ZiF Research Group

Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines:

Situation Model Perspectives

October 2019 – July 2020

Convenors: Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)

Mona Garvert

Associate Fellow

Foto Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences Leipzig,
Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging,
University of Oxford, UK
E-Mail: garvert@cbs.mpg.de


Mona studied Molecular Medicine and Biosciences at Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Neuro-cognitive Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. She then completed the Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD in Neuroscience at University College London in the labs of Ray Dolan and Tim Behrens. After her PhD, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (University of Oxford) with Tim Behrens and the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience (NTNU Trondheim) with Christian Doeller. She is currently a group leader in the Department of Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig.

Current Main Research Interests

As humans we face a fundamental challenge. Throughout our lives we experience a relatively small set of events, most of which never recur in exactly the same form and context. Nevertheless, we are equipped with a behavioural repertoire that is adaptive in a large variety of situations. How can we do so well in so many situations we have never experienced before? Luckily, most of our experiences are interrelated in some way - they may contain the same people, places or events - and often the same cause-effect relationships hold across related experiences. If the brain manages to store these relationships efficiently, this knowledge can be exploited to infer information about things we have never directly experienced. Mona uses behavioural, computational and neuroimaging methods to understand these mechanisms at the level of neural representations in humans, in the hope that this level of description will one day help us understand how neural coding mechanisms go awry in clinical populations.

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
  • Garvert, M. M., Dolan, R. J., & Behrens, T. E. J. (2017). A map of abstract relational knowledge in the human hippocampal-entorhinal cortex. Elife, 6, e17086.
  • Barron, H. C.*, Garvert, M. M.*, & Behrens, T. E. J. (2016). Repetition suppression: a means to index neural representations using BOLD? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371, 20150355.
    *contributed equally
  • Garvert, M. M., Moutoussis, M., Kurth-Nelson, Z., Behrens, T. E. J., & Dolan, R. J. (2015). Learning-induced plasticity in medial prefrontal cortex predicts preference malleability. Neuron, 85, 418-428.
  • Garvert, M. M., Friston, K. J., Dolan, R. J., & Garrido, M. I. (2014). Subcortical amygdala pathways enable rapid face processing. Neuroimage, 102, 309-316.
  • Garvert, M. M., & Gollisch, T. (2013). Local and global contrast adaptation in retinal ganglion cells. Neuron, 77, 915-928.