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)

Peter Dayan

Associate Fellow

Foto Computational Neuroscience,
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany
E-Mail: peter.dayan@tuebingen.mpg.de


Peter Dayan read Mathematics at Cambridge, studied for his PhD with David Willshaw in Edinburgh, and did postdocs with Terry Sejnowski at the Salk Institute and Geoff Hinton in Toronto. He was an assistant professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, and was a founding faculty member of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at UCL, which he then ran for 15 years.  He is currently a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.

Current Main Research Interests

Peter Dayan works on neural reinforcement learning. He has particular interests in neuromodulators, including dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and acetylcholine, in metacontrol and in computational psychiatry. He has also worked on representational learning.

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
  • Moran, R., Keramati, M., Dayan, P., & Dolan, R. J. (2019). Retrospective model-based inference guides model-free credit assignment. Nature communications, 10, 750.
  • Hula, A., Vilares, I., Lohrenz, T., Dayan, P., & Montague, P. R. (2018). A model of risk and mental state shifts during social interaction. PLoS computational biology, 14, e1005935.
  • Keramati, M., Smittenaar, P., Dolan, R. J., & Dayan, P. (2016). Adaptive integration of habits into depth-limited planning defines a habitual-goal—directed spectrum. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 12868-12873.
  • Kurth-Nelson, Z., Barnes, G., Sejdinovic, D., Dolan, R., & Dayan, P. (2015). Temporal structure in associative retrieval. Elife, 4, e04919.
  • Dolan, R. J., & Dayan, P. (2013). Goals and habits in the brain. Neuron, 80, 312-325.