Neural Basis of Social Behavior
The Neunuebel Neuroscience Lab
Dept. of Psychological and Brain Sciences
We study the neural circuits encoding and transforming different streams of sensory information that underlie social behavior. To investigate social interactions, we use mice as a model system because they form diverse societies that are affected by group dynamics such as reproductive and investigative behaviors. These behaviors occur concurrently with the emission of ultrasonic vocalizations and playback of these sounds elicits responses in neural structures involved in processing social information. However, the function of ultrasonic vocalizations and how they are represented in neural circuits during social behavior is unclear.

Our lab’s research uses a diverse set of innovative behavioral tools to identify which mouse is vocalizing and automatically detect specific behaviors while wirelessly recording neural activity from freely socializing animals. Experiments are performed with an arsenal of techniques to manipulate sensory input and the production of vocalizations in both wild type and autism mouse models.