Prof Vibhakar Kotak

Prof Vibhakar Kotak

Visiting Faculty for Neuroscience



I have a broad background in biomedical sciences, training and expertise in Neurobiology with specific skills in cellular, pharmacological, developmental and auditory neurobiology issues associated with this project. My current research includes work on synapticproperties and plasticity in key auditory as well as non-auditory regions believed to be involved in auditory and mnemonic memory. As PI on several university- and NIH-funded grants in the past, I laid the groundwork for the proposed research by developing electrophysiological and pharmacological assays to examine the effects of behavioral training and hearing loss on synapse functions and plasticity, the focus of this proposal. Previously, I have published new findings on the effects of different forms of hearing loss, severe to mild, on biophysical, excitatory synaptic and inhibitory synaptic properties in the auditory brainstem and cortex, and auditory training on synaptic currents in the auditory cortex.In addition, I successfully co-administered the projects (e.g. staffing, research protections, budget), collaborated with other researchers in our department and outside, and produced several peer-reviewed publications from each of these projects.

1993-present : Research Professor, Center for Neural Science, New York University, NY 10003
1984-86, & 1988, 1986-1987,1989 : Research Associate, Dept.Biological Science, Rutgers University, NJ
1989-1998 : Visiting Faculty (Cellular Neurobiology); University of Pennsylvania, Pa
1986-1988 : Associate Professor, Department of Biosciences, SP University, India
1974-1979 : Ph.D candidates, Dept. Zoology, MSU, Baroda, India

1984-1986: Busch memorial Fellow, Neurobiology, Rutgers University, NJ
1987-1986: NIH Fellow, Neurobiology, Rutgers University, NJ
1984-1988: PI, Neuroendocrinology, University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India
2005-2010 : PI, Homeostasis of synaptic plasticity in Auditory Cortex following Hearing Loss
2011-2016 : PI, Rescue of Inhibitory synaptic function following Hearing Loss
1984-1988 : PI,Hormonal control of Reproductive cycles, University Grants Commission, New Delhi

Research Areas and Contribution

American Association for the Advancement of Science,Association for Research in Otolaryngology,Society for Neuroscience.

Some Recent Papers

  • Kotak VC, Mirallave A, Mowery TM, Sanes DH (2017) GABAergic inhibition gates excitatory LTP in perirhinal cortex.Hippocampus. Accepted, In press
  •  Mowery TM, Penikis KB, Young SK, Ferrer CE, Kotak VC, Sanes DH (2017) The Sensory Striatum Is Permanently altered by transient developmental hearing loss.Cell Reports 19: 2462–2468
  •  Mowery, Todd & Kotak, Vibhakar & H. Sanes, Dan. (2016). The onset of visual experience gates auditory cortex critical periods. Nature Communications. 7. 10416. 10.1038/ncomms10416.
  •  Dimidschstein J, G, Fishell G et al.(2017) A viral strategy for targeting and manipulating interneurons across vertebrate species.Nature Neurosci. 20:1033.
  •  Mikiel-Hunter J, Kotak V, Rinzel (2016) High-Frequency Resonance in the Gerbil Medial Superior Olive.PLoS Computational Biol. 10:12(11):e1005166
  •  Mowery TM, Kotak VC, Sanes DH. (2016) The onset of visual experience gates auditory cortex critical periods. Nature Communication. 7:10416
  • Kotak VC, Mowery TM, Sanes DH (2015) Characterization of auditory synaptic inputs to gerbil perirhinal cortex.  Front Neural Circuits. 9:1-8.
  • Sarro EC, von Trapp G, Mowery TM, Kotak VC, Sanes DH (2015) Cortical synaptic inhibition declines during auditory learning. J Neurosci. 35:6318-6325
  • Kotak VC, Sanes DH (2014) Developmental expression of inhibitory synaptic long-term potentiation in the lateral superior olive. Front Neural Circuits. 19;8:67
  • Mowery TM, Kotak VC, Sanes DH (2015) Transient Hearing Loss Within a Critical Period Causes Persistent Changes to Cellular Properties in Adult Auditory Cortex. Cereb Cortex. 25:2083-2094
  • Kotak VC, Takesian AE, MacKenzie PC, Sanes DH (2013) Rescue of inhibitory synapse strength following developmental hearing loss. PLoS One. 8(1):e53438
  • Sanes DH, Kotak VC (2011) Developmental plasticity of auditory cortical inhibitory synapses.Hear Res 279:140-148. Review
  • Jercog PE, Svirskis G, Kotak VC, Sanes DH, Rinzel J (2010)Asymmetric excitatory synaptic dynamics underlie interaural time difference processing in the auditory system.PLoS Biol. 8(6):e1000406
  • Takesian AE, Kotak VC, Sanes DH (2010) Developmental hearing loss disrupts synaptic inhibition: implications for auditory processing. Presynaptic GABA(B) receptors regulate experience-dependent development of inhibitory short-term plasticity. J Neurosci. 2010 30:2716-2727
  • Takesian AE, Kotak VC, Sanes DH (2009) Developmental hearing loss disrupts synaptic inhibition: implications for auditory processing. Future Neurololgy. 2009 4:331-349
  • Xu H, Kotak VC, Sanes DH (2010) Normal hearing is required for the emergence of long-lasting inhibitory potentiation in cortex. J Neurosci 30:331-341
  • Kotak VC, Takesian AE, Sanes DH (2008) Hearing loss prevents the maturation of GABAergic transmission in the auditory cortex. Cereb Cortex. 2008 18:2098-2108

Reviewer: J Neurophysiology, PLOS Biology, PLOS ONE, J Physiology, Frontiers in Neural Circuits, J Neurobiology, Hearing Research