Aron Barbey

Aron Barbey
Aron Barbey
  • Professor
  • Professor of Psychology
(217) 244-2551
2251 Beckman Institute

Primary Research Area

  • Bioimaging at Multi-Scale

For More Information


Aron Keith Barbey is the Mildred Francis Thompson Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, and the Decision Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He began his career at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2011, where he was promoted to full professor in 2019. Dr. Barbey maintains an affiliation with the Bioengineering Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research investigates the neural mechanisms of human intelligence and decision making, with particular emphasis on enhancing these functions through cognitive neuroscience, physical fitness, and nutritional intervention. His research has been supported by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the White House BRAIN Initiative, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and private industry (Abbott Nutrition, Google Brain, and PepsiCo). Dr. Barbey has received multiple research awards and is the editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence and Cognitive Neuroscience and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Enhancement and Brain Plasticity. He earned his doctorate in Psychology from Emory University and completed a research fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health.


  • Ph.D., Psychology, Emory University

Academic Positions

  • Affiliate, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
  • Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
  • Professor, Department of Bioengineering
  • Professor, Department of Psychology

Journal Editorships

  • Associate Editor, Cortex
  • Editorial Board, Intelligence
  • Editorial Board, Thinking & Reasoning
  • Editorial Board, Trends in Neuroscience and Education

Research Interests

  • Our research investigates the principles of brain organization that underlie executive control, reasoning and decision making. Through a combination of human behavioral, computational modeling, functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and neuropsychological patient data, we seek to uncover the mechanisms that shape higher cognitive processes and to develop predictive models of brain function that link neural systems to specific patterns of inference and behavior. An important motivation for our work is the development of a theoretically sound foundation for research on the relationship between disturbances of brain function and their manifestation as disorders of thought and behavior in psychiatric illness and neurological disease.

Primary Research Area

  • Bioimaging at Multi-Scale

Selected Articles in Journals