Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition.

  title={Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition.},
  author={Micah R. Bregman and Aniruddh Patel and Timothy Gentner},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  volume={113 6},
Humans easily recognize "transposed" musical melodies shifted up or down in log frequency. Surprisingly, songbirds seem to lack this capacity, although they can learn to recognize human melodies and use complex acoustic sequences for communication. Decades of research have led to the widespread belief that songbirds, unlike humans, are strongly biased to use absolute pitch (AP) in melody recognition. This work relies almost exclusively on acoustically simple stimuli that may belie sensitivities… CONTINUE READING
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