Brooks King-Casas

Brooks King-Casas, PhD

Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Assistant Professor, Psychology, College of Science, Virginia Tech

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Research Program Summary

My lab addresses two broad areas of inquiry: (i) neural basis of valuation and learning in social settings, and, (ii) abnormalities of social valuation. We seek insight into neural computations underlying normative social behavior using methods of decision neuroscience, behavioral economics, and social psychology. These approaches, when jointly brought to bear on complex social phenomena, provide tractable and clear answers about how humans make decisions about one another. To date, our experiments have addressed questions including:

  • How do two people trust one another?
  • How do individuals balance their own interests with the interests of others?
  • How do people work together to enforce social norms, and when does this break down?
  • Why are charitable instincts inhibited by the presence of others?
  • Why is it more important for some individuals to be aggressive but lose, than be submissive and win?

We also seek insights into computations underlying social abnormalities of psychopathology. Psychiatric illnesses, from autism spectrum disorders to antisocial personality disorder, include primary features that can be studied as pathological social decisions. In current and planned work, we leverage our normative work in this area to investigate neural computations that give rise to aberrant social behavior.

For a full listing of Dr. King-Casas' publications, visit PubMed.

Education and Training

  • Baylor College of Medicine: Postdoctoral fellowship
  • Harvard University: Ph.D., Psychology

Previous Positions

  • Baylor College of Medicine
    Assistant Professor, Neuroscience and of Psychiatry

Selected Publications

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