Exchanging sounds is one of the main forms of social communication, for humans and many other animals species. Correctly encoding and interpreting a communicated message is a difficult problem for the brain of the listener to solve. In my research I work on finding out: how does our brain enable us to successfully communicate with each other?
I am a biomedical engineer by training, and obtained a BSc and MSc in Life Sciences and Technology from EPFL (Swiss Institute of Technology Lausanne), Switzerland. I subsequently moved to the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tuebingen, Germany, to work towards my PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Neuroscience, with the financial support of the Max Planck Society and the Swiss National Science Foundation. From there, I moved to University College London with a postdoctoral fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation.
I am now a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow (Principal Investigator) at the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, University College London. I investigate how neurons in the brain of mice respond to and encode auditory communication signals during natural social interactions. To do this, I combine the ethological study of animal behaviour with the ensemble recording and manipulation of neuronal circuits. My goal is to reveal the neuronal mechanisms underlying auditory social interactions, and advance our understanding of social communication in health and disease.