Profile photo of Melissa Caras
Contact Info
Phone: 301.405.1094
Office: 3220 Biology-Psychology Bldg
Melissa Caras
Assistant Professor

Graduate Program Affiliations

  • Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS)
  • BISI-Physiological Systems (PSYS)
  • BISI-Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics (BEES)

Research Interests

The ability to improve and refine sensory facilities with practice - a process known as perceptual learning - is critical for the acquisition of a variety of complex behaviors, including speech and language. The fundamental importance of perceptual learning in shaping our day-to-day actions and perceptions makes it of vital interest to determine how training-based improvements are implemented in the brain.  Dr. Caras explores this issue by measuring and manipulating the activation of neural circuits in freely-moving, behaving animals, with a primary focus on plasticity in auditory and top-down modulatory networks. Her laboratory employs a number of advanced approaches, including wireless recordings from multichannel electrode arrays, optogenetics, targeted infusions of pharmacological agents, quantitative animal behavior, and neuroanatomical tracing. 


All Publications

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Latest Publications via PubMed

Caras ML,Happel MFK,Chandrasekaran B,Ripollés P,Keesom SM,Hurley LM,Remage-Healey L,Holt LL,Wright BA
J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2022 Apr;23(2):151-166. doi: 10.1007/s10162-022-00837-3. Epub 2022 Mar 2
Wang L,Caras ML,Karayannis T,Froemke RC
Front Cell Neurosci. 2021;15:687297. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2021.687297. Epub 2021 Apr 30
Mowery TM,Caras ML,Hassan SI,Wang DJ,Dimidschstein J,Fishell G,Sanes DH
J Neurosci. 2019 Oct 16;39(42):8347-8361. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0749-19.2019. Epub 2019 Aug 26
Caras ML,Sanes DH
J Neurosci. 2019 Apr 10;39(15):2889-2902. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2878-18.2019. Epub 2019 Feb 12
Caras ML,Sanes DH
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Sep 12;114(37):9972-9977. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1712305114. Epub 2017 Aug 28
Larson TA,Lent KL,Bammler TK,MacDonald JW,Wood WE,Caras ML,Thatra NM,Budzillo A,Perkel DJ,Brenowitz EA
BMC Genomics. 2015 Nov 6;16:905. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-2175-z. Epub 2015 Nov 6
Caras ML,Sanes DH
J Neurosci. 2015 Jul 29;35(30):10831-42. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0837-15.2015. Epub