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

  • Neural mechanisms of decision making (neuroeconomics)
    • What brain circuits support valuation mechanisms?
    • How do individual differences in dopamine neurotransmission affect how people weigh benefits and costs?
    • Does dopamine shape spontaneous decisions outside the lab?
    • What role does dopamine play in prosocial decisions and strategic social learning?
    • How do neural circuits support context-specific behaviors in affiliative and competitive social environments?
    • Can social decision making experiments shed light on transdiagnostic symptoms in dopamine-related psychopathologies?
  • Competing models of decision making
    • How and when do narratives shape economic and legal decisions?
    • Can neuroimaging be used to distinguish contributions of utility and narrative-based processes in decision making?
    • Which brain systems support the role of narrative in guiding choices?
  • Consequences of personal and systemic bias in law and criminal justice
    • How do jurors integrate personal biases in judgments about guilt or innocence?
    • How do moral arguments shape Supreme Court decisions and outcomes?
    • Can grassroots movements over social media predict prosecutorial charging decisions in police violence cases?
  • Experiences with discrimination and power dynamics in the workplace
    • What effect does personal experience with discrimination have on prosocial behavior and how people allocate resources?
    • When given opportunities to make decisions from a position of power, how do people who have experienced discrimination use that power?
    • How does systemic skin-tone bias manifest in academia, law, and medicine?
    • What are the consequences of systemic skin-tone bias on power in academic institutions?


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