Animal minds Intelligent Design

Some features of bird brains are remarkably similar to those of mammal brains

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Specifically, neurons in the forebrain:

University of Massachusetts Amherst neuroscientists examining genetically identified neurons in a songbird’s forebrain discovered a remarkable landscape of physiology, auditory coding and network roles that mirrored those in the brains of mammals.

The research, published May 13 in Current Biology, advances insight into the fundamental operation of complex brain circuits. It suggests that ancient cell types in the pallium — the outer regions of the brain that include cortex — most likely retained features over millions of years that are the building blocks for advanced cognition in birds and mammals.

“We as neuroscientists are catching on that birds can do sophisticated things and they have sophisticated circuits to do those things,” says behavioral neuroscientist Luke Remage-Healey, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences and senior author of the paper.

University of Massachusetts Amherst,”Songbird neurons for advanced cognition mirror the physiology of mammalian counterparts” at ScienceDaily (May 13, 2021)

The paper is open access.

Other parts of bird brains are quite different:

A bird’s brain is mostly smooth, and lacks the bumps and grooves of a mammalian brain.

The size and exact structure of a bird’s brain differs from species to species. In general, birds have large brains in relation to the size of their heads, and also in relation to the size of their bodies. That’s a good indicator of intelligence.

The brains of crows and parrots – two of the smartest types of bird – are, in relation to body size, as large as those of the great apes.

admin, “Bird Intelligence: How Intelligent Are Birds?” at ActiveWild (January 23, 2018)

Are certain brain structures are essential for high animal intelligence or will alternative structures work?

See also: We knew crows were smart but they turn out to be even smarter. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of the mysteries of animal intelligence

One Reply to “Some features of bird brains are remarkably similar to those of mammal brains

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Clearly structure is secondary to purpose. God’s studio turns out dozens of alternative proposals when tasked to achieve a certain purpose.

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