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

Prospective Postdoctoral Scholars: Get in touch with me over email: jaimejfc@sas.upenn.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