Penn Bioengineering presents:
Michael Yartsev, Ph.D.
Department of Bioengineering and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
“Studying the Neural Basis of Natural Spatial, Social and Acoustic Behaviors – in Freely Behaving and Flying Bats”
Light refreshments will be served.
Our lab seeks to understand the neural basis of complex spatial, acoustic and social behaviors in mammals. To do so, we take a neuroethological approach that leverages the specialization of the bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) for these behaviors in order to elucidate their underlying neural computations. In the spatial domain, we take advantage of the bat’s ability to elegantly navigate during high-speed flight and under varying levels of spatial complexities. In the social-acoustic domain, we utilize the bat’s social communication signals to understand how these are learned and later used during natural group social interactions. In parallel, we have pioneered a suite of cutting-edge technologies that make it possible to study the behavior and neural circuits in freely behaving and flying bats to examine these systems in a way not previous possible. In this talk, I provide an overview of some of the research topics our lab has been working on over the past few years.
ABOUT MICHAEL YARTSEV
Michael completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biomedical engineering at the Ben-Gurion University in 2007 and received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Weizmann institute in the laboratory of Nachum Ulanovsky. He was subsequently a C.V. Starr fellow in neuroscience in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute where he completed a post-doc in the laboratory of Carlos Brody. He is an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley with a joint appointment in the department of Bioengineering and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Amongst the recognitions he received Michael was named a PEW, Searle, McKnight, Packard, Sloan, Klingenstein & NYSCF scholar and was a recipient of the NIH Director’s new innovator award, the Rising Star award from UPenn and the Jannet Rosenberg Trubatch Award from the Society of Neuroscience. Research in his laboratory utilizes the bat as model system to study the neural mechanisms of complex spatial, social and acoustic behaviors, with focus on the neural computations underlying spatial navigation, group sociality and vocal communication/learning.