Dr. Uri Maoz, who joined Chapman University in 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Computational Neuroscience at Crean College and at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Brain and Behavioral Sciences, investigates these and similar topics. His research lies at the intersection of volition, decision-making, and moral choice. He uses a combination of empirical techniques (e.g., EEG, intracranial recordings, behavioral studies) and theoretical modeling to develop a computational account of volition, with an emphasis on the decision-making processes that lead to voluntary action and on the role of consciousness in such processes. In particular, he uses machine-learning to carry out online, real-time, closed-loop analysis of neural data, as it is recorded. He is further interested in the legal, ethical, conceptual, and economic implications of this work.
Dr. Maoz earned a B.Sc. in computer science and general humanistic studies and a Ph.D. in neural computation from the Hebrew University. As part of his graduate studies, he was a visiting student at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Collège de France. He was then a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech and at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Later, he was a researcher at the Department of Neurosurgery at UCLA and then faculty at the Department of Psychology there. He serves as a Visiting Professor at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine and Anderson School of Management as well as a Visiting Visiting Associate in Biology and Bioengineering at Caltech. He also directs a large, international project comprising 17 neuroscientists and philosophers, who aim to understand how the brain enables conscious control of human decisions and actions.