Hi! I'm Marcelo Mattar, a neuroscientist working with Nathaniel Daw at Princeton and Máté Lengyel at Cambridge.
I use theoretical and experimental approaches to understand how we simulate the future to guide our decisions.

Starting in July 2020, I will be an Assistant Professor at the Department of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego. Please contact me if you would like to join my lab as a research assistant, PhD student, or postdoc.


Visit my Google Scholar page for an updated list of publications, or my GitHub for code relevant to previous and current projects.


  • Patterns of Neural Oscillations in Emotional Memory Discrimination (2019)
    Marcelo G Mattar, Deborah Talmi

  • Effective learning is accompanied by high-dimensional and efficient representations of neural activity (2019)
    Evelyn Tang, Marcelo G Mattar, Chad Giusti, Sharon L Thompson-Schill, Danielle S Bassett
    Nature Neuroscience

  • Reward prediction error does not explain movement selectivity in DMS-projecting dopamine neurons (2019)
    Rachel S Lee, Marcelo G Mattar, Nathan F Parker, Ilana B Witten, Nathaniel D Daw

  • Prioritized memory access explains planning and hippocampal replay (2018)
    Marcelo G Mattar, Nathaniel D Daw
    Nature Neuroscience

  • Adaptation decorrelates shape representations (2018)
    Marcelo G Mattar*, Maria Olkkonen*, Russell A Epstein, Geoffrey K Aguirre
    Nature Communications
    *Equal contribution

  • Individual differences in response precision correlate with adaptation bias (2018)
    Marcelo G Mattar, Marie V Carter, Marc S Zebrowitz, Sharon L Thompson-Schill, and Geoffrey K Aguirre
    Journal of Vision

  • The network architecture of value learning (2018)
    Marcelo G Mattar, Sharon L Thompson-Schill, Danielle S Bassett
    Network Neuroscience

  • Predicting future learning from baseline network architecture (2018)
    Marcelo G Mattar, Nicholas F Wymbs, Andrew S Bock, Geoffrey K Aguirre, Scott T Grafton, Danielle S Bassett

  • Brain State Flexibility Accompanies Motor-Skill Acquisition (2018)
    Pranav G Reddy, Marcelo G Mattar, Andrew C Murphy, Nicholas F Wymbs, Scott T Grafton, Theodore D Satterthwaite, Danielle S Bassett

  • The Energy Landscape Underpinning Module Dynamics in the Human Brain Connectome (2017)
    Arian Ashourvan, Shi Gu, Marcelo G Mattar, Jean M Vettel, Danielle S Bassett

  • A network neuroscience of human learning: Potential to inform quantitative theories of brain and behavior (2017)
    Danielle S Bassett, Marcelo G Mattar
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences

  • Optimal trajectories of brain state transitions (2017)
    Shi Gu, Richard F Betzel, Marcelo G Mattar, Matthew Cieslak, Philip R Delio, Scott T Grafton, Fabio Pasqualetti, Danielle S Bassett

  • Beyond modularity: Fine-scale mechanisms and rules for brain network reconfiguration (2017)
    Ankit N Khambhati, Marcelo G Mattar, Nicholas F Wymbs, Scott T Grafton, Danielle S Bassett

  • The flexible brain (2016)
    Marcelo G Mattar*, Richard F Betzel*, Danielle S Bassett
    *Equal contribution

  • Varying timescales of stimulus integration unite neural adaptation and prototype formation (2016)
    Marcelo G Mattar*, David A Kahn*, Sharon L Thompson-Schill, Geoffrey K Aguirre
    Current Biology
    *Equal contribution

  • Structural pathways supporting swift acquisition of new visuomotor skills (2016)
    Ari E Kahn, Marcelo G Mattar, Jean M Vettel, Nicholas F Wymbs, Scott T Grafton, Danielle S Bassett
    Cerebral Cortex

  • Functional network dynamics of the language system (2016)
    Lucy R Chai, Marcelo G Mattar, Idan Asher Blank, Evelina Fedorenko, Danielle S Bassett
    Cerebral Cortex

  • A functional cartography of cognitive systems (2015)
    Marcelo G Mattar, Michael W Cole, Sharon L Thompson-Schill, Danielle S Bassett
    PLoS computational biology

  • Simultaneous perceptual and response biases on sequential face attractiveness judgments (2015)
    Teresa K Pegors*, Marcelo G Mattar*, Peter B Bryan, Russell A Epstein
    Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
    *Equal contribution

  • RSVP in orbit: Identification of single and dual targets in motion (2012)
    Brad Wyble, Mary C Potter, Marcelo G Mattar
    Attention, Perception, &amp Psychophysics

  • de Bruijn cycles for neural decoding (2012)
    Geoffrey K Aguirre, Marcelo G Mattar, Lucía Magis-Weinberg