Dr. Sewall seeks to understand how neural and behavioral processes-- and the environmental and developmental factors that impact those processes-- contribute to animals' survival and reproductive success.
To survive and successfully reproduce, animals must respond to constantly shifting and often unpredictable environmental conditions by changing neural and behavioral processes. For many animals, this includes responding to variable social conditions because social interactions can either exacerbate or buffer individuals from the impacts of ecological conditions. Further, social interactions are central to mating success and hence reproductive success. This work is relevant to understanding the proximate basis of adaptive and dysfunctional behavior, and is also relevant to understanding the evolution of brain processes and behavior.