Principal Investigator

Matt Nassar

Matt is interested in how the brain processes information to facilitate intelligent behavior in complex and dynamic environments. He did his PhD with Josh Gold and post-docs with Joe Kable and Michael Frank before joining the Department of Neuroscience at Brown in January 2019.

Matt is teaches: NEUR1660 Neural Computation in Learning and Decision-Making


ResearchGate profile

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Linda Yu

Linda studies how the brain creates, stores, and retrieves latent state representations to improve the efficiency of learning in the face of changing contexts. She did her PhD in neuroeconomics at the University of Pennsylvania with Joe Kable. She is a true believer when it comes to TIRG.


Lab Manager

Sienna Bruinsma

Sienna is a recent graduate of University of California, Berkeley where her honors thesis in the Cognition and Action Lab attempted to elucidate the functional role of the cerebellum in language. Her broad research interests lie in developing comprehensive computational models of cognition that aim to understand the mechanism and functional significance of how brain regions interact to inform higher-order cognitive processes.


Tiantian Li

Tiantian is a recent graduate of Boston University where she studied Neuroscience and Economics. Her undergraduate research in the Cognition and Decision Lab attempted to build computational models of learning to human persistence behaviors. Or, learning to not TIRG?


Graduate Students

Niloufar Razmi (incoming NSGP student)

Niloufar is an incoming neuroscience grad student. She received her M.D. in Iran and is interested in the computational processes in the brain.

Harrison Ritz

Harrison is a graduate student in CLPS with Amitai Shenhav and Michael Frank working on control theoretic models of behavioral regulation.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Aya (Aigerim) Akhmetzhanova

Aya is a sophomore concentrating in Neuroscience and Applied Mathematics. She is interested in exploring how latent states are represented both in old people with Alzheimer’s Disease and in healthy-aged matched controls. Aya also is a part of Brown Alzheimer’s Activists Club and Brown Science Olympiad Club. In her spare time, she enjoys taking walks and swing dancing!

Jon Kim

Jon Kim is a junior from London, UK, studying biology and computer science. He is interested in how fluid cognitive performance is affected by factors such as age and anxiety. In his spare time, Jon plays rugby for Brown and enjoys listening to music in warm weather.

Sophie Kush

Sophie is a junior from Upstate, NY studying Neuroscience at Brown. She is interested in investigating how GABA affects many learning and decision making processes and finding the best way to analyze GABA levels in the brain. She enjoys playing Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, and Ultimate Frisbee in her spare time. 

Linghai Liu

Linghai is a sophomore studying applied mathematics,computer science, and language. He is interested in understanding human learning and natural language using cognitive and computational approaches. He enjoys learning languages and cooking.

Meera Singh

Meera is a junior from Massachusetts studying biology. She is interested in how memories are formed and stored, and is currently analyzing a study on visual working memory. In her spare time, she loves painting and dancing.

Lab Alumni

Erin Bugbee

Erin was an undergraduate research assistant. She was interested in how ideas from artificial intelligence and statistics can be used to better understand the mind, as well as how we can build machines that learn in human-like ways. Erin is now a Ph.D student at Yale. 

Martin Contreras Carrera

Martin was an undergraduate research assistant and he was interested in examining how learning and perceptual regularization are regulated according to the recent statistical context of the environment. After graduation, Martin will pursue a master’s degree in computer science.

Kaitlyn Mi

Kaitlyn is a sophomore studying Cognitive Neuroscience. She is interested in higher-order cognitive functions and applications of behavioral-cognitive modeling to clinical settings. In her spare time, she listens to NCT and pets dogs on the main green.

Katie Unger

Katie was an undergraduate research assistant and she examined how grid cell firing is correlated to learning in changing circumstances.  

Jake Szykowny

Jake was an undergraduate research assistant and he was interested in the diseases of the brain, especially those concerning age-related cognitive decline. 

Aansh Shah

Aansh was a senior at Brown and is using machine learning approaches to understand changes in brain dynamics induced by pharmacological manipulations.

Ryan Thorpe (rotational NSGP student)

Ryan was a rotational NSGP student in the lab. He is now a full time student at the Jones lab at Brown.

Charlene Wang

Charlene is a junior at Brown and is developing computationally efficient methods for inference in dynamic and repeating contexts.