Projects

Coleman Laboratory neuroscientists, engineers, and clinicians pursue a variety of projects on the basic and translational aspects of hearing science, both individually and in collaboration. Potential student projects are listed below.

    Genetic and anatomical organization of the hearing brain
  • How do cell types connect to one another in mouse A1? Onto what cell types are long-range and cross-modal connections made, and how are these connections refined during development? (viral and traditional tracing; optogenetics in vitro)
  • What are the genetic correlates of electrophysiological variability or cellular identity in single human or mouse neurons? (surgical resection from human patients, followed by single-neuron electrophysiological recording and genetic analysis)
  • How can we use large-scale transcriptome measurements to identify the patterns of gene expression underlying cellular identity or disease processes? (development of quantitative genetic analysis techniques)

Synaptic and cellular mechanisms of auditory function
  • How do synaptic inhibition, synaptic excitation, and short term synaptic dynamics interact in determining receptive fields in rodents? Which mechanisms are recruited in neuroplasticity associated with learning, or following acoustic trauma or aging? (Intracellular recordings in vivo and in vitro, combined with behavioral training and/or optogenetics)
  • How are the changes in auditory processing associated with aging, deafness, or other forms of acoustic trauma mediated by changes in specific cell types' connections or intrinsic properties? (intracellular recordings in vitro)

Local and global neural circuits in the thalamus and cortex
  • How do local interactions between different neuron types in a cortical column contribute to the different output pathways? (correlation analysis between local and more remote cells)
  • How do different neuron types contribute to to auditory processing in anesthetized mice? (multi-electrode recordings + optogenetics)
  • How are the different cortical layers and cell types engaged in sound processing in cat auditory cortex? (multi-electrode array recordings)
  • What is the influence of local and remote auditory fields on the shaping of the multi-dimensional receptive fields in primary auditory cortex? (effects of cooling or optogenetic inactivation on receptive fields)

Auditory psychophysics and behavior
  • How do behavioral or motivational state affect sound processing in different cell types in awake mice? (recording in awake mice during learning and performance of a discrimination task)
  • What is the electrophysiological bases in auditory cortex of psychophysical detection and discrimination of complex sounds? (recording in awake NHP during peformance of a psychophysical task)

Positions Available