Asif Ghazanfar
Systems and Circuits
Systems and Circuits

Professor of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute

Ph.D., Duke University, 1999

Research: Developmental neuroscience of vocal communication

asifg@princeton.edu
Research Lab
609-258-9314
253 Neuroscience
(609)-258-9639

Research Focus

We are trying to understand the developmental and evolutionary bases for communication in humans. The nervous system is an important component of these processes but not the controlling component; it must act in concert with (and is often constrained by) the components of the body during development. Understanding this interaction between the brain and biomechanics as they build scaffolds for developmental changes in behavior is what we call "developmental neuromechanics".

Our lab operates at the interface of neuroscience, developmental biology, morphology and evolution. Using marmoset monkeys as a model system, we study how social communication emerges through the dynamic interactions between neural systems, the body, pre- and post-natal experience and socioecological context. We use a variety of techniques to address our questions, including electrophysiology, computational modeling, electromyography, morphometry, ultrasonography and a number of behavioral paradigms.

View CV.


Selected Publications

Recent Abstracts

  • Takahashi DY, Narayanan D and Ghazanfar AA (2013) Development of self-monitoring essential for vocal interactions in marmoset monkeys. IEEE Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics. Osaka, Japan.
  • Narayanan DZ, Hlavaty SI, Takahashi DY and Ghazanfar AA (2013) Developmental modularization of head and orofacial movements in fetal monkeys. Society for Neuroscience abstracts, San Diego, CA.
  • Borjon JI, Takahashi DY and Ghazanfar AA (2013) Vocal-respiratory coupling in marmoset monkeys. Society for Neuroscience abstracts, San Diego, CA.
  • Takahashi DY, Narayanan D and Ghazanfar AA (2012) A computational model for vocal exchange dynamics and their development in marmoset monkeys. IEEE Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics. San Diego, CA.
  • Narayanan D, Takahashi DY and Ghazanfar AA (2011) Fetal mouth movements mimic postnatal vocalization-related facial movements in marmoset monkeys. Society for Neuroscience abstracts, Washington, D.C.

Journal Articles

  • Ghazanfar AA and Eliades S (2014) The neurobiology of primate vocal communication. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 28: 128-135.
  • Borjon JI and Ghazanfar AA (2014) Convergent evolution of vocal cooperation without convergent evolution of brain size. Brain, Behavior & Evolution, 84: 93-102.
  • Ghazanfar AA and Takahashi DY (2014) The evolution of speech: vision, rhythm, cooperation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18: 543-553.
  • Takahashi DY, Narayanan D and Ghazanfar AA (2013) Coupled oscillator dynamics of vocal turn-taking in monkeys. Current Biology, 23: 2162-2168.
  • Chandrasekaran C, Lemus L and Ghazanfar AA (2013) Dynamic faces speed up the onset of auditory cortical spiking responses during vocal detection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 110: E4668-4677.
  • Ghazanfar AA, Morrill RJ and Kayser C (2013) Monkeys are perceptually tuned to facial expressions that exhibit a theta-like rhythm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 110: 1959-1963.
  • Hasson U, Ghazanfar AA, Galantucci B, Garrod S and Keysers C (2012) Brain-to-brain coupling as a mechanism for shared communication and cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16: 114-121.