People

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Ifat Levy, PhD

Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine and of Neuroscience

I am interested in the neural mechanisms underlying decision-making in humans, in individual differences in these mechanisms, and in the possible contribution of decision traits to pathological behavior. Our research focuses on decision-making under uncertainty, and on value learning and encoding. To study these topics we combine behavioral economics methods with functional MRI, as well as eye tracking and physiological measurements.

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Helen Pushkarskaya, PhD

Associate Research Scientist in Comparative Medicine

Dr. Pushkarskaya focuses on neurobiology of individual differences in decision making under uncertainty (risk, ambiguity, conflict and ignorance) in healthy and clinical populations. The most recent group of projects investigates abnormal patterns in preferences toward uncertainty in Obsessive Compulsive and Hoarding disorders. She received her undergraduate training in Math and Physics at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and postdoctoral training in...

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Lital Ruderman, PhD

Associate Research Scientist

I joined the decision lab as a postdoctoral associate in 2010, after graduating with a PhD in cognitive psychology from Tel Aviv University in Israel. My current projects revolve around decision making under uncertainty across the lifespan and across different modalities, using behavioral and brain imaging techniques. I am also interested in working with special populations, such as veterans who suffer from PTSD. When I am not in the lab I enjoy taking thousands of pictures of my daughter and...

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Haley Yarosh, PhD

Lecturer in Psychiatry

I joined the decision lab as a postdoc in 2012 to study the neurobiology of risky and impulsive decision making. My current projects include a) using GSR to understand physiological responses to decision-making under risk and uncertainty, b) the role of impulsivity, and the effect of stress on these decisions and c) understanding the effect of social cues on decision-making behavior. I graduated from Emory University in 2007 with a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, and completed my...

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Zhihao Zhang

Graduate Student

I am a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at Yale. Prior to Yale, I received my B.S. in biological sciences from Tsinghua University, China. I am interested in the neural representation of reward and punishment, the behavioral and neural bases of complex social behavior, the neural processing of food-associated stimuli in naturalistic contexts, as well as reward learning in obesity.

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Daniel Ehrlich

Postgraduate Research Associate

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Ishtiaq Mawla

Undergraduate

I am a rising senior at Connecticut College and this is my second year at the Levy decision-making lab. My work in the lab explores the neural processes behind primary food rewards in obese individuals, specifically in the context of health messaging and consumer advertising. I am also interested in a number of behavioral economics topics, particularly the role of effort in valuation (IKEA effect). When I am not working, I tweet (and retweet) posts about science and love to experiment with...

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Venkat Lakshminarayanan

Visting Researcher

I'm a Visiting Researcher with the Levy Lab. After receiving my B.A. from Yale University in 2004 and my PhD from Yale University in 2012, I completed a post-doc in Greg McCarthy’s Human Neuroscience Lab. My doctoral thesis work investigated whether non-human primates share our economic biases.

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Alumni