Led by principal investigator Read Montague, Ph.D., the Montague Lab's work focuses on computational neuroscience – the connection between physical mechanisms present in real neural tissue and the computational functions that these mechanisms embody. His early theoretical work focused on the hypothesis that dopaminergic systems encode a particular kind of computational process, a reward prediction error signal, similar to those used in areas of artificial intelligence like optimal control. The lab is actively engaged in translating computational neuroscience into the domain of mental health through work in Computational Psychiatry, using theoretical, computational, and experimental approaches to the problems of mental health and its derangement by disease and injury.
The Montague Lab, working in conjunction with scientists at Wake Forest University Medical Center, adapted equipment to be inserted into willing patients’ brains during the surgery and developed a high-speed scanning procedure to identify serotonin fluctuations while the waking patients played a risk and reward game. The researchers were the first in the world to take such measurements directly in humans– and documented the first clear evidence that serotonin helps people contend emotionally when events don’t go as they expect.
- Dan Bang, Ph.D., Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology
- Leonardo S. Barbosa, Ph.D., Research Assistant, Department of Psychiatry, University fo Wisconsin-Madison
- Ofer Perl, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York