Jacqueline Gottlieb, PhD

We want to understand how the brain generates intelligent behavior and in particular how it learns, reasons and makes decisions in a changing world.  A central interest in the lab is the neural basis of working memory and selective attention. We investigate these functions in the monkey visual system, and combine behavioral and computational techniques with neurophysiological approaches such as reversible inactivation and single- and multi-neuron recording. 

A question we are particularly focused on is how the brain endogenously decides how to allocate its resources. How do we decide when and to what to attend?  How do we decide which item to commit to memory or process in greater depth? Our working hypothesis is that such acts of focusing have a specific goal, which is to learn, reduce uncertainty or acquire information. We are investigating this process in the parietal and the frontal lobes, two key areas involved in attention control.  Future investigations will extend to other areas and neuromodulatory systems.