Lab members

Dr. Bryce Chung
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Bryce graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 with a bachelor’s of science in chemical engineering and a masters of business administration with a concentration in finance. In 2017, under the supervision of Dr. Donald Edwards at Georgia State University, Bryce completed and defended his dissertation titled, “Locomotor network dynamics governed by feedback control in crayfish posture and walking.” His work included in vitro hybrid experiments using a brain-machine interface and real-time biomechanical simulations to determine the role of sensory feedback during posture and locomotion. In addition, he used computer simulations of a neural network to characterize the dynamics of the locomotor control circuit using a parameter sweeping technique. Finally, he used a simplified nonlinear oscillator model to illustrate that sensory feedback changes network output without changing the underlying bifurcations. Bryce continues to pursue his interests in feedback control of sensorimotor systems using a multipronged approach that incorporates biological experiments, computational methods, and mathematical modeling.
Email: bryce dot paul dot chung at Emory dot edu

Chung, B., Bacqué-Cazenave, J., Cofer, D. W., Cattaert, D., & Edwards, D. H. (2015).
The effect of sensory feedback on crayfish posture and locomotion: I. Experimental analysis of closing the loop. Journal of Neurophysiology, 113(6), 1763-1771.
Bacqué-Cazenave, J., Chung, B., Cofer, D. W., Cattaert, D., & Edwards, D. H. (2015).
The effect of sensory feedback on crayfish posture and locomotion: II. Neuromechanical simulation of closing the loop. Journal of Neurophysiology, 113(6), 1772-1783.

David Nicholsondavid_cropped
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

David is a graduate student in Emory’s Neuroscience program. He studies how the hindbrain interacts with the parts of the forebrain specialized for vocalization in songbirds, using neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and behavioral techniques. His undergraduate degree is a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of South Florida with a minor in Spanish. David is also very active in scientific outreach, both with the lab and as a graduate student representative of the Atlanta chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.


E-mail: dnicho4 at emory dot edu

Neuroscience Program Outreach Award (6/2014).
Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society (11/2015).

Nicholson D, Roberts, T, and Sober SJ (2018).
Thalamostriatal and cerebellothalamic pathways in a songbird, the Bengalese finch.
J. Comp. Neurol.
Hoffmann LA, Kelly CW, Nicholson DA, and Sober SJ (2012).
A lightweight, headphones-based system for manipulating auditory feedback in songbirds.
J. Visualized Experiments. (69)

Varun Saravananvarun cropped
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

Having obtained a Bachelor of Technology in Engineering Physics from IIT-Madras, India, Varun is a Neuroscience Graduate student at Emory University. He is interested in the mechanisms of learning and error correction in song birds’ vocal and auditory systems.
Email: varun.saravanan at emory dot edu

Ruth L Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31) from NIH-NINDS.

Hoffmann LA, Saravanan V, Wood AN, He L, Sober SJ. (2016)
Dopaminergic Contributions to Vocal Learning
J. Neuroscience 36(7):2176-89

Luria-Delbruck, revisited: The classic experiment does not rule out Lamarckian evolution. Holmes C. et al. 2017

Dynamic corticostriatal activity biases social bond formation in prairie voles. Amadei, E.A.*, Johnson, Z.V.*, et al. 2017


Alynda Wood Wood_Lyndie (2)
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

Prior to entering Emory’s Neuroscience Graduate Program, Lyndie received her undergraduate degree at Hampshire College and completed the Postbaccalaureate Intramural Training program at NIH. Her current research focuses on the neural basis of vocal learning.
email: alynda.noel.wood at emory dot edu


GRC Award

NSF Award (3/2015)

ARCS Scholar Award

Emory University Division Scholar Award

Hoffmann LA, Saravanan V, Wood AN, He L, Sober SJ. (2016)
Dopaminergic Contributions to Vocal Learning
J. Neuroscience 36(7):2176-89

Wiltgen, B.J., Wood, A.N., & Levy, B. (2011) The cellular mechanisms of memory are modified by experience. Learning & Memory 18(12), 747-750

Fan, F., Jia, L., Ebrahim, S., May-Simera, H., Wood, A.N ., Morell, R.J., Liu, P., Lei, J., Kachar, B., Belluscio, L., Qian H., Li, T., Li, W., Wistow, G., Dong, L. (2017) Maturation arrest in early postnatal sensory receptors by deletion of the miR-183/96/182 cluster in mouse. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(21), E4271-E4280


James McGregorjames
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

James received a B.S. in Biology and Neuroscience, with a minor in chemistry, from Brandeis University. There, he worked in the Turrigiano lab and studied the effects of behavior on expression of firing rate homeostasis in rat visual cortex. James’ research in the Sober lab is focusedon reinforcement learning and error correction.
Email: james dot neal dot mcgregor at emory dot edu

Hengen KB, Torrado Pacheco A, McGregor JN, Van Hooser SD, Turrigiano GG. (2016)
Neuronal Firing Rate Homeostasis Is Inhibited by Sleep and Promoted by Wake.

Andrea PackAndrea Pack_picture
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

Andrea graduated from the University of Vermont in 2011 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and minors in Applied Mathematics and Dance. Before joining the Emory Neuroscience Graduate Program, she worked in Dr. Randy Nudo’s lab at University of Kansas Medical Center studying neural mechanisms underpinning plasticity following stroke and traumatic brain injury. Andrea’s current research focuses on how patterns of coordinated activity across multiple neurons and muscles emerge during the learning of a skilled behavior.
Email: andrea dot r dot pack at emory dot edu

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (3/2017).

Srivastava K, Holmes CM, Vellema M, Pack A, Elemans C, Nemenman I, and Sober SJ
Motor control by precisely timed spike patterns
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(5):1171-1176 (2017).

Dr. Amanda Jacobamanda
Research Specialist, Lead

Amanda received degrees in physics and chemistry at Georgia Tech before obtaining her PhD in neurobiology in 2012 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While at UNC, she worked under Dr. Richard Weinberg using light and electron microscopy to investigate the organization of AIDA-1 and AMPARs, two different proteins involved in synaptic plasticity. After her graduate studies, she joined David Fitzpatrick’s group at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. In the Fitzpatrick lab, she studied the organization of GABAergic circuitry in primary visual cortex and managed histological processing of tissue in the lab. Amanda is primarily interested in how protein, cell, and circuit structure contributes of function.
Email: amanda dot louise dot jacob at emory dot edu

Jacob AL, Weinberg RJ. (2015)
The organization of AMPA receptor subunits at the postsynaptic membrane.
Hippocampus 25:798-812

Jacob AL, Jordan BA, Weinberg RJ. (2010)
Organization of amyloid-beta protein precursor intracellular domain-assoicaited protein-1 in the rat brain.
J Comp Neurol. 518:3221-36

Sean O’ Connell

Before joining the lab in 2017, Sean graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. In the past, he has worked on projects involving 3D modeling, programming in Matlab, and electronic device design. Some examples of each include: designing a custom housing for a Michelson-type interferometer, writing code for ECG signal analysis, and building a circuit for measuring oxygen levels in the blood. Currently, he assists the lab with design and fabrication of electronic components for processing and acquisition of neural signals.

Email: Sean underscore oc at emory dot com

Connor Gallimore

Connor graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and minors in Chemistry and Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, he worked in the Carelli lab assisting on projects that investigate the neural mechanisms mediating aversive/hedonic behaviors in a taste reactivity paradigm, and how learned associations may be encoded in the rat nucleus accumbens core and shell. Following graduation from UNC, his persisting interest in reinforcement and reward-based learning, specifically dopamine-modulated within the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loop, brought him to the Sober lab to explore how dopaminergic projections to the song system instruct learning and instantiate meaningful behavior change.

Email: cgallimore at emory dot edu

David Hercules

David graduated from Emory University in 2017 with a B.S. in Chemistry. He first started in the lab as a college senior performing histology for anatomy and behavior projects, and after graduating, joined full-time as a lab manager. Currently, he is updating the lab’s database using Django, Python, and Apache, carrying out histology, and collecting data using confocal and brightfield microscopes. He also carries out husbandry for a colony of 200+ birds and serves as the interface between the lab and outside regulatory institutions and vendors.

Email: dhercul at emory dot edu


Laura Waters-Goggins (Research Specialist)
Lukas Hoffman (Graduate Student)
Conor Kelly (Lab Manager, Undergraduate Researcher)
Kyle Srivastava (Graduate Student)
Mackenzie Wyatt (Undergraduate Researcher)
Rachel Rarick (Research Specialist)
Diala Chehayeb (Research Specialist)
Jonah Queen (Research Specialist)
Claire Tang (Undergraduate Researcher)
Rana Alsiro (Undergraduate Researcher)
Emily Berthiaume (Undergraduate Researcher)
Carolyn Mclaughlin (Undergraduate Researcher)
Je Eun Park (Undergraduate Researcher)
Sevara Rakhimova (Undergraduate Researcher)
Jeffrey Simpson (Undergraduate Researcher)
Reid Schwartz (High School Student)