Hummingbirds are well known for their ability to do 75 or more strokes of the wings in the second. Much less is known more: along with parrots and sparrows, whales and dolphins, bats and humans, they are members of a select group of animals that are able to mimic and memorize the sounds — the so-called vocal training.
Eric Dzharsvis, a neuroscientist at Duke University (USA), found that out, trying to understand how the brain works and the chain related to vocal training. Recently, research has shown that birds endowed with this ability, there is a gene FoxP2, which is activated when the bird learns a new song. The scientist noted that almost identical gene mutation in humans causes a hereditary problem with the language. Now Jarvis is going to bring songbirds, which will not have this gene to determine whether the gene for vocal learning.
Experts believe that the vocal training came along parallel paths in three groups of birds — songbirds, parrots and hummingbirds — man, bats and marine mammals (whales, dolphins and porpoises). Because this trait arose independently, scientists find it impossible to compare the vocal training in different groups. However, according to Jarvis, brain chain associated with vocal learning in birds and humans are very similar. This suggests the physical limits on the interaction with the environment.
Jarvis and his colleagues found that the severity of FoxP2 gene increases dramatically just before the bird learns a new sound. Of gene expression falls when the animal does not learn.
Battery News, 11.05.2004 15:57