Catherine Carr
Contact Info
Office: 301.405.6915
Lab: 301.405.6915
Fax: 301.314.9358
Office Address: 4231 Biology-Psychology Bldg
Catherine Carr
Distinguished University Professor


  • BSCI 353: Principles of Neuroscience / NEUR 306: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience 
  • NACS 728: Hearing
  • BSCI 338E: Neuroethology

Graduate Program Affiliations

  • Neuroscience & Cognitive Science (NACS)
  • BISI-Physiological Systems (PSYS)
  • BISI-Molecular & Cellular Biology (MOCB)
  • BISI-Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, & Genomics (CBBG)
  • BISI-Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics (BEES)

Research Interests

The brain uses time differences (ITDs) between the two ears to localize the sound. The Carr lab studies the neural circuits underlying the computation of ITD in barn owls and other reptiles. In barn owls, we have shown that ITDs are translated into location in space in the brainstem. Detection of these time differences depends upon two mechanisms of general significance to neurobiology, delay lines and coincidence detection. Incoming axons form delay lines to create maps of ITD in nucleus laminaris. Their postsynaptic targets act as coincidence detectors and fire maximally when the interaural time difference is equal but opposite to the delay imposed by the afferent axons. Similar principles guide sound localization circuits in other reptiles.

Current research is focused on models of delay line-coincidence detector circuit, on the assembly of the map of sound localization during development and on how such circuits evolve. All projects develop from initial behavioral observations into systems, cellular and molecular levels of analysis.


  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, UC San Diego, 1984
  • B.Sc., University of Cape Town, 1976

All Publications

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Latest Publications via PubMed

Han D,Carr CE
J Comp Neurol. 2023 Aug;531(12):1261-1273. doi: 10.1002/cne.25495. Epub 2023 May 28
Capshaw G,Brown AD,Peña JL,Carr CE,Christensen-Dalsgaard J,Tollin DJ,Womack MC,McCullagh EA
Hear Res. 2023 Jun;433:108766. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2023.108766. Epub 2023 Apr 6
Carr CE,Wang T,Kraemer I,Capshaw G,Ashida G,Koeppl C,Kempter R,Kuokkanen PT
bioRxiv. 2023 May 20;:. pii: 2023.02.02.526884. doi: 10.1101/2023.02.02.526884. Epub 2023 May 20
Gutiérrez-Ibáñez C,Kettler L,Pilon MC,Carr CE,Wylie DR
Brain Behav Evol. 2023;98(1):44-60. doi: 10.1159/000527348. Epub 2022 Dec 1
Capshaw G,Christensen-Dalsgaard J,Carr CE
J Exp Biol. 2022 Jun 15;225(12):. doi: 10.1242/jeb.244130. Epub 2022 Jun 20
Kessler D,Carr CE,Kretzberg J,Ashida G
Front Neurosci. 2021;15:761826. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.761826. Epub 2021 Dec 20
Christensen-Dalsgaard J,Kuokkanen P,Matthews JE,Carr CE
J Neurophysiol. 2021 Mar 1;125(3):887-902. doi: 10.1152/jn.00576.2020. Epub 2021 Feb 3
Gutiérrez-Ibáñez C,Dannish MR,Kohl T,Kettler L,Carr CE,Tisdale RK,Iwaniuk AN,Luksch H,Wylie DR
Brain Behav Evol. 2020;95(1):45-55. doi: 10.1159/000505897. Epub 2020 Mar 10
Kettler L,Carr CE
J Neurosci. 2019 May 15;39(20):3882-3896. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2989-18.2019. Epub 2019 Mar 18
McColgan T,Kuokkanen PT,Carr CE,Kempter R
J Neurophysiol. 2019 Mar 1;121(3):1034-1047. doi: 10.1152/jn.00648.2017. Epub 2018 Dec 21
Dilgul M,McNamee P,Orfanos S,Carr CE,Priebe S
PLoS One. 2018;13(12):e0208448. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208448. Epub 2018 Dec 13
Kuokkanen PT,Kraemer A,Kempter R,Köppl C,Carr CE
Acta Acust United Acust. 2018 Sep-Oct;104(5):874-877. doi: 10.3813/AAA.919236. Epub
Kuokkanen PT,Ashida G,Kraemer A,McColgan T,Funabiki K,Wagner H,Köppl C,Carr CE,Kempter R
J Neurophysiol. 2018 Apr 1;119(4):1422-1436. doi: 10.1152/jn.00175.2017. Epub 2017 Dec 20
Willis KL,Carr CE
J Exp Biol. 2017 Nov 15;220(Pt 22):4270-4281. doi: 10.1242/jeb.164145. Epub 2017 Sep 25
Kraemer A,Baxter C,Hendrix A,Carr CE
J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2017 Oct;203(10):843-853. doi: 10.1007/s00359-017-1197-1. Epub 2017 Jul 8
McColgan T,Liu J,Kuokkanen PT,Carr CE,Wagner H,Kempter R
Elife. 2017 Sep 5;6:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26106. Epub 2017 Sep 5