Jon H. Kaas

Vanderbilt University

Election Year: 2000
Primary Section: 28, Systems Neuroscience
Secondary Section: 52, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

My research has been directed toward several broad goals. First, my co-workers and I have used electrophysiological, anatomical, and histochemical procedures to investigate how sensory and motor systems are organized in the brains of various mammals, especially primates. As part of this effort, comparisons across species have led to theories of how complex systems evolved from simpler systems. Second, our increased understanding of how sensory and motor systems are organized in normal primates has allowed us to determine how these systems reorganize and respond to sensory loss and damage, even in mature animals. Thus, much of my current research is directed toward determining how developing and mature systems change with alterations in sensory inputs, and determining the mechanisms of change. I hope to learn how to promote plastic changes that are beneficial and help recoveries from brain damage, and prevent those changes that are detrimental. Third, our increased understanding of the complexity of sensory and motor systems has led to questions about how these systems function during behavior. We are starting to record from neurons in several parts of these systems with arrays of chronically implanted microelectrodes in efforts to determine how populations of neurons mediate behavior.

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