Jaime J. Castrellon

Hello! I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience (Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience area). My primary affiliation is with the Motivated Cognition & Aging Brain Lab under the mentorship of Gregory Samanez-Larkin, Ph.D.

Research Areas

  • Basic mechanisms of motivation and decision making
    • What brain circuits support valuation mechanisms?
    • How do individual differences in dopamine neurotransmission affect how people weigh benefits and costs?
    • What role does dopamine play in prosocial decisions and strategic social learning?
    • How do neural circuits support context-specific motivation in affiliative and competitive social environments?
  • Translation to everyday life
    • Does neural function shape spontaneous decisions outside the lab?
    • How do experiences with discrimination and power dynamics in the workplace motivate prosocial choices?
    • What are the mechanisms and consequences of personal and systemic bias in law and criminal justice?
    • How and when do narratives shape economic and legal decisions?


  • Neuroimaging (fMRI, PET)
  • Human pharmacology
  • Computational modeling
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Natural language processing
  • Public data/tweet scraping
  • Computer vision