César D. M. Vargas
I am a neuroscientist interested in how brains generate and adapt behaviors. I am currently a 6th-year graduate student at Rockefeller University in the lab of Dr. Erich Jarvis, and I am a 2018 HHMI Gilliam Fellow. I received my B.A. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University and completed an Honor's Thesis under the late Dr. Vivien Casagrande.
Currently, I study neural circuits for vocalizing in Mus musculus (aka your regular ol' lab mouse). Mice are fairly social creatures and will often use ultrasonic vocalizations when they interact with each other. They will even change some of their vocalizations depending on the social environment they find themselves in.
My thesis work has focused on the motor cortex, and how this region of the brain could be involved in the mice's ability to 1) control vocal production and 2) modify their vocalizations. To do this, I use a variety of electrophysiological methods and behavioral approaches to better understand the neural dynamics that help generate such an incredible and complex behavior.