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Our purpose

We want to know how the brain generates, perceives, and learns behavior. We use vocal communication as a model 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 biological techniques. The main animal model used is songbirds, one of the few vertebrate groups 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.

In the News

View the press coverage that shows the public impact of our research.

Neurobiology of Vocal Communication

Evolution of Brain For Vocal Learning

We are using natural behavior and molecular biology to study the evolution of brain structures for vocal learning, and the latest exciting results.

Mouse Vocal Communication

Using the wide knowledge of the laboratory on songbirds, we are trying to better understand the meanings and functions of the ultrasonic vocalizations and communication in mice.

Songbird Neurogenomics

Find out how we are using the latest genome research techniques to characterize the molecular basis of the songbird vocal communication system.

Avian Genomes

We have been working with consortiums of scientist to sequence genomes of from multiple bird orders. We are using these genomes to study vocal learning using comparative genomics.