Reasearch Areas
  • decision making
  • learning
  • treatments for mental illness

Joni Wallis

Professor, University of California, Berkeley


Dr. Wallis is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Psychology and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Her research focuses on understanding the functional organization of the frontal lobe at the single neuron level. Her lab records the electrical activity from multiple individual neurons throughout the frontal cortex and determines the information encoded by those neurons. She previously identified the first neurons in the brain to encode high-level, abstract rules. Her current projects aim to understand the neural implementation of decision-making. Her research has implications for neuropsychiatric disorders that involve impaired decision-making including addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.

She received a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of Cambridge, and did her postdoctoral work in the lab of Dr. Earl Miller at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


>>View complete list of publications by Joni Wallis on Pubmed

Rich EL and Wallis JD. (2016) Decoding subjective decisions from orbitofrontal cortex. Nat Neurosci, 19(7):973-80.

Lara AH and Wallis JD. (2014) Executive control processes underlying multi-item working memory. Nat Neurosci. 17(6):876-83.

Hosokawa T, Kennerley SW, Sloan J, and Wallis JD. (2013) Single-neuron mechanisms underlying cost-benefit analysis in frontal cortex. J Neurosci. 33(44):17385-97.

Luk, C. and Wallis, J.D. (2013) Choice coding in frontal cortex during stimulus-guided or action-guided decision-making. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 1864-1871.

Kennerley, S.W., Behrens, T.E. and Wallis, J.D. (2011) Double dissociation of value computations in orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 14, 1581-1589.

Wallis, J.D. (2011) Cross-species studies of orbitofrontal function. Nature Neuroscience, 15, 13-19.

Kennerley, S.W. and Wallis, J.D. (2009) Reward-dependent modulation of working memory in lateral prefrontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 3259-3270.

Lara, A.H., Kennerley, S.W. and Wallis, J.D. (2009) Encoding of gustatory working memory by orbitofrontal neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 765-774.

Luk, C. and Wallis, J.D. (2009) Dynamic encoding of responses and outcomes by neurons in medial prefrontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 7426-7539.