David Freedman

Research Summary
Computational Cognitive and Visual Neuroscience Through experience, we learn to interpret the sights and sounds around us and to make decisions that move us closer to achieving our goals. Our ability to learn from and adapt to our ever changing environment is a foundation of complex behavior, as it allows us to make sense of incoming sensory stimuli and to plan successful actions. To study these questions, our laboratory uses advanced neurophysiological and behavioral techniques, in parallel with machine learning approaches for studying cognitive computations in artificial neural networks. Together, our work is providing insights into the brain mechanisms of visual learning, recognition and decision making.
  • M.I.T., Cambridge, MA, Ph.D. Systems Neuroscience 02/2002
  • Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Postdoctoral Neurobiology 03/2008
Biosciences Graduate Program Association
  1. Zhou Y, Freedman DJ. Posterior parietal cortex plays a causal role in perceptual and categorical decisions. Science. 2019 07 12; 365(6449):180-185. View in: PubMed

  2. Masse NY, Yang GR, Song HF, Wang XJ, Freedman DJ. Circuit mechanisms for the maintenance and manipulation of information in working memory. Nat Neurosci. 2019 07; 22(7):1159-1167. View in: PubMed

  3. Masse NY, Grant GD, Freedman DJ. Alleviating catastrophic forgetting using context-dependent gating and synaptic stabilization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 10 30; 115(44):E10467-E10475. View in: PubMed

  4. Freedman DJ, Ibos G. An Integrative Framework for Sensory, Motor, and Cognitive Functions of the Posterior Parietal Cortex. Neuron. 2018 03 21; 97(6):1219-1234. View in: PubMed

  5. Masse NY, Hodnefield JM, Freedman DJ. Mnemonic Encoding and Cortical Organization in Parietal and Prefrontal Cortices. J Neurosci. 2017 06 21; 37(25):6098-6112. View in: PubMed

  6. Ibos G, Freedman DJ. Sequential sensory and decision processing in posterior parietal cortex. Elife. 2017 04 24; 6. View in: PubMed

  7. Chaisangmongkon W, Swaminathan SK, Freedman DJ, Wang XJ. Computing by Robust Transience: How the Fronto-Parietal Network Performs Sequential, Category-Based Decisions. Neuron. 2017 Mar 22; 93(6):1504-1517.e4. View in: PubMed

  8. Pesaran B, Freedman DJ. Where Are Perceptual Decisions Made in the Brain? Trends Neurosci. 2016 10; 39(10):642-644. View in: PubMed

  9. Ibos G, Freedman DJ. Interaction between Spatial and Feature Attention in Posterior Parietal Cortex. Neuron. 2016 Aug 17; 91(4):931-943. View in: PubMed

  10. Freedman D, Bao Y, Shen L, Schaefer CA, Brown AS. Maternal T. gondii, offspring bipolar disorder and neurocognition. Psychiatry Res. 2016 Sep 30; 243:382-9. View in: PubMed

  11. Freedman DJ, Assad JA. Neuronal Mechanisms of Visual Categorization: An Abstract View on Decision Making. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2016 07 08; 39:129-47. View in: PubMed

  12. Sarma A, Masse NY, Wang XJ, Freedman DJ. Task-specific versus generalized mnemonic representations in parietal and prefrontal cortices. Nat Neurosci. 2016 Jan; 19(1):143-9. View in: PubMed

  13. Lim S, McKee JL, Woloszyn L, Amit Y, Freedman DJ, Sheinberg DL, Brunel N. Inferring learning rules from distributions of firing rates in cortical neurons. Nat Neurosci. 2015 Dec; 18(12):1804-10. View in: PubMed

  14. Engel TA, Chaisangmongkon W, Freedman DJ, Wang XJ. Choice-correlated activity fluctuations underlie learning of neuronal category representation. Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 11; 6:6454. View in: PubMed

  15. McKee JL, Riesenhuber M, Miller EK, Freedman DJ. Task dependence of visual and category representations in prefrontal and inferior temporal cortices. J Neurosci. 2014 Nov 26; 34(48):16065-75. View in: PubMed

  16. Murray JD, Bernacchia A, Freedman DJ, Romo R, Wallis JD, Cai X, Padoa-Schioppa C, Pasternak T, Seo H, Lee D, Wang XJ. A hierarchy of intrinsic timescales across primate cortex. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Dec; 17(12):1661-3. View in: PubMed

  17. Ibos G, Freedman DJ. Dynamic integration of task-relevant visual features in posterior parietal cortex. Neuron. 2014 Sep 17; 83(6):1468-80. View in: PubMed

  18. Swaminathan SK, Masse NY, Freedman DJ. A comparison of lateral and medial intraparietal areas during a visual categorization task. J Neurosci. 2013 Aug 07; 33(32):13157-70. View in: PubMed

  19. Rishel CA, Huang G, Freedman DJ. Independent category and spatial encoding in parietal cortex. Neuron. 2013 Mar 06; 77(5):969-79. View in: PubMed

  20. Fitzgerald JK, Freedman DJ, Fanini A, Bennur S, Gold JI, Assad JA. Biased associative representations in parietal cortex. Neuron. 2013 Jan 09; 77(1):180-91. View in: PubMed

  21. Asaad WF, Santhanam N, McClellan S, Freedman DJ. High-performance execution of psychophysical tasks with complex visual stimuli in MATLAB. J Neurophysiol. 2013 Jan; 109(1):249-60. View in: PubMed

  22. Fitzgerald JK, Swaminathan SK, Freedman DJ. Visual categorization and the parietal cortex. Front Integr Neurosci. 2012; 6:18. View in: PubMed

  23. Freedman DJ. Familiarity breeds plasticity: distinct effects of experience on putative excitatory and inhibitory neurons in inferior temporal cortex. Neuron. 2012 Apr 12; 74(1):8-11. View in: PubMed

  24. Swaminathan SK, Freedman DJ. Preferential encoding of visual categories in parietal cortex compared with prefrontal cortex. Nat Neurosci. 2012 Jan 15; 15(2):315-20. View in: PubMed

  25. Fitzgerald JK, Freedman DJ, Assad JA. Generalized associative representations in parietal cortex. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Jul 17; 14(8):1075-9. View in: PubMed

  26. Freedman DJ, Assad JA. A proposed common neural mechanism for categorization and perceptual decisions. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Feb; 14(2):143-6. View in: PubMed

  27. Freedman DJ, Assad JA. Distinct encoding of spatial and nonspatial visual information in parietal cortex. J Neurosci. 2009 Apr 29; 29(17):5671-80. View in: PubMed

  28. Freedman DJ, Assad JA. Experience-dependent representation of visual categories in parietal cortex. Nature. 2006 Sep 07; 443(7107):85-8. View in: PubMed