Principal Investigator

Amitai Shenhav is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, & Psychological Sciences at Brown University, and is also affiliated with the Brown Institute for Brain Science. He earned a B.A. in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley in 2005 and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University in 2012. After completing his graduate work, he was a C.V. Starr Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University before arriving at Brown.

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Lab Manager

Carolyn Dean Wolf got her B.A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, where she worked in the Cognitive Control and Psychopathology Lab with Todd Braver. Carolyn is currently interested in the neural mechanisms of decision-making and reward processing, including the cognitive control systems underlying motivation and goal maintenance. Outside of research, Carolyn has a passion for dancing, baking (especially with chocolate), and playing soccer.


Postdoctoral Fellows


Romy Frömer completed her undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Working with Werner Sommer, her dissertation research examined mechanisms of cognitive control in the motor domain. After receiving her PhD, Romy performed postdoctoral research with Rasha Abdel Rahman, focusing on the role of predictions and uncertainty in perception. She also performed research with Nick Yeung and Markus Ullsperger that explored the intersection of metacognition (error monitoring and confidence) and feedback-based learning in the motor domain. In her free time, Romy likes making music (e.g. choir singing) and cooking for friends. Her functioning critically depends on the availability of coffee.

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Graduate Students

Harrison Ritz completed his BSc. in Psychology at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON), and his MSc. in Psychology at the University of Western Ontario (London, ON), both while studying with Dr. Ingrid Johnsrude. His undergraduate and masters’ theses focused on the neural correlates of attentional control during auditory and speech perception. His current research interests are broadly about characterizing neural systems that dynamically control decision-making in noisy, unstable environments. In his free time, he likes watching films, distance running, batch cooking, and creating or listening to music.

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If you are interested in joining the lab as a graduate student, you should apply through the Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences Department

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Cora Ordway is a senior at Brown studying Cognitive Neuroscience. She is currently interested in how understanding decision making and motivation can inform choices in public policy. In her free time, she likes to read and is working on improving her cooking skills.

Anna Xu  is a senior studying cognitive neuroscience and statistics. Her research interests include mood disorders such as depression and functional somatic symptoms such as fatigue and pain, especially in relation to effort and bodily processing. Outside of research, Anna hikes, cooks, watches comedy shows, and drinks sparkling water/juice. 

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Milena Rmus is a senior concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University. She is interested in studying memory, reinforcement learning and decision making. Outside of the academic environment, her interests include drawing, painting, reading and playing video games.

Liz Cory is a senior studying cognitive neuroscience at Brown. She is most interested in the influences of negative affect on cognitive effort and conflict monitoring mechanisms in the brain. This year, she is examining the learning and performance impacts of self-efficacy. In her free time, Liz likes to play ultimate frisbee and read poetry.


Alli Loynd is a junior at Brown concentrating in Health and Human Biology and Economics. She is especially interested in behavioral economics research and understanding consumer decision making and behavior for marketing and strategy applications. Outside of the lab, she enjoys yoga and learning other languages.

Wasita Mahaphanit is a senior concentrating in cognitive neuroscience. She is currently interested in error processing within the brain and how it is modulated during ongoing task performance monitoring. Outside of class and lab, she can be found instructing/performing on the lyra, organizing Infinity! art gallery shows, and illustrating for the Brown Daily Herald.

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Isabel Shaw is a sophomore concentrating in Behavioral Decision Sciences. She's interested primarily in the role of affect in decision-making and how this influences consumer behavior. Outside of school or the lab Isabel loves traveling or curling up with a good book.

Hattie Xu is a junior concentrating in cognitive neuroscience. She is interested in understanding the interactions between affect, cognitive control, and decision-making. When she's not in class, she spends most of her time writing and editing for various campus publications.

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Ailita Eddy is a freshman (most likely) concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is interested in studying the mechanisms of the brain involved in various cognitive activities, like decision-making, memory, and the use of language. Outside of class, she enjoys reading, playing the piano and accordion, and the outdoors.

Sean Patrick O’Connor completed his B.A. in Psychology & B.B.A. in Finance at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he worked in the Cognition and Action Lab with Rebecca Spencer. Sean is interested in intertemporal decision making, cognitive bias, and health psychology. Outside of research, Sean enjoys triathlons, yoga, and highpointing.


We are always looking for undergraduates who are scientifically curious, motivated, and hard-working to get involved in our ongoing research projects (and/or to eventually develop their own projects). If you fit that description and are interested in joining the lab, please contact our lab manager Carolyn or Dr. Shenhav