Social connection drives learning in bird brain

Juvenile zebra finches learn songs directly from a tutor—usually their father—through a social interaction that keeps them motivated and on-task. Young birds who simply hear the songs through a speaker, without the tutor's ...

Zebra finch males sing in dialects and females pay attention

Male zebra finches learn their song by imitating conspecifics. To stand out in the crowd, each male develops its own unique song. Because of this individual-specific song, it was long assumed that dialects do not exist in ...

Dopamine plays key role in songbird mating

In humans, the dopamine system has been tied to rewards and pleasurable sensations. As well as to memory and learning. A recent study from McGill University, published in Current Biology, suggests that dopamine may also play ...

How birds, mammals and children learn sounds

Some songbirds learn to sing by listening to other birds. Some other animals can learn to copy sounds. But what does that tell us about human speech? Sonja Vernes from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen ...

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