Ethan's Picture  

Ethan Bromberg-Martin

 Senior Scientist
 Department of Neuroscience
 Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

 CV: pdf

I study how the brain learns what things are good and what things are bad, and how it uses this knowledge to banish the bad things and gather the good things! I believe that learning about the world is not simply a passive process of parameter estimation and error-reduction, but an active delight of exploration and discovery. Why else be a scientist?

Upcoming appearances

Talk at Göttingen Workshop on Curiosity
Göttingen, Germany
September 2-4, 2024

Presentation at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
Chicago, IL
October 5-9, 2024

Talk at the conference on Mechanisms of Foraging and Exploration
Lyon, France
December 11-13, 2024

Past appearances

Talk at the conference on Bridging Diverse Perspectives on the Mechanistic Basis of Foraging [site]
Janelia Farms, Ashburn, VA
February, 25-28, 2024

Symposium Talk at the Society for Neuroeconomics [site]
Vancouver, Canada
October 13-15, 2023

Talk at the Gordon Conference on Catecholamines [site]
Castelldefels, Spain
August 13-18, 2023

Neural circuitry of information seeking
Talk at the Cosyne [site] workshop on "Computational mechanisms underlying decision uncertainty and confidence in brain and behavior"
Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
March 14, 2023

Integrating information and reward into subjective value: humans, monkeys, and the lateral habenula
Talk at the nanosymposium on "Neuronal Mechanisms of Decision Making"
Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA
November 13, 2022 (Room SDCC 5)



Orbitofrontal cortex neuronal ensembles learning the value of information!    Representations of information value in mouse orbitofrontal cortex during information seeking
by Jennifer J. Bussell, Ryan P. Badman, Christian D. Márton, Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, Larry F. Abbott, Kanaka Rajan, and Richard Axel
preprint on bioRxiv (2023)
[full text]

A dorsal raphe neuron integrating reward amount, delay, and uncertainty into value!    Dorsal raphe neurons signal integrated value during multi-attribute decision-making
by Yang-Yang Feng, Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, and Ilya E. Monosov
Cell Reports (2024), volume 43, issue 6, 114341
[pubmed]  [full text]

A lateral habenula neuron signaling the value of information and juice reward!    A neural mechanism for conserved value computations integrating information and rewards
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin*, Yang-Yang Feng*, Takaya Ogasawara, J. Kael White, Kaining Zhang, and Ilya E. Monosov   (* equal contribution)
Nature Neuroscience (2024), volume 27, issue 1, pp. 158-175.
[pubmed]  [full text]

Orbitofrontal cortex neurons tending to signal rewards and punishments in opposite manners!    Laser stimulation of the skin for quantitative study of decision-making and motivation
by Julia Pai*, Takaya Ogasawara*, Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, Kei Ogasawara, Robert W. Gereau, and Ilya E. Monosov   (* equal contribution)
Cell Reports Methods (2022), volume 2, issue 9, 100296.
[pubmed]  [full text]

An amygdala neuron sensitive to the novelty, surprise, and recency of visual objects!    Surprise and recency in novelty detection in the primate brain
by Kaining Zhang, Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, Fatih Sogukpinar, Kim Kocher, and Ilya E. Monosov
Current Biology (2022), volume 32, issue 10, pp. 2160-2173.
[pubmed]  [full text]

A computational model of how the value of the environment motivates persistent visual inspection of objects!    How the value of the environment controls persistence in visual search
by Michael R. Traner, Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, and Ilya E. Monosov
PLoS Computational Biology (2021), volume 17, issue 12, e1009662.
[pubmed]  [full text]

A ventrolateral prefrontal cortex neuron anticipating information about both rewards and punishments!    A prefrontal network integrates preferences for advance information about uncertain rewards and punishments
by Ahmad Jezzini, Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin*, Lucas R. Trambaiolli*, Suzanne N. Haber, and Ilya E. Monosov   (* equal contribution)
Neuron (2021), volume 109, issue 14, pp 2339-2352.
[pubmed]  [full text]

A cortex-basal ganglia neural network mechanism to motivate information seeking!    Neural circuitry of information seeking
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin and Ilya E. Monosov                                 
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences (2020), volume 35, pp 62-70.
Review article
[pubmed]  [full text]

A theoretical framework for motivated belief formation!    The value of beliefs
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin and Tali Sharot                                 
Neuron (2020), volume 106, issue 4, pp 561-565
Review article
[pubmed]  [full text]

A dorsal striatum neuron anticipating information about uncertain future rewards!    A neural network for information seeking
by J. Kael White*, Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin*, Sarah R. Heilbronner, Kaining Zhang, Julia Pai, Suzanne N. Haber, and Ilya E. Monosov   (* co-first authors)
Nature Communications (2019), volume 10, issue 1, pp 5168.
[pubmed]  [full text]

The human midbrain signaling the bias to get information about gains vs. losses!    Valuation of knowledge and ignorance in mesolimbic reward circuitry
by Caroline J. Charpentier, Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, and Tali Sharot
PNAS (2018), volume 115, issue 31, pp E7255-E7264.
[pubmed]  [full text]

An orbitofrontal cortex neuron signaling the greater value of information for high-stakes gambles!    Orbitofrontal cortex uses distinct codes for different choice attributes in decisions motivated by curiosity
by Tommy C. Blanchard, Benjamin Y. Hayden*, and Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin*   (* co-senior authors)
Neuron (2015), volume 85, issue 3, pp 602-614.
[pubmed]  [full text]

Lateral habenula neurons signaling unexpected information about future rewards!    Lateral habenula neurons signal errors in the prediction of reward information
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin and Okihide Hikosaka
Nature Neuroscience (2011), volume 14, issue 9, pp. 1209-1216.
[pubmed]  [full text]
 News and Views by Niv and Chan:  [full text]

Our hypothesis about dopamine neurons getting multiple motivational signals!    Dopamine in motivational control: rewarding, aversive, and alerting
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, Masayuki Matsumoto, and Okihide Hikosaka
Neuron (2010), volume 68, issue 5, pp. 815-834
Review article
[pubmed]  [full text]

Lateral habenula neurons using multiple timescales of memory!    Multiple timescales of memory in lateral habenula and dopamine neurons
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, Masayuki Matsumoto, Hiroyuki Nakahara, and Okihide Hikosaka
Neuron (2010), volume 67, issue 3, pp. 499-510.
[pubmed]  [full text]

Lateral habenula and dopamine neurons tonically anticipating a rewarding task!    Distinct tonic and phasic anticipatory activity in lateral habenula and dopamine neurons
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, Masayuki Matsumoto, and Okihide Hikosaka
Neuron (2010), volume 67, issue 1, pp. 144-155.
[pubmed]  [full text]

Lateral habenula neurons signaling inferred stimulus values!    A pallidus-habenula-dopamine pathway signals inferred stimulus values
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, Masayuki Matsumoto, Simon Hong, and Okihide Hikosaka
Journal of Neurophysiology (2010), volume 104, issue 2, pp. 1068-1076.
[pubmed]  [full text]

Dorsal raphe neurons excited by a rewarding task!    Coding of task reward value in the dorsal raphe nucleus
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin, Okihide Hikosaka, and Kae Nakamura
Journal of Neuroscience (2010), volume 30, issue 18, pp. 6262-6272.
[pubmed]  [full text]

A dopamine neuron signaling preference for reward information!    Midbrain dopamine neurons signal preference for advance information about upcoming rewards
by Ethan S. Bromberg-Martin and Okihide Hikosaka
Neuron (2009), volume 63, issue 1, pp. 119-126
[pubmed]  [full text]
 Cited by:
  [nature]  [nature reviews neuroscience]

Dopamine release promoting synaptic plasticity!    New insights on the subcortical representation of reward
by Okihide Hikosaka, Ethan Bromberg-Martin, Simon Hong, and Masayuki Matsumoto
Current Opinion in Neurobiology (2008), volume 18, issue 2, pp. 203-208
Review article
[pubmed]  [full text] 


  Ph.D. in Neuroscience (2009) from Brown University.
      Thesis: "The Role of Dopamine in Information-Seeking" (Advisor: Okihide Hikosaka)

I did my Ph.D. thesis work at the National Eye Institute, as part of the Graduate Partnership Program with the National Institutes of Health.

Bachelor of Science in Computational Biology (2005) from Brown University.


  My academic ancestry at

Affiliations: Society for Neuroscience.
    Society for Neuroscience (SFN)
    Computational and Systems Neuroscience (Cosyne)
    Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)
    Association for Psychological Science (APS)