Jeffrey J. Wenstrup, Ph.D.

Jeff Wenstrup, Ph.D.

Phone: 330.325.6630
Email: jjw@neomed.edu

Room: E-108

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Academic Titles

  • Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology
  • Graduate Faculty Advsg Status, College of Graduate Studies


I received my Ph.D. in Physiology (Neuroscience minor) from Indiana University in Bloomington. After postdoctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California at Berkeley, I came to NEOMED in 1990.

Since then, I have trained medical students in the neurosciences and have taken a major role in graduate education in neuroscience, both through mentoring Ph.D. students and serving as Chair of the Neuroscience Graduate Program affiliated with Kent State University.

As founding Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, I served from 2008 through 2021. I was also the founding Director of NEOMED’s Hearing Research Group.

My own research, concerning brain mechanisms underlying sound perception and emotional responses to social vocalizations, has been continually funded by NIDCD for the past 30 years.

Area of Expertise/Research Interests

I study how emotional brain centers interact with the auditory system to establish the meaning of speech and other social vocalizations. Interpreting these social signals requires information about acoustic structure, other sensory stimuli, and internal state. I examine mechanisms acting within the amygdala to integrate across these information sources, and seek to relate these mechanisms to acoustic communication behavior and to disorders resulting in altered emotional responses to speech.

Educational Background

  • 1976 St. Louis University. St. Louis, Missouri
    Honors B.A. in Philosophy
  • 1983 Indiana University School of Medicine. Bloomington, Indiana
    Ph.D. in Physiology; Minor in Neuroscience Studies


Voytenko S.V., Shanbhag S.J., Wenstrup J.J., Galazyuk A.V. (2023). Intracellular recordings reveal integrative function of the basolateral amygdala in acoustic communication. Journal of Neurophysiology. 129: 1334-1343.

Ghasemahmad, Z., Mrvelj, A., Panditi, R., Sharma, B., Perumal, D., and Wenstrup, J.J. (Revised April 2023). Emotional vocalizations alter behaviors and neurochemical release into the amygdala.

Wenstrup, J.J., Ghasemahmad, Z., Hazlett, E., Shanbhag, S. (2020) The amygdala – a hub of the social auditory brain. In: The Senses: A Comprehensive Reference (Second Edition). 2: 812-837.

Niemczura, A.C., Grimsley, J.M., Kim, C., Alkhawaga, A., Poth, A., Carvalho, A., and Wenstrup, J.J.,(2020) Physiological and behavioral responses to vocalization playback in mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 14:155.

Gadziola, M.A., Shanbhag, S.J., and Wenstrup, J.J. (2016) Two distinct representations of social vocalizations in the basolateral amygdala. Journal of Neurophysiology. 115:868-886.

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