Andrew J. Niemiec
Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Samuel Mather 322
740-427-5237 fax firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Niemiec joined Kenyon's faculty in 1994, having previously served as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan Medical School. He specializes in comparative perception and cognition. His teaching and research interests fall into the general areas of sensory neuroscience, comparative sensory/perceptual processing, and animal behavior and cognition.
The ultimate goal of this type of research is to understand how the brain makes sense of the stimulation an organism receives from its environment and to answer questions such as: How do humans and animals perceive their world? What are the similarities and differences between humans' and other animals' perceptions? What are the effects of various sensory specializations on an organism's perception of its world? How does an organism's perception of its world affect its behavior?
Recently, Niemiec has been expanding his research into other areas of animal behavior including the study of animal communication systems and emotion. This research attempts to determine what sorts of information animals share, the advantages and disadvantages of sharing information, as well as whether the types of emotions animals display parallel human emotions. For example, what does play behavior in dogs tell us about the function of play in human adults and children? Do animals experience joy? Are there better ways of measuring anxiety in animals so that better anti-anxiety drugs can be developed for humans?
Taken as a whole, these types of studies provide information about the similarities and differences with which various species (including our own) experience the world, allowing us to examine human behavior in a larger, more biological and evolutionary context.
Areas of Expertise
Sensory neuroscience, animal behavior, comparative perception and sensation
Ph.D. Loyola University Chicago
M.A. Loyola University Chicago
B.S. Loyola University Chicago
PSYC 307 Sensation Perception
PSYC 302 Comparative Psychology
PSYC 406 Research Methods in Sensation Perception
NEUR 471 Current Research Topics in Neuroscience
NEUR112 Introduction to Neuroscience
PSYC 441 Seminar in Animal Behavior