News: News Archives
Neurobiologist Discusses Vocal Learning
and the Brain's Capacity for Language
This week on WOL AM, Erich Jarvis, assistant professor of neurobiology and principal investigator at the Jarvis Lab, Duke University, North Carolina, spoke to a radio audience of African American children and their families about his study of songbirds and the brain's capacity for language.
"Songbirds have the rare ability of being able to imitate sounds like humans do, that is what we call the behavioral sub trait for language," said Jarvis during an interview on a radio program called Delta SEE Connection. "They learn it in similar ways as we do ... from adult tutors at young ages during critical periods in their life."
To produce Delta SEE Connection, a weekly radio program, AAAS has joined forces with the nation's largest African American sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF).
"This initiative is opening for us a whole new medium for providing a window into the world of science for the African American community," says Shirley Malcom, director of the AAAS Directorate for Education and Human Resources and a commentator on the show. "In their stories, the scientists explain the importance of science in their lives, but also in the lives of everyday Americans."
WOL, 1450 AM, the Radio One station in Washington, DC, with the largest African American audience in the area, has become the first station to broadcast the interviews compiled for the project known as Delta SEE, for "Science and Everyday Experiences." The program can be heard every Saturday, from 5 to 6 p.m., through 18 October. In the coming weeks, the series will be distributed to Radio One stations nationwide, as well as to other radio stations in African American markets and to radio stations operated on the campuses of historically-black colleges and universities.
28 July 2003