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Cocktails & Chromosomes: The mysterious songs of mice

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“This blob of tissue enables us to do everything.”

That’s CSHL Assistant Professor Arkarup Banerjee talking about the human brain. For Banerjee, one of the most fascinating things the brain enables is exactly that—talking. It usually takes just one-fifth of a second for someone to begin responding in conversation. Think about all that has to happen in our brain during that time. We have to process the words we’ve heard. We have to recall and interpret what all of those words mean. We have to formulate a response, and then we have to actually vocalize it.

To figure out how this works, Banerjee turns his attention—and ours—to animals known as “singing” mice. Yes, you read that right. These mice “sing” to one another in a kind of call-and-response that varies in both pitch and timing. Hear for yourself in our latest edition of Cocktails & Chromosomes, filmed at Industry bar in Huntington, NY. And be sure to catch our final installment of 2023 as CSHL Associate Professor Semir Beyaz will lead a mouth-watering discussion on the biology of food and nutrition. Register now for the November 30 event.