Systems Neuroscience Research Interest Group

The Systems Neuroscience faculty share an interest in the mechanisms by which collections of excitable cells produce behavior and perception. The model organisms and techniques they use are highly diverse with individual labs typically integrating multiple approaches. For instance, at the microscopic end of the size spectrum, studies of chemoreception in the nematode, C. elegans, are conducted with calcium-imaging to visualize the activity of individual cells while microfluidic technology is applied to examine the behavior of the worm in controlled chemosensory environments (Lockery). On the macroscopic end, studies of human posture and gait and the effects of age are studied with functional MRI, kinematic analyses, and event-related potentials (Woollacott). At the mesoscopic level, sound localization is studied in barn owls by recording from single units and building computational models the predictions of which are tested psychoacoustically (Takahashi). In all of these examples, the relationship between neural activity and behavior is the theme.


Paul Dassonville Neural basis of perception and action
Cliff Kentros Studies of neural circuits underlying learning and memory
Shawn Lockery Neuronal basis of spatial orientation behaviors in the nematode C. elegans
Bill Roberts Sensory reception and synaptic transmission in the ear
Terry Takahashi Neural mechanisms of spatial hearing in owls and humans
Janis Weeks Brain disorders of the developing world; infectious and parasitic disease; neural circuits, synaptic physiology and neurodegeneration
Mike Wehr How local circuits in the cerebral cortex encode and transform sensory information
Marjorie Woolacott Neural control of balance and locomotion across the lifespan: the neurological patient and rehabilitation