Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

From Humming Fish to Puccini: Vocal Communication Evolved with Ancient Species

18.07.2008
It’s a long way from the dull hums of the amorous midshipman fish to the strains of a Puccini aria – or, alas, even to the simplest Celine Dion melody. But the neural circuitry that led to the human love song – not to mention birdsongs, frog thrums and mating calls of all manner of vertebrates – was likely laid down hundreds of millions of years ago with the hums and grunts of the homely piscine.

By mapping the developing brain cells in newly hatched midshipman fish larvae and comparing them to other species, Andrew H. Bass, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior, and colleagues Edwin Gilland of Howard University and Robert Baker of New York University found that the neural network behind sound production in vertebrates can be traced back through evolutionary time to an era long before the first animals ventured onto dry land.

The research is published in the July 18 issue of the journal Science.

Bass used fluorescent dyes to identify distinct groups of neurons in the brains of the larvae of midshipman fish, a species known for the loud humming sounds adult males generate with their swim bladders to attract females to their nests.

With laser-scanning confocal microscopy, the research team observed clusters of cells in the larvae’s developing hindbrain as they formed connections and grew into the networks that control vocalization in mature fish.

“Confocal microscopy allows you to look at different populations of neurons at the same time – to really be precise about their locations relative to each other,” Bass said. He found that the neurons in a compartment of the hindbrain known as rhombomere 8, which are thought to control pattern generation in vocalizing vertebrates, gives rise to the circuitry of the vocal motor nucleus – the system behind the fishes’ hums.

Comparing the system to the neural circuitry behind vocalizations of amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals, including primates, Bass found that while the networks vary in complexity, their fundamental attributes are conserved.

The finding puts human speech – and social communications of all vertebrates – in evolutionary context, Bass said.

The research also provides a framework for neuroscientists and evolutionary biologists studying social behavior in a variety of species, he said – and sends a message to scientists and non-scientists “about the importance of this group of animals to understanding behavior; to understanding the nervous system; and to understanding just how important social communication is – among them, as it is among ourselves.”

Blaine Friedlander | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

Further reports about: Puccini circuitry hums midshipman neural neurons species vertebrates

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>