Daphna Shohamy, PhD

My research is focused on the intersection between learning, memory and decision making. How are decisions shaped by past experience? When are decisions guided by explicit knowledge, and when by implicitly learned associations or biases? Are explicit and implicit memories supported by independent cognitive and neural systems (as popular view suggests)? Or, is there some form of cross-talk between them? If so, do the underlying systems cooperate or compete?

To answer these questions, I adopt an integrative approach that draws broadly on neuroscience to make predictions about cognition. Predictions are tested in behavioral and neuroimaging studies in healthy individuals, and in patients with isolated damage to specific brain systems. Neuroimaging studies tell us about the spatial and temporal characteristics of neural mechanisms involved in cognition. Neuropsychological studies augment this approach and provide direct evidence of the necessity of a brain region for specific cognitive processes. Converging evidence from these complementary approaches produces a fuller picture of the cognitive and neural processes involved, and necessary, for different aspects of behavior.

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