Michael Louis Platt, Ph.D.

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James S. Riepe University Professor
Department: Neuroscience

Contact information
Department of Neuroscience
415 Curie Blvd.
211 Clinical Research Building
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6074
Office: 919-280-8876
B.A. (Biological Anthropology)
Yale University, 1989.
Ph.D. (Biological Anthropology)
University of Pennsylvania, 1994.
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Description of Research Expertise

Our lab tries to understand how the brain makes decisions. We are particularly interested in the biological mechanisms that allow people and other animals to make decisions when the environment is ambiguous or complicated by the presence of other individuals. We use a broad array of techniques, including single neuron recordings, microstimulation, neuropharmacology, eye tracking, brain imaging, and genomics to answer these questions. Our work is motivated by ethology, evolutionary biology, and economics, with a focus on how specific features of the physical and social environment have shaped the biological mechanisms that mediate decisions. We are particularly interested in why different people make different kinds of decisions. And we are also keen to know why people sometimes make very similar, and sometimes make very different, decisions than other animals do.

Selected Publications

DeWind NK, Adams GK, Platt ML, Brannon EM: Modeling the approximate number system to quantify the contribution of visual stimulus features. Cognition 142: 247-265, Jun 2015.

Drucker CB, Carlson ML, Toda K, DeWind NK, Platt ML: Non-invasive primate head restraint using thermoplastic masks. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 253: 90-100, Jun 2015.

Watson KK, Li D, Brent LJN, Horvath JE, Gonzalez-Martinez J, Ruiz-Lambides A, Robinson AG, Skene JHP, Platt ML: Genetic influences on social attention in free-ranging rhesus macaques. Animal Behaviour 103: 267-275, May 2015.

Ebitz RA, Platt ML : Neuronal activity in primate dorsal anterior cingulate cortex signals task conflict and predicts adjustments in pupil-linked arousal. Neuron 85(3): 628-40, Feb 2015.

Toda K, Platt ML: Animal Cognition: Monkeys pass the mirror test. Current Biology 25(2): R64-R66, 2015.

Watson KK, Miller S, Hanna E, Kovac M, Damiano CR, Sabatino-DiCrisco A, Turner-Brown L, Sasson NJ, Platt ML, Dichter GS: Increased reward value of nonsocial stimuli in children and adolescents with autism. Frontiers in Psychology 6, 2015 Notes: In press.

Yorzinski J, Adams G, Platt ML: Eye-spots in Lepidoptera attract attention in humans. Royal Society Open Science 2015 Notes: in press.

Addicott MA, Pearson JM, Kaiser N, Platt ML, McClernon FJ: Suboptimal foraging behavior: A new perspective on gambling. Behavioral Neuroscience 2015 Notes: in press.

Addicott MA, Pearson JM, Froeliger B, Platt ML, McClernon FJ: Smoking automaticity and tolerance moderate brain activation during explore-exploit behavior. Psychiatry Research 224(3): 254-61, Dec 2014.

Chang SWC, Platt ML: Oxytocin and social cognition in rhesus macaques: implications for understanding and treating human psychopathology. Brain Research 1580: 57-68, Sep 2014.

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Last updated: 09/28/2017
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania