Dr. Mark Histed has been an investigator in the NIMH Intramural Program since 2016.  Dr. Histed holds a SB and PhD from MIT, where he studied biology and mathematics, and did doctoral work with Earl K Miller on information carried by neural activity in the cortex and on corticostriatal and frontal circuits during behavior.  Dr. Histed did postdoctoral fellowships with R. Clay Reid and John H.R. Maunsell at Harvard Medical School and at the University of Chicago.


  • PhD

During any behavior, many thousands or millions of neurons in the brain change their activity.  To undertand how the brain controls behaviors, it is important to identify the computational steps required, and determine which neural circuits perform the computations. The goal of our lab is to understand the building blocks of computation in neural circuits using, as a model, sensory-guided behaviors in mice.  In this system we can apply optical, genetic, and electrophysiological tools during behavior, and combine them with theoretical approaches for understanding circuits and networks. Determining the computational roles of neural circuits in sensory-guided behavior can shed light on neural control of more complex behaviors, and a mechanistic understanding of neural computation can provide rational treatment targets for deficits in mental disease.  Recent work has examined the function of recurrent cortical connectivity, finding that a general property of several cortical areas is strong synaptic coupling and inhibitory-stabilized network (ISN) operation, and used two-photon imaging to understand cortical changes during behavioral learning.  Work in the laboratory is funded by the NIH Intramural program and the BRAIN Initiative.

Research Methods
Mouse Psychophysics
Two-Photon Imaging and Stimulation
In Vivo Neurophysiology
Computational Neurosicence
Research Interests
Neural computation
Sensory Behavior
Machine Learning
Mouse Cortex
Neural circuits

Current Students

Dr. Mark Histed
NIH, Porter Building, Room 3A1002, MSC 3764, Bethesda, MD 20814
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
mark.histed [at] nih.gov