The neural mechanics of changing your mind


Timothy Verstynen Ph.D

Associate Professor, Dept. Psychology, CMNI, Biomedical

Engineering (courtesy), Carnegie Mellon University
Co-Director CMU-Pitt BRIDGE Center

Humans and other mammals exhibit a high degree of control when selecting actions in a dynamic and constantly changing world. This flexibility in decision-making is mediated by a set of cortical-subcortical circuits in the brain that control both how sensory information drives action selection and how feedback signals modify future decisions. In this talk I will highlight the neural mechanics of this flexible decision-making and show how this gives us insights into the algorithms by which mammals change their minds.

About the Speaker
Dr. Verstynen received his Ph.D. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and went on to do postdoctoral training in computational neuroscience at UCSF and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Psychology and the Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute, with a cross appointment in Biomedical engineering. Dr. Verstynen directs the Cognitive Axon Lab, where he studies decision-making and learning. He is also the Co-Director of the CMU-Pitt BRIDGE Center, a research dedicated MRI center with a strong emphasis on computational neuroimaging. Along with his research, Dr. Verstynen also engages in various science outreach projects, most notably using zombies to teach neuroscience in the book Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? that he co-authored with Dr. Bradley Voytek at UCSD.

Invited by David Robbe & CENTURI

Monday 16th May, 13h30 – At the hexagone – Luminy Campus

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