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.

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.

Dae Houlihan

Dae studies the cognitive mechanisms of social intelligence. He is a Postdoctoral Fellow of The Neukom Institute for Computational Science and received his PhD from MIT. Human social cognition shows remarkable sophistication and flexibility, as well as dramatic errors and limitations. Dae’s research investigates how social cognition works, when it is effective, and what causes it to fail. He uses probabilistic programs to model how people reason about social situations, plan interactions, and interpret each others’ emotional expressions. His work aims to reverse-engineer the mechanisms of social cognition in computational terms that are useful both for understanding the human mind and for building machines with human-like emotional intelligence.

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

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 earned a BS in Cognitive Neuroscience from Brown University, where she worked with Amitai Shenhav and Romy Frömer. As a post-bacc, she managed Michael J. Frank's Laboratory of Neural Computation & Cognition. At Dartmouth, she is co-advised by and collaborates with Jonathan Phillips and Robert Hawkins (UW-Madison). She is currently researching how people collaboratively make sense of other people and their shared experiences. To do this, she uses real-time multi-user online behavioral experiments, natural language processing, and computational modeling in her work. Outside of academics, Wasita enjoys playing video games and practicing 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.

Lab Manager

Youn Ji (Grace) Choi

Grace graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA 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 studying the behavioral and neural mechanisms of subjective emotional experiences using naturalistic stimuli and computational models. Outside of the lab, Grace enjoys running, going to the golf range, and listening to true crime podcasts.

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.

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

Jonathan Lim

Jonathan was a former RA

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

Tiankang Xie, PhD

Tiankang was a former PhD student and is now an applied scientist at Amazon Web Services.

Elliott Tang

Elliott was a former RA

Lex Kang

Lex was a former RA

Helen Horan

Helen was a former RA