Staff Profiles

Arif Hamid, Ph.D.

University of Minnesota Medical School

Arif Hamid is a Hannah Gray Fellow at HHMI and Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His research program is focused on deeply understanding brain substrates for flexible behavioral control and reinforcement learning (RL). With extensive training in behavioral, systems, and computational neuroscience, Arif’s research group will combine interdisciplinary approaches to study  (i) the functional properties of key brain decision-circuits and, (ii) link identified circuit mechanisms to specific computational operations within normative theoretical frameworks, (iii) to ultimately understand how these circuit and computational specialization become leveraged during various behavioral demands. To this end, Arif’s previous scientific contributions have reported novel empirical findings (including dopamine midbrain-forebrain dissociation, and striatal dopamine waves) that have significantly (re)shaped formalizations of dopamine’s role in RL. The lab seeks to build on this trajectory to make deep contributions that integrate experimental findings into multilevel neurocomputational models for tandem and cyclical advances in the simulated and empirical understanding of brain mechanisms for valuation, selection, planning, and execution of behavioral goals.