Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo, YouTube and Scientific Discovery

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgThis is probably old news for neuroscientists and YouTube regulars, but it was news to me. I thought I would write a post about it, in case, like me, you are not one of the 4 million or so who have already seen the video of Snowball, the dancing Cockatoo, or heard about how he inspired neuroscientist Aniruddh Patel to investigate the basis of his unusual talent and discover a unique connection between human brains and bird brains.

In a NY times feature published last week (1), Dr. Patel describes how his curiosity was piqued when a friend showed him Snowball’s famous YouTube video. He was amazed because the bird was exhibiting a behavior thought to be unique to humans–the ability to move in time with a beat.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7IZmRnAo6s&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0] Continue reading “Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo, YouTube and Scientific Discovery”