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Latest Neuroethology Stories

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2011-01-02 15:05:50

Researchers have developed a simple rubber device that is capable of replicating complex bird songs. According to the researchers, a song can be produced by blowing air through the device, which mimics a bird's vocal tract. The study challenges the theory that birds have to learn complicated neurological controls in order to produce distinctive cells. The researchers plan to share their data with biologists to see if it sheds new light on how birds produce their music. "I definitely did...

2010-11-22 13:31:06

Stretched tube designed by harvard researchers mimics zebra finch songs For centuries, hunters have imitated their avian prey by whistling through their fingers or by carving wooden bird calls. Now a team of physicists at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has reproduced many of the characteristics of real bird song with a simple physical model made of a rubber tube. "We wanted to know if you [could] build a simple device, which has minimal control but reproduces some non-trivial...

2010-11-16 07:47:08

(Ivanhoe Newswire) --Tired of the old pick up line "In a room full of people all I hear is you?"  Well, research reveals that may be true. A study found that brains of bats tell some neurons to 'shush' and others to 'yell louder' in order for key sounds to be heard above background noise"”a process that may be working in humans as well. "Some neurons seemed to know to yell louder to report communication sounds over the presence of background noise," Bridget Queenan, a doctoral...

2010-11-15 13:54:56

GUMC neuroscientists find brains of bats tell some neurons to 'shush' and others to 'yell louder' in order for key sounds to be heard above background noise How do you know what to listen to? In the middle of a noisy party, how does a mother suddenly focus on a child's cry, even if it isn't her own? Bridget Queenan, a doctoral candidate in neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center is turning to mustached bats to help her solve this puzzle. At the annual meeting of the Society for...

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2010-11-09 08:50:00

By Katrina Voss, Penn State University A team of scientists has observed the activity of nerve cells in a songbird's brain as it is singing a particular song. Dezhe Jin, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at Penn State University and one of the study's authors, explained that understanding how birds string together sets of syllables "” or notes in a song "” may provide some insight into how the human brain learns language and produces speech. The research will be...

c1a34d4b0b71e6de1fed51748523c5071
2010-06-30 07:31:25

Wide range of pitch is due to vocal muscles more than air pressure Female zebra finches don't sing but make one-note, low-pitch calls. Males sing over a wide range of frequencies. University of Utah scientists discovered how: The males' stronger vocal muscles, not the pressure of air flowing through their lungs, lets them sing from the B note above middle C all the way to a whistle beyond the high end of a piano keyboard. "You have two variables "“ air pressure and muscle activity...

96e5711b5e1596e0c4b3d2ae8dfcc04a1
2010-05-19 13:20:54

Communication across species boundaries by echolocation calls in bats Bats can distinguish between the calls of their own and different species with their echolocation calls, report scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen. This applies even for species closely related and ecologically similar with overlap of call frequency bands (The American Naturalist online, May 11th 2010). As opposed to bird song or the human voice, echolocation calls are primarily used for...

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2010-05-11 13:16:46

Bats' remarkable ability to "Ëœsee' in the dark uses the echoes from their own calls to decipher the shape of their dark surroundings. This process, known as echolocation, allows bats to perceive their surroundings in great detail, detecting insect prey or identifying threatening predators, and is a skill that engineers are hoping to replicate. A team of British researchers has worked with six adult Egyptian fruit bats from Tropical World in Leeds to record and recreate their...

2010-04-29 12:49:17

Dominance Hierarchy of Auditory Spatial Cues in Barn Owls Background: Barn owls integrate spatial information across frequency channels to localize sounds in space. Methodology/Principal Findings: We presented barn owls with synchronous sounds that contained different bands of frequencies (3-5 kHz and 7-9 kHz) from different locations in space. When the owls were confronted with the conflicting localization cues from two synchronous sounds of equal level, their orienting responses were...

2010-02-05 13:50:14

The best way to track a moving object with a flashlight might be to aim it to one side, catching the object in the edge of the beam rather than the center. New research at the Weizmann Institute of Science reveals that bats, which "Ëœsee' with beams of sound waves, skew their beams off-center when they want to locate an object. The research, which recently appeared in Science, shows that this strategy is the most efficient for locating objects. Dr. Nachum Ulanovsky and...