John Pearson

John Pearson

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Princeton University 2004

  • B.S., University of Kentucky at Lexington 1999


My research focuses on the application of machine learning methods to the analysis of brain data and behavior. I have a special interest in the neurobiology of reward and decision-making, particularly issues surrounding foraging, impulsivity, and self-control. More generally, I am interested in computational principles underlying brain organization at the mesoscale, and work in my lab studies phenomena that range from complex social behaviors to coding principles of the retina.

San Martín, René, et al. “Altruistic traits are predicted by neural responses to monetary outcomes for self vs charity.Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci, vol. 11, no. 6, June 2016, pp. 863–76. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/scan/nsw026. Full Text

Platt, Michael L., and John M. Pearson. “Dopamine: Context and counterfactuals.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 113, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 22–23. Pubmed, doi:10.1073/pnas.1522315113. Full Text

Chang, Steve W. C., et al. “Neural mechanisms of social decision-making in the primate amygdala.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 112, no. 52, Dec. 2015, pp. 16012–17. Pubmed, doi:10.1073/pnas.1514761112. Full Text

Addicott, Merideth A., et al. “Suboptimal foraging behavior: a new perspective on gambling.Behav Neurosci, vol. 129, no. 5, Oct. 2015, pp. 656–65. Pubmed, doi:10.1037/bne0000082. Full Text

Dowd, E. W., et al. “Mind-reading without the scanner: Behavioural decoding of working memory content.” Visual Cognition, vol. 23, no. 7, Jan. 2015, pp. 862–66. Scopus, doi:10.1080/13506285.2015.1093244. Full Text

Addicott, Merideth A., et al. “Smoking automaticity and tolerance moderate brain activation during explore-exploit behavior.Psychiatry Research, vol. 224, no. 3, Dec. 2014, pp. 254–61. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.10.014. Full Text

Pearson, John M., et al. “Decision making: the neuroethological turn.Neuron, vol. 82, no. 5, June 2014, pp. 950–65. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.037. Full Text

Jones, Sarah M., et al. “Lemurs and macaques show similar numerical sensitivity.Anim Cogn, vol. 17, no. 3, May 2014, pp. 503–15. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s10071-013-0682-3. Full Text

Ebitz, R. Becket, et al. “Pupil size and social vigilance in rhesus macaques.Front Neurosci, vol. 8, 2014, p. 100. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/fnins.2014.00100. Full Text

Kwak, Youngbin, et al. “Differential reward learning for self and others predicts self-reported altruism.Plos One, vol. 9, no. 9, 2014, p. e107621. Pubmed, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107621. Full Text