Behavioral and physiological measures of the perception of complex auditory stimuli in birds and mammals
Buffalo NY, 14260-4110
Phone: (716) 645-0266
My Comparative Bioacoustics Laboratory investigates acoustic communication in animals. We take a comparative approach, measuring hearing and vocalizations in a number of different animals, including birds and mice. We conduct psychoacoustic studies of hearing using operant conditioning techniques, we perform preference tests in naïve animals, and we record sonic and ultrasonic vocalizations from our subjects in various contexts. Current lines of investigation in the mouse lab include simple measures of auditory processing such as time and intensity perception, the perception of ultrasonic vocalizations, the role of noise in masking of simple and complex signals, and the preference for certain vocalizations over others. We also measure hearing across the lifespan in different strains of mice, including genetic knockouts for diseases such as Alzheimer’s. As a whole, these studies are designed to describe a more complete and accurate picture of acoustic communication in animals across the lifespan, and also serve as valuable tools to validate the mouse as a model for studies on aging and hearing loss.