Cerf, Moran, PhD



Cerf, Moran, PhD


Donald P. Jacobs Assistant Professor




Kellogg School of Management, Neurosurgery, Neuroscience


2001 Sheridan Rd., Room 472



Areas of Research

Computational, Electrophysiology, Learning & Memory

NU Scholar Profile


Current Research

Current Research

Our research uses methods from neuroscience to understand the underlying mechanisms of our psychology. While many labs have a single topic of interest, ours is unique in that it focuses on the research methods as a tool for investigating of a variety of questions. The main tool our lab uses is direct recording of individual neurons from the brains of humans undergoing neurosurgery.

We collaborate with the lab of Prof. Itzhak Fried at UCLA, who is a world leader in conducting these human electrophysiology works, and run a variety of studies using single-neuron recordings.

Our projects tackle questions on memory, emotion, volition and free will, with the main guideline being the access to various sites in the brain that allow for direct studies of these.

As such, we have works addressing questions on "How are conscious percepts formed in our brain?", "How can we control and regulate our emotions?" and "Which brain mechanisms determine if we find content interesting and engaging?". Recently, we are working on a study addressing the neural mechanisms underlying decision-making and free will.

Additionally, we have a variety of studies addressing basic mechanisms that drive choice and behavior using in-house methods such as eye-tracking, EEG, fMRI, sleep studies and a variety of computation modeling works.

Finally, as part of our initiative and close collaboration with the Kellogg School of Management, we are interested in the application of the works to economic and social behavior in the context of marketing, neuro-economics and consumer behavior.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

1. (Vision). Moran Cerf, Paxon Frady, Christof Koch (2009), “Faces and text attract gaze independent of the task: Experimental data and computer model” Journal of Vision, Volume 9, Issue 12, Pages 1-15
PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20053101

2. (Human electrophysiology). Moran Cerf, Nikhil Thiruvengadam, Florian Mormann, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Christof Koch, Itzhak Fried (2010), “On-line, voluntary control of human temporal lobe neurons” Nature, Volume 467, Issue 7319, Pages 1104-1108
PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20981100

3. (Computation). Moran Cerf, Jonathan Harel, Wolfgang Einhäuser, Christof Koch (2007), “Predicting human gaze using low-level saliency combined with face detection” Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, Vol. 21 (NIPS 2007)

4. (Consciousness). Moran Cerf, Michael Mackay (2011), “Studying consciousness using direct recording from single neurons in the human brain” Research and Perspective in Neuroscience, Editors Stanislas Dehaene and Yves Christien. Pages 133-146. Publisher: Springer