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Judi Lynn

(160,485 posts)
Tue Apr 2, 2024, 10:41 PM Apr 2

Black-Capped Chickadees Are Masters of Memory--and Scientists Are Finding Out Why

Black-Capped Chickadees Are Masters of Memory—and Scientists Are Finding Out Why
The small birds use brain “barcodes” to remember where they stash food, according to new research

Sarah Kuta
Daily Correspondent

April 1, 2024

Black-capped chickadees' ability to remember where they've stashed food helps them survive barren winters. Pexel

Every fall, black-capped chickadees cache thousands of seeds, insects and other snacks to help them survive North America’s harsh winters. But how do these petite birds—named for their distinctive “dee-dee-dee” sounds—remember where they’ve stashed all this food?

Chickadees’ brains create barcode-like memories each time they deposit food, according to new research published last week in the journal Cell. The findings could offer new insights into how humans and other mammals create and store memories, the researchers report.

“When you form a memory of a specific event, your brain may generate a random label which it uses to store information associated with that event, in a way that is analogous to the way a store records information associated with each product to be retrieved when the label is scanned,” says study co-author Selmaan Chettih, a neuroscientist at Columbia University, to the Guardian’s Nicola Davis.

Researchers have long known about the black-capped chickadee’s impressive memory. But until now, they didn’t understand what was happening inside the birds’ brains that enabled their food-cataloguing feats.


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Black-Capped Chickadees Are Masters of Memory--and Scientists Are Finding Out Why (Original Post) Judi Lynn Apr 2 OP
#1 bird in my feeders. OAITW r.2.0 Apr 2 #1
So when Dumpy called Nikki Haley a birdbrain it was really a compliment. Diamond_Dog Apr 2 #2
So, they have little libraries in their heads Bayard Apr 2 #3

OAITW r.2.0

(24,339 posts)
1. #1 bird in my feeders.
Tue Apr 2, 2024, 10:51 PM
Apr 2

When I take an extended walk in the woods, a chickadee always seems to follow me. They are fearless. I've had chicks light on the feeders when I am refilling them.

On edit: I don't get the energy equation. A freakin little bird flies in to the feeder, takes one seed, then travels back the 300 yards that it just flew in from.

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