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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Bird Brains Show Their Fear of Faces
10 September 2012 3:10 pm
Crows don't forget a face—especially one they're afraid of. Now, images of the birds' brain activity reveal what happens neurologically when they see a familiar face. Researchers from the University of Washington donned identical masks and captured 12 wild American crows. The scientists kept the birds in captivity for a month and fed them while wearing a different, "caretaker" mask. Afterward, the team showed the birds humans wearing the two different masks and monitored the crows' brain activity using positron emission tomography. The "threatening" mask the researchers wore to capture the birds activated brain regions associated with fear, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The caretaker mask worn to feed the birds, on the other hand, activated another set of regions associated with reward and motivation. These results suggest that American crows, like humans, distinguish faces by combining visual information with preexisting memories.
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