adult male zebra finch web copy.JPG (13936 bytes)

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Zebra Finch CNS

Proportional flatmap of the zebra finch CNS, showing relative positions of several major song control regions and the axonal connections between them (this design is based on proportional flatmaps of human and rat CNS published by L.W. Swanson, 1995).  Interestingly, song control is vested primarily in the telencephalon, the same CNS structure that houses language control areas in humans.  The three highlighted areas (lMAN, HVC, RA) are the focus of much of the research in the lab.  Both lMAN and HVC project to RA, and RA comprises the motor output of telencephalic song processing.  

zf footprint map by Frank Johnson.tif (744954 bytes)

Note that the proportional organization of the zebra finch CNS, particularly the large telencephalon, compares favorably with that of humans.

Human CNS
Telencephalon: 81%
Diencephalon: 04%
Midbrain: 01%
Hindbrain: 02%
Cerebellum: 10%
Spinal Cord: 02%  

Here are data for the rat.

Telencephalon: 38%
Diencephalon: 06%
Midbrain: 04%
Hindbrain: 07%
Cerebellum: 10%
Spinal Cord: 35%  

Perhaps calling someone a 'birdbrain' is actually a compliment.


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