Grace Hopper Distinguished Lecture: “How Memory Guides Value-Based Decisions” (Daphna Shohamy, Columbia University)
December 8 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
This distinguished lecture will be a hybrid event held in the Glandt Forum (Singh Center) and via Zoom. A light reception will follow the live lecture.
“How Memory Guides Value-Based Decisions”
From robots to humans, the ability to learn from experience turns a rigid response system into a flexible, adaptive one. In the past several decades, major advances have been made in understanding how humans and other animals learn from experience to make decisions. However, most of this progress has focused on rather simple forms of stimulus-response learning, such as automatic responses or habits. In this talk, I will turn to consider how past experience guides more complex decisions, such as those requiring flexible reasoning, inference, and deliberation. Across a range of behavioral contexts, I will demonstrate a critical role for memory in such decisions and will discuss how multiple brain regions interact to support learning, what this means for how memories are used, and the consequences for how decisions are made. Uncovering the pervasive role of memory in decision-making challenges the way we think about what memory is for, suggesting that memory’s primary purpose may be to guide future behavior and that storing a record of the past is just one way to do so.
In support of its educational mission of promoting the role of all engineers in society, the School of Engineering and Applied Science presents the Grace Hopper Lecture Series. This series is intended to serve the dual purpose of recognizing successful women in engineering and of inspiring students to achieve at the highest level. Grace Hopper is a wonderful example of a visionary in her field who exhibited the type of pioneering spirit that is an inspiration to all of us.
In support of the accomplishments of women in engineering, departments within the School invite a prominent speaker to campus for a visit that incorporates a public lecture, various mini-talks and opportunities to interact with students and faculty. This series provides another avenue for recognition of distinguished leaders in engineering and presents role models that help remind all of us why we chose this profession.
Daphna Shohamy, Ph.D.
Kavli Professor of Brain Science, Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Professor in the Department of Psychology & Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University
Daphna Shohamy, PhD is a professor at Columbia University where she co-directs the Kavli Center for Neural Sciences and is Associate Director of the Zuckerman Mind, Brain Behavior Institute. Dr. Shohamy’s work focuses on the link between memory, and decision-making. Combining brain imaging in healthy humans with studies of patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders, Dr. Shohamy seeks to understand how the brain transforms experiences into memories; how memories shape decisions and actions; and how motivation and exploration affect human behavior.