Wed, 14th Mar 2012
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Scientists at UCLA have identified around 2,000 genes in zebrafinches linked to singing - more than 1,500 than were previously known about. All 2,000 show changes in activity levels when birds sing, and a number of them are also found in humans, making the researchers think they may also play a role in human speech and speech disorders such as autism.
Austin T. Hilliard, Julie E. Miller, Elizabeth R. Fraley, Steve Horvath, Stephanie A. White. Molecular Microcircuitry Underlies Functional Specification in a Basal Ganglia Circuit Dedicated to Vocal Learning. Neuron, 2012; 73 (3): 537 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.01.005