Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • NIH Director's New Innovator Award, National Institute of Health (2020-2025)
  • Whitehall Foundation Research Grant, Whitehall Foundation (2020-2023)
  • Sloan Research Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2019 - 2021)
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, Brain and Behavior Foundation (2017 - 2019)
  • SFARI Bridge to Independence Award, Simon's Foundation (2016 - 2022)
  • Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award, Society for Neuroscience and The Gruber Foundation (2015)

Program Affiliations

  • Symbolic Systems Program

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, Neurobiology

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Our laboratory studies the mechanisms by which highly complex behaviors are mediated at the neuronal level, mainly focusing on the example of dynamic social interactions and the neural circuits that drive them. From dyadic interactions to group dynamics and collective decision making, the lab seeks a mechanistic understanding for the fundamental building blocks of societies, such as cooperation, empathy, fairness and reciprocity.

The computations underlying social interactions are highly distributed across many brain areas. Our lab is interested in which specific areas are involved in a particular function, why such an architecture arises and how activity in multiple networks is coordinated. Our goal is to develop a roadmap of the social brain and use it for guiding restorative treatments for conditions in which social behavior is impaired, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and Schizophrenia.


We have open positions for currently enrolled graduate students (through available rotation opportunities) and prospective postdoctoral fellows (supported by federal funding) for studying the neuronal basis of dynamic social interactions. We perform cutting-edge large-scale recordings and targeted perturbation in rich social tasks based on game-theory combined with advanced analytical approaches, brain-computer interface, machine vision and deep learning to understand the single neuron and population level underpinnings of complex social computations. We are looking to recruit bright, highly motivated, and friendly individuals with strong interest (for students) or background (for postdoctoral applicants) in neurophysiology and/or computation. Individuals from groups under-represented in STEM are especially encouraged to apply. For more details, please email Keren Haroush directly at

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

Graduate and Fellowship Programs

All Publications

  • Toward a neurobiological model of human performance under pressure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Saikley, A., Haroush, K. 2021; 118 (36)

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2113777118

    View details for PubMedID 34470823

  • Current practices in nutrition management and disease incidence of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Journal of medical primatology Goodroe, A., Wachtman, L., Benedict, W., Allen-Worthington, K., Bakker, J., Burns, M., Diaz, L. L., Dick, E., Dickerson, M., Eliades, S. J., Gonzalez, O., Graf, D., Haroush, K., Inoue, T., Izzi, J., Laudano, A., Layne-Colon, D., Leblanc, M., Ludwig, B., Mejia, A., Miller, C., Sarfaty, A., Sosa, M., Vallender, E., Brown, C., Forney, L., Schultz-Darken, N., Colman, R., Power, M., Capuano, S., Ross, C., Tardif, S. 2021


    BACKGROUND: A survey was developed to characterize disease incidence, common pathology lesions, environmental characteristics, and nutrition programs within captive research marmoset colonies.METHODS: Seventeen research facilities completed the electronic survey.RESULTS: Nutritional management programs varied amongst research institutions housing marmosets; eight primary base diets were reported. The most common clinical syndromes reported were gastrointestinal disease (i.e. inflammatory bowel disease like disease, chronic lymphocytic enteritis, chronic malabsorption, chronic diarrhea), metabolic bone disease or fracture, infectious diarrhea, and oral disease (tooth root abscesses, gingivitis, tooth root resorption). The five most common pathology morphologic diagnoses were colitis, nephropathy/nephritis, enteritis, chronic lymphoplasmacytic enteritis, and cholecystitis. Obesity was more common (average 20% of a reporting institution's population) than thin body condition (average 5%).CONCLUSIONS: Through review of current practices, we aim to inspire development of evidence-based practices to standardize husbandry and nutrition practices for marmoset research colonies.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jmp.12525

    View details for PubMedID 33913156

  • Dorsolateral prefrontal neurons mediate subjective decisions and their variation in humans NATURE NEUROSCIENCE Jamali, M., Grannan, B., Haroush, K., Moses, Z. B., Eskandar, E. N., Herrington, T., Patel, S., Williams, Z. M. 2019; 22 (6): 1010-+
  • Dorsolateral prefrontal neurons mediate subjective decisions and their variation in humans. Nature neuroscience Jamali, M., Grannan, B., Haroush, K., Moses, Z. B., Eskandar, E. N., Herrington, T., Patel, S., Williams, Z. M. 2019


    Subjective decisions play a vital role in human behavior because, while often grounded in fact, they are inherently based on personal beliefs that can vary broadly within and between individuals. While these properties set subjective decisions apart from many other sensorimotor processes and are of wide sociological impact, their single-neuronal basis in humans is unknown. Here we find cells in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) that reflect variations in the subjective decisions of humans when performing opinion-based tasks. These neurons changed their activities gradually as the participants transitioned between choice options but also reflected their unique point of conversion at equipoise. Focal disruption of the dlPFC, by contrast, diminished gradation between opposing decisions but had little effect on sensory perceptual choices or their motor report. These findings suggest that the human dlPFC plays an important role in subjective decisions and propose a mechanism for mediating their variation during opinion formation.

    View details for PubMedID 31011224

  • Neuronal Prediction of Opponent's Behavior during Cooperative Social Interchange in Primates CELL Haroush, K., Williams, Z. M. 2015; 160 (6): 1233-1245


    A cornerstone of successful social interchange is the ability to anticipate each other's intentions or actions. While generating these internal predictions is essential for constructive social behavior, their single neuronal basis and causal underpinnings are unknown. Here, we discover specific neurons in the primate dorsal anterior cingulate that selectively predict an opponent's yet unknown decision to invest in their common good or defect and distinct neurons that encode the monkey's own current decision based on prior outcomes. Mixed population predictions of the other was remarkably near optimal compared to behavioral decoders. Moreover, disrupting cingulate activity selectively biased mutually beneficial interactions between the monkeys but, surprisingly, had no influence on their decisions when no net-positive outcome was possible. These findings identify a group of other-predictive neurons in the primate anterior cingulate essential for enacting cooperative interactions and may pave a way toward the targeted treatment of social behavioral disorders.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2015.01.045

    View details for Web of Science ID 000351951800021

    View details for PubMedID 25728667

  • Hearing While Blinking: Multisensory Attentional Blink Revisited JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Haroush, K., Deouell, L. Y., Hochstein, S. 2011; 31 (3): 922-927


    It is well established that cognitive system overload is reflected in the attentional blink (AB), the failure to report a second target when it closely follows detection of a first target within a rapid series of stimuli. However, there is intense controversy concerning the effect of first-target detection in one modality on subsequent dynamics of attentional resources in other modalities. Mixed results were found using an audiovisual AB paradigm: depletion of resources in one modality either impaired performance in the other modality or had no effect. Here, we circumvent the need for task switching by measuring an event-related potential, the mismatch negativity, which reflects implicit auditory change detection without requiring task engagement and is present even for background sounds that participants ignore. Surprisingly, we find that during the visual AB, auditory processing is enhanced rather than inhibited, as would be expected by system overload. We suggest that multimodal attentional resources may be freed rather than engaged during the visual AB. Suppression of irrelevant input may require active control by a central executive, which is preoccupied during the visual AB, and/or there may be no reason to suppress other-modal input since the visual system will miss its second target anyway.

    View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0420-10.2011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286373700017

    View details for PubMedID 21248117

  • Momentary Fluctuations in Allocation of Attention: Cross-modal Effects of Visual Task Load on Auditory Discrimination JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE Haroush, K., Hochstein, S., Deouell, L. Y. 2010; 22 (7): 1440-1451


    Even when our attention is dedicated to an important task, background processes monitor the environment for significant events. The mismatch negativity (MMN) event-related potential is thought to reflect such a monitoring process. Nevertheless, there is continuing debate concerning the susceptibility of the MMN to attentional manipulation. We investigated the trial-by-trial relationship between brain activity related to change detection, reflected in the MMN, and visual psychophysical performance--while varying task difficulty. We find that auditory change detection is indeed "automatic" in that MMN remains robust despite increasing (visual) task load. However, the MMN amplitude and latency are susceptible to both visual load and to momentary attentional fluctuations as reflected in success or failure to identify a following visual target. We conclude that background central auditory processing is sensitive to the demands of a visual task, and fluctuates based on moment-to-moment allocation of attentional resources to the visual task.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279057500007

    View details for PubMedID 19580389