We study animal behavior at both 'proximate' and 'ultimate' levels. At the proximate level, we investigate how neural circuits in fish and anuran amphibians control natural behaviors. At the ultimate level, we study the adaptive significance and evolution of these behaviors. Our research methodology, therefore, ranges from neurophysiological analysis of single neuron function to behavioral studies in the lab and field.
- Postdoctoral Researcher, Neuroscience-Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
I have extensive experience making recordings from the auditory systems of anurans, starting with my Ph.D. thesis, at Cornell University, under the direction of Dr. Robert Capranica. I have been funded over the past 20 years from NIDCD to conduct neurophysiological and behavioral studies of how temporal information in the communication signals of anurans is represented and processed in the central auditory system. Over the past 18 years my students, postdocs and I have pioneered ‘whole-cell patch’ recording in vivo from neurons in the midbrain of several species of anurans. We now combine whole-cell recording with focal delivery of pharmacological agents and use newly developed analytical algorithms to determine how excitatory and inhibitory inputs to neurons are integrated to perform computations important for processing communication signals. To the best of my knowledge, we are the only investigators that have this neurophysiological expertise. These studies have been aimed at elucidating the mechanisms that underlie the selectivity of IC neurons for temporal features of sounds, which is the primary focus of current neurophysiological projects.