Cognitive Axon (CoAx) Research Areas

Brain Network Architecture and Cognition

Form and function are intimately linked in the brain: the computation of a neural circuit is constrained by its architecture. How does the organization of cortical and subcortical networks implement algorithms that drive behavior?


Humans and other mammals exhibit a high degree of control when selecting actions in noisy contexts, quickly adapting to unexpected outcomes in order to better exploit opportunities arising in the future. What are the algorithms of exploration? How are they implemented in the brain?

Skill Learning

The ability to perform complex skills usually requires learning to bind many individual actions into a single, unified movement. How does the brain learn this action binding? What are the timescales at which this binding occurs?

Health Neuroscience

In many ways how we make decisions can impact our physical health. Our physical health can also impact the brain and cognition. Are there neural phenotypes for health behaviors and health risks? How do changes in physical health impact neural decision making systems?

Publication Highlights

NeuroImage 2018

Population-averaged atlas of the macroscale human structural connectome and its network topology

F-C Yeh, S. Panesar, D. Fernandes, A. Meola, M. Yoshino, J. C. Fernandez-Miranda, J. Vettel, T. Verstynen.

PLoS Comp Bio 2019

Reward-driven changes in striatal pathway competition shape evidence evaluation in decision-making.

K. Dunovan, C. Vich, M. Clapp, T. Verstynen, & J. Rubin


Contact CoAx

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436D Baker Hall

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Phone:(412) 268‐2781

Email: coaxlab [@]

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