My comparative research focuses mostly, but not exclusively, on cognition in birds, using high-density electrical neuro-imaging techniques.
There are many parallels between avian vocal communication and human speech, for example the ability to learn to produce specific vocalizations from other individuals. Because such parallels are lacking in most nonhuman mammals, and because many birds are relatively easy to study in the lab, bird vocalization provides us with an interesting and practical model system to study how perception and production of communicative behavior is enabled by neurocognitive and peripheral systems.
In addition, I am interested in the evolution of mechanisms underlying vocal communication and language.
In my research I integrate empirical techniques and theoretical perspectives from neuroscience, comparative and cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, physiology, and biophysics.
My aim is to contribute to generating new insights for those interested in biological principles, and, potentially, for those building artificial devices, and fighting disease.