Aaron Bornstein, cognitive sciences assistant professor at UC Irvine, studies human memory and the ways memory guides decisions. Whether subconsciously or consciously, when a new situation is encountered, memory helps us to generalize from past experiences to make sense of our current environment, he says. No two people have the exact same experienced memories - not even identical twins raised together - so studying how memory influences behavior can help us understand why behaviors change so dramatically from person to person. He’s interested in further studying how memory impacts economic decisions, impulsivity, disorders of choice such as addiction, as well as everyday choices about what to buy, eat, or how to interpret the world around us.
His research on the topic has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in Nature Communications; Nature Neuroscience; Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience; PLoS Computational Biology; the European Journal of Neuroscience; and the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
Bornstein comes to UCI this winter from Princeton University’s Neuroscience Institute where he was a postdoctoral fellow. He earned his Ph.D. at New York University and his bachelor’s in mathematics with an emphasis in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He’s joining a world-class faculty in the Department of Cognitive Sciences known for expertise in neuroscience, learning and memory, and computational approaches of modeling cognition and cognitive neuroscience data.