WELCOME TO THE WINGSS LABORATORY (Working Investigations of Novel Genes for Song and Speech).
We are located in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Arizona. Our laboratory investigates the role of genes, neural circuits and dopamine modulation in vocal behavior using the zebra finch model. We use zebra finch because they share similar neural mechanisms to speech learning and motor production. Within this broad framework, we pursue several lines of research: 1) how social context and dopamine modulation alter the neural circuitry, 2) the impact of aging on neural circuitry for vocal production and communication and, 3) the impact of Parkinson's disease on neural circuitry for birdsong/human speech. To do so, we use a variety of pharmacological, genetic, electrophysiological and behavioral tools.