Columbia University in the City of New York

Feb 6, 202410:30 am

Special Seminar - Ilya Monosov

Image of Cell AbdusSaboor Lab

February 6th, 10:30 am – 11:30 am at the Jerome L. Greene Science Center (9th floor lecture hall)

Ilya Monosov, PhD

Professor in the Department of Neuroscience

Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Neurosurgery

PI in the Washington University Pain Center


Neurobiology of Curiosity


Over the past few decades, the highly active fields of neuroethology and neuroeconomics have been assessing the behavioral, computational, and neural basis of value-based decisions, studying how we make choices to obtain physical reward. However, not all decisions are guided by the values of extrinsic or physical rewards. For example, humans and many animals often choose to spend time exploring valueless novel objects, for novelty’s own sake. And they commonly display a curiosity to obtain information to reduce their uncertainty about the future, even when this information cannot be used in the service of reward seeking. But, despite the prevalence and the importance of novelty and information seeking behaviors in our daily life, their neurobiological and algorithmic basis have remained poorly understood. In my talk, I will discuss our recent multi-disciplinary cross-species experiments that provide important breakthroughs in the understanding of the neurobiology of novelty and information seeking, and I will highlight how this data is beginning to shed light on the mechanisms of mental disorders in which information seeking is commonly disrupted.


Relevant Publications:

A primate temporal cortex-zona incerta pathway for novelty seeking

A neural mechanism for conserved value computations integrating information and rewards


Host(s): Jackie Gottlieb (Faculty)


Please contact [email protected] with any questions.


This event will be in-person only and will not offer a Zoom option.
Open only to Columbia University and Columbia University Affiliates.
Speaker Location: Jerome L. Greene Science Center, 9th Floor Lecture Hall


Tuesdays@10 is a signature Zuckerman Institute initiative that aims to expose researchers at all levels to high-quality science and stimulate scientific discourse. The speakers featured in this series represent various fields and techniques in neuroscience, and are either external to Columbia (Columbia Neuroscience Seminars and Special Seminars) or are Columbia faculty members (Local Circuits) invited through a combined, collaborative effort of one or more of the following: Columbia's Zuckerman Institute, the Department of Neuroscience, the Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior and the Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative, and with support from the Kavli Institute for Brain Science


More information and a full schedule can be found here.


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