Lab members

 

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Robb rutledge
principal investigator

Robb is a MRC Career Development Fellow. He did a PhD in Neural Science at New York University supervised by Paul Glimcher. He was a postdoc at University College London at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging with Ray Dolan and Peter Dayan before setting up his lab at the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research. Robb is interested in subjective feelings like happiness and sadness, and how feelings related both to the events in our lives and to our future decisions.

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bastien blain
Post-doctoral researcher

Bastien uses computational modelling and neuroimaging to examine the relationship between experienced utility and decision making, and the role of emotions in decision making and learning. He did his PhD in economics at Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne University under the supervision of Mathias Pessiglione and Guillaume Hollard. In his PhD research, he asked how cognitive fatigue, occurring after many hours of cognitive work (e.g., a workday), alters economic decisions (e.g., the consumption-saving trade-off). Bastien has taught a course in neuroeconomics since 2013 for the Eco&Psycho Masters degree at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

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LIAM MASON
Post-Doctoral researcher

Liam is a cognitive neuroscientist and practicing clinical psychologist. His research focuses on explaining how changes in mood can bias decisions and other goal-directed behaviour in bipolar disorder. By better characterising the psychobiological mechanisms by which patients transition between cycles of elevated and depressed mood, he aims to develop better psychological interventions. In his research, he combines computational modelling, longitudinal smartphone measurements and functional neuroimaging. He holds a PhD and a doctorate in clinical psychology, awarded by the University of Manchester and King’s College London, respectively. Clinically, Liam works in a national and specialist clinic delivering psychological interventions and clinical training for psychosis and bipolar disorder.

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rachel bedder
PHD Student

Rachel is a PhD student on the Comp2Psych Programme researching the relationship between mood disorders and decision making using computational models. She is particularly interested in how both clinical and non-clinical populations are affected by losses in decision-making paradigms. Previously, Rachel worked as a Research Assistant in the Division of Psychiatry at UCL examining quality of life in people with moderate to severe dementia. She did a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL supervised by Neil Burgess, and has a BA in Art and Psychology from University of Reading. Rachel used to run the art and neuroscience public engagement company, AXNS Collective.

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Benjamin chew
phd student

Benjamin is a PhD student on the Comp2Psych Programme. His research interests revolve around the neural mechanisms underlying decision making and motivational states, with a focus on how factors such as affect and agency contribute to decision making. He combines neuroimaging and computational modelling that draws on theoretical frameworks from psychology and economics to explore the relationship between overt behaviour and the underlying neural processes. Benjamin has a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCL.

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YUNZHE LIU
PHD STUDENT

Yunzhe is a PhD student on the Comp2Psych Programme. His research interests include the development of a mechanistic understanding of emotion's role in learning and decision making, understanding the neural representational architecture of memory in relation to goal-related behaviours, and identification of aberrant neural pathways that contribute to depression and anxiety disorders at both algorithmic and implementation levels. To achieve that, he uses a variety of neuroscientific techniques (e.g., fMRI, MEG) in combination with computational models. Yunzhe has a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from Beijing Normal University.

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AKSHAY nAIr
phd sTUDENT

Akshay is a Leonard Wolfson Clinical Training Fellow investigating the neural basis of motivation and apathy. He uses behavioural paradigms, computational modelling and neuroimaging to better understand the mechanisms driving loss of motivation in the general population and patients with Huntington’s disease, a familial neurodegenerative condition. A better understanding of the neural mechanisms underpinning motivated behaviour may guide new treatments for apathy, a common and disabling symptom of many neuropsychiatric conditions. Before moving to UCL, Akshay was a NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry (KCL) where he did research in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. He completed his medical degree, and an intercalated degree in neuroscience, at Oxford University.

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CHRIS KELLY
MASTERS STUDENT
 

Chris is an MRes student in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at UCL and Yale University. His research interests include understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie mood disorders and the development of screening methods for these disorders. He is also interested in the mental health outcomes of people who have experienced early life stress. Previously, Chris was a Research Scholar in the Division of Psychiatry at Yale University doing research on the neural mechanisms of both post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

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Millie Lowther
MASTERS STUDENT
 

Millie is an MSc student in Natural Sciences at UCL, majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology and minoring in Mathematics and Statistics. Her past research has been on irrational optimism, focusing on the situations in which this cognitive bias is beneficial or costly, and asking why evolution might have selected for this bias. Her research interests include how mood influences decision making and how reward processing is affected in mood disorders.

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