A position for a highly motivated postdoc is available in the Banerjee Lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, for a start date of January 2021 or later.
Our lab is interested in how the brain accomplishes the ongoing transformation from sensation to action during natural behaviors. Vocal communication is ideally suited to study natural and flexible sensorimotor transformations. During a conversation, our brain must interpret what we hear and control our vocal response. Recently, we have discovered that a neo-tropical rodent, Alston’s singing mouse, engages in fast vocal interactions, even under laboratory settings. Our lab, using this novel model system, seeks to pursue two complementary questions. First, how does the auditory system interact with the motor system to generate the sensorimotor loop required for vocal communication? Second, what are the neural circuit modifications that allow behavioral novelty to emerge during evolution? Various rodent species exhibit marked differences in vocal behaviors. Genes that determine such behavioral differences, for example between the singing mouse and the lab mouse, must act via neural circuits within the brain. Yet, the structural and functional changes in the brain that specify the distinct vocal repertoires across related species remain unknown. Research in the lab combines cutting-edge systems neuroscience and comparative evolutionary analyses of neural circuitry across rodent species to bridge this knowledge-gap.
Candidates from non-traditional and/or underrepresented backgrounds, broadly defined, are strongly encouraged to apply.