Dr. Margoliash is interested in brain mechanisms of behavior,
focusing on plasticity and vocal behavior. He studies song
birds and more recently humans, principally examining vocal-motor
(sensory-motor) learning and sensory (perceptual) learning.
By the very nature of the breadth of these interests, the
work examines a broad range of topics, including critical
periods, feedback mediated processing, state-dependent
leaning mechanisms esp. sleep, neural population coding,
and representational plasticity.
The most satisfying aspects
are when the work in birds and humans interacts. For
example, the studies on sleep mechanisms of birdsong learning
prompted a subsequent study that demonstrated that long-term
memories acquired during speech perceptual learning are influenced
by sleep. More recently, controversies about the use
of recursion in syntactic processing in humans and monkeys
prompted an experiment which demonstrated such abilities
He also pursues more clinically-related studies. For example,
one current effort involves developing an animal model for
a form of epilepsy that strikes children in their sleep and
has major impact on their language development.
Further information on Daniel