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Latest Neuroethology Stories

2011-04-28 21:24:24

A novel way to ramp up biodiversity Bruce Carlson stands next to a fish tank in his lab, holding a putty colored Radio Shack amplifier connected to two wires whose insulation has been stripped. At the bottom of the tank a nondescript little fish lurks in a sawed-off section of PVC pipe. Carlson sticks the two bare wires into the tank. Suddenly we hear a rapid-fire pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. The pops, which are surprisingly loud, sound rather like the static on an old-fashioned tube radio...

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2011-02-07 11:45:02

TAU uses the common cockroach to fine-tune robots of the future Ask anyone who has ever tried to squash a skittering cockroach "” they're masters of quick and precise movement. Now Tel Aviv University is using their maddening locomotive skills to improve robotic technology too. Prof. Amir Ayali of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology says the study of cockroaches has already inspired advanced robotics. Robots have long been based on these six-legged houseguests, whose nervous...

2011-02-01 01:50:44

It takes songbirds and baseball pitchers thousands of repetitions "“ a choreography of many muscle movements -- to develop an irresistible trill or a killer slider. Now, scientists have discovered that the male Bengalese finch uses a simple mental computation and an uncanny memory to create its near-perfect mate-catching melody -- a finding that could have implications for rehabilitating people with neuromuscular diseases and injuries. Young male Bengalese finches practice their...

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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...

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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...

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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...


Word of the Day
lambent
  • Licking.
  • Hence Running along or over a surface, as if in the act of licking; flowing over or along; lapping or bathing; softly bright; gleaming.
This word comes the Latin 'lambere,' to lick.
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