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科学美国人60秒:鸟类唱歌导师很重要

所属教程:科学美国人60秒科学系列 更新:01-08
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Finches Can Learn to Sing Differently Than Their Genetics Dictate

鸟类唱歌导师很重要

In the most recent podcast we discussed how baby bats learn their callsfrom all the other bats in their crowded colonies. And we mentioned in passing that songbirds usually get tutored directory from their dads. So, how does that avian system work?

在最近的播客节目中,我们讨论了幼蝙蝠是如何在拥挤的蝙蝠群众学习其他蝙蝠的叫声。我们还提到过黄莺从父亲那里得到指导,那么鸟类系统是如何工作的呢?

"At about 25 days, the father starts singing directly to the juvenile." David Mets, a geneticist at the University of California San Francisco. "That is the onset of what's called the sensory phase of learning. Where they incorporate information from their environment."

“在大约25天的时候,父亲开始直接向幼鸟唱歌。”大卫·梅茨,是加州大学旧金山分校的遗传学家。“这就是所谓的开始学习感觉阶段。幼年从环境中吸收信息。”

What Mets and his team wanted to know was how much of a baby bird's future musicality is influenced by that tutoring…an environmental factor…and how much is written in their genes. So they studied Bengalese finches.. which sing like this.

梅茨和团队都想要知道父亲上述的指导对幼鸟未来的音乐感产生多大的影响……同时还有环境因素……以及这些有多少反应到遗传因素中。所以他们研究了孟加拉雀。孟加拉雀的叫声是这样的。

The tempo of that song appears to vary, according to a finch's genetics. So they tried training baby finches, with different genetic tendencies - fast, medium or slow singing - on a synthetic finch song, made from a library of different types of song syllables. "Tonal downward sweeps, you know. Or sort of broadband noisy ones, like sshhhh."

根据雀类的基因,这首歌的节奏似乎有所不同。所以他们试着训练有不同的遗传倾向幼雀,——利用快速、中等或缓慢的歌声——由不同类型的歌曲音节合成雀类歌曲。“色调向下,或者像sshhhh这样的宽带嘈杂声。

But when baby finches with different genetic backgrounds were trained on the resulting tune, the training didn't stick. Instead, the greatest predictor of their singing tempo was the way their fathers sang—which they’d never heard. So their genes seemed to be in charge.

但是,当有不同遗传背景的幼雀被训练到产生此种音调时,训练就会停止。相反,预测这些幼雀歌唱节奏最重要的预测因素是它们父亲的歌唱方式——而这些幼雀从未听到过。所以,歌唱似乎由它们的基因来管理。

But then Mets flipped the experiment—exposing genetically similar birds to actual live birds that sang fast, medium, or slow. And that live training appears to have been compelling enough to override the influence of the birds' genetics. So that genetically identical chicks sang tunes fast <> medium <> or slow <>…depending what their tutor sang. The results are in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

但随后,梅茨重新进行了实验——将基因相似的鸟类——接触到实际中歌唱速度快、中、慢的鸟类。现场训练似乎已经魅力足够大,足以推翻鸟类遗传学的影响。所以基因相似的幼鸟唱歌的快、中、慢取决于导师的唱歌速度。该研究结果发表在《美国国家科学院院刊》上。

The study suggests that the right kind of schooling…or environmental influences… might be able to overcome 'baked in' genetic influence on certain traits. And Mets says this push-pull of nature versus nurture might hold true for humans, too.

该研究表明,正确的教育……或者环境影响……也许能够克服遗传对某些特征的影响。同时梅茨表示,遗传和后天因素对于人类也可能适用。

"We're moving very rapidly into a period where genetic data is easier and easier to collect. And an understanding of these kinds of gene-environment push/pull interactions, and how they impact ultimate phenotypic outcomes, is going to be important in understanding things like cancer susceptibility." Because that too has both genetic and environmental factors.

“我们正迅速进入一个基因数据更容易收集的时期。”了解基因与环境推动/拉动相互作用,以及它们如何影响最终表现的结果,在理解癌症易感性等方面是很重要的。因为癌症受遗传和环境的影响。

But no word yet on whether the genetic influences of an off-tempo human father…can be conquered with enough training.

但是这并没有否认充足的训练是否可以影响音痴父亲的遗传因素。

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