From: McGill University
Published November 22, 2017 01:56 PM

Do Birdsong and Human Speech Share Biological Roots?

Do songbirds and humans have common biological hardwiring that shapes how they produce and perceive sounds?

Scientists who study birdsong have been intrigued for some time by the possibility that human speech and music may be rooted in biological processes shared across a variety of animals. Now, research by McGill University biologists provides new evidence to support this idea.

In a series of experiments, the researchers found that young zebra finches – a species often used to study birdsong – are intrinsically biased to learn to produce particular kinds of sound patterns over others.  “In addition, these sound patterns resembled patterns that are frequently observed across human languages and in music,” says Jon Sakata, Associate Professor of Biology at McGill and senior author of a paper published online in Current Biology on Nov. 22.

Read more at McGill University

Image: These are two zebra finches. (Credit: Raina Fan)

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