For more than a decade, the Nordeens, both professors in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, have been studying the zebra finch, a bird so tiny it would fit in the palm of a child's hand. As in people, zebra finches experience peak learning capacity during their youth; it's at this critical stage that the birds must hear and learn their song. By observing what happens to the bird's brain as it learns to sing, the Nordeens hope to identify those processes in the developing brain that foster learning.
In their lab, the Nordeens track the minute changes
that take place in the brains of hatchlings as they grow. By analyzing
the changes as the young birds hear their elders sing and then
memorize and reproduce the zebra finch song themselves, the husband-and-wife
team is actually mapping the brain's circuitry for learning
| UR Home |
Currents home page |
Maintained by University Public Relations
Please send your comments and suggestions to: Public Relations.
Last updated 11-7-1997
| UR Home | Currents home page | Mail | Search |