Focus on Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
Building on the research programs of many faculty who use computational methods to understand brain functioning and behavior, this new training focus will provide training and research opportunities for the next generation of cognitive neuroscientists.
The Bakkour Memory and Decision Lab focuses on how we use memory of the past to make decisions in the present that impact the future. We primarily use fMRI, patient studies, and eyetracking in combination with novel behavioral paradigms, computational models such as drift diffusion and reinforcement learning models, non-parametric statistics, and machine learning methods to elucidate the computations that the brain performs when humans draw on their past experiences to make everyday decisions.
The Experience, Memory and Knowledge Lab seeks to understand how multiple brain regions support the formation of memory and knowledge. We combine electrophysiology, quantitative behavior tasks and computational modeling to understand the relationship between neural activity and cognitive function.
The Brain Bridge Lab conducts research examining the bridge between perception and memory, by examining the visual inputs and outputs of the memory system. We look at why we remember certain images over others (what makes them intrinsically memorable), and what that reflects about the interactions of the perceptual and memory systems in the brain. We also use naturalistic methods such as drawing and autobiographical videos, combined with methods in fMRI and computer vision, to examine the rich visual content within our memories.
The Environmental Neuroscience Lab utilizes non-linear dynamics, systems models, causal models, and multivariate statistics to understand the comples relationships between the environment, brain and behavior. This also involves the use of big data sets involving millions of cellphone traces, millions of Twitter posts and thousands of brains.
The Cognition, Attention & Brain Lab explores how we pay attention. We ask what we can learn about individuals from their unique patterns of brain activity and what this can tell us about the nature of the brain and mind. We use functional MRI, machine learning methods, and behavioral experiments to investigate how attention differs between people, fluctuates over time, changes across development, and interacts with the rest of the mind.
The Motivation & Cognition Neuroscience Lab examines how goals, desires, and beliefs affect how people perceive and respond to the physical and social world. We use functional MRI, computational models, physiological measures, NLP methods, and naturalistic task paradigms to study the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying motivation-cognition interactions.