Jeffrey Beck


Assistant Professor of Neurobiology

We study neural coding and computation from a theoretical perspective with particular emphasis on probabilistic reasoning and decision making under uncertainty, complex behavioral modeling, computational models of cortical circuits and circuit function, dynamics of spiking neural networks, and statistical analysis of neural and behavioral data.  Previous work has been largely concerned with sensory-motor transformations and neural representations of complex stimuli such as odors.  More recently, we have been focusing on developing non-linear latent state space models of neural networks as standard linear models are incapable of generating even very simple behaviors.  

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Contact Information

  • Office Location: Bryan Research Building, 311 Research Drive Room 301H, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: (919) 684-4742
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. Northwestern University, 2003

Research Interests

Neural coding and computation; non-linear latent state space models of neural networks

Courses Taught

  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • NEUROBIO 720D: Circuits and Computation
  • NEUROSCI 755: Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Neuroscience (IPCN) Independent Research Rotation

Representative Publications

  • Darlington, TR; Beck, JM; Lisberger, SG, Neural implementation of Bayesian inference in a sensorimotor behavior., Nature Neuroscience, vol 21 no. 10 (2018), pp. 1442-1451 [10.1038/s41593-018-0233-y] [abs].
  • Oh-Descher, H; Beck, JM; Ferrari, S; Sommer, MA; Egner, T, Probabilistic inference under time pressure leads to a cortical-to-subcortical shift in decision evidence integration., Neuroimage, vol 162 (2017), pp. 138-150 [10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.08.069] [abs].
  • O'Hare, JK; Li, H; Kim, N; Gaidis, E; Ade, K; Beck, J; Yin, H; Calakos, N, Striatal fast-spiking interneurons selectively modulate circuit output and are required for habitual behavior., Elife, vol 6 (2017) [10.7554/eLife.26231] [abs].
  • Chen, X; Beck, JM; Pearson, JM, Neuron's eye view: Inferring features of complex stimuli from neural responses., Plos Computational Biology, vol 13 no. 8 (2017) [10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005645] [abs].
  • Grabska-Barwińska, A; Barthelmé, S; Beck, J; Mainen, ZF; Pouget, A; Latham, PE, A probabilistic approach to demixing odors., Nature Neuroscience, vol 20 no. 1 (2017), pp. 98-106 [10.1038/nn.4444] [abs].