I am interested in the auditory processing of complex sounds and the underlying neurobiology of social behaviors. In humans, efforts have been made to investigate the neural underpinnings of speech and music processing. It is crucial to establish mammalian models that will allow us to comparatively investigate molecular and physiological principles involved in these behaviors.
Bats are gregarious animals that have well developed audio-vocal systems and produce ultrasonic vocalizations to navigate their environment, and also they produce social communication calls that vary in complexity, form, and function. Furthermore, vocal learning has been described in a handful of bat species. Thus, bats emerge as a key mammalian model to bridge the research on auditory communication across taxa. By using electrophysiological, behavioral and molecular approaches I aim to investigate how the brain of these auditory specialists processes social communication sounds and how they develop their vocal repertoire.