Research at the Evolutionary Neuroscience Lab asks how brains change in response to selection pressure on behavior, and how brains acquire heritable adaptations for complex, learned behaviors. 

One branch of the lab’s research compares brain-behavior relationships in humans and our primate relatives.  

primate research images

Another line of work is focused domestic dogs and selectively-bred foxes, which are other highly encephalized, social species. 

canid research images

Current areas of focus include:

  • Neural and behavioral variation in domestic dog breeds and domesticated foxes
  • Neural correlates of domestication and selection against aggression
  • Neural plasticity during the acquisition of skills for which species have innate predispositions
  • The relationship between individual variation in brain organization and predisposition to acquire new learned skills 

The lab’s methods include:

  • Structural and functional neuroimaging in living humans and dogs
  • Structural imaging in fixed brains of various canine and primate species
  • Histology and digital microscopy
  • Behavior testing and video analysis

To learn more about our facilities, visit the Resources page.

Positions are available for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and a histotech.  Please email for more information.