Our laboratory investigates the neural mechanisms underlying decision making, motivation and reward processing in humans, using concepts from cognitive neuroscience, psychology and behavioral economics. We use experimental tools such as model-based functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, intracranial electrophysiological recordings and pharmacological manipulations to understand the computational processes involved when making a choice. Our goals are to understand the functional organization of the prefrontal cortex in humans, the various functions that the reward dopaminergic system exerts on cognition and motivation and the neural mechanisms underlying dysfunctions of these two systems in patients with neurological or psychiatric illnesses (Parkinson’s disease, patients with focal prefrontal cortex lesions, schizophrenia and pathological gambling). In parallel, we are also studying how individual variations in hormones and genes influence reward processing and decision-making.
PI: Jean-Claude Dreher