”I am going to school, I am not late every day… The bird said early, why do you carry a small schoolbag?” We started from two or three years old, carrying a small schoolbag and singing a familiar song to go to school. . At that time, did you cry and nose and didn’t want to go to school? Do you think that the birds on the tree who are “singing” every day are happier? But do you know that birds are not born to sing, they have to study hard.
Bird learning behavior
Why do birds learn to sing? Experts say that male birds use songs to convey the pursuit of females and demonstrations against other males. The better they sing, the higher their status. In this case, of course, the birds need to work hard to master the melody and singing skills of a good song. So how do birds learn their songs?
The zebra finch is a small bird with a bright orange tip and a zebra-like stripe on the chest. It is a common bird. Because it is easy to breed and simple, easy to analyze, it is very popular among bird scholars. Scientists have studied how many male zebra finch learn to sing, confirming that singing is a key skill that birds need to find love.
Birds need to have two necessary conditions to learn to sing. The first one is that there must be a specific area in the bird’s brain, which can memorize the learned songs, which makes it possible to learn songs. The second one is to learn a “golden song”. Teacher’s help. This is too much like learning with us.
In the past, we thought that learning is a process of imitation. Soon we found that people’s learning needs to be actively and actively implemented. It is not as simple as a baby to learn to speak and walk simply by imitation. The zebra finch learns to sing and not only imitate, but also needs to practice and add your own creativity, but the effort always pays off. Once they learn their own songs, they will almost never forget this melody in their short life. .
The song learning of the zebra finch began on the 25th day of life, which scientists called “sensitive periods.” The male listens to and interacts with his father’s voice, or interacts with other male predecessors in the population while his father is absent. During this period, young males constantly listened to the teacher’s songs, absorbed their characteristics and eventually formed their own unique songs.
Imitation learning at this stage is crucial, and studies have shown that when young zebra finch learns alone without their predecessors, such as in the lab, when they study through the recordings played by the researchers, they end up creating them. The songs have fewer notes and are always “single loops”, and such songs may scare away the pursuer.
The quality of the teacher will also affect the student’s performance. If the father prefers to spend time with other birds instead of interacting with his son, then his son will create a bad song. The researchers speculate that the father who is passionate about communication will create a noisy environment for his son, which will distract his son and not conducive to creation, just as we will make more mistakes if the environment is noisy when we write homework.
But for the little bird, just listening to the song is not enough, it still needs practice. The practice period of the zebra finch begins on the 25th day after birth and is earlier than many birds, which is also a performance of winning on the starting line. At the beginning, the songs sung by the students were whispered and monotonous, unlike the teacher’s song. But gradually, we will find that the songs created by the students use the teacher’s song as a template to constantly adjust their own songs. This process involves the memory of the birds.
Birds learn to sing
Researchers have discovered a special center in the brain of the zebra finch, called HVC, which is the center of the voice, which has many neural networks. Studies have shown that during song learning, HVC forms new nerve cells. Like human memory, the formation of nerve cells stores memories so that the teacher’s songs are printed in the bird’s brain until the birds can emit My own beautiful melody.
Androgen also affects the learning process of birds. Testosterone is an important androgen, and researchers have found that birds that cannot produce testosterone do not sing. And the testosterone secretion time will affect the learning time of the birds sooner or later, and only when the testosterone is produced at the right time will help the birds learn. The researchers gave testosterone before the birds started learning, and found that the birds could not copy the songs learned from the teacher, and they speculated that premature testosterone would accelerate the maturity of the birds, thus shortening their learning time. You can think of it as someone forced you to perform on the stage before you remember the lines, and the result is certainly not satisfactory.
The bird will sing his own song on the 90th day of study, and the days of learning like this will only occupy 3% of its life, but its future status in the race and whether it can pursue a companion Born to give birth to my own children, but it is closely related to this short period of study!
In fact, human beings are also the same. The time for being able to concentrate on learning is not long. The results of learning have largely determined the height of life in the next few decades. Please cherish the time of learning when you are young. sad”!