Dr. Jens Herberholz is a Professor in the Psychology Department. Dr. Herberholz received his PhD from the Technical University in Munich, Germany. His PhD work investigated the importance of mechanosensory signals during aggressive interactions in snapping shrimp. Following his PhD. he was a Postdoctoral Associate and Research Scientist at Georgia State University where he combined single-cell electrophysiology with behavioral analysis to study the neurobehavioral underpinnings of escape in crayfish. In his own laboratory, he continues to use crayfish as a primary animal model for research. Crayfish make complex behavioral decisions, and they feature an accessible nervous system with large, identifiable neurons, which allows for cellular and circuit-level analysis using neurophysiological, neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neuroimaging techniques. His current research program focuses on identifying the structure and function of decision-making neural circuitry and understanding the interconnections between neural activity patterns and motor action in the context of aggression and predator avoidance. His most recent work addresses fundamental questions regarding the role of neurochemical inhibition, including the interplay between the neurocellular effects of alcohol and behavioral disinhibition, with the long-term goal of identifying how nervous system function is linked to adaptive and maladaptive behavioral output. Dr. Herberholz has published many peer-reviewed articles and conference abstracts as well as several book chapters on these topics. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and The National Institutes of Health (NIH), and featured widely in the media. He is an associate editor for the journal "Behaviour" and a member of the editorial boards for the journals "Invertebrate Neuroscience" and "Frontiers in Invertebrate Physiology".

He served as the Director of the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program from 2013 to 2017 and is currently Co-Director of the Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI) at the University of Maryland, College Park.


  • PhD
    Technical University Munich, Germany

Please see my website: http://herberholz.umd.edu/Research.html

Research Methods
Research Interests
Escape Behavior

Current Students

Dr. Jens Herberholz
2123H Biology-Psychology Building
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
jherberh [at] umd.edu
Office Hours
by appointment