Memory is the most idiosyncratic feature of cognition. No two people - not even identical twins raised together - have the same exact set of memories. Might this incredible individuality of memory be a part of the incredible individuality of decisions?
My research studies the ways in which memories for the past are used to help us interpret the present and plan for the future. I have developed a model in which memory-guided decisions are treated as "samples" of what might result from our choices. Modeling memory in this way allows us to make quantitative predictions about when and how decisions might depend on memories, rather than other sources of information such as learned values, and how the neural circuits underlying memory retrieval interact with those that support decision-making. This work has lead to new insights in value-based and perceptual decisions. Ongoing work in the lab studies the dynamics of memory sampling, and the involvement of memories in behaviors such as intertemporal choice and drug addiction, using computational model-driven analysis of behavior and neuroimaging in humans.