Our laboratory is located in the Terasaki Life Sciences Building
at the University of California at Los Angeles
. We are interested in how social interactions influence neural plasticity. To investigate this, we focus on the neural basis of vocal learning. Speech requires vocal learning, i.e. the ability to modify innate vocalizations in order to produce new ones. Only a handful of animal groups are known to exhibit this trait, with human speech and songbird song learning being the best-characterized. Presently, the lab uses the zebra finch, a songbird species and a well-established model of vocal learning, to investigate the neural basis of this important trait.