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October 12 2012

Like songbirds and people, mice can learn new tunes

Scientists have found the first evidence that the ability to learn vocalizations, a capacity so far believed to be restricted to a handful of bird and mammal species like humans and dolphins, is shared by another species: mice. The new research, published Oct. 10 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Erich Jarvis and Gustavo Arriaga at Duke University and colleagues, shows for the first time that mice share certain behavioral and brain mechanisms involved in vocal learning with songbirds and humans and can learn new vocal patterns.

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