Mark Blumberg has investigated a diversity of topics in developmental behavioral neuroscience, including sleep, sensorimotor processing, thermoregulation, cardiorespiratory physiology and ultrasonic vocalizations. What binds his research interests together is a desire to understand how developmental and behavioral processes unfold through time. Overall, Blumberg’s work embraces a process-oriented view of development, is anchored in behavioral analysis and considers the bidirectional interactions of behavior and physiology.
Relevant to his current SFARI grant, Blumberg’s research over the past 15 years has focused increasingly on the contributions of spontaneous movements to sensorimotor development; his group has generated the most comprehensive understanding to date of cortical and subcortical infant brain activity and its state-dependent modulation. To enable this progress, Blumberg’s lab has been at the forefront of developing methods for neurophysiological recordings in unanesthetized infant rodents. Blumberg has had continuous National Institutes of Health funding since 1994, including an Independent Scientist Award (2002-2012) and a Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (2014-present).
Beyond his empirical work, he has gained a broad perspective of the field by serving as editor-in-chief of Behavioral Neuroscience, co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Developmental Behavioral Neuroscience (Oxford University Press, 2010) and also co-editing a collection of essays on developmental systems and the emergence of complex behaviors (WIREs Cognitive Science, 2016). Finally, in an effort to communicate science to a broader audience, Blumberg has written three books of popular science, including Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us about Development and Evolution (Oxford University Press, 2010) and Body Heat: Temperature and Life on Earth (Harvard University Press, 2001