He knows she's listening. And now we know that she knows he knows.
Using the word "know" loosely, that's a simplified version of a new analysis of zebra finches by neuroscientists at the University of California, San Francisco.
Sarah Woolley explains that males sing a song differently when they're in front of females than when they're just twittering to themselves. Now she and Allison Doupe have found that females prefer the ladies-are-listening version. An area of the female brain associated with processing social context gets especially active during the males' formal serenades, Woolley and Doupe report in the March PLoS Biology.
Songbirds are among the few animals known to learn th