In swift succession over the last few weeks, Shanice handed in and viva-ed her MSc thesis, thus successfully concluding her UCL Neuroscience MSc degree. It was wonderful to have her on board this scientific adventure and she made this research avenue truly take off. I am so proud of her many achievements over the last year, and know there are many more to come.
Michael, a BSc Neuroscience student at UCL, spent his first day in the lab yesterday. He will be working with with us on mouse songs over the summer, with the support of an Undergraduate Project Scholarship from the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. I’m very happy you joined us, and curious about where your project will lead us!
Good things take time… and finally our recently accepted paper in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience is available online! This work results from a very enjoyable collaboration and extensive discussions with Paul Matusz, Suzanne Dikker and Alex Huth following our symposium at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting in San Francisco last year. In this paper the four of us come together from our diverse neuroscience backgrounds to discuss whether we are ready for real-world neuroscience and introduce a forthcoming special issue of JoCN – stay tuned for the official publication date!
Michael, a second-year BSc Neuroscience student at UCL, has been awarded an Undergraduate Project Scholarship from the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. With the support of this scholarship, Michael will join the mouse song team over the summer to study the sex-specificity of mouse vocalizations. Congratulations Michael, and I’m looking forward to working with you!
Colombine thoroughly aced her MSc thesis defense yesterday at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. I couldn’t be more proud of her and all the great work she has done in her 6 months at UCL. Working together was very productive and great fun, and I wish her lots of continued success in her next step. Also, it was quite moving to be back at my beloved alma mater as an examiner, almost exactly 10 years after defending my own thesis.
At the beginning of December, a small group of auditory neuroscientists gathered in the beautiful setting of the Royal Society’s Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire. Over two days of a great scientific programme curated by Andrei Kozlov (Imperial College) and Joerg Albert (UCL Ear Institute), researchers focusing on all possible stages of the auditory pathway confronted respective perspectives on the differences and similarities of hearing across species. It was a very successful meeting filled with high-quality and thought-provoking content. I enjoyed very good discussions with excellent people, received useful feedback on my work, met old friends and made new ones.
December is always an eventful month in the lab, and keeping up with the news has taken a bit of a backseat as there was much cool science to focus on! At the end of November I took a short trip to Switzerland to visit Tania Barkat’s Brain & Sound Lab at Basel University. I really enjoyed meeting this welcoming and talented team as well our good discussions of mouse auditory processing. We also laid the foundation for a fun research collaboration that I’m looking forward to taking further in the new year.
Today was Shanice’s first day at the IBN. She comes to us via the UCL Neuroscience MSc programme and is joining our growing mouse song team to work on her MSc project. I’m really happy you’re here, and thrilled to do some great science with you over the next year!
It’s induction week at UCL, and back to university pretty much everywhere else! I’m looking for motivated MSc students to join me for research projects related to mouse songs this year – with options to focus on studying their acoustic structure, their perception by conspecific listeners and/or their encoding by auditory neurons. The Bendor lab and the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience form a very dynamic and welcoming environment for world-class neuroscience research, embedded in the amazing neuroscience community at University College London. If you’re interested and have any questions, please get in touch!
I just returned from a particularly excellent edition of the International Conference of Auditory Cortex. This meeting takes place every 3 years, and is a rare but unique opportunity for a worldwide gathering of scientists broadly interested in how we and other animals perceive sounds, and how the brain processes acoustic information. Over 4 very busy days, more than 300 of us listened to dozens of talks that together captured the current issues and big questions in the field, discussed our research over posters, and networked with old and new colleagues amidst the exceptional setting of the Canadian Rockie Mountains in Banff National Park. This was the first time I presented a poster on my mouse “love song” behaviour, to which Margaux contributed over the summer. I received encouraging and critical but useful feedback from my fellow researchers. This has boosted my motivation and curiosity, and I come back to the lab with plenty of new ideas and things to try!
Photo credit: Don Lee, The Banff Centre