Brian Smith

Home Faculty Brian Smith
Department: 
School of Life Sciences
Endorsed to: 
Chair
Research Interests: 
Organismal, Integrative & Systems Biology

My laboratory focuses on how animals learn relationships among stimuli in their environment, and, in particular, on how those stimuli predict the occurrence important events such as food, predators or mates. Our analyses begin with detailed behavioral studies designed to investigate what animals know and how they come to know it. We integrate mechanisms that are revealed in these investigations into a larger ecological framework in order to understand how animals solve problems under natural conditions. Furthermore, we study learning and memory under controlled laboratory conditions in order to investigate how neural and molecular mechanisms encode information in the peripheral and central CNS. Finally, we collaborate with mathematicians to develop computational models of neural networks in order to integrate information across molecular, neural and behavioral levels and help to generate new testable, hypotheses.