Pearl Chiu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Associate Professor of Psychology, College of Science, Virginia Tech
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
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 Chiu Laboratory examines the neuroscience of human motivation and social decision-making. Dr. Chiu’s work is also at the forefront of Computational Psychiatry, an emerging field that broadly applies quantitative model-based understandings of neural functioning to understand the neural and behavioral decision-making processes that break down in mental illness.
Ongoing projects use multiple methods, including behavioral tasks, self-report, clinical interviews, computational models, and functional neuroimaging to: 1) study the neural substrates of how, when, and why humans make and change their decisions; 2) detail how these neurobehavioral systems are affected in disorders marked by difficulties in motivated decision-making (e.g., major depression, addiction, PTSD, autism); and 3) develop biologically-informed interventions to remediate these functional deficits.
For a more complete listing of Pearl Chiu's publications, visit PubMed.
Education and Training
- Baylor College of Medicine: Postdoctoral fellowship
- Harvard University: PhD, Psychology (Clinical Psychology, Experimental Psychopathology)
- Baylor College of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience and Psychiatry
Awards and Honors
- Source of the Week, National Public Radio, 2015
- Scholar of the Week, Virginia Tech, 2012
- Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS), National Institute of Mental Health, 2010
- American Psychological Association Diversity in Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006
- Dissertation Completion Merit Fellowship, Harvard University, 2004
- Student Poster Award, Society for Psychophysiological Research, 2004
- Harvard University Graduate Society Dissertation Merit Fellowship, 2003
- Sackler Fellowship in Psychobiology, 2001
- Vincent Prize, 2001
- Bok Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University, 2001
- Stimson Prize for Research, Harvard University, 2000
- Certificate in Mind, Brain, Behavior, Harvard University, 1998
- John Harvard Certificate of Merit, Harvard University, 1998
- 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 17(10): 1319-21.
- White SW, Mazefsky CA, Dichter GS, Chiu PH, Richey JA, Ollendick TH. (2014). Social-cognitive, physiological, and neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation impairments: Understanding anxiety in autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience.
- 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.
- Herman S, Archambeau OG, Deliramich AN, Kim BS, Chiu PH, Frueh BC. (2011). Depressive symptoms and mental health treatment in an ethnoracially diverse college student sample. J Am Coll Health 59(8): 715-20.
- Lindsey L, King-Casas B, Brovko J, Chiu PH. (2009). Toward functional neurobehavioral assessment of mood and anxiety. Conf Proc IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology: 5393-5396.
- Chiu PH, Kayali MA, Kishida KT, Tomlin D, Klinger LG, Klinger MR, Montague PR. (2008). Self responses along cingulate cortex reveal quantitative neural phenotype for high-functioning autism. Neuron 57(3): 463-473.
- Chiu PH, Holmes AJ, Pizzagalli DA. (2008). Dissociable recruitment of rostral anterior cingulate and inferior frontal cortex in emotional response inhibition. NeuroImage 42: 988-997.
- Chiu PH, Deldin PJ. (2007). Neural evidence for enhanced error detection in major depressive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 164: 608-616.