David Kleinfeld, PhD
David Kleinfeld is a distinguished professor of physics and of neurobiology. He trained in experimental physics and has focused his research efforts on network and computational issues within nervous systems using a wide range of experimental and analytical approaches, including the design of new instruments.
One focus of Kleinfeld’s lab is on the sensorimotor loops that drive active sensing of the environment. This work makes use of the vibrissa system in behaving rodents, in which animals scan their local environment with long hairs. Kleinfeld discovered that object location is coded in coordinates that are based on the region of interest. Most recently, his laboratory discovered the primacy of breathing in the coordination among rhythmic orofacial motor actions, which includes breathing along with whisking, chewing, licking, and sniffing. Ongoing work addresses cortio-brainstem loops in the control of active sensing and the formation of orofacial behaviors from brainstem motor actions.