Chris Comer

Chris Comer


Home Department: Biological Sciences
Office: LA 136


BS (Biology): St. Peter's College, Jersey City, New Jersey, 1974

PhD (Biology & Neuroscience): The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1980

Post-doc: Cornell University, Ithaca, New York  (Neurobiology & Behavior)

Research Interests

Cellular Neurobiology and Behavior

Evolution of Neural Systems

Neural Engineering

Integration of the Humanities with the Life Sciences

Selected Publications

Comer, CM and Baba, Y (2011) Active touch in orthopteroid insects: behaviours, multisensory substrates and evolution.  Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 366:3006-3015.

Baba, Y, Tsukada, A and Comer, CM (2010) Collision avoidance by running insects: antennal guidance in cockroaches.  J. Exp. Biol. 213:2294-2302.

Comer, C.M. (2009)  Inside the Mind of Proteus.  Current Biology 19(1): R27-R28

Baba, Y. and Comer, C.M. (2008)  The antennal motor system of the cockroach, Periplaneta Americana.  Cell Tissue Res. 331:751-762.

Park, TJ, Catania, KC, Samaan, D, and Comer, C (2007)  Convergent notes from the underground: Somatosensory organization of naked mole-rats (and those similarly challenged) emphasizes adaptability of brain and behavior.

In: "Subterranean Rodents - News from Underground," Springer-Verlag Edited by S. Begal, H. Burda, and C.E. Schleich.  pp. 175-193.

Crish, SD Dengler Crish, CM and Comer, CM (2006)  Population coding strategies and involvement of the superior colliculus in the tactile orienting behavior of naked mole-rats.  Neuroscience 139:1461-1466.

Libersat, F., Leung, V., Mizrahi, A., Mathenia, N. and Comer, C.M. (2005)

Maturation of escape circuit function during the early adulthood of cockroaches Periplaneta americana.  Journal of Neurobiology, 62:62-71

Hetling, JR, Baig-Siva, M.S., Comer, CM, Pardue, MT, Samaan, DY, Qtaishat, N.M., Pepperberg, D.R., ParK, TJ (2005) Features of visual function in the naked mole-rat Heterocephalus glaber.  J. Comp. Physiol., 191(4): 317-30.                     

Comer, C.M. and Leung, V. (2004)  The Vigilance of the Hunted: Mechanosensory-visual Integration in Insect Prey.  A Chapter In: Complex Worlds from Simpler Nervous Systems, Ed. By F. Prete,  MIT Press, pp 313-334.

Crish, S., Rice, F.L., Park, T. and Comer, C.M.  (2003)  Somatosensory organization and behavior in Naked Mole-Rats I:  Vibrissa-like body hairs comprise a sensory array that mediates orientation to tactile stimuli. 

Brain Behav. Evol. 62:141-151. Park, T., Comer, C.M., Carol, A., Lu, Y. Hong, H.-S. Rice, F.L. (2003)

Somatosensory organization and behavior in Naked Mole-Rats II: Peripheral Structures, Innervation, and Selective Lack of Neuropeptides Associated with Thermoregulation and Pain.  J. Comp. Neurol. 465: 104-120.

Ye, S., Leung, V., Khan, A., Baba, Y. and Comer, C.M. (2003)  The antennal system of the cockroach and evasive behavior. I.  Roles for Visual and mechanosensory cues in the response.  J. Comp. Physiol.  189:89-96.

Comer, C.M., Parks, L., Halvorsen, M.B., Breese-Tertelling, A. (2003) The antennal system of the cockroach and evasive behavior. II.  Stimulus identification and localization are separable antennal functions.   J. Comp. Physiol.  189:97-103.

Crish, S., Comer, C.M., Marasco, P.D. and Catania, K.C. (2003)  A Tactile Tectum?  Somatosensation in the Superior Colliculus of the Star-Nosed Mole.  J. Comp. Neurol. 464:415-425.

Artwohl J., Hill T., Comer C.M., and Park, T.  (2002)  Naked mole-rats: Unique opportunities and husbandry challenges.  Lab Anim 31(5):32-36.

Comer, C.M. and Robertson, R.M. (2001)  Identified nerve cells and insect behavior.  In: Identified Neurons in Model Systems, ed. by J.L. Leonard, Prog. Neurobiol.  63:409-439.

Specialized Research Interests

Cellular neurobiology and behavior

Teaching Experience

Developmental Biology (Grad TA, at University of Chicago)

Neurophysiology of Movement (at Cornell University - with D. Daley)

Cellular Neurobiology and laboratory (at UIC)

Comparative Animal Behavior (at UIC - with AD Murphy)

Animal Physiology I: Nerve & Muscle Physiology (at UIC, team taught) 

Animal Physiology II: Physiological Systems (immunology section) 

Biology of the Brain (at UIC, team taught)

Neural Engineering (at UIC with J Hetling) 

Various Graduate Seminars (neural networks & behavior)

International Experience

Study Abroad Teaching:

Brain, Mind, and the Artistic Imagination

(in Dublin Ireland, Summers)