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Administration, Faculty, Neuroscience


Dr. Frank Johnson


University of California, Riverside, 1989


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Dr. Johnson is not recruiting a graduate student for Fall of 2023

Research Interests

Research focuses on the functional architecture of a brain-wide network that controls vocal imitation in an animal model for human speech learning.

Current Research

An inter-disciplinary research program examines the interplay of cortical and basal ganglia circuitry during juvenile vocal learning and seeks to delineate the intrinsic network architecture of a brain region that directs the production of learned vocal sequences.

Selected Publications

Elliott KC, Wu W, Bertram R, Hyson RL, Johnson F, Orthogonal topography in the parallel input architecture of songbird HVC, J Comp Neurol., 2017.

Galvis D, Wu W, Hyson RL, Johnson F, Bertram R, A distributed neural network model for the distinct roles of medial and lateral HVC in zebra finch song production, J Neurophysiol, 2017.

Basista MJ, Elliott KC, Wu W, Hyson RL, Bertram R, Johnson F, Independent premotor encoding of the sequence and structure of birdsong in avian cortex, J Neurosci, 2014.

Elliott KC, Wu W, Bertram R, Johnson F, Disconnection of a basal ganglia circuit in juvenile songbirds attenuates the spectral differentiation of song syllables, Dev Neurobiol, 2014.

Bertram R, Daou A, Hyson RL, Johnson F, Wu W, Two neural streams, one voice: Pathways for theme and variation in the songbird brain, Neuroscience, 2014.

Daou A, Ross MT, Johnson F, Hyson RL, Bertram R, Electrophysiological characterization and computational models of HVC neurons in the zebra finch, J Neurophysiol, 2013.

Stauffer TR, Elliott KC, Ross MT, Basista MJ, Hyson RL, Johnson F, Axial organization of a brain region that sequences a learned pattern of behavior, J Neurosci, 2012.

Thompson JA, Basista MJ, Wu W, Bertram R, Johnson F, Dual pre-motor contribution to songbird syllable variation, J Neurosci, 2011.

Thompson JA, Johnson F, HVC microlesions do not destabilize the vocal patterns of adult male zebra finches with prior ablation of LMAN, Dev Neurobiol, 2007

Thompson JA, Wu W, Bertram R, Johnson F, Auditory-dependent vocal recovery in adult male zebra finches is facilitated by lesion of a forebrain pathway that includes the basal ganglia., J Neurosci, 2007.

Johnson F, Whitney O, Singing-driven gene expression in the developing songbird brain, Physiol Behav, 2005.

Whitney O, Johnson F, Motor-induced transcription but sensory-regulated translation of ZENK in socially interactive songbirds, J Neurobiol, 2005.


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