Discovery of memory mechanism provides clues to how humans learn speech
Researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, believe they have located a place in the brain where songbirds store the memories of their parents songs. The discovery has implications for humans, because humans and songbirds are among the few animals that learn to vocalize by imitating their caregivers.
In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, David Vicario and Mimi Phan of Rutgers, and Carolyn Pytte of Wesleyan University, report that songbirds store the memory of caregivers songs in a part of the brain involved in hearing. This suggests the auditory version of the caregivers song is stored first, and that it may serve to guide the vocal learning process. The paper is titled "Early Auditory Experience Generates Long-Lasting Memories That May Subserve Vocal Learning in Songbirds."
Ken Branson | EurekAlert!
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