Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist at the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery and the NYU Stern School of Business.
His research uses methods from neuroscience to understand the underlying mechanisms of our psychology.
In order to study the neural mechanisms of behavior, Dr. Cerf directly records the activity of individual nerve cells from the brains of patients undergoing neurosurgery. Using electrodes implanted deep inside patients' brains for clinical purposes, Dr. Cerf is able to study the ways in which thoughts and memories are formed in our brains, the underlying mechanisms of emotion regulation, how our brains determine whether contents are interesting and engaging, and how free will affects our choices and decision making processes. He holds multiple patents and his works have been published in wide-circulation journals such as Nature, Science, as well as Scientific American Mind and leading neuroscience journals.
Prior to his career in opening and studying brains, Dr. Cerf worked as a hacker for various security companies, breaking into banks and financial institutions to test their vulnerabilities. He held positions as software developer, team leader, CTO, and security architect for several NASDAQ companies. His adventures as a hacker and its application to everyday mysteries has been featured in radio and television programs internationally.
Dr. Cerf has had additional short-lived careers as a furniture-designer, a pilot, an inventor, a radio host, and a filmmaker.
Additionally, he is the Alfred P. Sloan professor at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles, where he teaches an annual screenwriting class on science writing in film.
Dr. Cerf has a PhD in neuroscience from Caltech, a BSc in Physics and an MA in Philosophy of Science from Tel Aviv University.
He is right-handed.