The researchers found that some "non-selective neurons" responded to all songs, but that other "selective neurons" responded exclusively to dad's tunes.
The scientists also found that about 5 percent of the neurons in the young birds' higher auditory cortex -- a part of the brain associated with hearing -- reacted to dad's songs. The researchers identified 27 neurons that selectively respond to dad's song.
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The location in the brain that the scientists pinpointed could therefore be where early sound memories are located in the brains of birds and in many other animals, including humans.
As for why this is important, consider that for us, learning a first language is nearly effortless. That's because we start learning from our parents or early caregivers before we can even remember. Their words and sounds are imprinted into our memory at a very early age.
Learning a new language later in life, on the other hand, is much more difficult. It usually involves a lot of hard work and the speaker may never have the same fluency as with the first language.
The same is true of songbirds. Watch as, over time, two zebra finch sons learn a song from their dad: