Brooks King-Casas, PhD
Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Psychology, College of Science, Virginia Tech
Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, 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
- Baylor College of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience and of Psychiatry
- Chung D, Christopoulus GI, King-Casas B, Ball SB, Chiu PH. (2015). Social signals of safety and risk confer utility and have asymmetric effects on observers’ choices. Nature Neuroscience 18(6), 912-916.
- Zhu L, Jenkins AC, Set E, Scabini D, Knight RT, Chiu PH, King-Casas B, Hsu M. (2014). Damage to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects tradeoffs between honesty and self-interest. Nature Neuroscience.
- Christopoulos GI and King-Casas B. (2014). With you or against you: Social orientation dependent learning signals guide actions made for others. NeuroImage.
- Lauharatanahirun N, Christopoulos GI, King-Casas B. (2012). Neural computations underlying social risk sensitivity. Front Hum Neurosci 6, 213.
- King-Casas B, Chiu PH. (2012). Understanding interpersonal function in psychiatric illness through multiplayer economic games. Biol Psychiatry 72(2), 119-25.
- Tso IF, Chiu PH, King-Casas BR, Deldin PJ. (2011). Alterations in affective processing of attack images following September 11, 2001. J Trauma Stress 24(5), 538-45.
- Kishida K, King-Casas B, Montague PR. (2010). Neuroeconomic approaches to mental disorders. Neuron 67, 543-57.
- Rilling JK, King-Casas B, Sanfey A. (2008). The neurobiology of social decision-making. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 18, 159-65.
- 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.
- 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.