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Patryk Laurent

  • I am a cognitive scientist and neuroscientist, working at Brain Corporation in San Diego, California. I study how networks of simulated neurons learn to control themselves and generate end-directed actions -- thoughts, decisions, memory formation, and movement.
  • My team focuses on integrating machine learning algorithms into closed-loop systems so they act on and influence the world that they perceive.

Selected Publications


For a complete list, see my CV here.

  • Laurent, P. A., Hall, M. G., Anderson, B. A., Yantis, S. (2015) Valuable orientations capture attention. Visual Cognition. (journal link)

  • Cole M.W., Laurent P., Stocco A. (2013) Rapid instructed task learning: A new window into the human brain's unique capacity for flexible cognitive control. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. (journal link)

  • Laurent, P. A. (2013) A Neural Mechanism for Reward Discounting: Insights from Modeling Hippocampal-Striatal Interactions. Cognitive Computation. (journal link) (my draft, free)

  • Laurent, P. A. (2008) The emergence of saliency and novelty responses from reinforcement learning principles. Neural Networks, 21:1493-1499. (journal link)

  • Reichle, E. D. & Laurent, P. A. (2006) Using reinforcement learning to understand the emergence of ‘intelligent’ eye-movement behavior during reading. Psychological Review, 113: 390-408. (journal link)

Check back here soon for some interesting demos and download links!

Here is some software I've developed during my research. You are free to use any of this source code in your work as long as you acknowledge me. I hope to get around to selecting a more specific open source license soon.

  • Computational Modeling
  • NNQL

    My project to develop a simple but powerful neural network simulation language inspired by SQL. NNQL minimizes programming time, maximizes clarity of model descriptions, and improves communication between modelers and non-modelers.

    Adaptive Reading Agent Simulator

    (Runs in a GUI) Train a Reinforcement Learning agent to control its saccadic eye movements as it reads words of various lengths and word identification difficulties. Outputs data in MATLAB matrix format for easy analysis.

    Recurrent McCulloch-Pitts Network

    Train and test a Levy-style recurrent neural network of spiking McCulloch-Pitts neurons.

  • fMRI
  • SVM Weight Extractor

    Handy script that extracts weights from the SVM generated by MATLAB's bioinformatics toolbox so you can look at the value of your decision variables.

    ASL Eye Tracker Driver

    This Java code allows you to get gaze information from ASL eye trackers via a serial port connection for gaze-contingent paradigms. It interprets the binary data from the controller.

    EPI Noise Echo Cancellation

    If you need to hear your participant in real time during your fMRI experiment, this ChucK script allows you to cancel out the scanner noise during EPI data acquisition.

Patryk Laurent, a scientist at Brain Corporation since 2012 and now Director of Research & Development, specializes in the cognitive science of learning and memory. He holds a bachelor's degree in the Cognitive Sciences from the University of Virginia, and earned his doctorate in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh, with affiliations at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and the Learning Research and Development Center. Laurent subsequently spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher at The Johns Hopkins University.

Laurent has published over a dozen peer-reviewed articles in computational and experimental research. Much of his academic work is aimed at understanding how learning and reward influence visual attention and perception.

In industrial research at Brain Corporation, Laurent investigates and applies learning systems. His team studies how learning allows computational and robotics systems to successfully immerse themselves in and interact with in the real world.

2003-2009
2009-2012
2012-now
1997-2001
1998-2001
2002-2003
Patryk Laurent, Ph.D
Director of Research and Development, Brain Corporation (web)
San Diego, CA 92130