February 14th, 2018

Love among the finches

Of course, I’m not sure it’s appropriate to call it “love,” but on Valentine’s Day what else can I call it?

Nature is absolutely extraordinary:

Dr. Woolley’s lab has been looking into the acoustic systems of zebra, bengalese and long-tailed finches to see how their brains take in and process sounds — learning, performing and analyzing different parts of them to make sense of songs.

A male’s system is designed to recognize the songs of other males and copy his father’s. If he doesn’t learn, perfect and memorize his father’s song within the first 90 days of life, when his brain is especially malleable, he never will. He still sings, but “he sings a disaster,” said Dr. Woolley. “And the females want nothing to do with him.”

When a female’s brain is young and malleable, she tunes into her father’s song, memorizes it and then stores it as a template for evaluating a mate’s song later. This example reminds her that she didn’t die, and her father helped ensure that. Perhaps something similar will work for her offspring.

Females tend to prefer elaborate songs with more syllables.

I prefer a good sense of humor. But maybe that’s another type of “elaborate song.”

Dr. Woolley adds, in what I think is a bit of a leap and quite an oversimpllification: “The way that people fall in love, is talking to each other.” There’s no doubt that’s a good part of it. But there’s a reason that “love at first sight” is called love at first sight. And a man and a woman (or to be PC about it, any sort of potentially-romantic couple) can be really really really good friends and talk up a storm without being in love.

I’ve had the experience of love at first sight and I’ve had the experience of clicking with a potential good friend right away, and they’re very very different. For me, though, the initial impression of love (through the visual and a gazillion other signs and signals we’re constantly picking up on) has to be followed up by a lot of verbal rapport, too. And I find that, at least in my life, love is a rare and precious commodity.

4 Responses to “Love among the finches”

  1. Les Says:

    Rare and precious indeed which is why so many tales so many stories, so many novels have it as its center. So many that it seems to be a right, a given that it will happen in one’s life. But lucky are the few.

  2. artemptydgr Says:

    There are 28 steps for humans
    We go through them all when fund a mate
    Since go through them super fast… Others are slow

    If you want to know what purchasing women have but dint believe read the pua stuff…mgtow dint particularly like players we would rather not play games

  3. Molly Brown Says:

    I always said I didn’t believe in l love at first sight. It’s not logical, I maintained. Until I realized that with the two men I have truly loved, the first moment I saw them is imprinted on my brain. Nobody else is there. If that is not love at first sight, what is?
    Thank God for Jordan Peterson, he’s showing me the way out of the empirical trap.

  4. Molly Brown Says:

    And I quite agree, Neo. Gotta laugh. Both of my loves are absolutely the funniest men I have ever known.
    But my wonderful father is a really serious man. Very loving, but serious, never made jokes. Too intellectual. So, go Figure, it’s not the laughs that make me feel safe. Maybe something about always being on the same page.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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