Dr. Jan Zimmermann is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research. His lab studies how the brain represents and constructs subjective value and how that signal is used to guide decision making. The lab is particularly interested in how the brain adaptively changes its coding strategy to encode statistical regularities within a changing environment. Using electrophysiology, ultra high field MRI and computational modeling the lab tries to understand how changes in reward encoding sensitivity could relate to a propensity for drug addiction.
The primary research goal of our laboratory is to better understand decision making. Making a choice, independent of it being a complex decision about your retirement allocations or which flavor of ice-cream to pick, is the normative consequence of any behavior that is observable.To understand this process, we combine a multitude of tools that allow us to study neural function of non human primates associated to decision making. We combine single cell electrophysiology, computational modeling of neural responses as well as careful behavioral analysis and ultra high field functional magnetic resonance imaging to figure out how organisms adaptively use their finite neural coding capacity to make choices.