Duke Neuroscientists See How Practice Really Does Make Perfect

When the game is on the line – specifically, when an attractive female zebra finch alights nearby – it’s go-time and the male bird will execute his song with practiced precision and speed. Now, thanks to several new tools, including the ability to monitor a hundred neurons at once and some powerful machine learning analyses, neuroscientists at Duke University have seen the circuitry of the brain that controls the bird’s practice sessions and his performance.