Birds implanted memories

It seems the future is now — robots are already almost gained its own consciousness, and people learned how to move thoughts of one living creature into the brain of another. Scientists from the southwest Medical centre of the University of Texas were able to implant memories in the brain of songbirds, finches learn song, which they are usually taught by the parents. Researchers believe that the unusual results of the experiment in one day can help lead to a better understanding of the conditions under which disrupts the development of human speech.

Finches learn to sing by imitating their parents. This quality, the researchers decided to use in their study

Can I embed someone else’s memories into the body of a living being?

The Chaffinch is a small bird, very common in Western Europe. With people they share a unique ability of teaching young chorister skills with the direct help of parents. So, listening to the singing of their fathers, young birds memorize the notes and repeat them practicing again and again.

Knowing about the presence of finches of similar ability, American researchers conducted over the birds of the so-called optogenetics manipulation, in which the light used for monitoring and control of brain activity. In other words, the scientists controlled the interaction between the two areas of the brain to create memories of the syllables of the song where the note length corresponds to the length of the light exposure.

A bit of ornithology: Why in North America and Canada, the birds disappear?

The researchers argue that instead of implanting in the brain of a bird the song, they introduced finches only the knowledge of the length of the syllables. In that case, if scientists can discover other circuits that control various aspects such as pitch and word order, they can potentially implant the memory tracks in the brain of a bird. So, studying the forms and ways of behavior in the development process, imitating the behavior of our closest environment, we automatically accept their own, often not even knowing. At the same time, our scheme of the brain involved in the construction of certain memories regarding acquired in the process of implementation of social skills, is still poorly understood.

The scientists were able to implant in the brain of finches a sequence of syllables based on the unique ability of these birds to learn

Research on the young singing birds show that individual parts of the brain that connect the sensory and motor circuit, playing one of the most important roles in the formation of different types of memories. Artificial activation of such links in the brain can help scientists of the future to create memories that will be able to coordinate the training not only of animals and birds, but also humans.

If you like this article, I invite you to discuss it in our official chat in Telegram, where you can find more useful information from the world of science and technology.

Scientists believe that it is unlikely that this approach can be used in humans for implantation of memory, as these experiments will have huge ethical implications. However, experience with finches can help us to understand the conditions in which developmental disorders cause problems with speech. So, an unusual experiment could be the key to understanding the occurrence of autism disorders in the study of speech or social behavior.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *