Dr. Ashby directs the Laboratory for Computational Cognitive Neuroscience and is interested in basic cognitive and neural processes of human learning and memory. As a vehicle for studying these processes, his research focuses on understanding how people categorize perceptual objects in their environment. Dr. Ashby's approach is to collect a wide varity of empirical data (e.g., from cognitive behavioral experiments, fMRI experiments, and studies with various neuropsychological patient groups), and use these data to develop and test neurobiologically detailed mathematical models. Typically the models are spiking neural networks that learn via biologically-motivated synaptic plasticity. Thus, Dr. Ashby's research combines a three-pronged approach: empirical data collection, cognitive neuroscience, and mathematical modeling.