Joshua Brown

Joshua Brown

Professor, Psychological And Brain Sciences


  • B.S., UC San Diego, 1996
  • Ph.D., Cognitive & Neural Systems, Boston University, 2001

Research interests

My research focuses on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control, namely how humans monitor and flexibly direct their own behavior to achieve complex goals. I have used a variety of methodologies, including single-unit neurophysiology in awake behaving primates, studies of behavior and individual differences, functional neuroimaging, and computational neural modeling to provide unified accounts of neurophysiology, fMRI, and behavioral data. My current focus is on the neural mechanisms of error likelihood prediction and risk perception in decision-making, using combined fMRI and computational neural modeling.

Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral fellow, Vanderbilt University, 2000-2001
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Washington University in St. Louis, 2001-2005


  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science

Representative publications

Learned predictions of error likelihood in the anterior cingulate cortex.(2005)
Joshua W Brown and Todd S Braver
Science, 307 (5712), 1118-1121

Medial prefrontal cortex as an action-outcome predictor.(2011)
William H Alexander and Joshua W Brown
Nature neuroscience, 14 (10), 1338

Performance monitoring by the anterior cingulate cortex during saccade countermanding.(2003)
Shigehiko Ito, Veit Stuphorn, Joshua W Brown and Jeffrey D Schall
Science, 302 (5642), 120-122

Computational perspectives on dopamine function in prefrontal cortex.(2002)
Jonathan D Cohen, Todd S Braver and Joshua W Brown
Current opinion in neurobiology, 12 (2), 223-229

A meta-analysis of executive components of working memory.(2012)
Derek Evan Nee, Joshua W Brown, Mary K Askren, Marc G Berman, Emre Demiralp, Adam Krawitz ...
Cerebral cortex, 23 (2), 264-282

Monitoring and control of action by the frontal lobes.(2002)
Jeffrey D Schall, Veit Stuphorn and Joshua W Brown
Cell Press. 36 (2), 309-322

How laminar frontal cortex and basal ganglia circuits interact to control planned and reactive saccades.(2004)
Joshua W Brown, Daniel Bullock and Stephen Grossberg
Neural Networks, 17 (4), 471-510

A computational model of fractionated conflict-control mechanisms in task-switching.(2007)
Joshua W Brown, Jeremy R Reynolds and Todd S Braver
Cognitive psychology, 55 (1), 37-85

Influence of history on saccade countermanding performance in humans and macaque monkeys.(2007)
Erik E Emeric, Joshua W Brown, Leanne Boucher, Roger HS Carpenter, Doug P Hanes, Robin Harris ...
Vision research, 47 (1), 35-49

Risk prediction and aversion by anterior cingulate cortex.(2007)
Joshua W Brown and Todd S Braver
Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 7 (4), 266-277

Computational models of performance monitoring and cognitive control.(2010)
William H Alexander and Joshua W Brown
Topics in cognitive science, 2 (4), 658-677

Role of supplementary eye field in saccade initiation: executive, not direct, control.(2009)
Veit Stuphorn, Joshua W Brown and Jeffrey D Schall
Journal of neurophysiology, 103 (2), 801-816

Decision making in the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART): anterior cingulate cortex signals loss aversion but not the infrequency of risky choices.(2012)
Rena Fukunaga, Joshua W Brown and Tim Bogg
Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 12 (3), 479-490

Rostral–caudal gradients of abstraction revealed by multi-variate pattern analysis of working memory.(2012)
Derek Evan Nee and Joshua W Brown
Neuroimage, 63 (3), 1285-1294

Hierarchical error representation: a computational model of anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.(2015)
William H Alexander and Joshua W Brown
Neural computation, 27 (11), 2354-2410

Dissertation Committee Service

Author Dissertation Title Committee
Chadderdon III, George L A Neurocomputational Model of the Functional Role of Dopamine in Stimulus Response Task Learning And Performance (March 2009) Sporns, O. (Chair), Brown, J., Townsend, J., Todd, P.
Jessup, Ryan Neural Correlates of the Behavioral Differences Between Descriptive and Experiential Choice: An Examination Combining Computational Modeling with FMRI (September 2008) Busemeyer, J. (Chair), Brown, J., Sporns, O., Todd, P.