>From an article at Science Daily
(http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030811071429.htm, based on a U
of Chicago Medical Center press release at
Researchers in a University of Chicago lab are peering
inside the minds of European starlings to find out how
they recognize songs...
To examine the neural mechanisms associated with
auditory memory, Gentner and Margoliash measured
the electrical impulses from single nerve cells in the
auditory area of the bird's brain known as cmHV ? an
area analogous to the higher-order, secondary auditory
cortex in humans ? in starlings trained to recognize
The researchers recorded the response of each neuron
to songs the birds had learned to recognize, to unfamiliar
songs the birds had never heard before and to synthetic
sounds such as white noise. As a population, the cells
responded much more strongly to the songs the birds
had learned to recognize than to any of the other sounds.
Individually, a majority of the cells responded to only one
song, and almost all (93 percent) of these cells responded
to one of the songs the bird had learned to recognize.
After examining the data even more closely, they found
that many of these cells only responded to specific
motifs in a familiar song.
Sounds like grandmother neurons!
NoMikeSpam at ldc.upenn.edu