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Brett Schofield Ph.D.

Professor of Neurobiology



Phone: (330)325-6655

Location: 'E-120'


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Brett R. Schofield, Ph.D.

Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology
College of Medicine

Faculty Laboratory Page


1981               University of Delaware
                         Honors B.A. in Biology
                         Dean's Scholar
                         Honors Thesis:  Olfactory Anatomy of the Wood Duck, Aix sponsa

1986               Duke University
                         Ph.D. in Anatomy
                         Dissertation: Morphology and Physiology of Corticotectal Cells in Primary Visual
                         Cortex of Hooded Rats.

Professional Experience

1980 - 1981   University of Delaware, Newark, Del.
                         C.P. White Research Fellow, Department of Biology
1981 - 1999   Duke University, Durham, N.C.
                         1981 - 1984   NIH Graduate Trainee in Biological Systems, Department of Anatomy
                         1984 - 1986   Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Anatomy
                         1986 - 1991   Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anatomy
                         1987 - 1988   NIH Postdoctoral Trainee in Neurobehavioral Sciences
                         1991 - 1996   Research Associate, Deptartment of Neurobiology

1995                University of Munich, Munich, Germany
                          Visiting Scientist, Institute of Zoology

1996 - 1999    University of South Dakota, Vermillion, S.D.
                          Assistant Professor, Deptartment of Anatomy and Structural Biology

1999 - 2005    University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.
                          1999 - 2003   Assistant Professor, Depatrment of Anatomical Sciences and 
                          2003 - 2005   Associate Professor, Deptartment of Anatomical Sciences and

2005 -              Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio (formerly Northeastern Ohio
                          Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy)
                          2005 - 2008   Associate Professor, Department of Neurobiology
                          2008 - 2009   Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
                          2009 -             Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

2005 -              Kent State University, School of Biomedical Sciences, Kent, Ohio
                          Graduate Faculty, Neuroscience Program
                          Graduate Faculty, Cellular and Molecular Biology Program

Research Interests

Functional Anatomy of the Auditory Pathways

The brain processes auditory information in ascending circuits that extend from the ear to the cerebral cortex, where sound is perceived. Descending pathways are important for selective attention and discrimination of sounds in a noisy environment and may also be involved in plasticity and adaptation to a changing acoustic environment (or an aging auditory system). Our current work focuses on circuits and possible functional roles of cholinergic and GABAergic cells in the auditory system.
Our primary subject is the guinea pig, a small mammal with well-developed hearing and well-differentiated auditory circuits. We use a variety of anatomical tracers to label specific neural pathways. We then examine these pathways in the light and electron microscopes to identify the cell types and their interconnections. We also combine these methods with immunohistochemical techniques to identify the neurotransmitters used by different circuit components.

We have active collaborations with Dr. Sam Crish and Dr. Denise Inman in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, with whom we are investigating the role of axonopathy in the development of glaucoma. This eye disease affects millions of people and leads to blindness.

Recent Publications

Dr. Schofield’s publications in PubMed

Schofield, B.R. 2011. Central descending auditory pathways. In: Ryugo, D.K., Popper, A.N., Fay, R.R., (Eds.), Springer Handbook of Auditory Research, Vol. 15, Auditory and Vestibular Efferents Springer-Verlag, New York. pp. 261-290

Motts, S. D. and B. R. Schofield 2011 Cholinergic cells in the tegmentum send branching projections to the inferior colliculus and the medial geniculate body. Neuroscience 179:120-130. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.01.044 PMCID: PMC3059374

Mellott, J. G, S. D. Motts and B. R. Schofield 2011 Multiple origins of cholinergic innervation of the cochlear nucleus. Neuroscience, 180:138-147. PMCID: PMC3070814

Schofield, B. R., S. D. Motts and J. G. Mellott 2011 Cholinergic cells of the pontomesencephalic tegmentum: Connections with auditory structures from cochlear nucleus to cortex. Hearing Research, 279:85-95. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2010.12.019.  PMCID: PMC3087857

Yavuzoglu, A., B. R. Schofield and J. J. Wenstrup 2011 Circuitry underlying spectrotemporal integration in the auditory midbrain. Journal of Neuroscience 31:14424-14435. PMCID: PMC3226782

Motts, S. D. and B. R. Schofield 2010 Cholinergic and non-cholinergic projections from the pedunculopontine and laterodorsal tegmental nuclei to the medial geniculate body in guinea pigs, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 4:137. doi:10.3389/fnana.2010.00137

Yavuzoglu, A., B. R. Schofield and J. J. Wenstrup 2010 Substrates of auditory frequency integration in a nucleus of the lateral lemniscus, Neuroscience, 169:906-919

Schofield, B. R. 2010 Projections from auditory cortex to midbrain cholinergic neurons that project to the inferior colliculus. Neuroscience 166:231-240. PMCID: PMC2814949

Schofield, B. R. 2010 Structural organization of the descending auditory pathway. In: The Oxford Handbook of Auditory Neuroscience: The Auditory Brain Vol. 2, Rees, A. and Palmer, A. R., (Eds.) Oxford: Oxford University Press

Schofield, B. R. and S. D. Motts 2009 Projections from auditory cortex to cholinergic cells in the midbrain tegmentum of guinea pigs. Brain Res Bulletin, 80:163-170. PMCID: PMC2731009

Motts, S. D. and B. R. Schofield 2009 Sources of cholinergic input to the inferior colliculus, Neuroscience, 160:103-114. PMCID: PMC2700879

Schofield, B. R. 2009 Projections to the inferior colliculus from layer VI cells of auditory cortex, Neuroscience, 159:246-258

Motts, S. D., A. S. Slusarczyk, C. S. Sowick and B. R. Schofield. 2008 Distribution of cholinergic cells in guinea pig brainstem. Neuroscience, 154:186-195. PMCID: PMC2475650

Schofield, B. R., 2008 Retrograde axonal tracing with fluorescent markers. Current Protocols in Neuroscience, 1.17.1-1.17.24

Coomes Peterson, D. and B. R. Schofield 2007 Projections from auditory cortex contact ascending pathways that originate in the superior olive and inferior colliculus, Hearing Research, 232:67-77. PMCID: PMC2682707

Schofield, B. R., R. M. Schofield, K. A. Sorenson and S. D. Motts, 2007 On the use of retrograde tracers for identification of axon collaterals with multiple fluorescent retrograde tracers. Neuroscience, 146:773-783. PMCID: PMC2680684