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Modeling the social brain

Thursday, December 10, 2020 – 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Dr. Xiaosi Gu, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Department of Neuroscience, Director of the Computational Psychiatry Unit, Friedman Brain Institute & Addiction Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


This presentation describes our recent work demonstrating how the brain computes norms and social controllability. Leveraging recent advances in decision neuroscience, our social models address questions related to how we form beliefs about social norms and how we use model-based planning to influence others and estimate the controllability of our social interactions.


Computational modeling approaches can break down a seemingly subjective and complex mental process (e.g. such as our beliefs about people) into detailed cognitive components. Furthermore, you can create simulations as well as make predictions about how people might behave, given a set of defined parameters.


Prerequisites include a good understanding of the decision neuroscience and cognitive modeling literature, and some basic programming skills in Matlab, R, or Stan. We are glad to openly share anonymized data and codes. Feel free to contact us at:
Reference publications:;
Computational Psychiatry Unit at Mount Sinai:
Computational Psychiatry Summer Course:
Computational Psychiatry Journal:

Registration Information

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MAPs: Methods And Primers for Computational Psychiatry and Neuroeconomics