Professor Earl K. MillerEarl K. Miller, Ph.D., FAAAS is Picower Professor of Neuroscience, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Earl earned his B.A. in Psychology from Kent State University in 1985 and his Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience in 1990 from Princeton University. He has academic appointments at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT.
He uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neural basis of the high-level cognitive functions that underlie complex goal-directed behavior. His focus is on the frontal lobe, the region of the brain most elaborated in humans and linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. His laboratory has provided insights into how categories, concepts, and rules are learned, how attention is focused, and how the brain coordinates thought and action. He has innovated techniques for studying the activity of many neurons in multiple brain areas simultaneously, which has provided insight into how different brain structures interact and collaborate. This work has established a foundation upon which to construct more detailed, mechanistic accounts of how executive control is implemented in the brain and its dysfunction in diseases such as autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder.
Earl is the recipient of a variety of awards, including the National Institute of Mental Health MERIT Award (2010), the Mathilde Solowey Award in the Neurosciences (2007), election to the International Neuropsychological Symposium (2006), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005), the Picower Chair at MIT (2003), the National Academy of Sciences Troland Research Award (2000), the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award (2000), the Pew Scholar Award (1996), the John Merck Scholar Award (1996), and the McKnight Scholar Award (1996). He has delivered numerous lectures worldwide, serves as editor, and on the editorial boards of, major journals in neuroscience, and on international advisory boards. His paper, An Integrative Theory of Prefrontal Cortex Function (Miller and Cohen, 2001), has been designated a Current Classic as among the most cited papers in Neuroscience and Behavior.
His papers include Synchronous oscillatory neural ensembles for rules in the prefrontal cortex, The role of prefrontal dopamine D1 receptors in the neural mechanisms of associative learning, A neural model of sequential movement planning and control of eye movements: Item-order-rank working memory and saccade selection by the supplementary eye fields, Neural substrates of cognitive capacity limitations, and Differences between neural activity in prefrontal cortex and striatum during learning of novel, abstract categories. Read the full list of his publications!
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