sensory and motor circuitry
The avian brain has been studied extensively with respect to song learning and vision. In the case of the former, birds are important biological models for sound perception and language acquisition. For the latter, it is now known that birds and mammals have functionally converged on three major neural pathways for processing visual information. Despite these considerable advances, we know very little about how the avian brain uses sensory information to initiate and control flight motor actions. We have recently described the peripheral motor anatomy of hummingbirds (Donovan et al., 2013). We are currently developing a three dimensional atlas of the hummingbird brain that combines Magnetic Resonance Imaging, immunohistochemistry, and X-ray computed tomography.