Zebrafish are model organisms, which allow the use of genetic tools to edit the brain and observe its effects on neural circuits and behavior. These studies will allow us to better understand the mechanisms and origins of speech sound perception in humans and it's disruption within a social context, as in the case of autism spectrum disorders
We study acoustics, neurophysiology, behavior and computer models to understand social communication behavior in different species of bats. The present behavioral work is being conducted in conjunction with Professor Feng's lab in Changchun, China
Our work on rhesus monkeys involved examining the bottom up control of eye movements and auditory responses at the interface of the superior and inferior colliculi in the midbrain. This involved the use of eye tracking, neural recording and microstimulation in awake behaving monkeys
Our work on humans involves understanding how musical and nonverbal sounds are processed and fronto-amygdala pathways that are involved in coping with short term distress. We have also studied representation of music and lateralization of music versus speech sounds. The goal of the ongoing study is to understand differences in the normal population that determine vulnerability to post traumatic stress disorder.
Education: Ph.D. (1986) Louisiana State University, Physiology and ZoologyResearch: Dr. Kanwal’s research at the Neurophysiology and Behavior Lab focuses on the auditory processes involved in the coding/decoding, neural integration and perception of communication sounds. They use a systems level approach and multiple techniques to investigate auditory processing within higher levels of the CNS in auditory specialized animals, such as bats and humans.