pathway that controls cell size and division
2. Researchers watch antibiotics, bacteria meet at atomic level
3. Researchers discover gene responsible for Restless Legs Syndrome
4. Researchers witness natural selection at work in dramatic comeback of male butterflies
5. Researchers discover human embryonic stem cells are the ultimate perpetual fuel cell
6. Researchers use new approach to predict protein function
7. Researchers probe risks, benefits of folic acid fortification
8. Researchers identify genetic mutation that may alter tumor cell proliferation
9. Researchers discover method for identifying how cancer evades the immune system
10. Researchers use adult stem cells to create soft tissue
11. Researchers find gene that spurs development of the epididymis

Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/27/2014)... vitro study has revealed that nicotine and cotinine, a ... by a certain carcinogen in smoke. , The carcinogen ... tobacco leaves and ultimately ends up in the tobacco ... and liver, where it is activated by a variety ... mice has revealed that nicotine can partially interfere with ...
(Date:7/27/2014)... asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had ... say. , A fresh study using up-to-date fossil records ... a new narrative of the prehistoric creatures, demise, some ... the few million years before a 10km-wide asteroid struck ... This included extensive volcanic activity, changing sea levels and ...
(Date:7/27/2014)... to date, researchers from the U.K. provide national, regional, ... virus (HCV). Findings published in Hepatology, a journal of ... indicate that genotype 1 is the most prevalent worldwide, ... reside in East Asia. Genotype 3, at just over ... by genotypes 2, 4, 6, and 5. , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Nicotine found to inhibit DNA-strand break caused by a certain carcinogen in smoke 2Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events, study shows 2Hepatitis C virus genotype 1 is most prevalent worldwide 2
(Date:7/26/2014)... (PRWEB) July 26, 2014 Canada ... key market data on the Canada Endoscopy Visualization ... of US dollars, volume (in units) and average ... High-End Endoscopy Visualization Systems, Mid-Range Endoscopy Visualization Systems ... Report at http://www.marketresearchreports.biz/analysis/213254 . , The report ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... 2014 "Ischemic Stroke and Cerebral ... data on the Ischemic Stroke and Cerebral Stroke ... and data relating to the clinical trials on ... global Ischemic Stroke Research Report 2014 at: ... the trial numbers and their recruitment status as ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... , July 25, 2014 Amgen (NASDAQ: ... Directors today declared a $0.61 per share dividend for ... paid on Sept. 5, 2014, to all stockholders of ... 14, 2014.  About Amgen Amgen is ... suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... -- Trillions of bacteria live in each person,s digestive ... digest food and stave off harmful infections, but their ... To help shed light on the role of these ... professor Eric Alm recently tracked fluctuations in the bacterial ... The findings, described in the July 25 issue of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Canada Endoscopy Visualization Systems Market Outlook to 2020: MarketResearchReports.Biz 2Canada Endoscopy Visualization Systems Market Outlook to 2020: MarketResearchReports.Biz 3Canada Endoscopy Visualization Systems Market Outlook to 2020: MarketResearchReports.Biz 4Canada Endoscopy Visualization Systems Market Outlook to 2020: MarketResearchReports.Biz 5Ischemic Stroke and Cerebral Stroke Global Clinical Trials Review H2, 2014: MarketResearchReports.Biz 2Ischemic Stroke and Cerebral Stroke Global Clinical Trials Review H2, 2014: MarketResearchReports.Biz 3Amgen Announces 2014 Third Quarter Dividend 2Amgen Announces 2014 Third Quarter Dividend 3Monitoring the rise and fall of the microbiome 2Monitoring the rise and fall of the microbiome 3
Cached News: