Ölveczky, Bence P., and Timothy J. Gardner. 2011. "A bird's eye view of neural circuit formation." Current Opinion in Neurobiology 21(1) (February 2011): 124–131. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2010.08.001. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2010.08.001.
Neural circuits underlying complex learned behaviors, such as speech in humans, develop under genetic constraints and in response to environmental influences. Little is known about the rules and mechanisms through which such circuits form. We argue that songbirds, with their discrete and well studied neural pathways underlying a complex and naturally learned behavior, provide a powerful model for addressing these questions. We briefly review current knowledge of how the song circuit develops during learning and discuss new possibilities for advancing the field given recent technological advances.