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BenU faculty member since 2016

Education and Experience
Assistant Professor, Benedictine University Department of Biological Sciences (present)
Visiting Assistant Professor, St. Mary’s College of Maryland Department of Biology 2015-2016
Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University; Department of Biological Sciences 2010-2015
Ph. D. Indiana University Bloomington 2004-2010
      Biology: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Minor: Neuroscience
B. S. cum laude University of Maryland Baltimore County 2000–2004
      Biological Sciences; Minor: Chemistry

Research Summary
How does the brain generate social behavior? Successful social interaction requires the brain to receive and process sensory signals that communicate complex information and generate motor behavior fitting to the social context. My research examines social behavior from sensation to action, examining links between sensory and motor regions through the forebrain, and the role of these pathways in generating socially appropriate behavior. Key components of this network under investigation- the amygdala, basal ganglia, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis- are similar across vertebrates in developmental origin, neurotransmitter types, and connectivity with sensory and motor systems. Though these regions have been most thoroughly studied in the auditory contexts of stress and threat detection, my primary interest is how they influence social interaction. I use African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), a well-established NIH model organism of social vocal communication, to examine how auditory information influences vocal performance. Research in my lab uses a variety of behavioral and physiological approaches to investigate the neurochemical mechanisms and neuroanatomical pathways involved in perceiving and processing social cues, and regulating social behaviors.

Publications ( * denotes undergraduate co-author)
  • Hall, Ian C., Sarah M. N. Woolley, Ursula Kwong-Brown*, Darcy B. Kelley (2016) Sex differences and endocrine regulation of auditory-evoked, neural responses in African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus). Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 202(1) 17-34.
  • Hall, Ian C., Irene H. Ballagh, Darcy B. Kelley (2013) The Xenopus amygdala mediates socially appropriate vocal communication signals. The Journal of Neuroscience. 33(36) 14534-14548.
  • Hall, Ian C., Gabrielle L. Sell*, Emily M. Chester and Laura M. Hurley (2012) Stress-evoked increases in serotonin in the auditory midbrain do not directly result from elevations in serum corticosterone. Behavioral Brain Research. 226(1):41-49.
  • Hurley, Laura M. and Ian C. Hall (2011) Context-dependent modulation of auditory processing in midbrain. Hearing Research. 279(1-2): 74-84.
  • Hall, Ian C., Gabrielle L. Sell* and Laura M. Hurley (2011) Social regulation of serotonin in the auditory midbrain. Behavioral Neuroscience. 125(4): 501-511.
  • Hall, Ian C., George V. Rebec and Laura M. Hurley (2010) Serotonin in the inferior colliculus changes with behavioral state and environmental stimuli. The Journal of Experimental Biology. 213: 1009-1017.
  • Hall, Ian C. and Laura M. Hurley. (2007) The serotonin releaser fenfluramine alters the auditory responses of inferior colliculus neurons. Hearing Research. 228(1-2): 82-94.

Ian Hall, Ph.D. 

Birck 335 | 630-829-6522



     College of Science

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William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186

Dean's Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dean's Office Location:
Birck Hall Room 119