Chilean Degus

Pallas Lab to Study Ecological Influences on Visual Pathway Maturation

Posted On March 8, 2017
Categories News, Research

Where we grow up matters. Not only where, but also when, and in what circumstances. Those influences on how we turn out are intuitively easy to imagine. Taken together, those environmental factors constitute an organism’s “niche”. The Pallas Lab, under the leadership of Dr. Sarah Pallas, is embarking on a four-year and $1M study that will go well beyond an intuitive understanding of the influence of niche on development of the neural pathways that enable vision.

“Our goals are to determine whether the evolutionary history and ecological niche occupied by a species predicts the extent to which visual experience is required for the development of visual pathways in the brain. We will examine several rodent species, including the diurnal Chilean degu, that differ with respect to circadian activity pattern and the degree to which vision is important for behavior.”