Earl K. Miller

Short Biography – Earl K. Miller, Ph.D.

Earl Keith Miller is the Picower Professor of Neuroscience in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his B.A. (summa cum laude, with honors) in Psychology from Kent State University in 1985. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience in 1990 from Princeton University. Professor Miller was awarded an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Science, honoris causa) from Kent State University in 2020.

Professor Miller studies the neural basis of executive control, the ability to carry out goal-directed behavior using complex mental processes and cognitive abilities.  This includes working memory, attention, decision-making and learning.  His lab has had made discoveries about the neural circuits, networks, and mechanisms by which the brain’s prefrontal cortex wields executive control. They have shown how categories and concepts are learned, how multifunctional mixed-selectivity neurons endow the cortex with computational versatility and flexibility, and how neural oscillations regulate neural communication and consciousness.  This work has established a foundation upon which to construct more detailed, mechanistic accounts of cognition and its dysfunction in diseases such as autism, schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder.

Professor Miller is the recipient of a variety of awards and serves as editor, and on the editorial boards of, major journals in neuroscience, and on international advisory boards. His paper with Jonathan Cohen, (Miller and Cohen, 2001), which presented a new framework for understanding the prefrontal cortex, ranks fifth all-time in citations in neuroscience.

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