We are interesting in understanding how the auditory system is shaped by experience during development, with a particular emphasis on the role of complex signals like speech. We examine this process in songbirds using electrophysiology, molecular biology, and neuroanatomical techniques.
Students participating in the USOAR program will primarily be involved in a project to quantify experience-dependent changes in the morphology of neurons in the avian auditory cortex. You'll take part in preparing samples, imaging neurons, tracing morphology, and performing statistical analyses.
Students need to have completed or plan to enroll in introductory biology and/or neuroscience courses.
1. Understand how brains are composed of a diverse variety of neurons that perform different functions within circuits. 2. Be able to perform basic tissue preparation and histological techniques to reveal neural morphology. 3. Develop good practices for working in a lab with a computational emphasis, including keeping careful records in a lab notebook and basic familarity with computer tools for managing data.