Read Montague


Office phone: 540-526-2006

Office location: R-1107

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Read Montague, Ph.D.

Virginia Tech Carilion Vernon Mountcastle Research Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Director, Human Neuroimaging Laboratory

Director, Computational Psychiatry Unit

Professor, Department of Physics, College of Science

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, School of Medicine

Read Montague’s work focuses on computational neuroscience – the connection between physical mechanisms present in real neural tissue and the computational functions that these mechanisms embody. His early theoretical work focused on the hypothesis that dopaminergic systems encode a particular kind of computational process, a reward prediction error signal, similar to those used in areas of artificial intelligence like optimal control. In pursuit of testing these ideas in humans, Montague founded the Human Neuroimaging Lab at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and pursued functional neuroimaging experiments analogous to those used in other model species. From 2005 to 2006, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he focused on game theory and its potential use as a probe of psychopathology. In 2006, he was the founding director of the Computational Psychiatry Unit at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2011, Montague moved to the department of physics at Virginia Tech, received a Principal Research Fellowship from The Wellcome Trust, and became a principal at The Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London (UCL). At UCL, he also serves as adjunct faculty at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit and participating faculty member of the University College London/Max Planck Institute Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing. He is actively engaged in translating computational neuroscience into the domain of mental health through work in Computational Psychiatry. His group has recently pioneered new approaches to sub-second neurotransmitter measurements in conscious humans. Over the past decade, he was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Neuroscience and Law with a particular interest in the mental states project(s). His laboratory uses theoretical, computational, and experimental approaches to the problems of mental health and its derangement by disease and injury. Work in the laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, The Kane Family Foundation, Autism Speaks, The MacArthur Foundation, The Dana Foundation, and The Wellcome Trust.

For a more complete listing of Read Montague's publications, visit PubMed.

Education and Training

  • The Salk Institute: Postdoctoral fellowship
  • Rockefeller University: Postdoctoral fellowship
  • University of Alabama Birmingham: PhD , Biophysics

Previous Positions

  • Baylor College of Medicine
    Brown Foundation Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry
    Director, Human Neuroimaging Lab
    Director, Computational Psychiatry Unit

Awards and Honors

  • William R. and Irene D. Miller Lectureship, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2011–2012
  • Network Member, The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience, 2011-2015
  • Walter Gilbert Award, Auburn University, 2011
  • Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship, 2011-2018
  • Kavli Fellow, U.S.-China Frontiers of Science, National Academy of Science, 2010

Selected Publications

Euler S, Nolte T, Constantinou M, Griem J, Montague PR, Fonagy P. (2019). Interpersonal Problems in Borderline Personality Disorder: Associations with Mentalizing, Emotion Regulation, and Impulsiveness. Journal of Personality Disorders : 1-17.

Luo Y, Hétu S, Lohrenz T, Hula A, Dayan P, Ramey SL, Sonnier-Netto L, Lisinski J, LaConte S, Nolte T, Fonagy P, Rahmani E, Montague PR, Ramey C. (2018). Early childhood investment impacts social decision-making four decades later. Nature Communications 9(1): 4705.

Hula A, Vilares I, Dayan P, Montague PR. (2018). A Model of Risk and Mental State Shifts During Social Interaction. PLOS Computational Biology 14(2): e1005935.