Read Montague

Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Read Montague’s work focuses on computational neuroscience – the connection between physical mechanisms present in real neural tissue and the computational functions that these mechanisms embody. His early theoretical work focused on the hypothesis that dopaminergic systems encode a particular kind of computational process, a reward prediction error signal, similar to those used in areas of artificial intelligence like optimal control. In pursuit of testing these ideas in humans, Montague founded the Human Neuroimaging Lab at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and pursued functional neuroimaging experiments analogous to those used in other model species. From 2005 to 2006, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he focused on game theory and its potential use as a probe of psychopathology. In 2006, he became the founding director of the Computational Psychiatry Unit at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2011, Montague moved to the department of physics at Virginia Tech, received a Principal Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust, and became a principal at the Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London (UCL). At UCL, he also serves as adjunct faculty at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit and is a participating faculty member of the University College London/Max Planck Institute Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing. He is actively engaged in translating computational neuroscience into the domain of mental health through work in Computational Psychiatry. His group has recently pioneered new approaches to sub-second neurotransmitter measurements in conscious humans. Over the past decade, he was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Neuroscience and Law with a particular interest in the mental states project(s). His laboratory uses theoretical, computational, and experimental approaches to the problems of mental health and its derangement by disease and injury. Work in the laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, the Kane Family Foundation, Autism Speaks, the MacArthur Foundation, the Dana Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust.