This ability depends on an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, an area that reaches its greatest complexity in humans. People with damage to the prefrontal cortex lead extremely disorganized lives and have difficulty planning even simple activities. Our research is focused on understanding how goals are represented in the prefrontal cortex, and how these goals are then used to control our actions.
Wallis Lab
For information about specific projects, click on the links below:

1. Neural implants to unlearn maladaptive associations

2. Prefrontal mechanisms of hierarchical reinforcement learning

Efficiently running our lives often requires us to juggle a wide variety of different goals. These range from the very simple ("I'd like a cup of coffee") to the very complex ("I'd like to be a good parent").