Welcome to the lab
Our team studies the neural mechanisms underlying social interaction.
What brain mechanisms enable us to interact with others?
Our brains were evolved to deal with increasing demands of social interactions. Social behaviors are reward-driven, whether their motivating factors are physical rewards, such as food and sex, or more abstract rewards, such as vicarious experience and interpersonal reputation. Investigating how the brain computes social preferences and mediates prosocial and antisocial decisions can offer an ecologically valid and efficient way to understand the brain. In particular, studying how the brain computes social information during dynamic and contingent interactions will likely reveal novel insights into the neural mechanisms underlying social behaviors. Elucidating these neural mechanisms will ultimately help treat social deficits in numerous psychiatric disorders. In addressing these issues, our laboratory focuses on how the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala signal social decisions and mediate social gaze dynamics. We apply both neurophysiological and neuropharmacological approaches during real-life social interactions as well as functional neuroimaging techniques in humans while they make value-based social decisions.