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Lucas Pinto, M.D., Ph.D.

Northwestern University


Lucas Pinto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Northwestern University. He is broadly interested in neural mechanisms underlying cognition, both at the local circuit level and in terms of large-scale interactions between different brain areas. In particular, his lab seeks to understand which circuit mechanisms allow for such interactions between different areas to change according to different cognitive demands during decision making. To do so, they use a combination of optical tools to record and perturb neural activity at cellular or mesoscale resolution, genetic circuit dissection tools, high-throughput virtual-reality mouse behavior, and computational modeling. Lucas obtained his MD from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 2006. He then did an MS in physiology at the same university, where he studied visual processing in owls with Jerome Baron. Lucas earned his PhD in neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014, working in in Yang Dan’s laboratory. He investigated how circuits downstream of the sensory cortex participate in perceptual decision-making. He moved to Princeton University in 2015 for his post-doctoral research in the laboratories of David Tank and Carlos Brody, where he studied how large-scale cortical dynamics change as a function of task complexity. Lucas started his lab at Northwestern in 2021.

Science Programs at Allen Institute