Luke J Chang, PhD


Luke Chang is an Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College and directs the Computational Social Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. He completed a BA in psychology at Reed College, an MA in psychology at the New School for Social Research, and a PhD in clinical psychology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Arizona with Alan Sanfey, PhD. Luke completed his predoctoral clinical internship training in behavioral medicine at the University of California Los Angeles and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado Boulder under the mentorship of Tor Wager, PhD. His research program is focused on understanding the neurobiological and computational mechanisms underlying social interactions. He is actively involved in the emerging fields of social, affective, and decision neurosciences and uses advanced models to understand how we learn and make decisions in social contexts and how pain and emotions can be regulated through social interactions. When he’s not at the lab, Luke enjoys cooking, bike riding, producing music, and learning new statistical techniques and technical computing skills.


Pin-Hao Andy Chen, PhD

Andy completed a M.S. in clinical psychology at National Taiwan University, and a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth College. One of his research lines is using brain-imaging method to develop effective self-regulatory improvement techniques. A separate line of his research is to understand the acculturation processes within immigrants using a brain-as-predictor approach. Extending from his research on acculturation, he will start his new research on how culture influences social interaction and symptom expression using a computational approach.

Graduate Students

Eshin Jolly

Eshin graduated with a BA from the University of Rochester where he studied the origins of conceptual knowledge with Professors Jessica Cantlon and Brad Mahon. After graduating, he spent two years as a research assistant and lab manager at Harvard with Professor Jason Mitchell, studying mental state inference and social cognitive changes in older adults. At Dartmouth his research involves the application of statistical models to the study of social perception. Specifically, he is interested in understanding predictive inferences based on behavior and animacy, and broadly, the cognitive and neural computations we employ in service of detecting and connecting with other agents. In his free time Eshin can be found writing/playing music, falling down some rabbit-hole of statistics or intensely "studying" craft beer, the last of which is often informs the first two.

Daisy Burr

Daisy graduated with a BA from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in Psychology and Neuroscience. During this time, she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Sarah Lisanby in the Division of Brain Stimulation and Therapeutic Modulation at Columbia University. Daisy then received her MA in Experimental Psychology from the New School for Social Research, where she worked with Dr. Marcel Kinsbourne and Dr. Wendy D’Andrea studying the psychophysiological correlates of boredom and anxiety. After this, Daisy worked as a research assistant for Dr. Kevin Ochsner at Columbia University where she coordinated fMRI and behavioral studies investigating emotion regulation across the lifespan. At Dartmouth, Daisy is interested in applying computational approaches to understand the motivational constructs of spontaneous and instructed emotion regulation.

Jin Hyun Cheong

Jin graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Psychology and certificates in Neuroscience and Finance. After graduation, he worked as a research assistant and lab manager for Professor Matthew Botvinick at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, where his research involved investigating the computational and neural foundations of human decision making and planning. At Dartmouth, he is interested in applying computational, behavioral, and neuroimaging methods to investigate how emotions and social cognition influence people’s economic choices and behavior. His non-academic life involves cycling, snowboarding, and cooking spicy food.

Emma Templeton

Emma graduated from Harvard, where she worked with Jason Mitchell and Diana Tamir. After graduation, Emma worked as the lab manager in Jamil Zaki's Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab. Here at Dartmouth, Emma works with both Thalia Wheatley (primary advisor) and Luke Chang. Emma is personally and scientifically interested in figuring out what makes conversation "good." That is, what features of an individual, a dyad, and the conversation itself best predict when people feel connected to each other? Outside of the lab, Emma enjoys organized activities, organizing activities, and DiGiorno pizza.

Marissa Clark

Marissa graduated from UCLA with a BS in Cognitive Science and a minor in Neuroscience. After graduation, she worked as a lab manager for Jamil Zaki's Social Neuroscience Lab at Stanford University. At Dartmouth, she is interested in studying social cognition and communication using behavioral, computational and neuroimaging methods.

Xiaoxue Gao

Xiaoxue got her Bachelor’s degree of Biological Science from Shandong University, China. With a strong enthusiasm for understanding human emotions and decision-making, she then changed her major from Biology to Cognitive neuroscience in 2014 and began to work as a graduate student at the School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, China. Working with Professor Xiaolin Zhou, Xiaoxue’s research interest lies on the computational and neural mechanisms underlying complex social emotions (e.g., gratitude, guilt) and social decision-making. Xiaoxue is visiting the COSANlab for three months to learn knowledge and techniques on computational modeling and neuroimaging. In her free time, she loves to play table tennis.

Bryan Gonzalez

Bryan received his BA and MA in psychology from NYU. After a stint exploring potential career paths in creative industries, his interest in research began in Professor Geraldine Downey's lab at Columbia University studying stereotype threat. He later spent time at Weill Cornell, conducting sleep research under the late Arthur Speilman, MD. He went on to join the psychiatry department at NYU Langone as a senior research coordinator for Charles Marmar, MD. In collaboration with Amit Etkin MD,PhD at Stanford, his research efforts were aimed at probing biological markers of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in military veterans. At Dartmouth, Bryan is primarily interested in reinforcement learning models of emotion in the brain and neural instantiations of Markov Decision Processes. In his free time, he loves running, live music, and curling up with his cat, "Puppy".

Lab Manager

Amanda Brandt

Amanda received her BA in Psychology from Harvard University in 2018. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant with Professor Leah Somerville studying reinforcement learning and decision making during adolescence. At Dartmouth, Amanda is interested in how different contexts and social relationships influence what is learned and remembered from experiences, and the later impact on decisions. She is also interested in how individual differences in learning, memory, emotion regulation, and functional connectivity relate to decision making. In her free time Amanda enjoys being outdoors, finding new music, laughing at terrible puns, and asking strangers if she can pet their dogs.

Research Assistants

Sophie Byrne

Sophie is a Dartmouth undergraduate studying Psychology and Computer Science. She is interested in computational approaches to psychology and computer assisted therapies. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games, having philosophical debates, cooking and hearing anti-jokes.

Maryam Iqbal

Maryam Iqbal is an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College planning to major in neuroscience, computer science, or cognitive science. She aspires to go to medical school in the future. In her free time, Maryam enjoys playing piano, socializing, cooking, and applying henna.

Taylor Morrell

Taylor is an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College studying government and neuroscience, with an interest in consumer decision-making, UX, neuroeconomics, emotion, and social norms. In his free time, he enjoys freestyle skiing, traveling, and mountaineering.

Sushmita Sadhukha

Sushmita graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in Neuroscience and Philosophy. She is interested in studying the mechanisms underlying how people make (or cannot make) decisions, how people form social impressions, and in general, wisdom of the crowd phenomena. After graduation, she will continue to work as a research assistant in Professor Luke Chang’s lab, exploring the neural foundations of how we organize our memory of other people. In her free time, Sushmita enjoys reading, flying kites, and talking about paradoxes.

Tricia Yeonas

Tricia is a Dartmouth College undergraduate student studying Psychology and Spanish. Her passion for understanding human behavior through both a scientific and social lens drives her work in and out of the lab. You can also find her singing and conducting for her A Cappella group, The Dartmouth Decibelles. After graduation in 2019, she hopes to pursue applied psychology, specifically exploring the intersection of psychology and business.

Ziyi Feng

Ziyi is a Dartmouth College undergraduate student passionate about studying social psychology. Her interest in exploring and understanding human behaviors through interrelations of personality, minds, feelings with their social and cultural setting motivates her work in and out of the lab. Outside the lab, she enjoys doing community service, Javascript programming, making animated videos, and practicing Buddhist meditation.

Karina López

Karina López is a Dartmouth undergraduate studying Neuroscience, with an interest in building computational models of emotion-driven behaviors. She plans to pursue graduate school following a short gap year as an RA or lab manager. When not in the fMRI suite, she enjoys running on trails, finding neat scores while thrifting, and taking 3-hour naps.

Nathan Greenstein

Nathan is an undergraduate at Dartmouth studying Cognitive Science and Urban Studies. His interests surround how affective and social factors influence people’s interaction with the built environment, and how understanding these dynamics can help planners address urban issues from housing affordability to environmental sustainability and beyond. Outside of the lab, you’ll find Nathan riding his bike, tutoring at RWIT, or taking photos for Humans of Dartmouth. He will graduate in 2019.

Samantha Milne

Samantha is a Dartmouth College undergraduate student studying cognitive science and human-centered design. She has focused her studies on consumer decision-making and is interested in exploring how decisions are influenced by online and offline social networks. In her free time, Samantha enjoys alpine skiing, running, spending time with family and friends and traveling.

Coding Companion


Django is a professional coding assistant and makes sure that Luke remembers to eat and exercise. He has a habit of getting into trouble despite graduating summa cum laude from obedience school.

Lab Alumni

Sunhae was a former postdoc in the lab and is now an assistant professor at Pusan National University in Korea.

Arati Gangadharan

Arati was a former RA and thesis student and is now a medical student at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Meredith Geaghan-Breiner

Meredith was a former RA

Seth was a former postdoc in the lab and is now an Assistant Professor at UC Davis.

Hirsh Elhence

Hirsh was a former RA and now works at Collective Health.

Eric Andrews, MA

Eric was a former RA and is now a PhD student at the University of Arizona.

Jenna Perry

Jenna was a summer intern.

Hakeem Brooks

Hakeem was a summer intern

Sawyer Brooks

Sawyer was a summer intern

Aimee Sung

Aimee was a former RA

Andrew Boghossian

Andrew was a former RA

Sam was a former RA and is now a GoogleAI Resident

Antonia Hoidal

Antonia was a former lab manager and is now completing a premed postbac program at the University of Colorado

Kristina was a former graduate student in the lab and is now a postdoc with BJ Casey at Yale University.

Zainab Molani

was a former RA and is now completing a Master's in Physiology at Case Western Reserve University

Jeroen was a visiting graduate student from the Donders Institute and is now a postdoc with Oriel Feldmanhall at Brown University

Mara Stewart

Mara was a former RA

Emma Gustafson

Emma was a former RA and is now at UC Berkeley