Tobias Teichert, PhD

Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Bioengineering

Contact

459 Oxford Building
412-648-1958
F: 412-624-9910
teichert@pitt.edu
Website >

Education

PhD, Philipps-Universität, Marburg (2007)

Focus

Neural mechanisms of auditory function and decision-making in the non-human primate

Research Summary


My lab studies the neural mechanisms of auditory function and decision-making in the non-human primate in order to better understand the auditory deficits observed in individuals with schizophrenia.

Individuals with schizophrenia exhibit deficits in simple auditory tasks such as delayed pitch discrimination. These deficits have been linked in part to impaired encoding of information into sensory memory (aka echoic memory). Echoic memory passively maintains a detail-rich low-level representation (e.g., pitch, loudness, etc.) of past sounds for a brief period of time on the order of 8 to 12 seconds. Due to the fleeting nature of auditory information, this memory-trace is essential for most auditory functions, such as speech comprehension. However, the neural substrate of echoic memory has not been identified. Consequently there is no mechanistic understanding of the pathological mechanism(s) that lead(s) to impaired echoic memory encoding in schizophrenia. My lab addresses these challenges by recording sound-evoked neural responses (single cells, current-source densities, macroscopic EEG) in non-human primates performing simple auditory decision tasks while perturbing the system using targeted pharmacological and electrical interventions. 

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Yes

Publications

T. Teichert, D. Yu & V. Ferrera (2014). Performance monitoring in monkey frontal eye field. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34(5), 1657-71.

T. Teichert, J. Grinband & V. Ferrera (2015). The importance of decision onset. Journal of Neurophysiology, 115(2): 643-61.

T. Teichert, K. Gurnsey, D. Salisbury, R. Sweet (2016). Contextual processing in unpredictable auditory environments: The limited resource model of auditory refractoriness in the rhesus. Journal of Neurophysiology, 116: 2125-2139.

T. Teichert (2017). Loudness and time-dependence of auditory evoked potentials is blunted by the NMDA channel blocker MK-801. Psychiatry Research, 256: 202-206.

W. Holliday, K. Gurnsey, R. Sweet, T. Teichert (2017). A putative electrophysiological biomarker of auditory sensory memory encoding is sensitive to pharmacological alterations of E/I balance in male macaque monkeys. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, in Press.