Ethan's Picture  

Ethan Bromberg-Martin

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

 CV: html 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?

Past appearances

Neural circuits for information seeking
University of Western Ontario [site]
September 22, 2017 in London, Ontario, Canada
Association for Psychological Science Annual Meeting [site]
Invited Symposium: Affect, effort, and motivated cognition
May 25, 2017 in Boston, MA
Washington University in St. Louis [site]
April 6, 2017 in St. Louis, MO
Harvard University [site]
March 20, 2017 in Boston, MA

Distinct neural processes for appetitive and informational rewards
Deciding to know: information prediction errors and value in the human brain
 (with Caroline Charpentier and Tali Sharot)
Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting [site]
November 12-16, 2016 in San Diego, CA



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), available now!
[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]  [pdf + supplementary information]

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]  [pdf]  [supplementary information]
 News and Views by Niv and Chan:  [full text]  [pdf]

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]  [pdf]
 Cited by:
  [faculty of 1000]

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]  [pdf]  [supplemental data]
 Cited by:
  [faculty of 1000]

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]  [pdf]  [supplemental data]

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]  [pdf]

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]  [pdf]

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]  [pdf]  [supplemental data]
 Cited by:
  [faculty of 1000]  [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


  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)