Pearl Chiu

Pearl Chiu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Assistant Professor of Psychology, College of Science, Virginia Tech

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Research Program Summary

How is it that a depressed individual may value nothing at all, whereas an addict might value drug consumption at the expense of all else? What quantitative neurobehavioral measures of motivation, social function, and emotion may be useful for clinical assessment? What makes some people especially vulnerable to peer pressure?

To address these and related questions, the lab examines the neurobiology of human motivation and social decision-making. Our work focuses on how such processes may be perturbed and rehabilitated in psychiatric populations.

Ongoing projects use multiple converging methods (e.g., behavior, self-report, clinical interviews, computational models, fMRI) to: 1) identify neural circuitry involved in healthy decision-making; 2) specify how these pathways go awry in clinical populations marked by deficits in valuation and motivation (e.g., major depression, addiction, PTSD, autism); and 3) develop biologically-informed interventions to remediate these functional deficits.

For a full listing of Dr. Chiu's publications, visit PubMed.

Education and Training

  • Baylor College of Medicine: Postdoctoral fellowship
  • Harvard University: Ph.D., Psychology (Clinical Psychology, Experimental Psychopathology)

Previous Positions

  • Baylor College of Medicine
    Assistant Professor, Neuroscience and Psychiatry

Selected Publications

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