Bird Songs Are Genetic

I’ve always wondered if maybe the human impetus to tell stories and the near-universal ingredients of a ripping yarn are perhaps genetic – that the human brain feels joy when being told a great story (this would plug into Joseph Cambell’s monomyth theory). I point to spiderweb patterns as examples of animals that create certain structures just because they do. Now this about bird songs:

These findings show that song learning in birds is not purely the product of nurture, but has a strong genetic basis, and suggest that bird song has a universal grammar, or an intrinsic structure which is present at birth. The authors note that their findings resemble the well-known case of a
large group of deaf children in the Nicaraguan capital Managua, who in
the 1970s and 80s spontaneously developed a unique form of sign
language called Idioma de Se├▒as Nicarag├╝ense (ISN). [link]

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About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Typepad, Get Satisfaction, SInMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

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