Jean-Claude Dreher

Jean-Claude Dreher
Visiting Professor of Neuroscience

Jean-Claude Dreher studied Mathematics and Neuroscience in Paris. After a postdoctoral training at the NIMH and NINDS at the NIH (USA), he joined the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique ( as a research scientist. He is currently the PI of the Neuroeconomics, Reward and Decision making team at the Institut des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod, Lyon ( 

Research Interests

My laboratory investigates the neural mechanisms underlying decision making, motivation and reward processing in humans, using concepts from cognitive neuroscience, psychology and behavioral economics. We use experimental tools such as model-based functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, intracranial electrophysiological recordings and pharmacological manipulations to understand the computational processes involved when making a choice. Our goals are to understand the functional organization of the prefrontal cortex in humans, the various functions that the reward dopaminergic system exerts on cognition and motivation and the neural mechanisms underlying dysfunctions of these two systems in patients with neurological or psychiatric illnesses (Parkinson’s disease, patients with focal prefrontal cortex lesions, schizophrenia and pathological gambling). In parallel, we are also studying how individual variations in hormones and genes influence reward processing and decision-making.


  • Post-doctorate, CBDB, NIMH, NIH
  • Post-doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience, NINDS, NIH
  • PhD, Cognitive Neuroscience, Paris VI University Laboratory
  • MA, Cognitive Science, Paris XI University
  • MA, Mathematics, University of Paris Sud (Paris XI)


Recent Publications

  • Domenech P, Redouté J, Koechlin E, Dreher JC, The neuro-computational architecture of value-based selection in the human brain, Cerebral Cortex, (1) Volume 28, Issue 2, 1 Feb. 2018, Pages 585-601,
  • Qu, C, Ligneul R, Van der Hernst, Dreher JC, An integrative interdisciplinary perspective on social dominance hierarchies, Trends in Cognitive Science,
  • Park S, Goiame S, O'Connor D and Dreher J-C, Integration of individual and social information for decision-making in groups of different sizes, Plos Biology, 28;15(6):e2001958.doi: 10.1371/journal/.pbio.2001958. eCollection 2017
  • Dreher JC, Dunne S, Pazderska A, Frodl T, Nolan J.J, O'Doherty J.O, Testosterone CAuses Both Prosocial and Antisocial Status-enhancing Behaviours in Human Males, PNAS USA, Oct 11, Vol 113, 41, 2016
  • Ligneul R, Obeso I, Ruff C and Dreher J-C, Dynamical representation of dominance relationships in the human rostromedial prefrontal cortex, Current Biology 26, 1-9, 2016
  • Y Li, G Vanni-Mercier, F Mauguière, J Isnard and Dreher J-C, Reward risk coding in the orbitofrontal cortex. An intracranial recording study in humans, 139(Pt 4):1295-309, Brain, 2016
  • "Decision Neuroscience", Academic Press, Elsevier, 422 pages, 2016
  • "Handbook of Reward and decision making", Academic Press, Elsevier, 488 pages, 2009