My research program focuses on understanding the neurological and biological basis of primate behavior, particularly skilled motor actions. Most of my research utilizes capuchin monkeys as a model for these investigations. Capuchins are known for their manual dexterity and manipulative propensities in foraging contexts, making them an excellent model to investigate questions pertaining to behavioral and neural aspects of skilled behavior. We use the non-invasive methods of MRI and DTI for brain imaging, and present various problem-solving tasks to the monkeys to measure motor skill and hand use.
Phillips, K.A., Sobieski, C.A., Gilbert, V.R., Chiappini-Williamson, C., Sherwood, C.C., & Strick, P.L. (2010). Development of the basal ganglia in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Brain Research, 1329, 82-92.
Hellner-Burris, K., Sobieski, C.A., Gilbert, V.R. & Phillips, K.A. (2010). Prey capture efficiency in capuchin monkeys is influenced by sex and corpus callosum morphology. American Journal of Primatology, 72, 502-508.
Sherwood, C.C., Raghanti, M.A., Stimpson, C.D., Uddin, M., Boddy, A., Wildman, D.E., Spocter, M.A., Bonar, C.J., Lewandowski, A.H., Phillips, K.A., Erwin, J.M., & Hof, P.R. (2010). Inhibitory interneurons of the human prefrontal cortex: Conserved evolution of the phenotype and related genes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277, 1011-1020. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.183