Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

Malavika Murugan Assistant Professor

The Murugan Lab

Lab Location:  Rollins 2152
Lab Phone:       404-727-5379

 

Education

  • B.Tech., Vellore Institute of Technology, 2007
  • Ph.D., Duke University, 2013

Research Area

  • Neuroscience

Research Description

Rodents, like humans, spend a considerable amount of time engaging in social interactions. Social behavior is inherently complex and variable, and is driven by an extraordinarily intricate network of brain circuits - which poses experimental and analytical challenges. Combining modern neural dissection techniques, novel behavioral paradigms and analytical methods our lab is well poised to overcome these challenges.

We propose to take advantage of and further develop these tools to understand how the brain represents social sensory information and how this information is transformed to enable appropriate social behaviors. In particular, we are interested in elucidating neural mechanisms that support social recognition (the ability to identify conspecifics).

We hope to identify brain regions involved in social recognition and delineating when and how activity in these areas allow animals to discriminate between conspecifics. Our experimental techniques include cellular resolution imaging, electrophysiology, optogenetics, viral intersectional strategies and quantitative behavioral analysis.

Research Lab Description

Social behavior is arguably one of the most essential sets of behaviors of all mammals (including humans). In our lab we are interested in understanding how the brain represents social sensory information and how this information is transformed to enable appropriate social interactions.

By incorporating a wide range of techniques- cellular resolution imaging, electrophysiology, optogenetics, advanced analytical methods, and novel rodent behavioral paradigms - we aim to provide a comprehensive and mechanistic understanding of neural circuits underlying social behaviors.

Publications