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Rhanor Gillette

Professor Emeritus of Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Research Interests

Research Topics

Computational Biology, Ion Channels, Learning and Memory, Neurobiology, Pattern Formation, Sensory Processing

Disease Research Interests

Neurological and Behavioral Disorders

Research Description

Neural Bases of Decision

Our research activities are aimed at how animals organize their behavior by integrating motivation, experience and sensation. My laboratory analyzes decision-making in behavioral expression and the underlying neural network circuitry. We analyze interactions of neural networks and the regulation of network activity by cell signalling pathways involving neuromodulatory messengers and second messenger pathways. We use the carnivorous marine snail Pleurobranchaea californica as a model system, taking advantage of the simple behavior and brain that underlie its success as a generalized predator. A corollary activity newly emerging as a result of the behavioral and physiological work is the development of software and hardware platforms for autonomous cost-benefit analysis of alternative behaviors for computational decision-making and robotics.


B.S. 1967 University of Miami
M.S. 1969 University of Hawaii
Ph.D. 1974 University of Toronto

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor Emeritus, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Professor Emeritus, Neuroscience Program
Professor Emeritus, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Recent Publications

Norekian, T., Liu, Y., Gribkova, E. D., Cui, J., & Gillette, R. (2024). A peripheral subepithelial network for chemotactile processing in the predatory sea slug Pleurobranchaea californica. PloS one, 19(2), 1-21. Article e0296872.

Zhao, Q., Gribkova, E., Shen, Y., Cui, J., Naughton, N., Liu, L., Seo, J., Tong, B., Gazzola, M., Gillette, R., & Zhao, H. (2024). Highly stretchable and customizable microneedle electrode arrays for intramuscular electromyography. Science Advances, 10(18), Article adn7202.

Gribkova, E. D., Lee, C. A., Brown, J. W., Cui, J., Liu, Y., Norekian, T., & Gillette, R. (2023). A common modular design of nervous systems originating in soft-bodied invertebrates. Frontiers in Physiology, 14, Article 1263453.

Lee, C. A., Brown, J. W., & Gillette, R. (2023). Coordination of Locomotion by Serotonergic Neurons in the Predatory Gastropod Pleurobranchaea californica. Journal of Neuroscience, 43(20), 3647-3657.

Shih, C. H., Naughton, N., Halder, U., Chang, H. S., Kim, S. H., Gillette, R., Mehta, P. G., & Gazzola, M. (2023). Hierarchical Control and Learning of a Foraging CyberOctopus. Advanced Intelligent Systems, 5(9), Article 2300088.

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