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lab profile


Karen Maruska

Louisiana State University
202 Life Sciences Bldg.
Biological Sciences, LSU
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

(225) 378-1738

Taxa Studied: Vertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Quantitative PCR (qPCR), In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, Sectioning for Histology, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Other, behavior; single neuron extracellular recordings; auditory evoked potentials
Research Description: Our lab is interested in how the brain integrates information from external social signals and from an animal's own internal physiological state to produce appropriate behaviors. Our work seeks to understand how an animal processes salient social information, which is often delivered in multiple sensory channels, and then translates it into context-specific behaviors used for survival and reproduction. Our research program uses fishes, as models to study how the brain processes information, how sensory systems contribute to behavior, and how natural plasticity in an animal's internal hormonal or nutritional state can influence neural function and behavioral outcomes. We use a combination of experimental approaches that address questions at different levels of biological organization from whole organism behavior to cellular and molecular mechanisms. Techniques used in the lab include behavioral assays, in vivo neurophysiology recordings, immunohistochemistry, hormone assays, in situ hybridization, neuroanatomy and tract-tracing, and gene expression analyses.
Lab Web Page: http://www.kmaruska.biology.lsu.edu/index.html
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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