Ila R. Fiete

photo of Ila R. Fiete


  • Senior Fellow
  • Learning in Machines & Brains


  • University of Texas at Austin
Department of Neuroscience


  • United States


PhD (Physics), Harvard University
AM (Physics), Harvard University
BS (Mathematics and Physics), University of Michigan


Ila Fiete uses computational and theoretical approaches to understand the nature of distributed coding, error correction, and dynamical mechanisms that underlie representation, memory and computation in the brain.

She focuses on questions at the nexus of information and dynamics in neural systems, to understand how coding and statistics fundamentally constrain dynamics, and vice versa. She is working to understand the networks that underlie integration, memory and spatial navigation in the brain’s hippocampus and associated cortical areas, which contain place, head direction and grid cells.

Fiete obtained her PhD in physics at Harvard while transitioning into neuroscience under the guidance of Sebastian Seung at MIT. Her postdoctoral work was at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at Santa Barbara, and at Caltech, where she was a Broad fellow. Fiete is a fellow in the Center for Learning and Memory and the Center for Perceptual Systems at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Simons investigator as part of the SCGB.


Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar Award, 2016

Young Investigator Award, Office of Naval Research, 2013

McKnight Endowment Fund Scholar Award, 2011

Searle Scholar Award, 2010

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, 2009

Relevant Publications

Chaudhuri, R., and I.R. Fiete. "Associative content-addressable networks with exponentially many robust stable states." arXiv:1704.02019 (2017).

Chaudhuri, R., and I.R. Fiete. "Computational principles of memory." Nature Neuroscience 19 (2016): 394–403.

Kanitscheider, I., and I.R. Fiete. "Toward a comprehensive functional understanding of the brain's spatial navigation system." Current Opinion in Systems Biology 3 (2017): 186–94.

Yoon, K. et al. "Grid cell responses in 1D environments assessed as slices through a 2D lattice." Neuron 89, no. 5 (2016): 1086–1099.


Fiete Lab