Eathan Janney, PhD Candidate
MM, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University
There are important connections in the study of finch behavior to what I have already studied about music, namely concerning cultural evolution, the information value of sounds, and mechanisms of auditory learning. Currently I am focused on studying the statistical properties of the Australian Butcherbird's song. With zebra finches I am analyzing the physiological response of birds to sound sequences given a predetermined developmental exposure to sounds. Specifically, the probability of hearing certain sounds during maturation is fixed, but different birds have sounds assigned to the predetermined probabilities. Birds are predicted to respond similarly to sequences that are invariant with respect to the sequence of prior probabilities which are attached to the sounds in the sequence. I also look forward to studying why certain culture, or non genetic information passed from generation to generation, may be inherently salient as demonstrated in finches.
My background is in music and physics. I was trained in music at Rutgers University. I studied Physics at Lake Forest College before transferring to Rutgers. The past few years I have become increasingly interested again in science and specifically neuroscience. I currently live in Brooklyn. I am also a piano technician and have trained in that field through apprenticeship. You can learn more about my piano technician work here.