Neural basis for the use and update of cognitive maps.
Senior Data Scientist, The Cigna Group / Evernorth Health Services
Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Mental Health
Undergraduate Institution and Major:
South China Normal University, BA, Education, 2013
Kansas State University - Manhattan, BS, Psychology, 2014
Ben Hayden, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Description of Graduate Research:
I study the relationship between ensemble neural responses in decision making. I am examining single units from the macaque orbitofrontal cortex as they perform a choice task. I have three main projects.
- We use large-scale electrophysiological recordings (single/multi-unit & LFP) to understand various prefrontal (OFC, vmPFC) and posteromedial (RSC, PCC) regions’ fundamental neural-computational property and their role in learning, decision-making, and future planning, with virtual reality foraging tasks and choice tasks in macaques.
- In collaboration with Dr. Sarah Heilbronner, we use AAV and Lenti viruses to conduct viral track tracing and DREADDs (Designer Drugs Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) experiments in macaques to study the anatomical and neural-computational properties of prefrontal-posteromedial (OFC-RSC) circuit.
- We use information-theoretic, game-theoretic, computational, and behavioral approaches to study information-seeking behavior, curiosity, social learning, social inference, etc.
- Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 24;13(1):3623. A structural and functional subdivision in central orbitofrontal cortex.
- Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 10;12(1):4830. Choice-relevant information transformation along a ventrodorsal axis in the medial prefrontal cortex.
- Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Latent learning, cognitive maps, and curiosity. Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2021 Apr;38:1-7.
- Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Beyond "incentive hope": Information sampling and learning under reward uncertainty. Behav Brain Sci. 2019 Jan;42:e56.
- Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Monkeys are curious about counterfactual outcomes. Cognition. 2019;189:1-10.
- Wang MZ, Hayden B.Y. A testable definition of curiosity. IEEE Newsletter on cognitive and developmental systems, 2018.
- Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Reactivation of associative structure specific outcome responses during prospective evaluation. Nat Commun. 2017 Jun 9;8:15821.
- Wang MZ, Marshall AT, Kirkpatrick K. Environmental rearing effects on individual differences in impulsivity and behavioral flexibility. Behav Brain Res., 2017;327:54-64.
- Dillon HM, Adair LE, Geher G, Wang Z, Strouts P. Playing smart: The mating game and mating intelligence. Current Psychol. 2015;35:414-420.
- Dillon HM, Adair LE, Wang Z, Johnson Z. Slow and steady wins the race: Life history, mate value, and mate settling. Personality Indiv Diff. 2013;55:612-618.
Graduate Oral Presentations:
- Wang MZ. The Role of Macaque Orbitofrontal-posteromedial circuit in reward simulation and planning. Invited Talk. National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, M.D., 2019.
- Wang MZ. Reward simulation and prospective goal representation in the Macaque brain. Invited Talk. Stanford University, Palo Alto, C.A., 2019.
- Wang MZ. (organizer) Prospective goal state representation in monkey OFC and RSC in a 3D virtual reality foraging task. Nano-symposium: Cortical-Hippocampal Interactions I. The Annual Meetings of Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, C.A., 2018.
- Wang MZ. (invited speaker) Reactivation of associative structure specific outcome responses during prospective evaluation. Mini-symposium: Neural Circuits Supporting Cognitive Maps for Goal-Directed Behavior. The Annual Meetings of Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., 2017.
- Wang MZ. Reward simulation in OFC. Gordon Research Seminar: Neurobiology of Cognition, Newry, M.E., 2016.
Graduate Poster Presentations:
- LoConte GA, Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Reward simulation in OFC. The Annual Meetings of Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, C.A., 2018.
- Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Reward simulation in OFC. Gordon Research Conference: Neurobiology of Cognition, Newry, M.E., 2016.
- Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Reward simulation in Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC). The Annual Meetings of Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL, 2015.
- Marshall AT, Wang Z, Kirkpatrick K. Individual differences in impulsivity and behavioral flexibility: Effects of the rearing environment. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL, 2015.
- Wang Z, Marshall AT, Kirkpatrick K. Environmental rearing effects on impulsivity in rats. The Annual Meetings of Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., 2014
- Wang Z, Marshall AT, Kirkpatrick K. Environmental rearing effects on behavioral flexibility. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL., 2014.
- Milne Brandenburg Award for exceptional thesis research, 2019.
- American Legion Brain Science Award, Oct, 2019
- Society for Neuroscience Trainee Professional Development Award, Sep, 2019
- Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Conference Presentation Grant, Sep, 2019
- Society for NeuroEconomics Meeting Travel Award, Jul, 2019
- The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for Outstanding Dissertation Research, Apr, 2019
- The Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) Graduate Fellowship in Neuromodulation, Mar, 2019
- Gordon Research Seminar Travel Award, Aug, 2016
- The 2014 Peterson Prize for the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Psychology, May, 2014
- The featuring story of KSU Foundation for promoting undergraduate research, May, 2014
- Undergraduate Research Travel Award, Feb, 2014
- Undergraduate Research Award, Oct, 2013
- The Doreen Shanteau Undergraduate Research Fellowship, May, 2013
- Meritorious Winner of the international Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM)/Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM), April, 2013
- Outstanding Model Student, South China Normal University, 2010-2011
- Academic Excellence Award, South China Normal University, 2010-2011
Thesis Committee Members:
Matthew Chafee, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience (Chair)
Benjamin Hayden, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Sarah Heilbronner, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
David Redish, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Iris Vilares, Ph.D., Department of Psychology