Anne Kathryn Churchland

Professor, Neurobiology, University of California Los Angeles

Understanding how brains makes decisions is critical for gaining insight into complex cognition. When making decisions, humans and animals can flexibly integrate multiple sources of information before committing to action. The ability to flexibly use incoming information distinguishes decisions from reflexes, offering a tractable entry point into more complex cognitive processes defined by flexibility, such as abstract thinking, reasoning and problem solving. In my laboratory, we investigate the neural circuits underlying decision-making. We measure and manipulate neurons in cortical and subcortical areas while animals make decisions about sensory signals. To connect the neural responses with behavior, we use mathematical analyses aimed at understanding what information is represented at the level of neural populations, both at a given moment and over time. Understanding neural population activity will bolster our long term goal: to determine how the brain can make decisions that integrate inputs from our multiple senses, stored memories and innate impulses. In addition, I hold the Arnold B. Scheibel, M.D. Chair for Brain Research.

Education and Training

University of California, San FranciscoPhD11/2003Neuroscience

Publications

  1. Birman D, Chapuis G, Faulkner M, Rossant C, International Brain Laboratory, Benson J, Catarino JA, Churchland AK, Hu F, Huntenburg JM, Khanal A, Krasniak C, Lau PYP, Meijer GT, Miska NJ, Noel JP, Pan-Vazquez A, Roth N, Schartner M, Socha KZ, Steinmetz NA, Urai AE, Wells MJ, West SJ, Winter O. Interactive data exploration websites for large-scale electrophysiology.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2024.
  2. Oesch LT, Ryan MB, Churchland AK. From innate to instructed: A new look at perceptual decision-making.. Current opinion in neurobiology, 2024.
  3. Bimbard C, Takács F, Catarino JA, Fabre JMJ, Gupta S, Lenzi SC, Melin MD, O'Neill N, Robacha M, Street JS, Teixeira J, Townsend S, van Beest EH, Zhang AM, Churchland AK, Harris KD, Kullmann DM, Lignani G, Mainen ZF, Margrie TW, Rochefort NL, Wikenheiser AM, Carandini M, Coen P. An adaptable, reusable, and light implant for chronic Neuropixels probes.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2024.
  4. Melin MD, Churchland AK, Couto J. Large scale, simultaneous chronic neural recordings from multiple brain areas.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2023.
  5. Windolf C, Yu H, Paulk AC, Meszéna D, Muñoz W, Boussard J, Hardstone R, Caprara I, Jamali M, Kfir Y, Xu D, Chung JE, Sellers KK, Ye Z, Shaker J, Lebedeva A, Raghavan M, Trautmann E, Melin M, Couto J, Garcia S, Coughlin B, Horváth C, Fiáth R, Ulbert I, Movshon JA, Shadlen MN, Churchland MM, Churchland AK, Steinmetz NA, Chang EF, Schweitzer JS, Williams ZM, Cash SS, Paninski L, Varol E. DREDge: robust motion correction for high-density extracellular recordings across species.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2023.
  6. Yin C, Melin MD, Rojas-Bowe G, Sun XR, Gluf S, Couto J, Kostiuk A, Musall S, Churchland AK. Engaged decision-makers align spontaneous movements to stereotyped task demands.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2023.
  7. Zador A, Escola S, Richards B, Ölveczky B, Bengio Y, Boahen K, Botvinick M, Chklovskii D, Churchland A, Clopath C, DiCarlo J, Ganguli S, Hawkins J, Körding K, Koulakov A, LeCun Y, Lillicrap T, Marblestone A, Olshausen B, Pouget A, Savin C, Sejnowski T, Simoncelli E, Solla S, Sussillo D, Tolias AS, Tsao D. Catalyzing next-generation Artificial Intelligence through NeuroAI.. Nature communications, 2023.
  8. International Brain Laboratory, Bonacchi N, Chapuis GA, Churchland AK, DeWitt EEJ, Faulkner M, Harris KD, Huntenburg JM, Hunter M, Laranjeira IC, Rossant C, Sasaki M, Schartner MM, Shen S, Steinmetz NA, Walker EY, West SJ, Winter O, Wells MJ. A modular architecture for organizing, processing and sharing neurophysiology data.. Nature methods, 2023.
  9. Ryan MB, Churchland AK, Gong Y, Baker C. Fastest-ever calcium sensors broaden the potential of neuronal imaging.. Nature, 2023.
  10. Musall S, Sun XR, Mohan H, An X, Gluf S, Li SJ, Drewes R, Cravo E, Lenzi I, Yin C, Kampa BM, Churchland AK. Pyramidal cell types drive functionally distinct cortical activity patterns during decision-making.. Nature neuroscience, 2023.
  11. Roach JP, Churchland AK, Engel TA. Choice selective inhibition drives stability and competition in decision circuits.. Nature communications, 2023.
  12. Kaufman MT, Benna MK, Rigotti M, Stefanini F, Fusi S, Churchland AK. The implications of categorical and category-free mixed selectivity on representational geometries.. Current opinion in neurobiology, 2022.
  13. International Brain Laboratory, Aguillon V, Angelaki DE, Bayer H, Bonacchi N, Carandini M, Cazettes F, Chapuis G, Churchland AK, Dan Y, Dewitt E, Faulkner M, Forrest H, Haetzel L, Häusser M, Hofer SB, Hu F, Khanal A, Krasniak C, Laranjeira I, Mainen ZF, Meijer G, Miska N, Mrsic-Flogel TD, Murakami M, Noel JP, Pan-Vazquez A, Rossant C, Sanders J, Socha K, Terry R, Urai AE, Vergara H, Wells M, Wilson C, Witten IB, Wool L, Zador AM. Correction: Standardized and reproducible measurement of decision-making in mice.. eLife, 2022.
  14. Koch C, Svoboda K, Bernard A, Basso MA, Churchland AK, Fairhall AL, Groblewski PA, Lecoq JA, Mainen ZF, Mathis MW, Olsen SR, Phillips JW, Pouget A, Saxena S, Siegle JH, Zador AM. Next-generation brain observatories.. Neuron, 2022.
  15. Ashwood ZC, Roy NA, Stone IR, International Brain Laboratory, Urai AE, Churchland AK, Pouget A, Pillow JW. Mice alternate between discrete strategies during perceptual decision-making.. Nature neuroscience, 2022.
  16. Urai AE, Doiron B, Leifer AM, Churchland AK. Large-scale neural recordings call for new insights to link brain and behavior.. Nature neuroscience, 2022.
  17. Macpherson T, Churchland A, Sejnowski T, DiCarlo J, Kamitani Y, Takahashi H, Hikida T. Natural and Artificial Intelligence: A brief introduction to the interplay between AI and neuroscience research.. Neural networks : the official journal of the International Neural Network Society, 2021.
  18. Couto J, Musall S, Sun XR, Khanal A, Gluf S, Saxena S, Kinsella I, Abe T, Cunningham JP, Paninski L, Churchland AK. Chronic, cortex-wide imaging of specific cell populations during behavior.. Nature protocols, 2021.
  19. International Brain Laboratory, Aguillon-Rodriguez V, Angelaki D, Bayer H, Bonacchi N, Carandini M, Cazettes F, Chapuis G, Churchland AK, Dan Y, Dewitt E, Faulkner M, Forrest H, Haetzel L, Häusser M, Hofer SB, Hu F, Khanal A, Krasniak C, Laranjeira I, Mainen ZF, Meijer G, Miska NJ, Mrsic-Flogel TD, Murakami M, Noel JP, Pan-Vazquez A, Rossant C, Sanders J, Socha K, Terry R, Urai AE, Vergara H, Wells M, Wilson CJ, Witten IB, Wool LE, Zador AM. Standardized and reproducible measurement of decision-making in mice.. eLife, 2021.
  20. Urai AE, Aguillon-Rodriguez V, Laranjeira IC, Cazettes F, International Brain Laboratory, Mainen ZF, Churchland AK. Citric Acid Water as an Alternative to Water Restriction for High-Yield Mouse Behavior.. eNeuro, 2021.
  21. Pisupati S, Chartarifsky-Lynn L, Khanal A, Churchland AK. Lapses in perceptual decisions reflect exploration.. eLife, 2021.
  22. Huang L, Kebschull JM, Fürth D, Musall S, Kaufman MT, Churchland AK, Zador AM. BRICseq Bridges Brain-wide Interregional Connectivity to Neural Activity and Gene Expression in Single Animals.. Cell, 2020.
  23. Huang L, Kebschull JM, Fürth D, Musall S, Kaufman MT, Churchland AK, Zador AM. BRICseq Bridges Brain-wide Interregional Connectivity to Neural Activity and Gene Expression in Single Animals.. Cell, 2020.
  24. Saxena S, Kinsella I, Musall S, Kim SH, Meszaros J, Thibodeaux DN, Kim C, Cunningham J, Hillman EMC, Churchland A, Paninski L. Localized semi-nonnegative matrix factorization (LocaNMF) of widefield calcium imaging data.. PLoS computational biology, 2020.
  25. Juavinett AL, Bekheet G, Churchland AK. Implanting and Recycling Neuropixels Probes for Recordings in Freely Moving Mice.. Bio-protocol, 2020.
  26. Najafi F, Elsayed GF, Cao R, Pnevmatikakis E, Latham PE, Cunningham JP, Churchland AK. Excitatory and Inhibitory Subnetworks Are Equally Selective during Decision-Making and Emerge Simultaneously during Learning.. Neuron, 2019.
  27. Musall S, Urai AE, Sussillo D, Churchland AK. Harnessing behavioral diversity to understand neural computations for cognition.. Current opinion in neurobiology, 2019.
  28. Musall S, Kaufman MT, Juavinett AL, Gluf S, Churchland AK. Single-trial neural dynamics are dominated by richly varied movements.. Nature neuroscience, 2019.
  29. Juavinett AL, Bekheet G, Churchland AK. Chronically implanted Neuropixels probes enable high-yield recordings in freely moving mice.. eLife, 2019.
  30. Najafi F, Churchland AK. Perceptual Decision-Making: A Field in the Midst of a Transformation.. Neuron, 2018.
  31. Odoemene O, Pisupati S, Nguyen H, Churchland AK. Visual Evidence Accumulation Guides Decision-Making in Unrestrained Mice.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2018.
  32. Juavinett AL, Erlich JC, Churchland AK. Decision-making behaviors: weighing ethology, complexity, and sensorimotor compatibility.. Current opinion in neurobiology, 2017.
  33. Licata AM, Kaufman MT, Raposo D, Ryan MB, Sheppard JP, Churchland AK. Posterior Parietal Cortex Guides Visual Decisions in Rats.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2017.
  34. Kaufman MT, Churchland AK. Many paths from state to state.. Nature neuroscience, 2016.
  35. Churchland AK, Kiani R. Three challenges for connecting model to mechanism in decision-making.. Current opinion in behavioral sciences, 2016.
  36. Pisupati S, Chartarifsky L, Churchland AK. Decision Activity in Parietal Cortex - Leader or Follower?. Trends in cognitive sciences, 2016.
  37. Churchland AK, Abbott LF. Conceptual and technical advances define a key moment for theoretical neuroscience.. Nature neuroscience, 2016.
  38. Churchland A, Lisberger S. Contributions from different model organisms to brain research: Introduction.. Neuroscience, 2015.
  39. Kanitscheider I, Brown A, Pouget A, Churchland AK. Multisensory decisions provide support for probabilistic number representations.. Journal of neurophysiology, 2015.
  40. Raposo D, Kaufman MT, Churchland AK. A category-free neural population supports evolving demands during decision-making.. Nature neuroscience, 2014.
  41. Odoemene O, Churchland AK. Listening for the right sounds.. Neuron, 2014.
  42. Kiani R, Churchland AK, Shadlen MN. Integration of direction cues is invariant to the temporal gap between them.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2013.
  43. Carandini M, Churchland AK. Probing perceptual decisions in rodents.. Nature neuroscience, 2013.
  44. Sheppard JP, Raposo D, Churchland AK. Dynamic weighting of multisensory stimuli shapes decision-making in rats and humans.. Journal of vision, 2013.
  45. Kaufman MT, Churchland AK. Cognitive neuroscience: sensory noise drives bad decisions.. Nature, 2013.
  46. Churchland AK, Ditterich J. New advances in understanding decisions among multiple alternatives.. Current opinion in neurobiology, 2012.
  47. Raposo D, Sheppard JP, Schrater PR, Churchland AK. Multisensory decision-making in rats and humans.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2012.
  48. Drugowitsch J, Moreno-Bote R, Churchland AK, Shadlen MN, Pouget A. The cost of accumulating evidence in perceptual decision making.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2012.
  49. Churchland AK. Normalizing relations between the senses.. Nature neuroscience, 2011.
  50. Churchland AK, Kiani R, Chaudhuri R, Wang XJ, Pouget A, Shadlen MN. Variance as a signature of neural computations during decision making.. Neuron, 2011.
  51. Beck JM, Ma WJ, Kiani R, Hanks T, Churchland AK, Roitman J, Shadlen MN, Latham PE, Pouget A. Probabilistic population codes for Bayesian decision making.. Neuron, 2008.
  52. Churchland AK, Kiani R, Shadlen MN. Decision-making with multiple alternatives.. Nature neuroscience, 2008.
  53. Churchland AK, Huang X, Lisberger SG. Responses of neurons in the medial superior temporal visual area to apparent motion stimuli in macaque monkeys.. Journal of neurophysiology, 2006.
  54. Churchland AK, Lisberger SG. Relationship between extraretinal component of firing rate and eye speed in area MST of macaque monkeys.. Journal of neurophysiology, 2005.
  55. Churchland AK, Lisberger SG. Discharge properties of MST neurons that project to the frontal pursuit area in macaque monkeys.. Journal of neurophysiology, 2005.
  56. Churchland AK, Gardner JL, Chou Ih, Priebe NJ, Lisberger SG. Directional anisotropies reveal a functional segregation of visual motion processing for perception and action.. Neuron, 2003.
  57. Blake DT, Strata F, Churchland AK, Merzenich MM. Neural correlates of instrumental learning in primary auditory cortex.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2002.
  58. Churchland AK, Lisberger SG. Gain control in human smooth-pursuit eye movements.. Journal of neurophysiology, 2002.
  59. Rambold H, Churchland A, Selig Y, Jasmin L, Lisberger SG. Partial ablations of the flocculus and ventral paraflocculus in monkeys cause linked deficits in smooth pursuit eye movements and adaptive modification of the VOR.. Journal of neurophysiology, 2002.
  60. Diamond A, Churchland A, Cruess L, Kirkham NZ. Early developments in the ability to understand the relation between stimulus and reward.. Developmental psychology, 1999.
  61. Squier CA, Hart JS, Churchland A. Changes in red blood cell volume on fixation in glutaraldehyde solutions.. Histochemistry, 1976.