Rich Lab

Neurophysiology of Affect and Cognition


Cognitive processes emerge from the collective activity of interacting neurons. The primary goal of the Rich Lab is to understand the links between these neural dynamics and advanced cognition. Ongoing work is focused on population dynamics in the orbitofrontal cortex that underlie reward expectations and value-based decision-making, and in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that contribute to mnemonic strategies in working memory. We aim to provide insights that not only advance our understanding of basic brain function, but also help refine neuromodulation approaches that alter neural activity to achieve therapeutic benefits.

Contact Us

Rich Laboratory
Erin L Rich, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience
Office: HESS CSM 10-115
Office: 212.824.9304



Stable and dynamic representations of value in the prefrontal cortex

Enel, P, Wallis, JD, Rich EL.

BioRxiv, 2019.


From bed to bench side: reverse translation to optimize neuromodulation for mood disorders.

Rudebeck, P.H., Rich, E.L., Mayberg, H.S. 

Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2019 Dec;. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1902287116


Linking dynamic patterns of neural activity in orbitofrontal cortex with decision making.

Rich EL, Stoll FM, Rudebeck PH.

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2018 Apr;49:24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2017.11.002


Orbitofrontal cortex

Rudebeck PH, Rich EL.

Curr Biol. 2018 Sep 24;28(18):R1083-R1088. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.07.018


Caudate Microstimulation Increases Value of Specific Choices.

Santacruz SR, Rich EL, Wallis JD, Carmena JM. Curr Biol. 2017 Nov 6;27(21):3375-3383.e3. Epub 2017 Oct 26. PMID: 29107551

Spatiotemporal dynamics of information encoding revealed in orbitofrontal high-gamma. 

Rich EL, Wallis JD. Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 26;8(1):1139. PMID: 29074960


natneuro jul2016 coverDecoding subjective decisions from orbitofrontal cortex.
Rich EL, Wallis JD.
Nat Neurosci. 2016 Jul;19(7):973-80. doi: 10.1038/nn.4320. Epub 2016 Jun 6. PMID 27273768

                    Faculty of 1000 review

Commentary by Conen and Padoa-Schioppa

What stays the same in orbitofrontal cortex.
Rich EL, Wallis JD.
Nat Neurosci. 2016 May 26;19(6):768-70. doi: 10.1038/nn.4305. PMID: 27227365.


Medial-lateral organization of the orbitofrontal cortex.
Rich EL, Wallis JD.
J Cogn Neurosci. 2014 Jul;26(7):1347-62. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00573. Epub 2014 Jan 9. PMID: 24405106


Prefrontal-amygdala interactions underlying value coding.
Rich EL, Wallis JD.
Neuron. 2013 Dec 18;80(6):1344-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.11.027. PMID: 24360539


jpsychres coverStriatal activity in borderline personality disorder with comorbid intermittent explosive disorder: sex differences.
Perez-Rodriguez MM, Hazlett EA, Rich EL, Ripoll LH, Weiner DM, Spence N, Goodman M, Koenigsberg HW, Siever LJ, New AS.
J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jun;46(6):797-804. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.02.014. Epub 2012 Mar 29. PMID: 22464337


Challenges of Interpreting Frontal Neurons during Value-Based Decision-Making.
Wallis JD, Rich EL.
Front Neurosci. 2011 Nov 22;5:124. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2011.00124. eCollection 2011. PMID: 22125508

2009 & earlier

jneurosci jun2009 coverRat prefrontal cortical neurons selectively code strategy switches.
Rich EL, Shapiro M.
J Neurosci. 2009 Jun 3;29(22):7208-19. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6068-08.2009. PMID: 19494143

Faculty of 1000 review

jneurosci sept2008 coverThe neurotrophin-inducible gene Vgf regulates hippocampal function and behavior through a brain-derived neurotrophic factor-dependent mechanism.
Bozdagi O, Rich E, Tronel S, Sadahiro M, Patterson K, Shapiro ML, Alberini CM, Huntley GW, Salton SR.
J Neurosci. 2008 Sep 24;28(39):9857-69. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3145-08.2008. PMID: 18815270

Faculty of 1000 review

Prelimbic/infralimbic inactivation impairs memory for multiple task switches, but not flexible selection of familiar tasks.
Rich EL, Shapiro ML.
J Neurosci. 2007 Apr 25;27(17):4747-55. PMID: 17460087


Photoperiodically-induced changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis sensitivity in captive house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

Romero LM, Rich EL. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2007 Jun;147(2):562-8. Epub 2007 Feb 11. PMID: 17363309


Exposure to chronic stress downregulates corticosterone responses to acute stressors.

Rich EL, Romero LM. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2005 Jun;288(6):R1628-36. PMID: 15886358

                          Faculty of 1000 review


Daily and photoperiod variations of basal and stress-induced corticosterone concentrations in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

Rich EL, Romero LM. J Comp Physiol B. 2001 Oct;171(7):543-7. PMID: 11686612

Meet the Team

Feng-Kuei Chiang

Feng-Kuei Chiang

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am interested in cognitive functions of prefrontal cortex, which include working memory, hierarchical learning, and decision-making. Mainly, how prefrontal areas dynamically encode a series of actions/events under the sequential or hierarchical tasks.

feng-kuei.chiang (at) mssm (dot) edu

Pierre Enel

Pierre Enel

Postdoctoral Fellow

Computational modeling of decision circuits

pierre.enel (at) mssm (dot) edu

Joseph Simon

Joseph Simon

PhD Student

Social influences on decision-making

joseph.simon (at) mssm (dot) edu

Aster Perkins

Aster Perkins

PhD Student

Multi-attribute and mulit-option decision-making

aster.perkins (at) mssm (dot) edu

Alex Hurowitz

Alex Hurowitz

MS Student

Neural synchrony in prefrontal cortex

alex.hurowitz (at) mssm (dot) edu

Jonathan Chien

Jonathan Chien

MS Student

Valence coding in prefrontal cortex

jonathan.chien (at) mssm (dot) edu

Past Members

Zach Gillis

Zach Gillis

Research Assistant

Currently: Medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine

Abraham Abdulrazzak

MS Student

Jo Crimins

Key Collaborator

Rich Lab

Funding & Awards

2020 – 2025  R01 MH121480 Circuit mechanisms of self-organized cognitive strategies

2019  FBI Scholars Award, Joseph and Nancy DiSabato Research Scholar

(co-investigators Kanaka Rajan and Peter Rudebeck)  

Mount Sinai announcement

2018 -2021  Whitehall Foundation Research Grant

2018 -2020  NARSAD Young Investigator Award, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

2018  Schneider-Lesser Foundation Junior Faculty Fellowship

2015 – 2020  K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Development Award (NIDA, DA039351)