The Scientist Speaks

Birds on the Brain: The Neuroscience Behind Songbird Communication and the Human Brain

January 29, 2020

In this month’s episode, we explore the neural mechanisms behind birdsong and what they tell us about human vocal learning and speech deficits in diseases such as autism spectrum disorder. Niki Spahich from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with Stephanie White, professor of Integrative Biology and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, to learn more.

The Scientist Speaks is a podcast produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services Team. Our podcast is by scientists and for scientists. Once a month, we will bring you the stories behind news-worthy molecular biology research.


Special thanks to

Dr. Stephanie White from the University of California, Los Angeles for the normal, isolate, FoxP2, and Cntnap2 birdsongs

Dr. Yoko Yazaki-Sugiyama from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology for the Bengalese finch cross-fostered birdsongs

The Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics at The Ohio State University for the American Robin bird sounds.


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Music attribution: Danse Macabre Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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