Mirror neurons in sparrows assist learning.

The authors report on their successful experiments with male swamp sparrows. These show that a class of neurons activates both when the birds hear certain songs and when they sing those songs themselves. The trial exploited the fact that the song range of a swamp sparrow is small. Therefore, the chances of identifying the relevant neurons for given songs were high. The authors note the parallel with mirror neurons discovered in monkey brains. The authors note the possible advantages of such neuronal mechanisms in learning.

Link to paper: http://sites.biology.duke.edu/nowicki/papers/PPNM08n.pdf

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