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.

E-mailCurriculum vitae

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), playing soccer, and making origami and other paper crafts.

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.

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.


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


Anna Xu is in her junior year studying cognitive neuroscience at Brown University. Her research interests include depression and fatigue, especially in relation to effort/reward-processing. Besides research, Anna likes hiking, cooking, watching comedy shows, and drinking tea or seltzer water.

Ayenna Cagaanan is a junior studying Economics at Brown University. She is interested in behavioral economics and its applications to user and consumer research. She spends her time skate boarding around campus and petting strangers' dogs.

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Kia Sadahiro is a current junior at Brown University. She is concentrating in cognitive science, taking economics on the side. Other than her hobby to wander around the aisles in Eastside Market, she has an impressive talent for backward running.

Liz Cory is a junior studying cognitive neuroscience at Brown. She is interested in motivated empathy, as well as the relationship between self-efficacy and performance. In her free time, Liz likes to play ultimate frisbee and read poetry.


Michelle Basta is a junior at Brown studying Cognitive science, focusing in decision-making and neuroeconomics. She is particularly captivated by the intersection of human cognition, perception, and technology. Beyond research, she enjoys running and listening to music.

Milena Rmus is a junior concentrating in Psychology at Brown University. She is interested in exploring reinforcement learning and decision making in elderly and clinical population. Outside of academic environment her interests include drawing, painting, reading and playing video games.


Wasita Mahaphanit is a junior concentrating in neuroscience. She is currently interested in the neural correlates of decision-making, especially when involving the resolution of varying desired choices as well as cognitive resource allocation. Outside of class and lab, she can be found instructing/performing on the lyra and illustrating for the Brown Daily Herald.

William McNelis is a freshman studying Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University. He is interested in the processes that the brain uses to weigh competing factors and to make decisions and form opinions. Some of his other interests include springboard diving, skiing, hiking, and dreaming up new smoothie combinations.


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