Benjamin Schwartz

Baylor University


Rotation Labs
Carol Barnes


Regulation of Auditory System Plasticity
Dissertation Advisor
Shaowen Bao

Research Summary

The nervous system is most plastic during a discrete period of time early in development known as the critical period. It is during the critical period when experience shapes the sensory and motor maps that facilitate basic functions required for everyday life. Upon closure of the critical period, plasticity levels throughout the brain drop significantly. My research focuses on trying to understand molecular and physiological mechanisms of plasticity regulation in the brain during development, and adulthood. 


Schwartz, B. A., Wang, W., & Bao, S. (2020). Pharmacological DNA Demethylation Weakens Inhibitory Synapses in the Auditory Cortex and Re-opens the Critical Period for Frequency Map Plasticity. Neuroscience, 440,239–248.

Kapellusch A.J., Lester, A.W., Schwartz, B.A., Smith, A.C., Barnes, C.A. (2018). Analysis of learning deficits in aged rats on the W-track continuous spatial alternation task. Behavioral Neuroscience. 132(6): 512-519. DOI:10.1037/bne0000269

Fraley, E. R., Burkett, Z. D., Day, N. F., Schwartz, B. A., Phelps, P. E., & White, S. A. (2016). Mice with Dab1 or Vldlr insufficiency exhibit abnormal neonatal vocalization patterns. Scientific Reports, 1–12. DOI: 10.1038/srep25807

McConnell, M., Grinspan, L. T., Williams, M. R., Lynn, M. L., Schwartz, B. A., Fass, O. Z., Schwartz, S.D., Tardiff, J. C. (2017). Clinically Divergent Mutation Effects on the Structure and Function of the Human Cardiac Tropomyosin Overlap. Biochemistry, 56, 3403–3413. DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00266


  • B.S. Neuroscience, UCLA
  • Graduate Certificate in College Teaching



Research Interests

Regulation of Critical Period Plasticity