People

last updated: 3/14/2022

Principal Investigator

David V. Smith, Ph.D.

Dr. Smith is the Principal Investigator of the Neuroeconomics Lab at Temple University. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology. 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] temple.edu

 

Post-Doc

Rita Ludwig

Rita is a postdoctoral fellow in the Neuroeconomics lab. She received her PhD in psychology from the University of Oregon in 2021. Her research interest is in illuminating the psychological, neural, and socioeconomic factors that influence decision-making and predict long-term goal achievement. When not in the lab, she spends her time picking up heavy objects and putting them back down again, and sewing her own clothes.

rita.ludwig [at] temple.edu

 

Graduate Students

Jeff Dennison

Jeff is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Cognition and Neuroscience program at Temple University. He hopes to use his time in the lab using a subjective-value framework to study the cognitive and biological processes underlying human decision-making across different domains. He received his masters degree at New York University and his bachelors degree at Hawaii Pacific University studying Psychology. He likes to use his time outside of the lab playing music, board games, and his dog.

jeffrey.dennison [at] temple.edu

 

Daniel Sazhin

Daniel is a third-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] temple.edu

 

Karen Shen

Karen is a third-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] temple.edu

 

Jen Yang

Jen is a second-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] temple.edu

 

Jimmy Wyngaarden

Jimmy is a second-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] temple.edu

 

Research Staff

Ori Zaff

Ori is a research associate with the Neuroeconomics Lab. He received his Master’s degree in Linguistics & Cognitive Science from the University of Delaware, where he also completed his undergraduate studies. His research interests include links between reward processing and mental health disorders, as well as links between music and language processing. Outside of research, Ori enjoys writing and producing music, rock climbing, and teaching Hebrew.

ori.zaff [at] temple.edu

 

Athena Vafiadis

Athena is a joint research coordinator within the Neuroeconomics Lab and the Social Developmental Neuroscience Lab. She recently graduated with her M.S. in Neuroscience from Temple University in 2021. Her research interests include social development broadly, parent-child interactions, and investigating why individuals aggress following social rejection.

athena.vafiadis [at] temple.edu

 

Undergraduates, Interns, and Volunteers

Amanda Nguyen (undergraduate), Temple College of Science and Technology.

Fatima Umar (undergraduate), Temple College of Liberal Arts.

Scott Blender (undergraduate), Temple College of Science and Technology.

Makayla Collins (undergraduate), Temple College of Education.

Neriah Kahn (undergraduate), Temple College of Liberal Arts.

Ishika Kohli (undergraduate), Temple College of Science and Technology.

Collaborators

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).

 

Lab Alumni

Shaoming Wang (RA 2017-2018), currently PhD student at NYU Christian Reice (undergrad, 2017-2018), currently RA at CHOP
Ben Muzekari (undergrad, 2018-2019), currently RA at Duke Jane Gaisinsky (undergrad, 2017-2018), currently RA at UPenn
Matthew Slipenchuk (undergrad, 2018-2019) Rachael Kinmartin (undergrad, 2018-2019
Srikar Katta (undergrad, 2018-2020) Brijai Varma (visiting undergrad, 2018-2019)
Victoria Kelly (RA 2018-2019) Veronica Bohlin (undergrad, 2019-2020)
Marc Cipriaso (undergrad, 2018-2020), currently medical student at Temple Carly Morrison (undergrad, 2018-2020)
Ardhika Aziz (undergrad, 2019-2020) Lindsey Tepfer (MS Student and RA, 2017-2020), currently PhD student at Dartmouth
Gemma Goldstein (undergrad, 2018-2020) Isaac Levy (visiting undergrad from Oberlin, 2018-2020)
Ezgi Kasimoglu (MS student (2019-2020)