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John Pearson

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
Duke Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708
Bryan Research Building, 101H, Durham, NC 27710


Our lab builds quantitative tools and theories to understand how brains control bodies to learn and survive in a complex world. In particular, we are interested in the process by which organisms like songbirds learn complex motor skills without external reinforcement, the way simple information processing principles can explain the organization of early sensory systems, and how complex behaviors like swimming and grasping are coordinated across the brain. To this end, we also design software tools and algorithm that allow us to model and perturb neural systems in real time.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology · 2022 - Present Neurobiology, Basic Science Departments
Assistant Research Professor in Neurobiology · 2018 - Present Neurobiology, Basic Science Departments
Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering · 2018 - Present Electrical and Computer Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience · 2021 - Present Psychology & Neuroscience, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience · 2016 - Present Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

Princeton University · 2004 Ph.D.
University of Kentucky · 1999 B.S.