Research Interests

The ultimate goal of my research is the complete understanding of the neural mechanisms of auditory signal processing for specialized (biosonar) and common (communication) auditory functions. Many species of bats (which account for about 20 percent of all mammalian species) use complex sounds for biosonar and communication. For these functions, the auditory and vocal systems have developed in parallel and interact with each other. Therefore I am interested in the exploration of auditory neural mechanisms for processing these behaviorally relevant sounds. The following problems have been and will be studied electrophysiologically, anatomically, and behaviorally: How does the bat's auditory system extract the information necessary for biosonar or communication from species-specific complex sounds? Does the auditory system have subsystems or subdivisions devoted to processing either biosonar signals or communication sounds? How does the corticofugal system modulate signal processing according to associative learning or attention? Are the neural mechanisms found in the bat shared with nonbat species?

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Section 28: Systems Neuroscience