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Researchers ID chemical that influences songbirds' song choice


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New research in songbirds sheds more light on the decision-making process in the brain. In this study, researchers discovered that sensory input from the locus coeruleus—the area of the brainstem known primarily for mediating arousal and modulation of sensory processing—has a direct impact on motor action. In other words, these inputs mediate the switch between the highly variable exploratory skill birds produce when practicing their song alone compared to the low variability songs birds produce to impress their female counterpart. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Neurophysiology (JNP). The article has been chosen as an APSselect article for September.

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