Daeyeol Lee PhD
Professor of Neurobiology and of Psychology
Neural mechanisms of sequence learning and selection; Neural mechanisms of decision making under uncertainty; Neural mechanisms of inter-temporal choice; Neural mechanisms of token & conditioned reinforcements; Reinforcement learning; Behavioral economics and game theory; Function of primate prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia; Coding and transmission of information in a population of neurons
Research Projects in Lee Lab: The long-term goal of research in our laboratory is to understand how the processes of choosing appropriate behaviors and evaluating the outcomes of chosen actions are implemented by the neural networks in the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia of the primate brain.
Neuroeconomics and decision making. During decision making, many different types of information about reward and penalty, such as their quality, magnitude, probability and delay, must be estimated and combined appropriately. We investigate how these different types of information are integrated in the brain and ultimately influences the animal's choice.
Neural mechanism of timing. Timing is critical for all kinds of cognition and motor behaviors, but how the brain encodes time and how this influences the nature of information processing in various parts of the brain remains unknown. We investigate how multiple temporal intervals are monitored by the neurons in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia.
Cognitive functions of the basal ganglia. Clinical observations suggest that the basal ganglia plays an essential role in a variety of cognitive and motor functions. We investigate how signals related to the animal's choice and outcome are transformed through the connection between the cortex and basal ganglia.
Decision making is ubiquitous, and the ability to develop the knowledge about the animal's environment from experience and use this knowledge to produce a series of actions that will maximize the overall reward is essential for survival. Lee's laboratory focuses on the role of the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia in evaluating the outcomes of the animal's previous choices and incorporating this information to improve the animal's decision-making strategies.
His research is highly inter-disciplinary and capitalizes on the insights from formal theories of economics and reinforcement learning as well as computational neuroscience of neural coding and behavioral studies of decision making. His laboratory also develops novel behavioral paradigms that can probe the core processes of decision making. Combined with the use of multi-electrode recording systems, this research seeks to unravel the biological basis of willful actions.