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Thomas A. Cleland

Associate Professor

  • 278E Uris Hall
  • Cornell University
  • Ithaca NY 14853-7601
    Office Hours:


My research concerns how complex cognitive and perceptual phenomena can arise from, and be regulated by, cellular and neural circuit properties. Primarily using the sense of smell (olfaction), my students, colleagues, and I ask how learning, memory, expectation, and like processes shape the transformations performed on sensory inputs by relatively peripheral (i.e., experimentally accessible) cortical circuitry, and how these different transformations in turn influence behavior and subsequent learning. We triangulate on these questions using a range of techniques including electrophysiology, pharmacology, behavior and behavior genetics, and biophysically constrained computational modeling.

Behavioral & Evolutionary Neuroscience
Perception, Cognition & Development

Selected Publications

  • Cleland TA (2008) The construction of olfactory representations. In: Mechanisms of information processing in the brain: encoding of information in neural populations, Holscher C, Munk M, eds. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press. In press. PDF

  • Cleland TA (2008). Contrast enhancement. In: Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Binder MD, Hirokawa N, Windhorst U, Hirsch MC, eds. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. In press.

  • Cleland TA, Johnson BA, Leon M, Linster C (2007) Relational representation in the olfactory system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 104(6):1953-1958. Link PDF

  • Cleland TA, Linster C (2007) Olfactory systems theory. In: New Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Squire L, Albright T, Bloom F, Gage F, Spitzer N, eds. New York: Elsevier. In press. PDF

  • Rubin DB, Cleland TA (2006) Dynamical mechanisms of odor processing in olfactory bulb mitral cells. J. Neurophysiology 96(2):555-568. Link PDF

  • Wei CJ, Linster C, Cleland TA (2006) Dopamine D2 receptor activation modulates perceived odor intensity. Behavioral Neuroscience 120(2):393-400. Link PDF

  • Cleland TA, Sethupathy P (2006) Non-topographical contrast enhancement in the olfactory bulb. BMC Neuroscience 7:7 (24 Jan 2006). Open Access. Link PDF

  • Cleland TA, Linster C (2005) Computation in the olfactory system. Chemical Senses 30(9):801-813. Open Access. Link PDF

  • Schoenfeld TA, Cleland TA (2005) The anatomical logic of smell. Trends in Neurosciences 28(11):620-627. Link PDF

  • Cleland TA, Morse A, Yue EL, Linster C (2002) Behavioral models of odor similarity. Behavioral Neuroscience 116(2):222-231. Link PDF


updated on Friday, Mar 20 2015 @ 12:57pm