Ollie Hulme

External Fellow

I am a neurobiologist with broad interests in the physical, social, and biological sciences. My main interest is in the brain’s reward system. Put simply: how does it work, and why? I explore theories that constrain how it should work, and then test the predictions of these theories against behavioral and neuroimaging data. There are two strands to this agenda. The first asks, how do reward computations help shape behaviour to regulate the physiological systems of the body. Specifically, how are the values of primary rewards such as food and water, configured by homeostatic states, and how should they be configured according to the constraints of survival. I am particularly interested in how models of this sort could provide a unified explanatory account of simple behavioral phenomena such as risk preferences, loss aversion, and temporal discounting. The second strand draws on ergodicity economics, and is the basis of my connection to LML. I am interested in the constraints that ergodicity imposes on decision-making, and whether such considerations can also offer a unified explanatory account of a number of disparate behavioral phenomena. We will be working together on experiments that expose subjects to different dynamical settings, and testing how these dynamics modulate reward computations, risk preferences, and temporal discounting. I am always looking to work with any student who is interested to work on these topics, particularly those trained in physical or mathematical sciences (oliverh@drcmr.dk).