About the Wallis Lab

We are part of the Department of Psychology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California at Berkeley. Our research focuses on understanding the functional organization of the frontal cortex at the single neuron level. Our methods use sophisticated behavioral paradigms, multichannel recording and computational analysis of neuronal data. We aim to understand the neuronal mechanisms underlying a number of high-level cognitive and behavioral processes, including decision-making, learning and working memory. The goal of our research is to guide the development of the next generation of treatments for mental illness.

Recent news

Sep 2018: New paper from Joni in Trends in Cognitive Sciences where she gets to opine about the benefits of decoding approaches to understanding cognitive processes.

Aug 2018: Our collaboration with Dr. Steven Kennerley at Univeristy College London shows that prefrontal neurons with longer time constants are preferentially recruited in memory process. The paper was published in Nature Communications.

May 2018: Our newest member of the lab is Celia Ford, who is a HWNI graduate student. She will be studying how working memory affects reinforcement learning in prefrontal cortex.

Apr 2018: Feng-kuei published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that prefrontal neurons encode the spatial and temporal relationships of past, present and future behaviors.

Mar 2018: Feng-kuei published a paper in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience examining how the prefrontal cortex responds to errors in hierarchical behavior.

Nov 2017: Our collaboration with Dr. Jose Carmena uses microstimulation of the caudate nucleus to change an animal's decisions. The paper was published in Current Biology.

Oct 2017: Erin published a paper in Nature Communications examining the relationship between high gamma and single neuron activity in orbitofrontal cortex.

Aug 2017: Congratulations to Dr. Feng-kuei Chiang who graduated from the Psychology graduate program. He will be joining the Rich lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

May 2017: Zuzanna Balewski joined the lab from the HWNI graduate program. She will be studying how learning affects the representation of decision spaces in orbitofrontal cortex.

Apr 2017: Erin has started her own lab at the Ichahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where she will be studying (among other things) why we like bagels.

Oct 2016: Our collaboration with Dr. Laurence Hunt at Univeristy College London shows that different functional classes of orbitofrontal neurons have different autocorrelational structure. The paper was published in eLIFE.

May 2016: Erin published a paper showing how subjective decisions can be decoded from brain activity in Nature Neursocience.

Mar 2016: Congratulations to Erin who has accepted an Assistant Professor position at Mount Sinai.

Wallis Lab

Wallis Lab