We study sensation, emotion and cognition in cephalopods, animals that evolved complex brains independently of vertebrates.
The Crook lab studies how animals with diverse nervous systems receive, process and respond to noxious sensory information. Our lab is both comparative, meaning we study common mechanisms of nociception and pain in multiple animal species, and integrative, meaning that we study nociception and pain at multiple levels of organization, from cellular neurobiology to ecological and evolutionary levels.
Our work includes ecological studies of predator/prey relationships, behavioral experiments aimed at identifying functions of injury-induced behaviors, and cellular neuroscience studies that reveal conserved mechanisms of neural plasticity in diverse species.
We have a strong interest in providing empirical evidence supporting appropriate levels of regulation for complex invertebrates, like cephalopods, that are used in scientific research.