Sarah Woolley is a professor of psychology and former chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. She directs the Communication Neuroscience Laboratory in the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, co-directs the Center for Integrative Animal Behavior, and is a member of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science. Dr. Woolley’s research on the neuroscience of social communication focuses on songbirds to decipher the neural and behavioral mechanisms of auditory-vocal learning. Songbirds share with humans the extremely rare capacity to learn communication vocalizations from adult tutors during development. They serve as the principal animal model for understanding how the brain uses experience to develop vocal behaviors and auditory perceptual skills for social communication.
Sarah Woolley is a member of the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience Advisory Committee and a former faculty mentor of Nori Jacoby (2016-18).