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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Faculty & Research

Faculty Profile

Laura Hurley

Photo of Laura Hurley
Associate Professor of Biology, Director CISAB-REU

IU Affiliations
Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior
Cognitive Sciences
Program in Neuroscience

Contact Information
By telephone: 812-856-1991
By fax: 812-855-6705
JH 243

Hurley Lab website
Mechanisms of Behavior

Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
Research Area

Ph.D., University of Washington, 1997


Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, 2006

Research Description

Sensory systems demonstrate an amazing ability to filter environmental information depending on the prevailing context. This ability allows animals to act appropriately in situations such as interaction with members of their species, or in response to potential threats. Sensory filtering is also important in human perception, as in hearing and understanding speech during social interactions, and in disorders in such perceptual processes. Work in my lab explores a neurochemical signal, serotonin, which is one of the mechanisms allowing the auditory system to filter important information. We are interested in the function of serotonin-auditory interactions, how these are influenced by behavioral context, and how they change the way the auditory system interprets behaviorally relevant information. In order to address these issues, we use a range of techniques from analysis of social behavior and vocalizations in mice, to several types of electrophysiological measurements. Our work strongly benefits from the excellent intellectual environment on campus, and by our membership in interdisciplinary groups including the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior and the Program in Neuroscience. In particular, we have a great local strength on mechanisms of behavior. To learn more about specific projects taking place in our lab and opportunities to participate, please explore the lab website.

Select Publications

Hanson JL, Hurley LM (2013). Context-dependent fluctuation of serotonin in the auditory midbrain: the influence of sex, reproductive state, and experience. J Exp Biol, in press.

Hall IC, Sell GL, Chester EM, Hurley LM (2012). Stress-evoked increases in serotonin in the auditory midbrain do not directly result from activation of the HPA axis. Behavioural Brain Research 226:41-49.

Hanson JL, Hurley LM (2012). Female presence and estrous state influence mouse ultrasonic courtship vocalizations. PLoS One 7: e40782.

Hurley LM, Sullivan MR (2012) From behavioral context to receptors: serotonergic modulatory pathways in the IC. Frontiers in Neural Circuits  6:58. Epub ahead of print.

Papesh MA, Hurley LM (2012). Plasticity of serotonergic innervation of the inferior colliculi in mice following acoustic trauma. Hearing Research 283:89-97.

Hall IC, Sell GL, Hurley LM. (2011). Social regulation of serotonin in the auditory midbrain. Behavioral Neuroscience 125:501-511.

Hurley LM and Hall IC (2011). Context-dependent modulation of auditory processing by serotonin. Hearing Research 279:74-84.

Hall IC, Rebec GV, Hurley LM (2010). Serotonin in the inferior colliculus fluctuates with behavioral state and environmental stimuli. Journal of Experimental Biology 213:1009-1017.

Baldan-Ramsey LC, Sinha S and Hurley LM (2010). 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors differentially modulate rate and timing of auditory responses in the mouse inferior colliculus. European Journal of Neuroscience 32:368-379.

Bohorquez A and Hurley LM (2009). Activation of serotonin 3 receptors changes in vivo auditory responses in the mouse inferior colliculus. Hearing Research 251:29-38.
Hurley LM, Bohorquez A, Tracy J (2008). The serotonin 1B receptor modulates frequency response curves and spectral integration in the inferior colliculus by reducing GABAergic inhibition. Journal of Neurophysiology 100:1656-67.

Hall IC and Hurley LM (2007). Fenfluramine causes similar spatial and temporal patterns of effects on the evoked responses of IC neurons. Hearing Research 228:82-94.

Hurley LM (2007). Activation of the serotonin 1A receptor alters the temporal characteristics of auditory responses in the inferior colliculus. Brain Research 1181:21-9.

Hurley LM (2006). Different serotonin receptor agonists have distinct effects on sound-evoked responses in inferior colliculus. Journal of Neurophysiology 96:2177-88.

Hurley LM and Pollak GD (2005). Serotonin shifts first-spike latencies of inferior colliculus neurons. Journal of Neuroscience 25:7876-86. 

Hurley LM and Pollak GD (2005). Serotonin selectively modulates responses to species-specific vocalizations in the inferior colliculus.Journal of Comparative Physiology A 191:535-46. 

Hurley LM, Devilbiss DM, Waterhouse BD (2004). A matter of focus: monoaminergic modulation of stimulus coding within mammalian sensory networks. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 14:488-495.
Thompson AM, Hurley LM (2004). Dense serotonergic innervation of principal nuclei of the superior olivary complex in mouse. Neuroscience Letters 168:179-182. 

Klug A, Bauer EE, Hanson J, Hurley LM, Meitzen J, Pollak GD (2002). Inhibition generates response selectivity for species-specific calls in the inferior colliculus of Mexican free-tailed bats. Journal of Neurophysiology 88:1941-1954.

Hurley, LM; Thompson, AM; Pollak, GD (2002). Serotonin in the inferior colliculus. Hearing Research 168:1-11. (invited review)
Hurley, LM and Thompson, AM (2001). Serotonin staining in the auditory brainstem of the Mexican free-tailed bat, Journal of Comparative Neurology 435:78-88.

Hurley, LM and Pollak, GD (2001). Serotonin effects on frequency tuning of inferior colliculus neurons. Journal of Neurophysiology 85:828-42.

Klug, A; Khan, A; Bauer, EE; Burger, RB; Grothe, B; Hurley, LM; Yang, L; and Park, TJ (2000). Latency as a function of intensity in auditory neurons: influences of central processing.  Hearing Research 148:107-123.

Hurley, LM and Pollak, GD (1999). Serotonin differentially modulates responses to tones and frequency-modulated sweeps in the inferior colliculus. Journal of Neuroscience 19: 8071-8082.

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