Understanding how brains makes decisions is critical for gaining insight into complex cognition. When making decisions, humans and animals can flexibly integrate multiple sources of information before committing to action. The ability to flexibly use incoming information distinguishes decisions from reflexes, offering a tractable entry point into more complex cognitive processes defined by flexibility, such as abstract thinking, reasoning and problem solving.
In my laboratory, we investigate the neural circuits underlying decision-making. We measure and manipulate neurons in cortical and subcortical areas while animals make decisions about sensory signals. To connect the neural responses with behavior, we use mathematical analyses aimed at understanding what information is represented at the level of neural populations, both at a given moment and over time. Understanding neural population activity will bolster our long term goal: to determine how the brain can make decisions that integrate inputs from our multiple senses, stored memories and innate impulses.
Farzaneh Najafi is lead author on a decision-making review
Simon Musall and Matt Kaufman co-author a preprint on the biorxiv
Anne Urai, PhD, joins the lab as an International Brain Lab postdoc
Ashley Juavinett is first author on a paper about ethology in decision-making
In a new paper, Licata et. al. manipulate decision sensitivity with optogenetics
Matt Kaufman wins Postdoc Poster Prize at Labwide Symposium
Postdoctoral fellow Ashley Juavinett joins the lab
Anne Churchland & Roozbeh Kiani publish a paper on linking model to mechanism in decision making
Bioinformatics and Computational Neuroscience NSF-REU awarded (PI Churchland)
Anne Churchland & Larry Abbott co-author introduction to special Computational Neuroscience issue of Nature Neurosci.
Postdoctoral fellow Simon Musall joins the lab
Watson School student Sashank Pisupati joins the lab
Graduate student David Raposo accepts a job at Google DeepMind
Our numerosity paper is published in the Journal of Neurophysiology
Matt Kaufman is awarded a travel fellowship to attend the McKnight conference
Matt Kaufman is awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain
Kachi Odeomene is awarded a predoctoral fellowship from the National Eye Institute
Our decision-making paper is published in Nature Neuroscience
New lab members! Technicians Angela Licata & Hien Nguyen, Postdoctoral Fellow Farzaneh Najafi and Graduate Student Lital Chartarifsky.
Anne earns scholar awards from the Pew Charitable Trust and the Klingenstein-Simons Fund.
Hien Nguyen joins our lab as a laboratory technician.
Kachi and Anne’s Preview, “Listening for the Right Sounds,” is published in Neuron.
Research technician Michael Ryan to attend Neuroscience Graduate Program at University of California, San Francisco.
Anne is an invited speaker at the 2014 Cosyne meeting in Salt Lake City.