Lab Director

Associate Professor
Research Areas: neuro­economics, consumer neuroscience, behavioral economics
[Curriculum Vitae] [Faculty Page]
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Postdoctoral Scholar

Zhihao is primarily interested in applying insights and methodologies from neuroeconomics to understand marketing and consumer behavior. In particular, he aims at elucidating the cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms by which memories about different aspects of past experiences (e.g. of products, services, or social interactions) shape future decisions. Meanwhile, Zhihao also collaborates with Dr. Andrew Kayser at Department of Neurology, UCSF to study molecular influences on strategic reasoning in humans. Zhihao received his B.S. from Tsinghua University in 2010 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2016.
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Postdoctoral Scholar

My primary interest is to better understand human social interactions. By looking into decisions with social context, I examine different factors that are critical to the individual's choice behavior. These include motivations, the anticipation of outcomes, choice valuation and selection, and response to outcomes. In particular, I'm fascinated to know what are the underlying cognitive mechanisms of disclosure behavior, whether the human brain encodes for a dedicated value in those situations, and how can learn to avoid bad decisions (e.g. regretful exposure) when we exchange information with others. I have a Master (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) and a Ph.D. (University of Geneva) degrees in Neuroscience. I am supported by generous funding from Swiss National Fund.
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PhD Student

Nick is a PhD student in the Cognitive Neuroscience group in Psychology. He is interested in the intersection of social and economic decision-making. His research aims to characterize the neural mechanisms underlying competitive and cooperative behavior using machine learning pattern classification methods, and modulating dopamine systems using pharmacological tools. Nick received his B.A. from Rutgers University and M.S. from the University of Oxford.
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Lab Manager

My current research interests are twofold. Broadly speaking, I am interested in (1) value-based decision making as it relates to the pursuit of long-term, health related goals and (2) characterizing the effects of drug use on decision making processes at the behavioral and neuronal level, using fMRI and pharmacological assays. As a lab manager, I look forward to further exploring the full scope of neuroeconomics research and expanding my cache of skills and analysis techniques in preparation for graduate school. I received my B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oregon.
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Undergraduate Researchers
Emma Besier
Wicia Fang
Siyana Hristova
Rachel Hu
Vera Kulikov
Debbie Liang
Samira Maboudian
Shirin Mollah
Aniruddha Nrusimha
Mariana Vazquez
Peter Wang
Christopher Wong
Christine Zhu

Recent Placements

Postdoctoral Researchers

Adrianna Jenkins: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 2018.
Ignacio Saez: Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, Davis, 2018.


Kenji Kobayashi (PhD 2017). Postdoctoral scholar, Columbia University
Eric Set (PhD 2017), Assistant Professor of Practice, NYU Shanghai
Yu-Ping Chen (PhD 2015). Assistant Professor, College of Management, National Taiwan University
Lusha Zhu (PhD 2012). Assistant Professor, Peking University Institute of Biological Sciences

Postbacs & Undergraduates

Weilun Ding (Postbac 2018). Caltech
Pierre Karaschuk (BS 2017). University of Washington. NSF Graduate Fellowship Award.
Daniel Wong (BS 2017). University of California, San Francisco
Joshua Moller-Mara (BS 2013). NYU Shanghai