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.


SEEKING NEW PH.D. STUDENTS TO START IN THE UPCOMING 2020-2021 YEAR! The lab has already started one project and is expecting to start a number of new NIH-funded projects investigating the cognitive neuroscience of aging in the near future. 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 Ph.D. students. Prospective Ph.D. students should apply to the University of Michigan Psychology PhD program (Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Area) and are encouraged to email Dr. Polk. Additional information including application instructions is available here: https://lsa.umich.edu/psych/prospective-students/graduate.html

MICHIGAN TODAY ARTICLE FEATURING DR. POLK!  Check out this great article written by Michigan Today where Dr. Polk spoke about the aging brain and the shrinking cortex!

NEW TALK BY DR. POLK! Dr. Polk was invited to give a talk at One Day University where he presented a talk about understanding human memory and how to improve it. Check out more details on the Media page of our website!

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