Prof. Mehrdad Jazayeri

Associate Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research (MIBR)

Primary DLC

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

MIT Room: 46-6041

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Neural Circuits
Sensorimotor Function
Time Perception

Research Summary

A cognitive neuroscientist, Mehrdad Jazayeri studies the neurobiological underpinnings of mental functions such as planning, inference, and learning by analyzing brain signals in the lab and using theoretical and computational models, including artificial neural networks. He joined the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 2013. He achieved a BS in electrical engineering from the Sharif University of Technology in 1994, an MS in physiology at the University of Toronto in 2001, and a PhD in neuroscience from New York University in 2007. Prior to joining MIT, he was a postdoc at the University of Washington. Jazayeri is also an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

The long-term objective of the Jazayeri lab is to develop a mathematical framework for understanding the link between the brain and the mind. To tackle this problem, the lab records and perturbs brain signals in animal models while they perform mental computations. They use normative theories, computational models, and artificial neural networks to understand the building blocks of the mind in terms of the mechanisms and algorithms implemented by the brain.

The lab currently focuses on the following mental computations: (1) anticipation and planning, (2) integration and inference, (3) hierarchical and counterfactual reasoning, and (4) mental navigation.

Recent Work