Our research aims to understand how richly structured knowledge about the environment is acquired, and how this knowledge aids adaptive behavior. We use a combination of behavioral, neuroimaging and computational techniques to pursue these questions. One prong of this research focuses on how humans and animals discover the hidden states underlying their observations, and how they represent these states. In some cases, these states correspond to complex data structures, like graphs, grammars or
Dr. Jennifer S. Lerner is a Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Co-founder of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory. Drawing insights from psychology, economics, and neuroscience, her research examines human judgment and decision making. As an undergraduate research assistant, you would work with Dr. Lerner and her team on a variety of projects relevant to economics, finance, public health, and national security. Read more about High-Impact Research in Decision Science
We are interested in how and why people make poor cost-benefit decisions in order to harm others. For example, why might someone choose to hurt another person in a dispute when the consequences for this action loom large? This project will investigate how and why people make decisions to aggress using a series of behavioral tasks looking at traits such as aggression, decision-making, impulsivity, and cognitive flexibility. Read more about Aggression & Decision-Making
The SCAN lab uses functional neuroimaging and behavioral methods to study social cognition. In particular we study how people infer the thoughts, feelings and opinions of others (i.e., how we mentalize), how people understand the self and how people understand social groups and social categories.
Description: We conduct research investigating the cognitive and neural basis of episodic memory—the ability to remember events from the personal past—and processes leading to memory distortions. We utilize cognitive and behavioral testing as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in healthy younger and older volunteers and individuals with clinical conditions known to affect memory processes, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Student RAs are responsible for conducting cognitive testing in healthy younger and older
The SCAN lab studies how humans understand the thoughts, feelings and mental states of other people. We employ both functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and behavioral methods to study the neural correlates and processes of social cognition. For more information about lab research please see our website: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~scanlab/papers.html. Research assistants help prepare experimental stimuli, recruit and screen subjects, and conduct behavioral and fMRI experiments. Students have the opportunity to become involved in all levels of research including designing