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Robert G. Baker

Robert G. Baker, PhD

Research Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

cranial motor systems in vertebrates

Our goals address the evolution, embryology, ethology, and neurophysiology of cranial motor systems in vertebrates. The comparative anatomy and physiology of the visual, vestibular, and oculomotor systems are major fields of interests with experimental emphasis largely directed towards brainstem and cerebellar circuitry underlying eye and head movement. Current research projects center on establishing the intrinsic properties of vestibular, reticular, and cerebellar neurons both in vitro and in vivo with special emphasis on their role in oculomotor performance and motor learning. We use various single-cell microelectrode techniques to correlate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic responses with motor behavior. In complementary work, we address the ontogenetic assembly of cranial sensorimotor systems with contemporary chemical, molecular, and anatomical probes. We are also studying neuroepithelial and mesodermal cell lineage, fate, and tissue development in shark, zebrafish, bird, and mouse embryos. We investigate when and how eye muscles, motoneurons, and vestibular neurons become spatially programmed and functionally specified to produce eye movements. Overall, these experiments are designed to define the processes that coordinate development of sensory/motor networks to provide new insights into genetic blueprints, neuronal specification, and the role of hindbrain segmentation.

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These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from medical subject headings from PubMed.
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PhD from University of Illinois

Soga, Jinya; Matsuyama, Masayuki; Miura, Hiroaki; Highstein, Stephen; Baker, Robert; Hirata, Yutaka

Neuroscience. 2021 May 10; 462:205-219

Miki, Shuntaro; Urase, Kohei; Baker, Robert; Hirata, Yutaka

Scientific reports. 2020 Apr 24; 10(1):6944

Pastor, A M; Calvo, P M; de la Cruz, R R; Baker, R; Straka, H

Journal of neurophysiology. 2019 May 01; 121(5):1865-1878

Miki, Shuntaro; Baker, Robert; Hirata, Yutaka

Journal of neuroscience. 2018 Nov 28; 38(48):10371-10383

Ulrich, Florian; Grove, Charlotte; Torres-Vázquez, Jesús; Baker, Robert

Current neurobiology. 2016 08; 7(2):62-73

Gilland, E; Straka, H; Wong, T W; Baker, R; Zottoli, S J

Journal of comparative neurology. 2014 Jul 01; 522(10):2446-64

Ma, Leung-Hang; Grove, Charlotte L; Baker, Robert

Nature communications. 2014 Jun 25; 5:4221

Bianco, Isaac H; Ma, Leung-Hang; Schoppik, David; Robson, Drew N; Orger, Michael B; Beck, James C; Li, Jennifer M; Schier, Alexander F; Engert, Florian; Baker, Robert

Current biology. CB. 2012 Jul 24; 22(14):1285-95