Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Kahnt Laboratory

About Our Lab

We study the neural and computational basis of learning and decision making, and how olfaction is involved these behaviors. We use olfactory psychophysics, computational modeling, TMS, DWI, fMRI, and pattern-based fMRI data analysis techniques to addressed these questions. Our research may advance our understanding of decision-making deficits in neuropsychiatric conditions, such as obesity and addiction, and may ultimately lead to novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for these disorders.

Selected Publications

Bhutani S, Howard JD, Reynolds R, Zee PC, Gottfried JA, Kahnt T. Olfactory connectivity mediates sleep-dependent food choices in humans. eLife. 2019 Oct 8; 8:e49053

Howard JD, Kahnt T. Identity prediction errors in the human midbrain update reward-identity expectations in the orbitofrontal cortexNature Communications. 2018 Apr 23; 9:1611

Howard JD, Kahnt T. Identity-specific reward representations in orbitofrontal cortex are modulated by selective devaluationJournal of Neuroscience 2017 Mar 8; 37(10):2627-2638. PMID: 28159906.

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News & Events

Our work in the news: 

Giving Proof (New York Times Magazine, September 14, 2017)

After a Meal, Foods Aren't the Same in the Orbitofrontal Cortex (, June 8, 2017)

Food Odors Are More Enticing to Sleep-Deprived Brains (, April 2, 2017)

Thorsten Kahnt, PhD

Thorsten Kahnt, PhD
Assistant Professor in Neurology - Ken and Ruth Davee Department

For more information, click here to visit our department page.