We are interested in how single neurons, neuronal circuits and networks of heterogeneous brain areas enable intelligent, goal-directed behaviors through evolutionary history. With this interest in comparative neurophysiology, we work with highly-astute, but distantly-related primate and avian species. In these species, we study the neuronal foundations of cognitive representations and control functions in the cortical/pallial endbrain. To decipher the principles of complex cognitive brain functions in these behaving animals, we incorporate behavioral, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and modelling approaches. Among our core research topics are numerical capabilities, working memory, volitional behaviors, and conscious processes. All of these processes are important for retaining and achieving internally maintained goals, which is central to adaptive, purpose-driven behavior.