Jeffrey Beck

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology

We study neural coding and computation from a theoretical perspective with particular emphasis on probabilistic reasoning and decision making under uncertainty, complex behavioral modeling, computational models of cortical circuits and circuit function, dynamics of spiking neural networks, and statistical analysis of neural and behavioral data.  Previous work has been largely concerned with sensory-motor transformations and neural representations of complex stimuli such as odors.  More recently, we have been focusing on developing non-linear latent state space models of neural networks as standard linear models are incapable of generating even very simple behaviors.  

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Contact Information

  • Office Location: Bryan Research Building, 311 Research Drive Room 301H, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: (919) 684-4742
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. Northwestern University, 2003

Courses Taught

  • NEUROBIO 393: Research Independent Study
  • NEUROBIO 730: Statistics for Neuroscience
  • NEUROBIO 793: Research in Neurobiology

Representative Publications

  • Beck, Jeff. “Markov blankets and Bayesian territories.” Behav Brain Sci 45 (September 29, 2022): e187.
  • Lange, Richard D., Ankani Chattoraj, Jeffrey M. Beck, Jacob L. Yates, and Ralf M. Haefner. “A confirmation bias in perceptual decision-making due to hierarchical approximate inference.” Plos Comput Biol 17, no. 11 (November 2021): e1009517.
  • Toader, Andrew C., Hrishikesh M. Rao, Minyoung Ryoo, Martin O. Bohlen, Jessi S. Cruger, Hanna Oh-Descher, Silvia Ferrari, Tobias Egner, Jeff Beck, and Marc A. Sommer. “Probabilistic inferential decision-making under time pressure in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).” J Comp Psychol 133, no. 3 (August 2019): 380–96.
  • Jin, Miaomiao, Jeffrey M. Beck, and Lindsey L. Glickfeld. “Neuronal Adaptation Reveals a Suboptimal Decoding of Orientation Tuned Populations in the Mouse Visual Cortex.” J Neurosci 39, no. 20 (May 15, 2019): 3867–81.
  • Tao, Liangyu, Siddhi Ozarkar, Jeffrey M. Beck, and Vikas Bhandawat. “Statistical structure of locomotion and its modulation by odors.” Elife 8 (January 8, 2019).