Current Members

Principal Investigator

David V. Smith, Ph.D.

Dr. Smith is the Principal Investigator of the Neuroeconomics Lab at Temple University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. The work in the lab is supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Mental Health. For more about his background (including courses that he teaches), please see his faculty page and his current curriculum vitae

david.v.smith [at]

Graduate Students

Daniel Sazhin

Daniel is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Cognition and Neuroscience program at Temple University. He is interested in decision-making, especially in how people adapt to changing environments. His research questions generally revolve in how changes over time in payoffs, risk, uncertainty, and ambiguity affect behavior. He received his Master’s degree at New York University in General Psychology and his Bachelor’s degree at Pace University in Marketing. Outside of the lab, he enjoys racing sailplanes.

daniel.sazhin [at]

Karen Shen

Karen is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Cognition and Neuroscience program at Temple University. She is interested in interactions between decision-making and episodic memory. She is co-mentored by Dr. David V. Smith and Dr. Deepu Murty. She received her Master’s degree in Cognitive Science from Columbia University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Finance from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Outside of the lab, she enjoys playing with her cat and traveling with her friends.

karen.shen [at]

Jen Yang

Jen is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Cognition and Neuroscience program at Temple University. She is interested in the integration of social and non-social information during decision making across lifespan, and how such information processing is associated with cognition. Outside the lab, Jen enjoys crochet, collecting animal pictures, napping, and long walks.

jen.yang [at]

Jimmy Wyngaarden

Jimmy is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Social Psychology program. He’s interested in the roles of social and non-social feedback in guiding judgment and behavior. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from Appalachian State University. Outside of the lab, Jimmy enjoys playing basketball, running, and painting.

james.wyngaarden [at]

Melanie Kos

Melanie is a first-year doctoral student in the Cognition and Neuroscience program. She is a joint member of the Neuroeconomics Lab and the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab (PI: Dr. Chelsea Helion). She is interested in how our mental representations of social informationcontribute to our subsequent decisions, and how these representations change based on our internal bodily state and/or external environmental contexts. Melanie graduated with a B.A. in Cognitive Science from Dartmouth College. Outside of her research endeavors, you can find Melanie participating in trivia nights, scouting the best cocktail spot in Philly, or immersing herself in an audiobook.

melanie.kos [at]

Tia Tropea

Tia is in the 4 + 1 Master’s Program in Psychological Research. In the lab, she contributes to recruitment efforts, scanning procedures and participation in ongoing research endeavors. Her academic interests lie in risk aversion, social interconnectedness, and the impacts of environmental stressors on financial exploitation. Outside of lab, she enjoys traveling, learning new songs on the piano and spending time with family and friends.

tia.tropea [at]

Research Staff

Avi Dachs

Avi is one of the two lab managers at the Smith Lab. He is responsible for recruiting participants for our studies, organizing lab outings, and moving the progress bar forward. He is known for his problem solving, innovation, as well as his excel and REDcap skills. Avi likes to spend his time learning new skills and drawing.

abraham.dachs [at]

Cooper Sharp

Cooper is a research assistant with the Neuroeconomics lab. He recently graduated with a B.S. in Neuroscience from Temple University. His research interests include fMRI imaging methodology and trust during social and financial decision-making. Outside of the lab, Cooper enjoys plants, sushi, and expanding his sweater collection. [at]

Undergraduates, Interns, and Volunteers

Ishika Kohli, Temple University undergraduate RA, LAURA scholar Fall 2022

Matthew Drayton, Temple University undergraduate RA

Enes Yanilmaz, Temple University undergraduate RA

Ashley Hawk, Temple University undergraduate RA


Lauren Alloy, Temple University (Professor of Psychology).

Eunice Chen, Temple University (Associate Professor of Psychology).

John Clithero, University of Oregon (Assistant Professor of Marketing).

Dominic Fareri, Adelphi University (Assistant Professor of Psychology).

Tania Giovannetti, Temple University (Associate Professor of Psychology).

Chelsea Helion, Temple University (Assistant Professor of Psychology).

Johanna Jarcho, Temple University (Assistant Professor of Psychology).

Bart Krekelberg, Rutgers University (Professor of Neuroscience).

Vishnu “Deepu” Murty, Temple University (Assistant Professor of Psychology).

Vinod Venkatraman, Temple University (Associate Professor of Marketing).