Bird brain has never been praised like this. In recent years, it has been found that birds can make tools, understand abstract concepts, and even recognize paintings by Monet and Picasso. But their lack of neocortex — the part of the mammalian brain where working memory, planning, and problem solving occurs — has long puzzled scientists. Now, researchers have found a previously unknown array of microcircuits in bird brains that may resemble mammalian neocortex. In another study, other researchers also linked this area to conscious thinking. The two papers have been hailed as breakthrough. John mazruff, a wildlife biologist and crow expert at the University of Washington in Seattle, said: ‘it is generally believed that birds’ heteromorphic brain structures limit thinking, consciousness and state-of-the-art cognition. &In fact, because birds and mammals have similar cognitive abilities, Martin stacho, a neuroanatomist at Ruhr University in Bohong, decided to study the avian forebrain, which controls perception. A rough comparison of the brains of mammals and birds shows that they have nothing in common, but birds and mammals share many of the same cognitive skills. &To find out how bird brains support these talents, stacho and his colleagues examined microsections of the brains of three homing pigeons using 3D polarized light imaging. This high-resolution technique allowed them to analyze circuits in a forebrain region called pallium, which is believed to be most similar to the neocortex in mammals. Although pallium lacks six layers of cortex, it has a unique structure and is connected by long fibers. < / P > < p > the scientists compared images of the bird spinal cord with those of rats, monkeys and humans. Their analysis found that the fibers in the brains of birds are surprisingly similar to those in the mammalian cortex. < / P > < p > the researchers also intuitively saw connections between neurons in the brains of two distant relatives, pigeons and owls. After removing the deeply anesthetized bird brain, the scientists injected crystals into the dissected brain and found that circuits in the sensory area are similar to those in the mammalian neocortex. It’s this neural architecture structure connection, rather than the structure itself, that explains why birds have the same cognitive talent as mammals, they report today in science. < / P > < p > & quot; the study confirms the old adage that appearances can deceive people, marzluff said. Although the brains of birds and mammals & quot; look very different, this study shows us that they actually transmit information in a very complementary way;. < / P > < p > but do birds have conscious experiences? Are they aware of what they see and do? To find out, Andreas Nieder, a neurophysiologist at the University of Tubingen, looked at the brains of Corvus corone because they responded to cues. These crows and their cousins are called “feathered apes” for their intelligence, and they have even been shown to be capable of causal reasoning. But extrapolating consciousness from such experiments is challenging, Nieder said. < / P > < p > so he and his colleagues used a test similar to detecting signs of consciousness in primates – a mental state that is thought to occur with the sudden activation of certain neurons. They trained two laboratory raised, one-year-old carrion crows, to respond to weak cues on the display, moving or holding still. When right, the birds are rewarded. The scientists then implanted electrodes into the crows’ brains to record the neuronal signals that they responded to. When crows respond, their neurons fire, indicating that they consciously sense the cue, but when they don’t respond, their neurons are silent. Neurons emitted in line with the crow’s actions are located in the brain’s medulla, the researchers reported today in the journal Science. Nieder says it’s an empirical marker of sensory consciousness in bird brains, similar to that seen in primates. < / P > < p > this is bound to spark debate, because some researchers believe that consciousness is unique to humans, says Irene Pepperberg, a comparative psychologist at Harvard University who is known for her collaboration with Alex, the African Grey Parrot, who communicates abstract concepts in English. Pepperberg was not involved in these new studies, but found them & quot; really exciting & quot;. < / P > < p > stacho and Nieder add that the cognitive components of mammals and birds may have existed in their last common ancestor, about 320 million years ago. &Of course, mammalian and bird brains evolved differently, stacho said. &Surprisingly, they are still so similar in perception and cognition. "Spontaneous combustion at a Guangzhou Motor vehicle intersection and other traffic lights in Shenzhen