First Person | Ann Graybiel

Courtesy of MIT

Talk to neuroscientist Ann Graybiel for a short period of time and she immediately generates certain impressions: The words tenacious, steadfast, and curious come to mind. Since 1971, Graybiel has stayed the course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying basal ganglia, discerning their architecture and describing their neurochemical organization. Known to the press as the woman who studies how behavior becomes habit, Graybiel is content where she is. "I haven't felt compelled to go someplace else. Right now, MIT is bursting with energy for neuroscience."

With 200-plus papers to her credit, as well as the National Medal of Science, Graybiel also seems an ideal lab head: She declined to name her favorite papers, a standard question of this feature. She didn't want to offend any of her coworkers by choosing one over another.

What questions were neuroscientists asking when you started?...

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