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The Hayden Lab studies how our decision-making hardware (our brains) compares different options and chooses the most rewarding ones. We record the activity of single neurons during real choices in order to parcel out the contributions of frontal lobe structures to reward-based choices.

The lab is particularly interested in the following questions:
  • Neuroeconomics: How do properties of neurons shape the principles of economics? How do single neurons guide decisions about risk and delay? Learn more

  • Self Control: What is self-control? How is the competition between temptation and abstention instantiated in the brain? Can we enhance self-control? Learn more

  • Curiosity: What motivates curiosity? Why will we devote our scarce mental resources to learn about events in our world, even if those events are only hypothetical? Learn more

  • Disease: What are the neural underpinnings of addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder? What computations are performed in the brain regions that are dysregulated in these diseases? Why is the same circuitry implicated in depression and Tourette Syndrome? Learn more

  • And More: Can neural activity tell us anything about free will? How does what we learn in the lab inform philosophy? Learn more

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© 2014 University of Rochester, Brain & Cognitive Sciences
Last modified April 2014
Lab News

CVS Symposium on the Future of Visual Attention will occur June 3-5, 2016, at the University of Rochester. Hosted by Ben Hayden and Jude Mitchell.

New paper on dorsal ACC published with Sarah Heilbronner in Annual Review in Neuroscience!

Congratulations to Caleb Strait for successfully defending his thesis and graduating!

New lab paper by Sleezer and Hayden in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience comparing roles of dorsal and ventral striatum in a card sorting task. Email Ben or Brie for preprint.

New lab paper by Strait et al. published in Journal of Neurophysiology on spatial signals in core reward regions!

Welcome to new lab members Ben Eisenreich, Priyanka Mehta, and Giuliana Loconte!