SCAN Lab: Research in Social Cognition

Faculty Member: Jason Mitchell

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. 

We have several different ongoing projects and are looking for motivated research assistants to help answer questions like:

  • How does the brain organize social information about others’ personalities and mental states?
  • What are the mechanisms underlying altruistic behavior and perspective taking?
  • How do people view themselves and how do they incorporate others’ opinions of them into their self-understanding?
  • Do the ways that we think about people change as we age?
  • Is self-disclosure rewarding?
  • Can reading fiction improve social skills?

For more information about lab research please visit:

Research assistants will be responsible for a range of tasks include: literature review, preparing experimental stimuli, recruiting and screening subjects, and most significantly running behavioral and fMRI experiments. Highly motivated students will have the opportunity to become involved in all levels of research including designing studies, programming, and analyzing data.

This position is part of the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URS) in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University.