The Computational Neuroethology lab investigates the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying natural social-sensory behaviors. We are interested in questions ranging from how neural circuits transform social cues into behavioral responses, what plasticity arises within those circuits as the meaning of social cues is acquired, and how that plasticity may be mediated by mechanisms driving social reward. We pursue these issues using two model systems where forms of learning occur in natural social contexts. The first is acoustic communication in mice, using a maternal model wherein mothers acquire recognition for the ultrasonic vocalizations of pups. The second system we study is social bonding in prairie voles.

Neural Coding of Vocal Categories

How do auditory systems respond to communication sound categories to guide social behavior?

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Mechanisms of Social Sound Learning

How do our brains learn to associate communicative sounds with their social sources and rewards?

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Neural Circuitry of Social Bonding

How do social contexts dynamically engage brain areas involved in sensory and reward processing to facilitate social bonds?

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Apply to be a Research Specialist!

The Computational Neuroethology lab at Emory University seeks a research-oriented post-baccalaureate fellow to assist with experiments using rodents to study how the brain processes and learns social sensory information. We will train the fellow to perform rodent surgeries and histology, …