University of illinois Urbana-Champaign

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Bird Helmets

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Created 04/12/2005

The purpose of these form-fitting helmets for Zebra Finches is to see if it is possible to detect and monitor brain activity in songbirds as they listen to and learn the sound of birdsong using a brain imaging technique currently applied to humans. The helmets are used to hold the device in place, and are completely removable - eliminating the need to attach the device directly to the living bird. The helmets were designed to fit comfortably birds that were measured by James Lee. Mark Flider and James Lee designed and constructed the prototype helmet seen in the two video stills on the left using Maya and the ZCorp Z406 3D printer. The designs on the right are by Alex Jerez and James Lee, also created in Maya, and reflect changes that will make the helmets fit the birds better, while ensuring that the devices can be easily mounted as necessary.


  • James Lee , Cell and Structural Biology
  • Mark Flider , ITG, Beckman Institute
  • Alex Jerez , ITG, Beckman Institute
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