Learning is essential to human behavior. From the classroom to the trading floor to ordering at a restaurant, our ability to make good decisions is shaped by how we learn from experience. Research in the Learning Lab seeks to understand how this happens in the brain.
Dopamine selectivity remediates "model-based" reward learning: a computational approach.

Brain, in press. Sharp, M., Foerde, K., Daw, N. D., & Shohamy, D.

Our Approach

Research in the Learning lab is focused on how the brain supports learning, memory and decision making in humans. We adopt an integrative approach that combines functional brain imaging (fMRI) with patient and developmental studies. Converging these methods allows us to understand the brain regions that are involved, and necessary, for cognition.

Multiple Learning Systems

Our efforts focus on understanding the interaction between two brain regions that are thought to support different kinds of learning - the hippocampus, and the striatum - and how they change with different kinds of experiences, between individuals, and across the lifespan.

Dopamine and Learning
Dopamine is central to motivation, affect and learning. We aim to understand how dopamine contributes to these different processes and to characterize the implications for learning-guided choice.
Congratulations to Caroline Braun Marvin for successfully defending her dissertation! October 2015.

new graduate student
Welcome Melina Tsitsiklis to the lab!
The Learning Lab is located on the third floor of the Psychology Department on the Morningside Heights Campus of Columbia University.

If you are interested in joining our team or participating in a research study, please email us.