Early career research group

two rhesus monkeys in the exploration room
Surviving in the wild requires that primates stay aware of their surrounding while focusing on goal-directed activities. We aim to identify the state of vigilance, defined as the degree to which an individual seeks information from their surroundings, in macaques and humans by monitoring their bodily and eye movements in controlled naturalistic environments. In macaques, we investigate how the natural states of vigilance are represented in frontal and parietal cortical circuits and influence foraging behavior. We employ a range of computational techniques to understand the richness and complexity of human and macaque behavior in similar scenarios while employing high-throughput electrophysiology to investigate the high-dimensional cortical activity. Findings from this project will help explain the representation of the inner state of vigilance in overt behavior and cortical activity and its potential influence on natural variability in goal-directed behavior.