Research interests


Choice-induced biases in perceptual decision-making

How do we use sensory information from our environment to make decisions about the world around us? Perceptual decisions tend to be affected by decisions made previously, even when people know that using past observations will not help them perform better. We investigate the flexibility of these choice biases and the factors that modulate them, as well as the precise effects that previous choices have on decision dynamics and their neural correlates.

See Braun et al. 2018; Talluri, Urai et al. 2018; Urai et al. 2019; Lak et al. 2020


Brain state, arousal and neural noise

The way that neural computations give rise to behavior is shaped by ever-fluctuating internal states. These states (such as arousal, fear, stress, hunger, motivation, engagement, or drowsiness) are characterized by spontaneous neural dynamics that arise independent of task demands. How can we best quantify such internal states, and how do they arise from neural dynamics? We investigate these questions in multiple mammalian species (mice and humans), using large-scale neural recordings, pupillometry and behavioral state quantification.

See Urai et al. 2017; Colizoli et al. 2018; Bergt, Urai et al. 2018; de Gee et al. 2020


Individual differences and aging

Individuals can make remarkably different choices when faced with the same situation. What computational and neural mechanisms underlie these idiosyncrasies? Ongoing work focuses on the ways in which decision-making and its neural basis change with age.

See Urai et al. 2019; Musall, Urai et al. 2019


Other things we care about

Team science, open science and scientific practice. See IBL 2018; IBL et al. 2021; VU Data Conversations

Diversity and inclusion. Blog

Psychology and practice of the climate crisis. See Adam et al. 2020; blog