Emily received her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Pomona College in 2015, with her thesis on bilingualism and executive function in young adults. She has a broad range of interests in psychology and neuroscience; a few recent projects involve aging-related change in bilinguals’ executive function, the role of the insula in emotion processing, embodied perceptions of temperature, and the default network’s contribution to social cognition.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 his PhD from Harvard University (’15).
Visiting Research Assistants
Psychology, B.A. 2012, Developmental Psychology, M.A. 2014 (Ewha Woman’s University) Mind, Brain, & Education, Ed.M 2015(Harvard University)
Research Interests: Theory of Mind, cognitive development, social cognition
B.S. Philosophy 2011
Research Interests: Research interests: Psychology of respect, moral dumbfounding, moral
persuasion, the relationship between moral beliefs and moral
motivation, and the psychology of rights-based ethical intuitions.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
B.S. Psychology, 2016 (expected)
Research interests: TBD
B.S. Psychology, 2017 (Expected)
Research Interests: TBD
Psychology B.S. 2016 (Expected)
Research Interests: Moral behavior and decision making, empathy and moral development, moral cognitions associated with crime
B.A. Applied Psychology and Human Development, 2018 (Lynch School Of Education, expected)
Research Interests: Behavioral economics and organizational behavior
B.A. Psychology & Computer Science, 2016 (expected)
Research Interests: Morality in association with forgiveness and friendship; localization of morality in the brain.
B.S. Psychology, 2016 (expected)
Research Interests: Explaining morality as a byproduct of multiple brain areas that have different functions in isolation.
B.A. Psychology, 2018 (expected)
Research Interests: Neural regions activated during social judgments/decisions in the context of morality
Graduate Student Alumni
Laura Niemi – Postdoctoral associate in Dr. Steven Pinker’s lab at Harvard University
Joshua Rottman – Assistant professor at Franklin & Marshall College
Thesis Student Alumni
Anita Kwashie (2013 – 2015, currently a Research Assistant with Helen Tager-Flusberg; also a Research Assistant with David Dodell-Feder)
Natalie Blahunka (2012 – 2014)
Lauren Anderson (2012 – 2014)
Mike Stepanovic (2012 – 2013)
Elizabeth Blevins (2012 – 2013)
Gabby Lewine (2011 – 2013)
Abby Stemper (2011 – 2012)
Danny Baush (2011 – 2012)
RAs and Affiliate Alumni
Monica Oxenreiter (2015)
Kayla Fries (2015)
Katherine Churchwell (2014 – 2015, currently working at OPENPediatrics)
Christian Coletta (2014 – 2015)
Jeremy Simon (2014 – 2015)
Parisa Oviedo (2013 – 2015)
Spencer Shannon (2014)
Serena Entezary (2014, currently an intern at the University of Southern Mississipi)
Julia Pingeton (2014)
Scott Rizzi (2014)
Lance Bush (2014, currently PhD candidate at Cornell with David Pizarro)
Laura Ligouri (2013 – 2014)
Prudhvi Bandi (2013 – 2014)
Caroline Holt (2013 – 2014, currently a substance abuse counselor at Lafayette Medical Approach in NYC)
Kelsey Gordon (2013)
Tyler Millhouse (2013, currently a PhD student at the University of Arizona with Shaun Nichols and Jonathan Weinberg)
Elisabeth Dalton (2013)
Trace Fairbough (2013)
Gaelyn Davis (2013)
James Ambrosoli (2012)
Mansoor Choudhry (2011 – 2012)
Martina Carmelo Perera (2011)
Billy Hood (2011)