About the Institute

The Institute is comprised of nine faculty Members from the Departments of Comparative Human Development and Psychology. In addition to their department appointments, Members contribute significantly to the University's interdisciplinary approach to Neuroscience and Committees on Computational Neuroscience, Evolutionary Biology, Integrative Neuroscience, and Neurobiology. Members also collaborate with other faculty at UChicago in the Biological Sciences Division and Division of the Social Sciences as well as colleagues from around the globe.

Research in the Institute spans many levels of scale and time, from human and animal behavior to genetic and epigenetic processes involved in these behaviors, and from millisecond to evolutionary timescales. While these extremes are included in many laboratories' theoretical and experimental programs, much of the work in the Institute involves the many levels of scale connecting these extremes.

Active studies in the Institute include:

  • the bidirectional influences of learning and context in primary sensory processing in the central nervous system (Kay),
  • neural mechanisms mediating song-system development (London),
  • influences of primate social networks on maternal behaviors (Maestripieri),
  • kin recognition and social relationships (Mateo),
  • the influence of airborne odorants on hormonal regulation and behavior (McClintock),
  • the roles of seasonal rhythms in immune systems and affective responses of Siberian hamsters and laboratory rats and mice (Prendergast), and
  • the neural pathways of eye and brain mediating visual perception, especially color (Shevell).