Why birds are smarter than you think - Professor Clifton Ragsdale.

Feb 19, 2018
By Matt Wood

UChicago scientists show that some neruron in birds brains form the same kind of circuitry and have the same molecular signature as cells in the mammalian brian.

Neuronal cell types in the brains of birds linked to goal-directed behaviors and cognition are similar to cells in the mammalian neocortex, the large, layered structure on the outer surface of the brain where most higher-order processing takes place.

“Birds are more intelligent than you think, and they do clever things. So, the question is: What kind of brain circuitry are they using?” said Clifton Ragsdale, PhD, professor of neurobiology at UChicago and senior author of the study. “What this research shows is that they’re using the same cell types with the same kinds of connections we see in the neocortex, but with a very different kind of organization.”