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Elliot Smith


Elliot Smith


Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

Brain and Behavior
Cellular Neuroscience
Neurobiology of Disease


B.S. 2006, University of Washington; Ph.D. 2013, University of Utah; Postdoctoral Fellow 2013-2018, Columbia University 


Human neuronal computations underlying cognition 

Our research focuses on representation and computation in ensembles of human neurons. The basic motivating question is “what are the neural computations that underlie archetypically human cognitive processes and how are they altered in neurological or psychiatric disorders?” The cognitive processes we are currently most interested in are value-based decisions, rapid, flexible cognitive control, and social cognition.

In order to study neuronal computation during cognition in humans, we record single neuron and local field potential activity from the brains of neurosurgical patients. These recordings are carried out in the hospital rooms of patients who are undergoing monitoring for treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy, and in the operating room during awake surgeries for implantation of deep brain stimulation electrodes. These recordings are rare (approximately one per month on average), so the majority of the time in the lab is spent analyzing large datasets of brain data that we have collected.

My Bibliography


Last Updated: 3/13/24