Office phone: (773) 702-6174
Fax: (773) 702-6898
Lab phone: (773) 702-3174, (773) 834-9022
Office: BPSB 331


I received my BA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then worked for the original GenBank project at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1982-85. I worked as a programmer/analyst in business applications for a number of years in the mid- to late eighties, and then returned to graduate school at UC Berkeley. I did my dissertation research in the laboratory of Walter J. Freeman, and received my PhD in Biophysics in 1995. I did my postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Gilles Laurent at the California Institute of Technology, where I studied olfactory bulb mitral cell responses to changes in odor context. I have been at The University of Chicago since 2000, and my laboratory studies olfactory and limbic system neurophysiology, focusing on the mechanisms and functions associated with intra- and inter-regional oscillatory cooperativity.

Research Interests

  • Olfactory neurophysiology
  • Olfaction and cognition
  • Roles of context in perception
  • Sensorimotor integration
  • Oscillatory dynamics
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Behavioral neuroscience

Recent Publications

Kay, L.M., Lowry, C.A., Jacobs, H.A. (2003) Receptor contributions to configural and elemental odor mixture perception. Behavioral Neuroscience 117(5): 1108-1114.

Kay, L.M. (2003) A challenge to chaotic itinerancy from brain dynamics. Chaos 13(3):1057-1066.

Kay, L.M. (2003) Two species of gamma oscillations in the olfactory bulb:dependence on behavioral state and synaptic interactions. J. Integrative Neurosci.2(1): 31-44.

Nusser, Z., Kay, L.M., Laurent, G., Homanics, G.E., Mody, I. (2001) Disruption of GABA-A receptor-mediated inhibition of GABAergic interneurons leads to increased synchrony of the olfactory bulb network. J. Neurophysiology, 86(6): 2823-2833.

Kay, L.M. and Laurent, G. (1999) Odor- and context-dependent modulation of mitral cell firing in behaving rats. Nature Neurscience, 2(11): 1003-1009.


  • Biological Psychology (PSYC 20300/30300)
  • Mind (SOSC 141, 143)
  • Honors Seminar (PSYC 29800)
  • Seminar in Olfaction and Cognition (Fall 2004)

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