Research in the Niv lab focuses on the neural and computational processes underlying reinforcement learning and decision-making. We study the ongoing day-to-day processes by which we learn from trial and error, without explicit instructions, to predict future events and to act upon the environment so as to maximize reward and minimize punishment. In particular, we are interested in how attention and memory processes interact with reinforcement learning to create representations that allows us to learn to solve new tasks so efficiently. [read more]
August 2019: Congratulations to Nina Rouhani on her receipt of the 2019 Trainee Professional Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience!
June 2019: Congratulations to Nico Schuck and Yael on their paper Sequential replay of nonspatial task states in the human hippocampus, published in Science! [Scientific American] [New Scientist]
May 2019: Congratulations to Dr. Yuan Chang Leong for defending his thesis at Stanford!
May 2019: Congratulations to Mingbo Cai for accepting a faculty position at The University of Tokyo!
May 2019: Congratulations to Mingyu Song and Sam Zorowitz for being awarded travel fellowships to RLDM2019!
April 2019: Congratulations to Angela Radulescu on her paper in Current Opinion in Neurobiology!
April 2019: Congratulations to Daniel Bennett on his paper in JAMA Psychiatry!
March 2019: Congratulations to Angela Radulescu on her paper in Trends in Cognitive Sciences!
February 2019: Congratulations to Mingyu on her paper in Nature Human Behavior!
July 2018: We are happy to welcome Sam Zorowitz to the Niv Lab!
June 2018: Congratulations to Yael for being named a recipient of the Graduate Mentoring Award!
Spring 2018: Congratulations to Melissa Sharpe for accepting a position at UCLA, Sarah DuBrow for accepting a position at U Oregon and Eran Eldar for accepting a position at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem!
November 2017: Congratulations to Nina Rouhani on the acceptance of her paper Dissociable effects of surprising rewards on learning and memory to Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition!
August 2017: Congratulations Gecia and Lee on your marriage!
August 2017: We are happy to welcome Mingyu Song to the Niv Lab!
July 2017: Farewell to Nico Schuck, and GOOD LUCK with your new lab at Max Planck Berlin! We will miss you..
June 2017: Welcome to our cohort of summer interns: Alana Jaskir, Claire Lee, Riley MacAuley & Julie Newman
June 2017: Congratulations to Mel on her paper on a new role for the lateral hypothalamus being published in Current Biology!
MJ Sharpe, NJ Marchant, LR Whitaker, CT Richie, YJ Zhang, EJ Campbell, PP Koivula, JC Necarsulmer, C Mejias-Aponte, M Morales, J Pickel, JC Smith, Y Niv, Y Shaham, BK Harvey* & G Schoenbaum* – Lateral hypothalamic GABAergic neurons encode reward predictions that are relayed to the ventral tegmental area to regulate learning. Current Biology 27:2089-2100
April 2017: Congratulations to Angela Radulescu for being selected as one of the 2017-2018 Graduate Student Fellows in Cognitive Science!
April 2017: Congratulations to Angela Radulescu for her paper being chosen for an oral presentation at RLDM and VSS!
April 2017: Congratulations to Ming Bo Cai for his paper being chosen for an oral presentation at VSS!
March 2017: Congratulations to Sam Gershman on the acceptance of his paper The computational nature of memory modification to eLife!
March 2017: Congratulations to Melissa Sharpe on the acceptance of her paper Dopamine transients are sufficient and necessary for acquisition of model-based associations to Nature Neuroscience!