John O’Doherty

Professor of Psychology
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Dr. O’Doherty’s main research interests are to develop an understanding of the brain systems involved in making decisions under uncertainty, representing the value of stimuli in the world, learning to predict future rewards, and the flexible control of behavior to obtain reward. This is achieved through a combination of functional neuroimaging (fMRI) with computational models of learning and decision making. This approach enables a much more powerful form of inference than is traditionally made in functional imaging studies, identifying regions with a response profile consistent with a specific computational process rather than merely reporting the “activation” of a brain region in that task. Other interests include the functional neuroanatomy of human emotions, and neural structures involved in social cognition.  He is Principal Investigator for the Conte Center Project 1, Social Inference and Observational Learning.