Sunday, June 15, 2014

Guitar Hero for Bird Songs

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has created a new tool to help bird-watchers learn bird songs in a visual, as well as auditory, way. It's an online game that they call Bird Song Hero, an homage to the popular game Guitar Hero, which popularized the visualization and gamification of learning music (though what you learn isn't exactly a real instrument... But here, you get to learn to recognize real bird songs).

Bird Song Hero can teach you to recognize 50 different bird songs, and once you've learned them, help you practice your skills so you don't lose them. What makes this way of learning so powerful is that you not only train your brain to recognize the sounds, but you also train the visual parts of your brain with the use of spectrogram visualization. This increases your chances of committing the sound patterns to memory. Very cool.

Here's the intro video that shows you how Bird Song Hero works and gives you some examples:



Check out the Bird Song Hero website here.

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