Dr. Roberts received his B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, where he studied the evolution of neuromodulatory circuits and the functional organization of pathways involved in vocal learning. As a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Roberts studied how auditory memories are encoded and used to guide learning through the application of novel methods for imaging, manipulating and longitudinally tracking changes to neurons in the brain.

Dr. Roberts joined the Department of Neuroscience in March 2013.  


University of Maryland College (1996)
Graduate School
University of Maryland College (2003)

Research Interest

  • In vivo imaging (2PLSM)
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Systems neuroscience
  • Vocal learning


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Animal Models of Speech and Vocal Communication Deficits Associated with Psychiatric Disorders.
Konopka G, Roberts TF Biol. Psychiatry 2015 Jul
Imaging auditory representations of song and syllables in populations of sensorimotor neurons essential to vocal communication.
Peh WY, Roberts TF, Mooney R J. Neurosci. 2015 Apr 35 14 5589-605
Motor circuits help encode auditory memories of vocal models used to guide vocal learning.
Roberts TF, Mooney R Hear. Res. 2013 Jan
Motor circuits are required to encode a sensory model for imitative learning.
Roberts TF, Gobes SM, Murugan M, Ölveczky BP, Mooney R Nat. Neurosci. 2012 Oct 15 10 1454-9
Rapid spine stabilization and synaptic enhancement at the onset of behavioural learning.
Roberts TF, Tschida KA, Klein ME, Mooney R Nature 2010 Feb 463 7283 948-52
Telencephalic neurons monosynaptically link brainstem and forebrain premotor networks necessary for song.
Roberts TF, Klein ME, Kubke MF, Wild JM, Mooney R J. Neurosci. 2008 Mar 28 13 3479-89
A synaptic basis for auditory-vocal integration in the songbird.
Bauer EE, Coleman MJ, Roberts TF, Roy A, Prather JF, Mooney R J. Neurosci. 2008 Feb 28 6 1509-22
Homogeneity of intrinsic properties of sexually dimorphic vocal motoneurons in male and female zebra finches.
Roberts TF, Wild JM, Kubke MF, Mooney R J. Comp. Neurol. 2007 May 502 1 157-69
Feeding and contact call stimulation both induce zenk and cfos expression in a higher order telencephalic area necessary for vocal learning in budgerigars.
Brauth SE, Liang W, Beru Y, Roberts TF, Hall WS Behav. Brain Res. 2006 Apr 168 2 331-8
Sexual dimorphism of vocal control nuclei in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) revealed with Nissl and NADPH-d staining.
Brauth SE, Liang W, Amateau SK, Roberts TF, Robert TF J. Comp. Neurol. 2005 Mar 484 1 15-27

Honors & Awards

  • Postdoctoral NRSA
    Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (2006)
  • Cosmos Foundation
    Grants-In-Aid to Young Scholars Cosmos Club Foundation (2003)
    Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (2001-2003)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • International Society for Neuroethology (2005)
  • Society for Neuroscience (2000)