Latest Taeniopygia Stories

2011-08-25 10:05:26

  According to recent research on zebra finches, adventurous females choose mates with similar personalities, regardless of the male´s appearance and other assets. This is the first study to show that the non-sexual behavior or personalities of both mates influences partner choice in non-humans. Researchers put 150 male and female zebra finches through a series of tests, in order to get a sense of their personality, to reveal how keen they were to explore new environments and...

2011-01-27 20:35:36

A study by experts at the University of Exeter has revealed that couples with similar personalities make much better parents than those with different dispositions "“ at least in the world of zebra finches. Researchers found birds expressing strong personality traits, such as aggressive behaviour or a willingness to explore, did a much better job of raising young if they had a like-minded partner. Where couples were markedly different in personality, chicks didn't fare as well "“...

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...

2010-06-13 07:26:14

When zebra finches learn their songs from their father early in life, their brain is active during sleep. That is what biologists at Utrecht University conclude in a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Their findings are a further demonstration that birdsong learning is very similar to the way that children learn how to speak. This discovery has important consequences for our understanding of the brain processes involved in learning and memory. Human infants learning to...

2010-03-31 12:55:00

A genomic achievement that's for the birds -- and for humans An international research consortium has identified more than 800 genes that appear to play a role in the male zebra finch's ability to learn elaborate songs from his father. The researchers also found evidence that song behavior engages complex gene regulatory networks within the brain of the songbird"“ networks that rely on parts of the genome once considered junk. The zebra finch genome sequence and analysis published in...

2009-10-02 12:25:38

Altering the DNA of a zebra finch could reveal the process of vocal learning in vertebrate brains, scientists at New York's Rockefeller University say. The zebra finch is one of several of its species that learn to speak by imitating other zebra finches, said Fernando Nottebohm, who heads the Laboratory of Animal Behavior at Rockefeller University. By manipulating the genes of zebra finches, Nottebohm and his team hope to learn more about the neural circuitry that allows songbirds to learn...

2009-07-07 11:13:14

U.S. biologists say they've discovered unusual gene activity in the brains of zebra finches occurs after the birds hear a new song from another bird. University of Illinois Professor David Clayton and his colleagues said they determined when a zebra finch hears a new song from a member of its own species, the experience affects thousand of genes, offering a new picture of memory in the songbird brain. Clayton said the finding was a surprise since he hadn't expected to see so many genes...

2008-11-13 12:55:00

A new study shows that songbirds learn to sing from a hymn sheet in their head. Researchers found a region of the Zebra Finch brain had what they believe to be an internal recording of how the birds ought to be singing. The Swiss research team wrote in the journal Nature that a separate region of the brain seems to enable birds to identify mistakes in their songs. According to scientists from Zurich University this research could shed light on how humans learn to speak. The electrical...

Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.