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.

Pearson, John, and Michael L. Platt. “Dynamic decision making in the brain.Nature Neuroscience, vol. 15, no. 3, Mar. 2012, pp. 341–42. Epmc, doi:10.1038/nn.3049. Full Text

Hayden, Benjamin Y., et al. “Neuronal basis of sequential foraging decisions in a patchy environment.Nat Neurosci, vol. 14, no. 7, June 2011, pp. 933–39. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/nn.2856. Full Text

Pearson, John M., et al. “Posterior cingulate cortex: adapting behavior to a changing world.Trends Cogn Sci, vol. 15, no. 4, Apr. 2011, pp. 143–51. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.tics.2011.02.002. Full Text

Hayden, Benjamin Y., et al. “Surprise signals in anterior cingulate cortex: neuronal encoding of unsigned reward prediction errors driving adjustment in behavior.J Neurosci, vol. 31, no. 11, Mar. 2011, pp. 4178–87. Pubmed, doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4652-10.2011. Full Text

Pearson, John, et al. “A physiologically-inspired model of numerical classification based on graded stimulus coding.Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 4, Jan. 2010, p. 1. Epmc, doi:10.3389/neuro.08.001.2010. Full Text

Pearson, John M., et al. “Explicit information reduces discounting behavior in monkeys.Front Psychol, vol. 1, 2010, p. 237. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00237. Full Text

Pearson, John M., et al. “Neurons in posterior cingulate cortex signal exploratory decisions in a dynamic multioption choice task.Curr Biol, vol. 19, no. 18, Sept. 2009, pp. 1532–37. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.07.048. Full Text

Pearson, John, and Michael L. Platt. “Confidence and corrections: how we make and un-make up our minds.Neuron, vol. 63, no. 6, Sept. 2009, pp. 724–26. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2009.09.011. Full Text

Hayden, Benjamin Y., et al. “Fictive reward signals in the anterior cingulate cortex.Science, vol. 324, no. 5929, May 2009, pp. 948–50. Pubmed, doi:10.1126/science.1168488. Full Text

Watson, Karli K., and Michael L. Platt. “Neuroethology of reward and decision making.Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, vol. 363, no. 1511, Dec. 2008, pp. 3825–35. Pubmed, doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0159. Full Text