Luke J Chang, PhD


Luke Chang is an Associate 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, kayaking, skiing, bike riding, producing music, and learning new statistical techniques and technical computing skills.


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.

Dae Houlihan

Dae studies the cognitive mechanisms of social cognition. His research highlights the critical role of contextual knowledge about people and situations. He received his PhD from MIT, where he used probabilistic models to investigate how people reason about others’ emotions. At Dartmouth, he is continuing this approach of “analysis by synthesis,” aiming to build more general models of social cognition in increasingly naturalistic domains. He is especially interested in understanding the computational basis of emotional intelligence (e.g. what makes some people better able to infer, and adaptively intervene in, another’s experience). He is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from The Neukom Institute for Computational Science.

Nir Jacoby

Nir received his Ph.D. from Columbia University where he worked with Kevin Ochsner. Beforehand he was a lab manger in Rebecca Saxe’s lab at MIT. His research focuses on affective processes and the role that they play in social cognition. When not in the lab he is most likely to be found in the kitchen, running, or enjoying seasonal outdoor activity with his family.

Graduate Students

Jisu Ro

Jisu received a BS in psychology, neuroscience, and statistics from Ewha Woman's University. Afterwards, she began her PhD at Won Mok Shim's Perceptual and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Sunkyunkwan University. Her research is focused on the predictive process of social cognition. With Luke, she has been investigating the behavioral and neural signatures of "social prediction error" while observing naturalistic social interactions in movies. As a visiting scholar at the COSAN Lab, she aims to expand her research to explain how people generate predictions about others and how social learning can be understood in surprise-based learning framework. For fun outside the lab, she purchased a new lacrosse stick and sketch book. Jisu has great confidence in her ability to draw her dog, because she believes she is the best person to capture his charm.

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.

Menghan Yang

Menghan graduated with a BS from Nanjing Normal University and an MS from Beijing Normal University. At BNU, she studied social transmission and memory distortion with Dr. Guosheng Ding using fMRI technique. At Dartmouth, Menghan plans to continue her research of social information propagation, further probe more fascinating research questions such as group decision-making, and decipher the neural underpinnings of human social interaction. Outside of research, she is a dog lover and a complete homebody, who struggles to persuade herself to go outside. She also enjoys photography and collecting different types of narratives, such as, movies, TV series, and books.

Wasita Mahaphanit

Wasita graduated from Brown University with a BS in Cognitive Neuroscience, where she worked with Amitai Shenhav and Romy Frömer. After graduation, she worked as the lab manager of Michael J. Frank’s Laboratory of Neural Computation and Cognition where she investigated the behavioral and computational mechanisms underlying learning and decision-making under uncertainty in healthy adults and patients with obsessive compulsive disorder. At Dartmouth, she plans to work on projects related to how we learn social cognitive maps and use this information in how we communicate and make decisions. To explore her interests, she aims to use a combination of behavioral experiments, computational modeling, and neuroimaging. Outside of academics, Wasita enjoys scouring Spotify for new releases and training in aerial hoop.

Paxton Fitzpatrick

Paxton graduated with a BA in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College, where he worked with Jeremy Manning, Michael Casey, and James Haxby. After graduating, he spent two years managing the Contextual Dynamics Lab before starting grad school, where he now works with both Jeremy Manning and Luke Chang. Paxton’s research uses language models to capture how our memories preserve, distort, and compress the content and temporal structure of the external world. He’s also passionate about STEM accessibility and open science, and hopes to apply his research to create tools to improve classroom learning for both students and teachers. Outside of the lab, Paxton enjoys teaching undergrads, writing & listening to music, and watching sunsets from his roof.

Tiankang Xie

Tiankang graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with BS in Mathematics and Statistics, minoring in Computer Sciences. While in college, Tiankang did research with Prof. Moo K Chung at UW-Madison working on statistical algorithms for big fmri data. Before finally landing at cosan Lab, Tiankang spent time doing research rotations on cancer epigenetics, proteomics and epilepsy. At Cosan Lab, he is generally interested in BCI and computational neuroscience, especially on how to quantitatively assess emotions and social decisions. In his free time, Tiankang loves cooking, hiking and cycling.

Lab Manager

Youn Ji (Grace) Choi

Grace graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Philosophy in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she worked with Professor Aidan Wright to complete her honors thesis on the assessment of affective variability in narcissistic grandiosity and vulnerability. At Dartmouth, she is interested in understanding how emotions can play a role in guiding the decisions that we make and how these specific emotional processes can be mapped onto the brain. Outside of the lab, Grace enjoys practicing her golf swing, running, and taking photos of her very cute dog.

Research Assistants

Ash Chinta

Ash is an undergraduate at Dartmouth College. They plan on majoring in neuroscience or psychology; their main academic interest is increasing the accessibility of therapeutic interventions. On campus, they lead Humans of Dartmouth and Multifaith Conversations. Their hobbies include writing, traditional dance, taking photos of everything (but especially ducks), and reading weird stories.

Jonathan Lim

Jonathan is an undergraduate at Dartmouth College studying Psychology with a minor in Chinese. He is also considering pre-med and how psychology can influence health outcomes. On campus, Jonathan serves on the leadership committee for Agape Christian Fellowship and is also involved in Hill Winds Society and the Dartmouth Running Team. He spends his free time playing music with friends or dabbling in creative writing!

Ann Tran

Ann is an undergraduate at Dartmouth College from Hanoi, Vietnam. She is planning to double major in Psychology and Quantitative Social Science with a Government focus. She is interested in the intersections between psychology, international relations, and human rights. On campus, Ann is passionate about gender-based violence work and is involved in the Student & Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault (SPCSA) and the Sexual Assault Peer Alliance (SAPA). She is also a part of Model UN and the Dartmouth Law Journal. In her free time, Ann enjoys brunch, the Bachelor-type shows, creative writing, and attempting new recipes.

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

Daisy was a former graduate student who transferred to Duke University

Kaitlyn Kelley

Kaitlyn was a former RA

Liza Begunova

Liza was a former RA

Kiera Carey

Kiera was a former RA

Jin was a former PhD student and is now a quantitative UX researcher at Facebook

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

Sophie Byrne

Sophie was a former RA

Hirsh Elhence

Hirsh was a former RA and is now a medical student at USC

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 and is now a medical student at Meharry Medical College

Sawyer Brooks

Sawyer was a summer intern

Aimee Sung

Aimee was a former RA

Maryam Iqbal

Mia was a former RA

Andy was a former postdoc in the lab and is now an Assistant Professor at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan

Dawit Workie

Dawit for an undergrad thesis student

Itish Goel

Itish was a former RA

Andrew Boghossian

Andrew was a former RA

Taylor Morrell

Taylor was a former RA

Sam was a former RA and is now a GoogleAI Resident

Sushmita Sadhukha

Sushmita was a former RA and is now at NYU

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.

Tricia Yeonas

Tricia was a former RA

Max Farrens

Max was a former RA

Ziyi Feng

Ziyi was a former RA

Darien Jones

Darien was a former RA

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

Karina López

Karina was a former RA and is now a lab manager with Carolyn Parkinson at UCLA

Nathan Greenstein

Nathan was a former RA

Stanley Rozentsvit

Stanley was a former RA

Mara Stewart

Mara was a former RA

Emma Gustafson

Emma was a former RA and is now at UC Berkeley

Samantha Milne

Samantha was a former RA

Xiaoxue Gao

Xiaoxue was visiting graduate student and is now a postdoc at Peking University

Jessica Hernandez

Jessica was a former RA

Bryan was a former PhD student

Amanda Brandt

Amanda was a former lab manager and is now a data scientist at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Zohra Aslami

Zohra was a former RA and is now a medical student at Johns Hopkins University

Elliott Tang

Elliott was a former RA

Lex Kang

Lex was a former RA

Helen Horan

Helen was a former RA