Comparative Neurobiology Lab
Olfactory neurobiology in plethodontid salamanders
Most amphibians possess both a vomeronasal (accessory olfactory) and a main olfactory system. The vomeronasal pathway in salamander displays uniquely direct connections to brain regions involved in behavioural control and mediates the detection of a variety of biologically relevant chemical cues. Thus, it appears a good model pathway to study how the nervous system processes sensory information from molecules to behaviour. We study behaviour and brain responses following the delivery of olfactory stimuli to the vomeronasal organ of salamanders. Electrophysiology can be used to establish how bioelectrical signals are processed from the vomeronasal sensory neurons to the behavioural control centres of the brain.