Dr. Caras received a B.S. in neuroscience with highest honors and B.S. in biology at Brandeis University, in Waltham, MA. She then took off for the west coast, earning a Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior under the direction of Edwin Rubel and Eliot Brenowitz, at the University of Washington, in Seattle, where she explored seasonal and hormonal influences on auditory physiology in wild-caught songbirds. After graduating, Melissa moved back east to pursue postdoctoral studies with Dan Sanes at New York University, where she examined the effect of hearing loss on auditory development, and the neural correlates of auditory perceptual learning in adolescents and adults. Melissa is thrilled to continue this work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology (and as an affiliate of the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences) at the University of Maryland, and is excited to uncover basic mechanisms of auditory learning and plasticity. 

Areas of Interest

  • Auditory neuroscience
  • Perceptual learning
  • Electrophysiology
  • Neuroplasticity
CV: CarasCV_2022.pdf119.39 KB


  • PhD
    University of Washington

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Headshot of Melissa Caras
Biology-Psychology Building 3220
Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences
mcaras [at] umd.edu