This experiment is certainly attention-grabbing. It runs contrary to 20 years of data demonstrating the fundamental role of the auditory cortex, including NCM, in auditory processing and learning from multiple labs. The current results are, however, difficult to interpret because the extent of the lesions and perhaps more importantly, the rate and extent of remodeling that occurred, is unknown. The songbird brain has great potential for plasticity and there is a long history of neural repair confounding lesion studies, especially in young animals. In the auditory cortex, highly recursive interconnections between subregions may support re-routing of information with this level of damage. Additionally, several lines of evidence indicate that very little tutor experience is required for song learning, on the order of hours, and the social tutoring environment would have optimized learning conditions. Each of these factors alone would complicate interpretation; together, they seriously limit the utility of the experiment. As part of a circuit, auditory cortex would indeed need to process meaningful tutor song information to pass along to the singing system (Vates; Bauer, e.g.) for song similarity to emerge. How this process would appear to be preserved when the tissue is presumably removed may itself say something about homeostasis; it may be that this larger damage recruits more compensatory mechanisms than a specific disruption. Given that we cannot know the neuroanatomy of the NCM when the juvenile experiences the tutor, the study has the effect of reviving the black-box nature of neuroscience and behavior. At this point, it is not clear how much this represents a forward continuation on the quest to empirically determine how neural circuits organize and function.