Kahnt, Thorsten, PhD



Kahnt, Thorsten, PhD


Assistant Professor



Office Phone





Ward 13-006



Areas of Research

Brain Imaging (FMRI etc.), Circuits and Behavior, Computational, Learning & Memory, Neurobiology of Disease

Training Grants

Training Program in the Neuroscience of Human Cognition

Recent Publications on PubMed


Current Research

Current Research

Research in the lab examines the neural and computational principles of reward-guided behavior, with a focus on food choices. We study brain systems involved in reward processing, learning, generalization, and decision-making such as the striatum and the orbitofrontal cortex. For this, we use a combination of human olfactory psychophysics, computational modeling, fMRI and advanced multivariate analyses techniques borrowed from machine learning. This research may pave the way for understanding decision-making deficits in neurological diseases and addiction, and should ultimately lead to novel diagnostic markers and treatment strategies for these disorders.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Howard JD, Gottfried JA, Tobler PN, Kahnt T. 2015. Identity-specific coding of future rewards in the human orbitofrontal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 112(16):5195-200.
Kahnt T, Park SQ, Haynes JD, Tobler PN. 2014. Disentangling neural representations of value and salience in the human brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 111(13):5000-5.
Kahnt T, Park SQ, Burke CJ, Tobler PN. 2012. How glitter relates to gold: Similarity-dependent reward prediction errors in the human striatum. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(46):16521–9.
Kahnt T, Chang LJ, Park SQ, Heinzle J, Haynes JD. 2012. Connectivity-based parcellation of the human orbitofrontal cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(18):6240-50.
Kahnt T, Grueschow M, Speck O, Haynes JD. 2011. Perceptual learning and decision making in human medial frontal cortex. Neuron, 70(3):549-59.
Kahnt T, Heinzle J, Park SQ, Haynes JD. 2010. The neural code of reward anticipation in human orbitofrontal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 107(13):6010-5.