Lab Director

David Amodio, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, NYU; Professor of Social Psychology, University of Amsterdam

Dr. Amodio’s research examines the psychological and neural mechanisms of prejudice and self-regulation. This research considers the roles of social cognition, emotion, and motivation as they relate to implicit bias and self-control in social behavior. 

In a complementary line of work, Amodio investigates the effects of discrimination on health and decision making among targets of prejudice, with the broad goal of understanding and reducing the effects of discrimination.

Although the questions that guide this research address classic social psychological issues, Amodio’s approach is interdisciplinary; he integrates theory and methodology from social psychology, cognitive/affective neuroscience, and psychophysiology to inform his hypotheses and the designs of his studies.

Dr. Amodio directs the Social Neuroscience Laboratory at NYU, serving as coordinator of the NYU Social Psychology program from 2013 to 2016. In 2017, he joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam as Professor of Social Psychology, where he continues to hold a partial appointment and conduct research.  Since 2012, he has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He was also a co-founder of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society and served on the founding advisory board for the Society for Social Neuroscience.

Amodio has been recognized for his research contributions with awards such as the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from The White House, the Janet T. Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science, the F. J. McGuigan Early Career Investigator Prize from the American Psychological Foundation, the Early Career Award for Contribution to Social Cognition from the International Social Cognition Network, and the SAGE Young Scholars Award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology.

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Jeffrey Berg

Doctoral student

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Ben Stillerman

Doctoral student

Ben is interested in the neural and psychological mechanisms underlying intergroup bias, particularly as they relate to memory systems and visual processes.

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Annie Hill

Doctoral student

Annie graduated from Vassar College in 2012 and joined the Social Neuroscience Lab in 2014. Her research interests broadly include the regulation of intergroup bias in contexts where individuals feel free to express prejudice.

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Lee Jasperse

Doctoral student

Lee studies the cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in person perception and social decision making. He is particularly interested in the cognitive control of  implicit racial bias and in how control is influenced by anxiety and motivation.

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Jenny DePierre

Doctoral student, NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Jenny is interested in implicit bias and its expression. In particular, she is exploring anxiety as a moderator of biased behaviors. Additionally, she is interested in the effects of experienced discrimination on health.

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Billy Brady

Doctoral student

Billy is interested in how emotions regulate social interactions, particularly in the realm of morality. In the Amodio lab, Billy studies why people seek negative emotions using behavioral and psychophysiological methods.

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Lab Alumni

Leor Hackel, Ph.D.

Postdoc, Stanford University

Leor is interested in how social motives and contexts influence social perception and social preferences. In the Amodio lab, Leor studies how social concerns (e.g., group membership) shape the way we learn about other people and represent social value. 

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Amy Krosch, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Cornell University

Amy exmaines how resource scarcity exacerbates racial inequalities, alters perceptions of fairness, and shifts the perceptual criterion used to determine group membership, using an approach the integrates social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and visual psychophysics.

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Petra Schmid, PhD

Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, ETH Zurich

Petra’s studies the impact of social power on cognition and interpersonal judgments. In the Amodio Lab, her research examined the effects of power on stereotyping and prejudice and its underlying motivational and attentional mechanisms, as well as power effects on information processing and conflict monitoring. 

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Tali Kleiman, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Hebrew University

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Kyle Ratner, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

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May Ling Halim, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Cal State-Long Beach

May Ling is interested in how perceptions of discrimination and group status can affect not only an individual’s mental and physical health, but her child’s mental and physical health as well. She is also interested in how the way people regard their social groups affects the degree to which discrimination is associated with health.

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Saaid Mendoza, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Providence College

Website: click here

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Renana Ofan, Ph.D.

Graduate of NYU Neural Science Ph.D. Program

Renana is interested in top-down influences on early stages of face processing. Her research examines how the brain processes social group information, using EEG and behavioral methods. For example, can prior associations about different social groups influence the way we perceive their faces?

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Jojanneke van der Toorn, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Leiden University

Personal website: click here

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Polina Potanina

Research Associate

Polina is interested in the dynamics of intergroup interactions. Her latest research focuses on the role of action and reaction in intergroup behavior.

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Lisa Kaggen

Masters Student, Stanford Graduate School of Education

While Lab Manager for the Amodio Lab, Lisa worked on projects investigating intergroup anxiety effects on self-regulation and attitudes, as well as the relationship between visual attention and sexism. She is interested in using dynamic approaches to understand cognition in order to design social interventions, particularly in the context of education. Lisa went on to an MA program in Education at Stanford University.

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Jillian Swencionis

Ph.D. Student, Princeton University

While lab manager for the Amodio Lab, Jillian worked on research investigating the interplay between processing fluency and different forms of behavioral control, using behavioral and EEG/ERP methods. After going on to complete her PhD at Princeton with Susan Fiske, Jill is now a Research Associate at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 
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Sophie Wharton

Teacher at Achievement First Charter School

While lab manager for the Amodio Lab, Sophie’s research investigated social anxiety effects on prejudice, pro-active forms of control, and the way in which patterns of visual perception bias subsequent social evaluations.

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Federica Meconi

PhD Student, University of Padova

Federica is interested in electrophysiological correlates of social cues, including race and trustworthiness. 

In particular, Federica has explored the time-course of empathic neural response to pain of own and other-race individuals. Her latest research focuses on visual representations in working memory of trustworthy and untrustworthy-looking individuals in people with low and high levels of social anxiety.
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