|Laboratory of Animal Behavior
Dorothea L. Leonhardt Professor
Thus there is here a blend of basic biology and the hope to glean insights that will have a clinical application.
The laboratory breeds most of its research animals (canaries and zebra finches). In addition, it operates the Field Research Center (FRC) in Millbrook, NY. The FRC has 1200 acres (the area that would be covered by 600 city blocks) of natural habitats 80 miles to the north of our campus, in rural Dutchess County. The FRC also has modern laboratory facilities and living quarters where visitors can stay. We strongly feel that the study of behavior and brain function under natural or naturalistic conditions is an important complement to the study of animals kept in simple laboratory settings, because many aspects of brain function are likely to be underdeveloped or overlooked in captive animals leading a deprived existence. It is the hope of this laboratory that an understanding of spontaneous neuronal replacement in adult, healthy animals will change the way in which we think about brains and learning and that this new knowledge will enable us to repair damaged brains and restore lost functions.