Neuroscience at The University of Chicago

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PhD, California Institute of Techology




Anatomy Bldg., rooms 203-207

1027 E. 57th St.

Chicago, Illinois 60637



Lab Website

Daniel Margoliash, PhD


Research Interests
  • Computational & Theoretical
  • Systems / Behavior / Cognitive
Investigating the reciprocal relationship between brain and behavior is a powerful approach to understanding neural mechanism. In a neuroethological framework, our work broadly examines vocal behavior in songbirds, and in humans in collaboration with Howard Nusbaum, Psychology, Univ. Chicago. We study vocal and auditory development and learning, including auditory processing and memory formation, the role of auditory feedback, and sensorimotor integration, and have a special emphasis on the role of state dependency especially sleep in auditory memory consolidation. We study the forebrain ‘gestural’ motor representations in relation to biophysical models of peripheral vocal production (in collaboration with Gabriel Mindlin, Physics, Univ. Buenos Aires). And we also take a fundamental approach to neural circuitry using mathematical (Hodgkin Huxley–like) models of neurons and networks of neurons to connect biophysical representations through neuronal networks to behavior (in collaboration with Henry Abarbanel, Physics, UCSD).

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Select Publications

Amador A, Perl YS, Mindlin G, Margoliash D (2013) Elemental gesture dynamics are encoded by song premotor cortical neurons. Nature 495:59-64. Brawn TP, Nusbaum HC, Margoliash D (2013) Sleep consolidation of interfering auditory memories in starlings. Psych Sci 24(4): 439-447. Meliza CD, Margoliash D (2012) Emergence of selectivity and tolerance in the avian auditory cortex. J Neurosci 32:15158-15168. Adret P, Meliza CD, Margoliash D (2012) Song tutoring in pre-singing zebra finch juveniles biases higher-order song selective neurons towards the tutor song, J Neurophysiol 108:1977-1987. Kostuk M, Toth BA, Meliza CD, Margoliash D, Abarbanel HDI (2012) Dynamical estimation of neuron and network properties II: Path integral Monte Carlo methods. Biol Cybern 106:155-167 Rauske PL, Chi Z, Dave AS, Margoliash D (2010) Neuronal stability and drift across periods of sleep: premotor activity patterns in a vocal control nucleus of adult zebra finches. J Neurosci 30(7):2783–2794. Shea SD, Koch H, Baleckaitis DB, Ramirez J-M, Margoliash D (2010) Neuron-specific cholinergic modulation of a forebrain song control nucleus. J Neurophys 103:733–74. Shank SS, Margoliash D. (2009) Sleep and sensorimotor integration during early vocal learning in a songbird. Nature 458:73-77. Gentner TQ, Fenn KM, Margoliash D, Nusbaum HC (2006) Recursive syntactic pattern learning by songbirds. Nature 440:1204-1207. Dave AS, Margoliash D (2000) Song replay during sleep and computational rules for sensorimotor vocal learning. Science 290:812-816.