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. Now, 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 complex neural and computational processes involved across choice domains.

John-Dennis Parsons

John-Dennis Parsons – I first began to explore the mysteries of the mind during my studies in cognitive science at Carleton University, where I researched the human capacity to reason using analogies. I chose to join Professor Tusche in the Neuroeconomics lab because I believe that modelling the human decision process is important now more than ever – in an increasingly globalized world, our decisions can have widespread impacts. More specifically, I am interested in how the brain attributes value to things in its environment – such as places, possessions and people – and the weight this value holds when we must choose. Fun fact – I was first introduced to (and captivated by) the expanding universe of cognitive neuroscience by David Eagleman’s book “Incognito”.

Kyra Safar – My interest in behavioral and neuroeconomics began in my BAH in Economics at Queen’s University. I am now completing my MA in Economics at Queen’s and writing my MA essay with Dr. Tusche and the Neuroeconomics Lab. I aim to come to a more holistic understanding of how individuals make decisions – particularly regarding prosocial behavior. I aim to use my background in statistics and econometrics to frame the motivators and outcomes of prosocial behavior for the individual and the group. I am currently looking at whether volunteering choices are purely altruistic or if this particular behavior provides psychological, physical, or monetary benefits to the individual. My interest in behavioral economics was initially sparked by Dan Ariely’s Ted Talk “Our Buggy Moral Code” and his discussions of predictable irrationality!”

Undergraduate Students

Chenyang Xiao (Amy) – I am currently a fourth-year Psychology student with a minor in Economics. My research interest is in organizational/industrial psychology and psychology counselling, and I am interested in understanding decision-making (especially health-related decisions) and social behavior under different social contexts. Out of school, I enjoy dancing and watching videos on Netflix/Youtube.

Rola Yaman – I grew up in a small town beside Dubai and moved to Kingston for University. Currently, I am going into my fourth year as a psychology major where I will be doing my undergraduate thesis in the Neuroeconomics Lab. I am particularly interested in social decision making, which is what I will be exploring over the next year. I will also be working in Queen’s READY lab as a research assistant. During my free time, I enjoy exercising and baking desserts!

Victoria Brassard-Monahan – I am currently in my final year of an undergrad at Queen’s University with a major in Psychology. This year I will be completing a thesis with the Neuroeconomics Lab focusing on dietary choice. After I receive my degree, I am planning on completing a Master’s in Environmental Psychology to study how to promote more sustainable and environmentally-conscious behaviour. When I am not studying, you can either find me directing tourists at Kingston’s visitor center, baking bread, or in a handstand.


John-Dennis Parsons (M.Sc.)

Rahul Patel (Honours Thesis)

Serena Geng (Honours Thesis)

Luke Bertolucci (Honours Thesis)