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Role of experience in brain, cognitive and social development
We study mechanisms of attention and strategies of information processing in the central nervous system of birds (barn owls and chickens), using neurophysiological, pharmacological, anatomical and behavioral techniques. Studies focus on neural circuits that contribute to spatial attention (location-specific gain control of sensory responses). Both bottom-up mechanisms and top-down mechanisms are investigated. In addition, we study the rules by which auditory and visual information is combined into a single representation in the brain. Techniques offered in this laboratory include acoustic stimulation, extracellular recording, microstimulation, neuropharmacology, in vitro recording, immunohistochemistry, anatomical pathway tracing, and behavioral analysis.