birds brains

Subject: birds brains
From: Joyce Harding <>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 13:54:11 +1100
An item in "Scientific American"  January,1998


Some bird brains are bigger than others,researchers at the University of
Washington now say. Doctoral student Tony Tramontin,collaborating with
peychology and zoology professors, examined the growth of brain regions that
white-crowned sparrows use for singing. Previously, scientists thought that
lengthening days and corresponding hormonal changes controlled the
development of these regions in seasonally breeding birds. But Tramontin
found that social cues held sway. Indeed, in male birds living with females,
the brain regions grew 15 to 29 percent larger than they did in male birds
living alone or with other males. It is the first observation of socially
induced changes in the avian forebrain.

Well,Well.  What thoughts have you on this???
J. Harding 

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