Using basic neural and computer models, Michael Frank studies how we learn and make decisions. He hopes to shed light on how these pathways lead to more complex cognitive functions, such as working memory and cognitive control. Franks theoretical work has important clinical applications, and may help us understand, for example, how brain disorders such as Parkinsons disease alter cognition. Frank is also analyzing individual differences in cognition, in other words, why we all think in different ways. He uses a variety of techniques, including theoretical modeling, genetic analyses, and electrophysiological studies. In 2010, Frank was among the inaugural recipients of the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions.
The feel of our heart beat, the rumble of an empty stomach, the pleasure of a deep breath. Interoception — the ability to perceive the internal state of our bodies — is central to our thoughts, emotions, decision-making, and sense of self. More
A sample of research exploring the description-experience gap in intertemporal choice and selection of visual objects in perception and working memory. More