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John Lafferty

John Lafferty, PhD

Faculty Member Director, Center for Neurocomputation and Machine Learning

Center for Neurocognition and Behavior | Center for Neurocomputation and Machine Intelligence | Center for Neurodevelopment and Plasticity

Email | Lab | Department

Machine learning

Our recent research is driven by the goal of using computational modeling, in particular machine learning, to gain insight into the remarkable abilities of the human brain. This computational lens can operate across multiple scales, systems, and species, complementing the specialized, biologically-grounded studies of traditional experimental science. Our group develops machine learning methodology, while also studying the statistical principles and theory that can help explain the behavior of the underlying algorithms. As a recent example, we are studying the role of selective attention in abstract reasoning, developing reinforcement learning frameworks that reflect elements of human cognition, memory, and brain organization. My WTI service is focused on building a thriving Yale community at the interface of neuroscience and computational modeling.




John Lafferty received his PhD in Mathematics from Princeton University, where he was a member of Princeton's Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics. He is Professor of Statistics and Data Science at Yale, with a secondary appointment in Computer Science. He began his career in machine learning at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, building computational models of human language.