Events / 2022 Grace Hopper Distinguished Lecture: Daphna Shohamy

2022 Grace Hopper Distinguished Lecture: Daphna Shohamy

December 8, 2022
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Glandt Forum, Singh Center for Nanotechnology, 3205 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 10104

University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science. View it in your browser.
The Department of Bioengineering Presents


Daphna Shohamy, Ph.D.

Daphna Shohamy, Ph.D.

Kavli Professor of Brain Science, Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science
Professor in the Department of Psychology & Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute
Columbia University in the City of New York

“How Memory Guides Value-Based Decisions”

Thursday, December 8, 2022

3:30-5:00 PM EDT

Glandt Forum, Singh Center for Nanotechnology
3205 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Zoom link coming soon!
Light reception to follow


From robots to humans, the ability to learn from experience turns a rigid response system into a flexible, adaptive one. In the past several decades, major advances have been made in understanding how humans and other animals learn from experience to make decisions. However, most of this progress has focused on rather simple forms of stimulus-response learning, such as automatic responses or habits. In this talk, I will turn to consider how past experience guides more complex decisions, such as those requiring flexible reasoning, inference, and deliberation. Across a range of behavioral contexts, I will demonstrate a critical role for memory in such decisions and will discuss how multiple brain regions interact to support learning, what this means for how memories are used, and the consequences for how decisions are made. Uncovering the pervasive role of memory in decision-making challenges the way we think about what memory is for, suggesting that memory’s primary purpose may be to guide future behavior and that storing a record of the past is just one way to do so.


Daphna Shohamy, Ph.D. is a professor at Columbia University where she co-directs the Kavli Center for Neural Sciences and is Associate Director of the Zuckerman Mind, Brain Behavior Institute. Dr. Shohamy’s work focuses on the link between memory,and decision-making. Combining brain imaging in healthy humans with studies of patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders, Dr. Shohamy seeks to understand how the brain transforms experiences into memories; how memories shape decisions and actions; and how motivation and exploration affect human behavior.


In support of its educational mission of promoting the role of all engineers in society, the School of Engineering and Applied Science presents the Grace Hopper Lecture Series. This series is intended to serve the dual purpose of recognizing successful women in engineering and of inspiring students to achieve at the highest level. Grace Hopper is a wonderful example of a visionary in her field who exhibited the type of pioneering spirit that is an inspiration to all of us.

In support of the accomplishments of women in engineering, departments within the School invite a prominent speaker to campus for a visit that includes opportunities to interact with students and faculty. This series provides another avenue for recognition of distinguished leaders in engineering and presents role models that help remind all of us why we chose this profession.

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