Yamaguchi Lab is a part of the Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscienceat the University of Utah

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Welcome to the Yamaguchi Lab

How do animals produce species- and sex-specific behavior? The goal of our research program is to understand how behavior of animals are produced by the nervous system. To this end, we use the courtship vocalizations of the African clawed frogs as a model. Male and female African clawed frogs generate vocalizations to coordinate reproduction under water, and the neural circuitry that mediate the vocal production are contained in the brainstem. In Yamaguchi lab, we use a variety of techniques to understand how the rhythmic neural activity that underlie species- and sex-specific vocalizations are generated.



Currently, research training opportunities are available for a postdoctoral fellow and graduate students. Successful candidates will work on a project that investigates the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying rhythmic vocal production in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. A unique feature of the Xenopus vocal system is that we can study the functional properties of the vocal pathways in vitro using a “singing brain in a dish” preparation that we previously developed. By applying a variety of experimental methods including electrophysiological, pharmacological, immunohistochemical, and optogenetic techniques that we are developing, we will strive to answer how neurons function together to generate male- and female-specific vocal rhythms in androgen-dependent manner. The positions are funded through an NSF grant, and available immediately. A background in cellular, systems neurobiology and/or electrophysiology is preferred for postdoctoral candidates. In addition to receiving a strong training in cellular and systems neuroscience, the collaborative nature of the research program together with the diverse faculty in the neuroscience community on campus provides an opportunity to pursue various directions of research including computational neuroscience, optical imaging, and molecular neuroscience. Please e-mail a CV and a list of references to Dr. Ayako Yamaguchi (a.yamaguch at