Joni Wallis

Joni Wallis
132 Barker Hall
Office Hours: 
By Appointment Only
Ph.D., University of Cambridge
Secondary Research Area: 
Research Interests: 
Executive control; Goal-directed behavior
  • whatshotResearch Description

    Neuropsychiatric disease is one of the most costly health burdens on modern societies. Pharmaceutical therapies have limited efficacy and drug companies are no longer pursuing research in this field due to the poor prospects for success. A fundamental probelm is that neuropsychiatric disorders often involve very specific associations. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder can involve a single traumatic event. Pharmaceutical treatments lack the specificity to target the representation of specific associations in the brain. Our approach is to treat the brain as a complex computing device. A major goal of our research is the development of brain implants that can interact with the brain in order to treat neuropsychiatric disease. We accomplish this through high-channel count neurophysiological recordings, sophisticated algorithms for decoding neuronal informaiton in real-time and closed-loop control of brain stimulation. In this way, we can develop devices that can detect and disrupt maladaptive associations and behaviors and restore the brain to the healthy state.

    More up-to-date information about our research can be found at our lab website:

  • placeSelected Publications

    Knudsen, E.B. and Wallis, J.D. (2020) Closed-loop theta stimulation in orbitofrontal cortex prevents reward-based learning, Neuron, 106, 537-547.

    Chiang, F. and Wallis, J.D. (2018) Spatiotemporal encoding of search strategies by prefrontal neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 5010-5015.

    Wallis, J.D. (2018) Decoding cognitive processes from neural ensembles. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22, 1091-1102.

    Rich, E.L. and Wallis, J.D. (2016) Decoding subjective decisions from orbitofrontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 973-980. 

    Lara, A.H. and Wallis, J.D. (2014) Executive control processes underlying multi-item working memory. Nature Neuroscience, 17, 876-883. 

    Murray, J.D., Bernacchia, A., Freedman, D.J., Romo, R., Wallis, J.D., Cai, X., Padoa-Schioppa, C., Pasternak, T., Seo, H., Lee, D. and Wang, X.-J. (2014) A hierarchy of intrinsic timescales across primate cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 17, 1661-1663. 

    Ganguly K., Dimitriov, D.F., Wallis J.D. and Carmena J.M. (2011) Reversible large-scale modification of cortical networks during neuroprosthetic control. Nature Neuroscience, 14, 662-667. 

    Kennerley, S.W., Behrens, T.E. and Wallis, J.D. (2011) Double dissociation of value computations in orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 14, 1581-1589. 

    Wallis, J.D. (2011) Cross-species studies of orbitofrontal function. Nature Neuroscience, 15, 13-19. 

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