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Seminar: Professor Richard Mooney
March 3, 2017 @ 17:00 - 18:30
Putting some muscle into hearing: motor to auditory pathways for adaptive hearing and vocal learning
Friday 3 March @ 5 pm – 6:30 pm (Sherrington library)
Richard Mooney’s research is focused on studying the neural substrates for vocal learning and communication, in mice and songbirds:
“There are two major foci to our songbird studies: elucidating how and where auditory and motor information about learned vocalizations is encoded in the brain; identifying the mechanisms via which auditory experience modifies vocal output, as occurs during sensitive periods for vocal learning. We also study the neurobiology of audition and vocalization in mice. Although mice do not appear to be vocal learners, they do vocalize and produce other sounds as a consequence of their movements. A major focus of our current research is to understand how vocal motor and auditory regions of the brain interact during vocalizations and other sound-producing behaviors to help the organism distinguish self-generated sounds from other sounds in the environment. We are using both wild type and genetically modified mice to identify the central neural mechanisms that underlie this form of sensorimotor integration.”
“I will discuss neural circuits that convey motor-related signals to the auditory system, and the function of these circuits in processing auditory stimuli, including movement-related auditory reafference. Recent studies from my group in both mice and songbirds have helped to detail circuitry that conveys motor-related signals to the auditory forebrain and explore the roles of these circuits in suppressing movement-related auditory feedback and in auditory-guided vocal learning.”