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César D. M. Vargas


I am a neuroscientist interested in how brains generate and adapt behaviors. I am currently a Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Sam Sober, at Emory University. I received my PhD from Rockefeller University working with Dr. Erich Jarvis. As a graduate student I was supported by a Gilliam Fellowship from HHMI (2018). I obtained my B.A. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University where I completed an Honor's Thesis with the late Dr. Vivien Casagrande.

Brief Bio:

Image of César similing and wearing a black colored jacket. He is standing in front of some plants in a marble room with a fountain at the Frick Museum in NYC.

Postdoc Research:

General Question: How does the motor cortex in birds (arcopallium) control the same set of muscles to generate different beak movements for singing and eating?


Left: Cartoon of a bird brain highlighting different regions of the brain. Right: Cartoons of a bird singing and eating.

Thesis Research:

General Question: How does the motor cortex in mice control laryngeal muscles for vocalizations? And can mice learn to control their vocalizations?

Sequential EMG traces arranged from top to bottom representing the muscle activity of the mouse larynx.

Rectified and smoothed EMG traces recorded from mouse laryngeal muscle.

Spectrogram of mouse vocalizations, USVs, showing example classifications.

Spectrogram of mouse ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs). Letters above each syllable based on Chabout et al. (2015), brackets indicate sequences of USVs.

Banner Image: Spectrogram of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) produced by a male mouse. Visualization performed using Audacity.

Spectrogram of mouse USV with labeled syllables (individual calls) that make up a sequence (brackets).

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