Jaime J. Castrellon, Ph.D.

Hello! I’m a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. I am affiliated with the labs of Anna Jenkins and Joe Kable. I received my Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Duke University in 2022 under the mentorship of Greg Samanez-Larkin.

Update: I will be joining the UCLA Psychology Department as a Tenure-track Assistant Professor in July 2024 where my lab will investigate cognitive and neural mechanisms of decision making.

Prospective Grad Students: I will be recruiting graduate students to start Fall 2024. Check out the research areas below for a non-exhaustive list of the kinds of questions our lab will explore. Interested students can learn more about how to apply here and are welcome to reach out to me over email (jcastrellon@psych.ucla.edu) but it is not necessary for consideration.

Prospective Postdoctoral Scholars: Get in touch with me over email (jcastrellon@psych.ucla.edu) if you’re interested in joining as a postdoctoral scholar. We’re especially interested in those interested in studying human dopamine function and social decision making using simultaneous PET/MR imaging, behavioral experiments, and experience sampling methods.

Research Areas

  • Basic mechanisms of motivation and decision making
    • What are the neural mechanisms of subjective reward valuation?
    • How do individual differences in dopamine neurotransmission affect how people weigh benefits and costs?
    • How do motivational brain circuits change with age across the adult life span?
    • How does social cognition interact with reward valuation in social decisions?
    • What role does dopamine play in social decision making and learning?
  • Translation to everyday life
    • Does neural function shape spontaneous decisions outside the lab?
    • How do experiences with discrimination and power dynamics in the workplace shape social decisions?
    • 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 tools