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Dr. Josh Neunuebel 

My group is focused on revealing the functions of ultrasonic vocalizations in social behavior and delineating the neural circuits that process social information. Our goal is to identify vocal signatures of individual mice during specific social contexts, as well as to discover the neural representations of these signatures. By developing a system that enables us to localize and assign vocalizations to individual animals when multiple mice are present, our group can examine the relationship between vocal and social interactions. Coupling this system with neurophysiology approaches in freely moving animals uniquely positions our group to significantly advance our understanding of the interplay between vocalizations, neural coding, and social interactions in both wild type and mouse models of autism.

Sound Waves


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.

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