Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by Jessica Dolores
For years, we have gotten used to the idea that songbirds break into song just because. There’s no set pattern in those melodious notes that issue from their tiny beaks. Until a new study from the UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute showed that a bird’s song can be changed to the syllable.
The study focused on the zebra finch’s ventral tegmental area (VTA), a part of the brain’s reward system that reinforces behavior. The researchers used scientific methods to control VTA neurons in zebra finches as they practiced their song. Researchers discovered that a bird’s song can be altered by activating and deactivating a neuronal pathway which made its brain decide if it vocalized correctly or not. This finding has a connection in previous research showing that neurons release dopamine, known as the happy hormone, when a song is performed without any mistakes.
Dr. Todd Roberts, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and a Thomas O. Hicks Scholar in Medical Research, believes that they can expect a similar response in people learning to adjust their speech patterns.
You don’t have to be a songbird to catch people’s attention when you open your mouth to express yourself. Here are some ways you can get people’s attention when you speak.
The ability to speak clearly and well is a gift we can all develop. Good public speaking skills is the secret of great leaders, charismatic people and other successful persons. With some practice and a little help from friends who give us constructive feedback, we, too, can learn to connect with others through power of the spoken word. It will make us more confident, more successful and help gain us even more friends.
See more stories on interesting research at Research.news.