Brian Lau holds a B.A. in neurobiology from the University of California, Berkeley, (1998) and a Ph.D. in neural science from New York University (2007), where his thesis work focused on the neural basis of decision making. Following graduation, he was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University from 2007 to 2012. He moved to the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris, France, as a principal investigator in 2012. He is a laureate of the ATIP–Avenir program for young researchers, and was appointed to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France in 2013. Dr. Lau’s research focuses on the role of the basal ganglia in movement and cognitive control. His research combines fundamental investigations in animal models with clinical investigations in patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery for treating movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, all aimed at determining how neural activity within complex basal ganglia circuits contributes to our ability to learn and control our habitual actions.
Past Project: How the basal ganglia forces cortex to do what it wants