Brooks King-Casas, PhD
Assistant Professor, VTC Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Psychology, College of Science at Virginia Tech
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, VTC 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.
Education and Training
- Baylor College of Medicine: Postdoctoral fellowship
- Harvard University: Ph.D., Psychology
- Baylor College of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience and of Psychiatry
- Kishida K, King-Casas B, Montague PR. (2010). Neuroeconomic approaches to mental disorders. Neuron, 67:543-57.
- King-Casas B, Sharp C, Lomax-Bream L, Lohrenz T, Fonagy P, Montague PR. (2008). The rupture and repair of cooperation in borderline personality disorder. Science, 321:806-810.
- Rilling JK, King-Casas B, Sanfey A. (2008). The neurobiology of social decision-making. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 18:159-65.
- Tomlin D, Kayali MA, King-Casas B, Anen C, Camerer CF, Quartz SR, Montague PR. (2006). Agent-specific responses in cingulate cortex during economic exchanges. Science, 312:1047-50.
- Montague PR, King-Casas B, Cohen JD. (2006). Imaging valuation models in human choice. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 29:417-48.
- King-Casas B, Tomlin D, Anen C, Camerer CF, Quartz SR, Montague PR. (2005). Getting to know you: Reputation and trust in a two-person economic exchange. Science, 308:78-83.