The brain has evolved to coordinate many complex behaviors, We are exploring how species across a wide diversity of taxa developed the motor circuits involved in vocal learning. By using a wide array of imaging and next generation sequencing technologies, we are characterizing cell type homologies across vertebrate brains ranging from reptiles to mammals. By identifying the molecular identity of cell types across these species, we can determine the ways in which different cell types interact to form the circuits underlying complex behaviors. These interactions can then be compared across species to identify the genetic underpinnings of brain development.
Molecular profiling of the developing avian telencephalon: regional timing and brain subdivision continuities. Chen CC, Winkler CM, Pfenning AR, Jarvis ED. J Comp Neurol. 2013 Nov;521(16):3666-701.
Global view of the functional molecular organization of the avian cerebrum: mirror images and functional columns. Jarvis ED, Yu J, Rivas MV, Horita H, Feenders G, Whitney O, Jarvis SC, Jarvis ER, Kubikova L, Puck AE, Siang-Bakshi C, Martin S, McElroy M, Hara E, Howard J, Pfenning A, Mouritsen H, Chen CC, Wada K. J Comp Neurol. 2013 Nov;521(16):3614-65.
Evolution of the Pallium in Birds and Reptiles. Erich D. Jarvis (2009) In: New Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Marc D. Binder, Nobutaka Hirokawa and Uwe Windhorst (eds). Ann Butler (sub-ed). Springer-Verlag GmbH Berlin Heidelberg. 15 pages.