Our goal is to ask big questions. We hope the answers will help us improve health and well-being, enhance business, and build a better society.

Our lab tries to understand how the brain makes decisions and motivates behavior. We are interested in why different people make different kinds of decisions. And we are keen to know why people sometimes make very similar, and sometimes very different, decisions than animals. 

Our work is motivated by ethology, evolutionary biology, and economics, with a focus on how specific features of the physical and social environment have shaped the biological mechanisms that help us make decisions.

We are especially interested in the processes that allow people and other animals to make decisions when the environment is ambiguous or complicated by the presence of other individuals.

We use an array of techniques, including psychophysics, intracranial recordings, brain stimulation, pharmacology, eye tracking, pupillometry, brain imaging, genomics, and epigenomics to answer these questions.

An important goal is to translate some of these techniques into wearable devices that will allow us to take neuroscience into both natural and consumer environments.

 

Our approach

Everyone has a talent and everyone has something to contribute. 

It often takes patience, a little coaxing, and some freedom to develop and express that talent. In my experience, people can be inspired by others and in particular by knowing that their thoughts and opinions matter and are accorded due weight. Seeing each person as a full human being, and not as a widget, is key.

Much of the creative work we have done as a group emerged from our diversity of backgrounds, experience, and ways of thinking.