Integrative Behavioral Neuroscience

ABOUT

Our primary research goal is to uncover the origin, function, and cellular, molecular, and biochemical mechanisms underlying natural variation in the spatial and temporal patterns of adult neurogenesis. We combine several approaches including behavioral genomics, comparative neuroanatomy, cellular and molecular biology, and electrophysiology with mechanistic studies to accomplish our research aims. By integrating comparative neuroethology and cell and molecular biology with behavioral genetic and eco-evo approaches, our lab asks questions like: How do differing spatiotemporal patterns of adult neurogenesis arise within and across individuals, populations, and species? And, can we exploit the plasticity and diversity of these spatiotemporal patterns to uncover both ultimate mechanisms and the behavioral consequences of adult neurogenesis?

2017

Year Established

8

Projects Published

12

Laboratory
Members

8

Awards Won
 

For undergraduate students interested in joining the lab, please read through our lab philosophy and policies for undergraduate research. If you are interested in research for credit, read the example syllabus below.

PUBLICATIONS

Check out our latest publication in the 

eNeuo

"Inflammation induced by natural neuronal death and LPS

regulates neural progenitor cell proliferation in the healthy adult brain"

 

Natural reactive neurogenesis, or the birth of new neurons in the adult avian brain following non-injury induced neuronal loss, is mediated through local inflammation. Inhibition of inflammation with the anti-inflammatory drug minocycline – an inhibitor of microglial activation – prevents reactive neurogenesis in HVC. Conversely, local inflammation induced by injecting endotoxin directly into HVC increases neural stem cell proliferation in the adjacent ventricular zone, which supplies HVC with new neurons. These findings contribute to the emerging role that local neuroinflammation plays in regulating adult neurogenesis and promoting neural circuit homeostasis and regeneration. 

Other Recent Publications

 

TEACHING

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Courses

Course Ideas:

  • The Laws and Ethics of Neuroscience

  • Adult Neural Plasticity

  • Neuroethology

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In the Laboratory

We integrate several approaches including behavioral genomics, comparative neuroanatomy, cellular biology, and electrophysiology to study the function and mechanisms of adult neurogenesis.

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CONTACT

Inquiries

I welcome discussions with potential collaborators and I am always excited to discuss research opportunities with interested undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral researchers.

Thanks for submitting!

Office

University of Virginia

Department of Biology
Physical Life Sciences Building, Rm 304
PO Box 400328
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4328

 

larson.tracy(at)virginia.edu

Office: (434) 297-7946

Fax: (434) 243-5315

Shipping Address

University of Virginia

Department of Biology

409 McCormick Road, Loading Dock

Charlottesville, VA 22904