Rick Gerkin investigates how smell perception, learning and behavior are represented in the brain. He investigates human olfactory psychophysics in health and disease and records the activity of neurons while animals are engaged in olfactory tasks, applying statistical techniques to understand how the brain organizes and represents odor information.
He also pursues neuroinformatics — the development of tools and standards to facilitate the collection, curation, dissemination, and analysis of neuroscience models and data. Professor Gerkin’s efforts include software development to help neuroscientists test their models and ensure they are informed by experimental data. This also makes it possible for others to see objectively where these models succeed and where further work is needed.