I am a graduate student in Psychology at Stanford University, advised by Professor Jamil Zaki. My research examines the neural and computational processes underlying top-down influence on information processing through a combination of behavioral experiments, computational modeling, eye-tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging.
People are active perceivers of the external world. How does the brain selectively filter sensory information? What are the dynamics of top-down modulation, and how are they affected by prior experience and motivational states? I address these questions through four interrelated threads of research: (i) reinforcement learning and attention, (ii) motivational influences on perception, (iii) social information and person perception, (iv) processing of naturalistic stimuli.
My work draws heavily from the traditions of both cognitive and social neuroscience. By combining different tools and perspectives, I aim to characterize how top-down modulation facilitates adaptive behavior across different domains of human cognition, and identify potential behavioral and neural targets of intervention to improve socio-cognitive functioning.