Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - 11:20 AM
Douglas Firs (Boise Centre on the Grove)

In Vivo Anatomical Studies of the Indian Parrot (Psittacula krameri) Brain by MRI Microscopy

Nimisha Kankan and Shubha Srivastava. Government Degree College, Saidabad, Allahabad, Allahabad, India

Parrots are known for their communication skills and abilities to reproduce sound combinations like human speech. In the present study we try to investigate the correlation between vocal behavior and neuroanatomical data of theIndian parrot Psittacula krameri. We used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedure that allows obtaining 2D and 3D high quality images of the fore-brain of Indian parrots. MRI imaging was performed on Magnetom Harmony 1.0 Tesla (Siemens, Germany) of horizontal bore microscope/NMR provided with shield gradient (50.0 cm. width) and strength of 23.0mT/m. The 3D and 2D spin Echo sequence was used to obtain 29 coronal, 19 axial and 26 sagittal slices of 1.0 mm. thickness. The procedure took about 80 minutes after anaesthetizing the bird. The bird recovered without any unusual events after 3 hours. Coronal, axial and sagittal images through the telencephalon and complete brain have been viewed. These images are useful tool to understand the organization of brain neuroanatomical features without killing the animal. We compared the MRI images of parrot brains with human brain MRI images, paying special attention to the Vocal Control Area (HVC) of the parrots and the same region of human brains. Our findings indicate that both parrots and humans have evolved specialized neuroarchitecture for vocal learning and sound production. Further work is going on to reveal any direct parallels between the two brain systems.