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René Marois

Professor & Chair of Psychology
Winkelried Family Chair in Neuroscience

Research in the Marois lab centers on two main main topics. First, much of the lab's work focuses on understanding the neural basis of attention in humans using fMRI and psychophysical tools. They are particularly interested in understanding the neural basis of attentional capacity limits (why can we only attend to few objects at a time? Why can't carry out more than one task at a time?). They are also exploring the nature of the relationship between attention, working memory and awareness.

The second research thrust of the lab concerns the nascent field of 'Neurolaw' in collaboration with faculty members of the Law School. Specifically, the lab is is interested in elucidating the brain mechanism underlying legal and punishment decision-making. 

Representative Publications

  • Hartsough, L.E.S., Ginther, M.R., & Marois, R. (2020) Distinct affective responses to second- and third-party norm violations. Acta Psychologica. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103060

  • Han, SW, Eaton, HP, Marois R. (2019) Functional fractionation of the cingulo- opercular network: Alerting insula and updating cingulate. Cerebral Cortex 29(6):2624-2638. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy130. 

  • Tamber-Rosenau BJ, Asplund CL, & Marois R. (2018). Functional dissociation of the inferior frontal junction from the dorsal attention network in top-down attentional control. J. Neurophysiol. 120(5): 2498-2512.  doi: 10.1152/jn.00506.2018.

  • Fougnie DL, Cockhren J, Marois R (2018) A common source of attention for auditory and visual tracking. Att. Percept. Psychophys80(6):1571-1583. doi: 10.3758/s13414-018-1524-9

  • Ginther MR, Bonnie RJ, Hoffman MB, Shen FX, Simons KW, Jones OD, Marois R (2016) Parsing the Behavioral and Brain Mechanisms of Third-Party Punishment. J Neurosci36:9420-34.

  • Tamber-Rosenau BJ, Marois R. (2016) Central attention is serial, but midlevel and peripheral attention are parallel - A hypothesis. Atten Percept Psychophys78:1874-88.

  • Buckholtz, JW,Martin, JW, Treadway, MT, Jan, K, Zald, DH, Jones, OD, & Marois, R (2015) From blame to punishment: Disrupting prefrontal cortex activity reveals norm enforcement mechanisms. Neuron, 87:1369-80

  •  Tamber-Rosenau, BJ, Fintzi, A., & Marois, R. (2015) Crowding in visual working memory reveals its spatial resolution and the nature of its representations. Psychological Science26:1511-21.

  • Godwin, D., Barry, R.L., & Marois, R. (2015) Breakdown of the brain’s functional network modularity with awareness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 112:3799-804.

  • Fougnie, DL, Zughni, S., Godwin, D, & Marois, R (2015) Working memory storage is intrinsically domain-specific. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 144:30-47

  • Treadway MT, Buckholtz JW, Martin JW, Jan K, Asplund CL, Ginther MR, Jones OD, & Marois R. (2014) Cortocolimbic Gating of Emotion-Driven Punishment. Nat. Neurosci. 17:1270-5