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How researchers look at the bird brain in action


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How do birds make decisions and which brain regions are particularly active when they solve tasks? Researchers from the Department of Biopsychology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) are investigating these questions. So far, only anesthetized birds and therefore passive experiments could be examined using the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Thus, the examination of brain processes during active tasks was not possible. Now the cognitive neuroscientists at the Biopsychology lab have constructed an experimental set-up which allows them to carry out fMRI examinations on awake pigeons and thus also investigate cognitive processes for the first time. They published their results online in the journal Nature Communications on 18 September 2020.

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