Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2014 Dec 12;346(6215):1256846. doi: 10.1126/science.1256846.

Convergent transcriptional specializations in the brains of humans and song-learning birds.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. apfenning@csail.mit.edu amink@cs.duke.edu jarvis@neuro.duke.edu.
2
Department of Neurobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
3
Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.
4
Duke Proteomics and Metabolomics Core Facility, Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
5
Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.
6
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark. Trace and Environmental DNA Laboratory, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6102, Australia.
7
China National GeneBank, BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518083, China. Centre for Social Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
8
Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, WA 98103, USA.
9
Department of Computer Science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA. apfenning@csail.mit.edu amink@cs.duke.edu jarvis@neuro.duke.edu.

Abstract

Song-learning birds and humans share independently evolved similarities in brain pathways for vocal learning that are essential for song and speech and are not found in most other species. Comparisons of brain transcriptomes of song-learning birds and humans relative to vocal nonlearners identified convergent gene expression specializations in specific song and speech brain regions of avian vocal learners and humans. The strongest shared profiles relate bird motor and striatal song-learning nuclei, respectively, with human laryngeal motor cortex and parts of the striatum that control speech production and learning. Most of the associated genes function in motor control and brain connectivity. Thus, convergent behavior and neural connectivity for a complex trait are associated with convergent specialized expression of multiple genes.

PMID:
25504733
PMCID:
PMC4385736
DOI:
10.1126/science.1256846
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center