The goal of research in the Computational & Cognitive Neuroscience Lab is to understand the neural architecture that underlies cognition, that is, the set of (relatively) fixed neural structures and processes that give rise to cognition. What are the parts, how do they work, and how do they interact to produce the mind? Ultimately, we would like to understand how the cognitive architecture is determined (e.g., which aspects are genetic), how the architecture changes as a result of experience and normal aging, and how it normally functions (in sufficient detail that we can implement it computationally). To that end, we have adopted a multidisciplinary approach that combines neuroimaging, computational modeling, and behavioral experimentation to make progress on these questions both theoretically and empirically.  


NEW CONTENT ON THE GREAT COURSES SITE! Four new blog posts from one of Dr. Polk’s lecture series, The Addictive Brain, are now available on the Great Courses Daily website. Check them out by following the links below! 

The Opioid Epidemic: America’s Deadly Addiction
Understanding Opioid Addiction: The Science of Addiction and Treatment

The Science of Addiction: Why Are Opioids So Addictive?
The Opioid Crisis: Fentanyl and the Dangers of Synthetic Opioids 

SEEKING NEW PH.D. STUDENTS! The lab is expecting to start a number of new NIH-funded projects investigating the cognitive neuroscience of aging next year. We will be using functional MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and behavioral methods to investigate the effects of aging on neural representations. We are therefore actively recruiting new post-doctoral fellows and new Ph.D. students. Prospective Ph.D. students should apply to the University of Michigan Psychology PhD program (Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Area). Additional information including application instructions is available here: https://lsa.umich.edu/psych/prospective-students/graduate.html