How do we define the vast array of functions and capabilities of the human mind?  Do we know what motivates us?  Is there a biological explanation for the different choices we make?  Each day we process an enormous amount of stimuli; how do we translate that information into meaningful experience?  At the Mahoney Center for Brain and Behavior research, scientists are combining molecular and systems neuroscience in an effort to discover the biology behind human behavior.

We start with the assumption that perception and action have a physical basis in the brain that can be understood by reducing very complicated psychological questions to a molecular level.  When we find the means to define the physics of behavior, even at a statistical level, the human organism becomes a comprehensible machine.  This understanding will be an important step forward in treating many neurological disorders.

Led by Dr. Michael Goldberg and inspired by a strong collegial atmosphere, the Mahoney Center is structured to support six independent labs that actively share their intellectual and material resources.  We invite you to learn more about them by visiting the following pages:

Aniruddha Das
Dr. Das is interested in the physiology by which early visual cortex parses the world.  The brain does more than measure light; it makes assumptions about the world we live in (primitive perception color) to help us navigate and understand our environment.

Vincent P. Ferrera
Dr. Ferrera’s lab studies sensory motor and categorical decision making.  How do we know how to categorize the things we see? 

Michael E. Goldberg
Dr. Goldberg is interested in the higher process perception and decision making.

Jacqueline Gottlieb
Dr. Gottleib’s lab focuses on the association cortex; areas that are neither motor nor sensory but are involved in higher processing such as the integration of sensation and movement.

Ning Qian
Dr. Qian’s lab conducts computational and psychophysical studies of stereovision, motion perception, orientation plasticity, facial expressions, and motor planning.

C. Daniel Salzman
Dr. Salzman is a psychiatrist interested in neuro-cognition and emotion.  His lab studies value, preference, desire and loathing.