Mark Histed, Ph.D.


Unit on Neural Computation and Behavior (Histed group)


John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center (Building 35), Room 3A203
35 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

A single sensory stimulus or motor action changes the activity of thousands or more neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex. Dr. Histed’s group uses sensory behavior in the mouse, combined with in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, and two-photon imaging, to understand how the brain interprets the activity of many cells --- how the brain decodes neurons’ spikes to make decisions.


Dr. Histed received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where with Earl K. Miller he studied how frontal and basal ganglia neuronal activity underlies complex behaviors. He did postdoctoral work at Harvard and the University of Chicago, with R. Clay Reid and John H.R. Maunsell, studying how the cerebral cortex represents the sensory world and developing psychophysical methods to measure perceptual behavior in rodents. Dr. Histed joined NIMH as an principal investigator in 2016.

Selected Publications

  1. Histed MH, Maunsell JH. Cortical neural populations can guide behavior by integrating inputs linearly, independent of synchrony. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(1):E178-87.

  2. Glickfeld LL, Histed MH, Maunsell JH. Mouse primary visual cortex is used to detect both orientation and contrast changes. J Neurosci. 2013;33(50):19416-22.

  3. Histed MH, Ni AM, Maunsell JH. Insights into cortical mechanisms of behavior from microstimulation experiments. Prog Neurobiol. 2013;103:115-30.

  4. Histed MH, Bonin V, Reid RC. Direct activation of sparse, distributed populations of cortical neurons by electrical microstimulation. Neuron. 2009;63(4):508-22.

  5. Histed MH, Pasupathy A, Miller EK. Learning substrates in the primate prefrontal cortex and striatum: sustained activity related to successful actions. Neuron. 2009;63(2):244-53.

This page was last updated on October 19th, 2017