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Mark E Nelson

Profile picture for Mark E Nelson

Contact Information

Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
524 Burrill Hall
407 S. Goodwin Ave
Urbana, IL 61801

Research Areas

Professor Emeritus of Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Research Interests

Research Topics

Computational Biology, Neurobiology, Sensory Processing

Research Description

Computational Neuroscience; Neuroethology; Adaptive Behaviour

The goal of our research is to understand the neural mechanisms and computational principles that allow animals to function effectively in complex, dynamically changing environments. Our focus is on understanding general principles of "smart sensing" in animals. We're interested in how the nervous system extracts and enhances behaviorally relevant information and suppresses irrelevant background noise. We investigate these issues by studying how weakly electric fish detect, localize, and discriminate prey in the dark using their electric sense. Our research involves a combination of behavioral, neurophysiological, computer modeling, and biorobotic approaches.


B.S. 1976 Wichita State University
PhD. 1983 University of California, Berkley
Postdoc. 1983-91 California Institute of Technology

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor Emeritus, Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Recent Publications

Li, J., Robare, J. A., Gao, L., Ghane, M. A., Flaws, J. A., Nelson, M. E., & Christian, C. A. (2018). Dynamic and Sex-Specific Changes in Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neuron Activity and Excitability in a Mouse Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. eNeuro, 5(5), Article e0273-18.2018.

Yoon, H., Shiftehfar, R., Cho, S., Spencer, B. F., Nelson, M. E., & Agha, G. (2016). Victim Localization and Assessment System for Emergency Responders. Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 30(2), Article 04015011.

Jo, H., Sim, S. H., Tatkowski, A., Spencer, B. F., & Nelson, M. E. (2013). Feasibility of displacement monitoring using low-cost GPS receivers. Structural Control and Health Monitoring, 20(9), 1240-1254.

Nelson, M. E. (2011). Biological smart sensing strategies in weakly electric fish. Smart Structures and Systems, 8(1), 107-117.

Nelson, M. E. (2011). Electric fish. Current Biology, 21(14), R528-R529.

View all publications on Illinois Experts

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