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Bird Songs Demonstrate Brain Function

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Franz Goller, University of Utah
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A white-crowned sparrow in Utah's Wasatch Mountains

By Dan Bammes

Salt Lake City, UT – White-crowned sparrows taken from their nests in the Wasatch Mountains as babies learned how to sing their distinctive song even though they had never heard it in nature. University of Utah Biology Professor Gary Rose and doctoral student Stephanie Plamondron presented them with segments of the song out of order, and the birds were able to put it together. Their results have implications for the way humans learn language as well.

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