Areas of Study

  • Cognitive Science
  • Neuroscience

Research Topics

  • Develop computational models of brain circuitry involved in cognitive control.
  • Test computational model predictions with fMRI.
  • Investigate the neural bases of cognitive impairment clinical populations, using fMRI and computational modeling.

My interests are wide-ranging but focus on the frontal lobes. How do people and animals learn, optimize, and control goal-directed behavior in complex and changing environments? These abilities entail reinforcement learning, planning, prediction, expectation, evaluation, and sequential ordering of movements, in addition to complex sensory processing.

My research focuses on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control, namely how humans monitor and flexibly direct their own behavior to achieve complex goals. I have used a variety of methodologies, including single-unit neurophysiology in awake behaving primates, studies of behavior and individual differences, functional neuroimaging, and computational neural modeling to provide unified accounts of neurophysiology, fMRI, and behavioral data. My current focus is on the neural mechanisms of error likelihood prediction and risk perception in decision-making, using combined fMRI and computational neural modeling.

Subject Area

  • Psychological and Brain Sciences
Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Psychology
PhD, Boston University, Cognitive and Neural Systems, 2001
BS, University of California San Diego, Mechanical Engineering, 1996
Portuguese, Spanish

fellow, Association for Psychological Science, 2015-present