Our lab studies the neurobiology of vocal communication. We use vocal communication as a model behavior to know how the brain generates, perceives, and learns behavior. Emphasis is placed on the molecular pathways involved in the perception and production of learned vocalizations. We use an integrative approach that combines behavioral, anatomical, electrophysiological, and molecular biology techniques. The main animal model used is songbirds, one of the few vertebrate groups (among parrots, hummingbirds, humans, whales, dolphins and elephants) that evolved the ability to learn vocalizations. The overall goal of the research is to advance knowledge of the neural mechanisms for vocal learning and basic mechanisms of brain function.