Meet Our Team

Principal Investigator

Anita Tusche

Dr. Anita Tusche – I have completed my PhD in Psychology in Berlin (Germany) and continued my research as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Max-Planck-Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Germany) and at the California Institute of Technology (USA).
My research program is part of an exciting, newly emerging field called neuroeconomics. My ultimate goal is to build neurally informed computational models of human decision-making that explain differences in people’s choice behaviors (e.g. dietary choice, consumer choice, and altruism). To this end, my research and teaching draws on insights and methods from psychology, neuroscience (especially fMRI), and behavioral economics. To understand the mechanism that drive differences in people’s decisions, I use computational models (e.g. multivariate pattern analyses routed in machine learning, drift diffusion models) together with data collected in computer experiments, measurements of eye-movements that indicate what people pay attention to, and functional and structural brain data. Download CV (PDF-File, ~250kB)

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Remi Janet – I obtained my Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience in Lyon (France), where I worked on social and dietary decision-making. I also have a background in physiology. I discovered cognitive neuroscience during my bachelor’s degree. I am fascinated by the neural substrates of social behavior and the mental processes related to attention and decision-making. Dysfunction in these processes can affect well-being and day-to-day functioning. This fact drives my motivation to understand the underlying processes better. I use neuroimaging techniques (fMRI and PET) to study decision-making, combined with computational modeling, psychological approaches, and virtual reality.

Graduate Students

Lisa Bas

Lisa Bas – I received degrees in Psychology from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) and the University of Bern (Switzerland). In Switzerland, I worked as a research assistant investigating individual differences of peer influence on control-averse behavior and its underlying neural basis. As a PhD student in the Queen’s Neuroeconomics Lab, I focus on how attention influences people’s decisions and social interactions. I am particularly interested in the neural and computational processes involved across domains.


Ruien Wang (Rain) – My interest in social neuroscience began in my undergraduate study of psychology. I was fascinated by the underlying neurocomputational process of human social cognition and behaviors in the real world, as well as the corresponding individual differences. Dysfunction of these processes would influence social functioning and well-being. To probe these questions, multiple methods are adopted in my research, which include behavioral tasks, experience sampling, neuroimaging, and computational modeling.

Yijun Xu – I am a master’s student in Cognitive Neuroscience at Queen’s University, following a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with three minors in Philosophy, Management and Behavioral Science from McGill University. Before coming to Canada, I earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Technology in China and worked as an engineer, project manager, and human resources specialist for technology companies. During my undergraduate years, I discovered my academic interests and planned to pursue research in neuroscience and psychology. My master’s project studies sustainable food choices and how they are processed in the brain using fMRI, computational models, eye-tracking and behavioral tests. Fun fact: my first name literally means “a gentleman.”

Undergraduate Students

Alyssa Giovannangeli – I am a fourth-year Psychology student at Queen’s University with a minor in Film and Media and a Certificate of Law. I am excited to be completing my undergraduate thesis with the Neuroeconomics Lab this year. My research interests include forensic, cognitive, and sport psychology. I am from Hamilton, Ontario and I love to play basketball, screen-write, and listen to music!

Sydney Rego – I am currently in my final year of my undergraduate degree with a major in Psychology. I will be completing an honours thesis with the Neuroeconomics Lab, focusing on making better choices, particularly regarding sustainable behaviors. I am passionate about environmental sustainability and am interested in exploring how making better decisions for ourselves can also positively improve the environment we’re in.

Aryanna Rastan – I am currently in my final year completing my psychology major. I am excited to be helping out in Dr. Tusche’s lab due to my interest in the neural processes that govern decision-making and how altruistic behaviours are related to this topic. I will also be completing my undergraduate thesis with Dr. Smallwood, where we will be studying the relationship between spontaneous thought patterns and personality traits. In my free time, you can find me playing video games or hanging out with my friends!

Veronika Wendler – I am an undergraduate psychology student at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and currently an exchange student at Queen’s. Originally, I come from Germany where I developed an interest in consumer behaviour while working on an art exhibition that assessed the significance of brands in our society. By joining the Neuroeconomics laboratory, I am hoping to gain a more thorough understanding of the research culture and computational thinking. David Marr’s book “Vision” sparked my interested in the field of visual features that implicitly grasp an individual’s attention and facilitate fast decision-making. In my free time, I enjoy travelling, surfing, and running.handstand.


Alumni

John-Dennis Parsons (M.Sc.)

Kyra Safar (M.Sc., economics)

Rola Yaman (Honours Thesis)

Victoria Brassard-Monahan (Honours Thesis)

Rahul Patel (Honours Thesis)

Serena Geng (Honours Thesis)

Luke Bertolucci (Honours Thesis)

Chenyang (Amy) Xiao (Directed Lab Student)