Research
Print page Print page
Switch language
Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
Published

Core and Shell Song Systems Unique to the Parrot Brain

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. Insulin resistance genetic risk score and burden of coronary artery disease in patients referred for coronary angiography

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Precursors of self-reported subclinical hypomania in adolescence: A longitudinal general population study

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Genetic markers of abdominal obesity and weight loss after gastric bypass surgery

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Reward signalling in brainstem nuclei under fluctuating blood glucose

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. Cerebrospinal fluid and plasma distribution of anti-α-synuclein IgMs and IgGs in multiple system atrophy and Parkinson's disease

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Quantitative Cellular Changes in the Thalamus of Patients with Multiple System Atrophy

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. TDP-43-specific Autoantibody Decline in Patients With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Is There a Correlation Between the Number of Brain Cells and IQ?

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

View graph of relations

The ability to imitate complex sounds is rare, and among birds has been found only in parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds. Parrots exhibit the most advanced vocal mimicry among non-human animals. A few studies have noted differences in connectivity, brain position and shape in the vocal learning systems of parrots relative to songbirds and hummingbirds. However, only one parrot species, the budgerigar, has been examined and no differences in the presence of song system structures were found with other avian vocal learners. Motivated by questions of whether there are important differences in the vocal systems of parrots relative to other vocal learners, we used specialized constitutive gene expression, singing-driven gene expression, and neural connectivity tracing experiments to further characterize the song system of budgerigars and/or other parrots. We found that the parrot brain uniquely contains a song system within a song system. The parrot "core" song system is similar to the song systems of songbirds and hummingbirds, whereas the "shell" song system is unique to parrots. The core with only rudimentary shell regions were found in the New Zealand kea, representing one of the only living species at a basal divergence with all other parrots, implying that parrots evolved vocal learning systems at least 29 million years ago. Relative size differences in the core and shell regions occur among species, which we suggest could be related to species differences in vocal and cognitive abilities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Volume10
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)e0118496
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 45846088