Principal Investigator

Liane Young (email) (website)
B.A. Philosophy, Harvard College, 2004
Ph.D. Psychology, Harvard University, 2008
CV: here

Lab Manager

Amelia Brown (email)
Amelia is interested in interactions between our engagement with fictional narrative and the moral stances we hold. She received her B.S. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2011.

Graduate Students

James Dungan (email)
James studies the cognitive and neural basis of distinct moral domains; specifically, morals targeting one’s self versus another. He is also interested in the tensions between these domains and their concurrent emotional signatures. His research combines methods from social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. He received his B.S. from MIT, and is currently a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Boston College.
Jordan Theriault (email)
Jordan uses fMRI methods to investigate how people understand moral objectivity, as well as sacred values that are particularly central to our moral beliefs. He is also interested in the dynamics of mind perception during interpersonal interactions. He received his B.Sc.H from Queen’s University in 2010 and is currently a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Boston College.
Lily Tsoi (email) (website)
Lily studies the role of brain regions for theory of mind in moral judgment and is primarily interested in the specific computations these neural substrates support (e.g., representing an act as intentional versus accidental). She received her B.A. in neuroscience from Wellesley College in 2011 and is currently a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Boston College.
Laura Niemi (email)
Laura currently studies how individual differences in conceptions of morality (i.e., personal beliefs about what makes something right or wrong) relate to interpersonal behavioral tendencies. She is interested in the neural bases and cultural implications of moral diversity. She received her B.A. from Clark University in 2002 and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Boston College.

Postdoctoral Associates

Brendan Gaesser (email)
Brendan studies the function of imagination and memory. He uses a variety of methods available to psychology to uncover their shared cognitive basis, and how these abilities change in aging. Recently, he has begun exploring the role of imagination and memory in fostering empathy and prosocial behavior. He received his B.A. from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Larisa Heiphetz (email) (website)
Larisa uses methods from social, cognitive, and developmental psychology as well as neuroscience to investigate the ways that children and adults learn to reason about others’ beliefs (including religious beliefs) and how such reasoning might influence intergroup attitudes. She is currently extending this work to the domain of morality by investigating how children and adults make moral judgments. Larisa received her BA from The Pennsylvania State University in 2008 and her PhD from Harvard University in 2013.

Graduate Student Affiliates

Alek Chakroff (email) (website)
Alek studies the conceptual structure underlying our moral intuitions. Presently, his research suggests that two domains of morality, “harm” and “purity,” may have evolved relatively independently, and differ from each other both in their conceptual content and in the target of moral judgment (e.g., keep oneself clean, but keep others from being harmed). Alek received his B.A. from Hampshire College (’06), and is currently a PhD candidate at Harvard University.
Josh Rottman (email) (website)
Josh’s research is primarily focused on the acquisition of novel moral norms in children and adults. He is especially interested in how conceptions of purity and the natural order combine with feelings of disgust to produce moral judgments. Josh received a B.A. in Cognitive Science from Vassar College in 2008 and he is currently in his penultimate year of graduate school at Boston University.

Research Assistants

Lauren Anderson
B.A. Psychology, 2014 (expected)
Hispanic Studies Minor
Research Interests: Morality as a function of culture
Prudhvi Bandi
B.S. Psychology, 2015 (expected)
Economics Minor
Research Interests: Neuronal mechanisms of memory,understanding of moral objectivity and cognitive enhancement.
Natalie Blahunka
B.S. Psychology, 2014 (Expected)
Research Interests: The neural mechanisms of utilitarian and deontological moral decision-making; the influence of non-moral elements (intentionality and action/omission) on our moral judgments; morality and culture; morality in non-neurotypical populations.
Lance Bush
B.A. Psychology, 2011; B.A. Philosophy, 2011
M.A. Philosophy, 2014 (expected)
Research interests: Cross-cultural variation in the individuation of normative categories; the nature and role of intuitions, biases, and heuristics involved in moral judgment, the role of mind perception in attributions of moral agency and moral patiency, metaethical variability.
Jin Choi
B.S. Psychology, 2016 (expected)
Research interests: TBD
Christian Coletta
B.S. Psychology, 2015 (expected)
Faith, Peace, and Justice minor
Research Interests: Morality and social justice, ethical issues in healthcare, empathy and emotion regulation
Caroline Holt
B.A Psychology, 2014 (expected)
Environmental Studies minor
Research Interests: Neuroplasticity, Moral realism, morality acquisition in children
Maisey Horn
B.S. Psychology, 2017 (Expected)
Research Interests: TBD
Kerri Keeler
Psychology B.S. 2016 (Expected)
Research Interests: Moral behavior and decision making, empathy and moral development, moral cognitions associated with crime
Anita Kwashie
B.S. Psychology, 2015 (expected)
Minor in History
Research Interests: Theory of mind in autistic individuals; ethical implications of the Uncanny Valley; morality and eating disorders
Karen Lee
B.S. Biology, 2015 (expected)
Research Interests: Moral development in children and factors behind changes in morality
Laura Ligouri
M.A. Psychology, 2012
M.A. Anthropology 2013
Research Interests: The effect of protracted inter-ethnic conflict on cognition and the way in which neural connectivity is modified through sustained group engagement in violence and struggle
Parisa Oviedo
B.S. Psychology, 2016 (expected)
Research Interests: neuroplasticity, the external and internal influences of moral decision-making
Scott Rizzi
B.S. Psychology, 2016 (expected)
Research Interests: Moral essentialism and the acquisition of morality in children.
Jeremy Simon
B.A. French and History, 2013 (Amherst College)
Research Interests: Grouping and stereotyping; engendering prosocial behavior; identity; memory.

Lab Alumni

 

 

 

 

 
Kelsey Gordon - Undergraduate Research Assistant (Fall 2013)
Trace Fairbough - Undergraduate Research Assistant (Spring 2013 – Fall 2013)
Tyler Millhouse – Undergraduate Research Assistant (Summer – Fall 2013)
Elisabeth Dalton – Undergraduate Research Assistant (Summer 2013)
Angelina Hawley-Dolan – Graduate Student Affiliate (2011 – 2013)
Elizabeth Blevins – Undergraduate Research Assistant
Gaelyn Davis – Undergraduate Research Assistant (Spring 2013)
Mike Stepanovic – Undergraduate Research Assistant, Thesis Student (2012 – 2013)
Gabby Lewine – Undergraduate Research Assistant, Thesis Student (2011 – 2013)
James Ambrosoli – Undergraduate Research Assistant (Summer 2012)
Mansoor Choudhry – Undergraduate Research Assistant (2011 – 2012)
Abby Stemper – Undergraduate Research Assistant, Thesis Student (2011 – 2012)
Danny Baush – Undergraduate Research Assistant, Thesis Student (2011 – 2012)
Chaz Lively – Graduate Student Affiliate (2011 – 2012)
Martina Carmelo Perera – Research Fellow from the University of Granada (Fall 2011)
Billy Hood – Undergraduate Research Assistant (2011)