Kyle S. Smith

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Director of Graduate Studies

I conduct research on how the brain works to generate reward, motivation, actions, and habits. My work incorporates techniques to record neural activity, modulate neuronal activity at sub-second timescales, study brain chemistry, and map brain connections. The research is relevant to understanding disorders of reward and action, like addiction, Parkinson’s disease, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders.


Moore Hall, Room 266
HB 6207


Psychological and Brain Sciences


  • B.A., Indiana University
  • M.S., University of Michigan
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • Post-doc, M.I.T.

Selected Publications

  • Graybiel AM, Smith KS (2014).  How the brain makes and breaks habits.  Scientific American, June issue (cover article).  Link to site.

  • Smith KS, Graybiel AM (2014). Investigating habits:  strategies, technologies, and models.  Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8:39.  Link to article.

  • Smith KS, Graybiel AM (2013). A dual operator view of habitual behavior reflecting cortical and striatal dynamics. Neuron, 79(2):361-74.  (Link for video abstract)

  • Smith KS, Graybiel AM (2013). Using optogenetics to study habits. Brain Research, 1511:102-14.

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