Email Print Share

All Images

News Release 05-010

Scientists Propose Sweeping Changes to Naming of Bird Neurosystems to Acknowledge Their True Brainpower

Researchers now see birds' cognitive ability as more comparable to mammals

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

illustration comparing views of avian brain

A wide range of studies have recently demonstrated that the so-called "primitive" regions of avian brains are actually sophisticated processing regions homologous to those in mammals. The above illustrations compare the traditional view of the primitive avian brain as a subregion of the human brain (in purple) with the new view that the avian brain has subregions proportional to those in humans (blue, purple and green). Scientists now know that the complexities of avian brain regions allow sensory processing, motor control and sensorimotor learning as in the mammalian neocortex (in green).

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (93 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.