Listening to Birdsong
Scientists had noticed slight variations in the songs of mal~ zebra f'mches based on whether they were singing alone or whether there was a female (and potential mate) nearby. With an audience, the males sped up the pace of their songs and controlled the notes they used.
For this study, researchers Sarah C. Woolley and Allison Doupe at the University of California, San Francisco decided to focus attention on the listening females, which have not been well studied in the past.
In the study, Woolley and Doupe set up ,a long cage with a sound speaker at each end. One broadcast the sound of a male zebra finch singing to himself, like someone singing in the shower. The other speaker broadcast a male performing for a female audience, as if he was giving a concert.
Female birds were placed between the two speakers. Some of the birds had mates, others didn't. The females shifted around a bit, and then most of them hopped over to sit beside just one speaker. All the birds that made a clear choice liked songs meant for a female audience, even if they'd never met the male.
Mated females also had a chance to listen to two different performance songs, one from an unknown male, and one from their mate. They spent more time listening to the concert version of their mates' songs. This suggests that after a while, females learn to recognize--and prefer—the songs of their mates.
Scientists then studied the brains of the females. They found certain areas of the brain perked up3 when the birds listened to the concert songs. These brain areas may be involved in recognizing and evaluating the songs, and storing the memories of them.
This research deals with what's called directed communication, when the communicator, or sender, focuses the message for a specific audience. One example is the way moms speak to their babies. Mothers around the world use the same sort of high'pitched4 sing-song chatter, and the babies respond best to those sounds. Songbirds are one of the only other species known to learn their communication, in this case their songs.
finch n. 雀科鸣鸟 perk v. 使振作，使活跃
chirp v. (鸟)鸣 morn n. 妈妈(等于英国英语mum)
trill n. (鸟的)啭音；颤音 chatter v. &n喋喋不休，唠叨
1. zebra finch: 斑胸草雀
2. chirp away: 吱喳而鸣。away有continuously和steadily的意思。
3. perk up : 活跃起来，振作精神
4. high-pitched: 活跃起来，振作精神
1. What does the first paragraph say about zebra finches?
A）Male zebra finches like to sing to female zebra finches.
B）Male zebra finches sing louder than female zebra finches.
C）Male zebra finches change their songs in female zebra finches' presence.
D）Male zebra finches like to listen to female zebra finches sing.
2. What did the researchers fred in their study of female zebra finches?
A）Female finches liked songs male finches sang for them.
B）Female finches only liked songs male finches sang for their mates.
C）Female finches liked to listen to songs from both speakers.
D）Female finches chose the best male singers as their mates.
3. What is meant by "concert songs" in the seventh paragraph?
A）Songs sung by zebra finches at a concert.
B）Songs sung by male finches for female finches.
C）Songs sung by female fmches for male finches.
D）Songs sung by male fmches to many female finches.
4. What is NOT true of directed communication?
A）The sender of a message has a specific audience.
B）Male zebra finches sing to female finches.
C）Mothers talk to their babies,
D）Male zebra finches sing to themselves.
5. Which of the following can best reflect the theme of the passage?.
B）Birdsongs as communication.
C）Zebra finches and their life.
1. C 文章第一段的第二句告诉我们，雄性斑胸草雀只要注意到有雌性斑胸草雀听他唱歌便会改变声调。其他选项均不是该段所表达的意思。
2. A 选项B、C、D 都不是答案，因为文章的第五段说，有配偶的雌性胸草雀更喜欢她们配偶的歌声，而没有配偶的喜欢的听雄性斑胸草雀为雌性斑胸草雀的歌。
3. B 第四段提到…a male performing for a female audience, as if he was giving a concert. 所以，第七段中的concert songs 即指雄性斑胸草雀为雌性斑胸草雀的歌。
4. D 文章的最后一段解释了什么是directed communication,即，when the communicator, or sender, focuses the message for a specific audience. 该段又举了母亲对婴儿说话的例子，说明这与雄性斑胸草雀为雌性斑胸草雀的歌同属directed communication。
5. B 文章所涉及的研究旨在发现雄性斑胸草雀歌声是否会在不同的情况下发生变化，其结果是，它们在为雌性斑胸草雀唱歌时，会改变声调和速度。这就是说，它们的歌声实际上是一种交流方式。所以应选择B。