University of Wisconsin–Madison

Yuri B. Saalmann

Assistant Professor


Yuri Saalmann

Wisconsin National Primate Research Center

Contact Information

Yuri Saalmann’s email

(608) 262-8671

Other web pages

Saalmann Lab, Psychology Department

Aligned research focus

Cognitive control; consciousness; brain connectivity; neural dynamics; neural coding

Organ system/disease focus

Brain; schizophrenia; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Research description

Our research goal is to show how brain networks enable cognitive control and conscious awareness.

The lab investigates three major research questions. First, how do we execute cognitive control, including selective attention, rule-guided behavior, mental set shifting and memory processes? Second, what are the neural differences between conscious, anesthetized and sleep states? Third, how does the brain code information and regulate information transmission?

We combine neuroimaging and electrophysiology to investigate these questions. We map brain networks using functional MRI and diffusion MRI. Next, we simultaneously record neural activity from interconnected network sites in behaving macaques (single-units, local field potentials, microstimulation) and human subjects (intracranial electrocorticography). Our focus in on interactions between the cerebral cortex and the thalamus.

Selected references

Foster BL, He BJ, Honey CJ, Jerbi K, Maier A, Saalmann YB. Spontaneous Neural Dynamics and Multi-scale Network Organization. Front Syst NeurosciI. 2016. Feb 9;10:7.

Phillips JM, Kambi NA, Saalmann YB. A Subcortical Pathway for Rapid, Goal-Driven, Attentional Filtering. Trends Neurosci. 2016. Feb;39(2):49-51.

Saalmann YB, Kastner S. The cognitive thalamus. Front Syst Neurosci. 2015. Mar 17;9:39. Saalmann YB. Intralaminar and medial thalamic influence on cortical synchrony, information transmission and cognition. Front Syst Neurosci. 2014. May 9;8:83.

Szczepanski SM, Saalmann YB. Human fronto-parietal and parieto-hippocampal pathways represent behavioral priorities in multiple spatial reference frames. Bioarchitecture. 2013. Sep-Dec;3(5):147-52.

Fiebelkorn IC, Saalmann YB, Kastner S. Rhythmic sampling within and between objects despite sustained attention at a cued location. Curr Biol. 2013. Dec 16;23(24):2553-8.

Wang L, Saalmann YB, Pinsk MA, Arcaro MJ, Kastner S (2012) Electrophysiological low-frequency coherence and cross-frequency coupling contributes to BOLD connectivity. Neuron. 76: 1010-1020 (*equal contributions).

Saalmann YB, Pinsk MA, Wang L, Li X, Kastner S (2012) The pulvinar regulates information transmission between cortical areas based on attention demands. Science. 337: 753-756.